Coenzyme Q10, dementia and statins

Or, are Doctors qualified to practice if they don’t understand nutrition?

A true story from a personal experience.

The very nice gentleman renting my beach condo introduced his wife to me. It quickly became apparent that this 60 year old lady had dementia.

My father suffered from Parkinson’s, dementia and Alzheimer’s so I know a bit about it all. Also, in my work on cancer, a lot of top research crosses my desk.

I asked about the dementia. The lady in question had had a small stroke 4 years before, but all had been well until just a couple of months ago. From then it was a rapid decline. They had just returned from a top hospital where she had received a number of drugs.

I offered that I had read several studies recently on how Coenzyme Q10 (which declines anyway as people pass 50 years of age) along with curcumin, had shown strong protective effects. In fact only recently, three separate studies have come out of the USA on these two natural compounds.

Coenzyme Q10 is a powerful antioxidant, but importantly is essential for efficient mitochondrial action. Mitochondria are the power stations in every cell of your body, and you get more mitochondria in tissues that need to do more work, like muscles, heart and brain.

Curcumin seems to have the ability to stop proteins sticking to each other and getting your nerves crossed - one of the key factors in the brain with these diseases.

The good news about CoQ10 is that you can supplement with about 30 mgs per day and restore your body levels to those you had in your 20’s; (any more is a waste of money and has no further effect).

As we walked up stairs I suggested simply that he might read up on these two natural compounds and think about supplementation (CoQ10 takes about three months before it has a full effect).

My gentleman renter constantly said he was baffled how the deterioration had been so pronounced in the last 2 months. ‘The problem is she now has to take so many drugs each day’, he added. ‘Why’, I asked. ‘Well about 6 months ago she was diagnosed with high cholesterol and so they put her on statins too’, he sighed.

For those of you who don‘t know, there is a pre-occupation amongst doctors that our cholesterol levels are too high. Driven by statin makers, the acceptable level for your cholesterol has even been officially reduced. Result? Yet more people on ‘life-saving statins’; more profits for big Pharma.

Unfortunately, as any good nutritionist will tell you, you need cholesterol. Sunlight on the skin will activate the cholesterol layers to produce vitamin D, a wonderful cancer protection vitamin. Moreover your brain needs cholesterol to function properly. Without cholesterol you would experience a rapid diminution of performance.

But if that was not enough, statins have side effects: the most common being muscle wastage and heart problems. Why?

Because statins reduce CoenzymeQ10 levels in the cells - especially the high performing cells like muscles, heart and ……….. brain.


Cocktails of drugs kill


Now I understand that my knowledge is limited, and that my web site is a cancer site but yet again here we have a patient potentially suffering from a cocktail of drugs, where a drug prescribed for one illness is quite possibly behind her rapid deterioration in another illness.

We have run the story before that at the New York Presbyterian hospital this condition (becoming ill through taking a cocktail of drugs) now accounts for 28 per cent of hospital admissions. Indeed they have given it a name – POLYPHARMACY. Deaths have trebled in seven years.

Every week there’s a media story about how taking fish oils ‘might’ interfere with a wonder drug, how herbs have not been fully tested for side-effects, or how dodgy vitamins ‘might’ increase death by 10 per cent.

Frankly, all this pales into insignificance when you read about polypharmacy. It is not a ‘might possibly increase risks of death’ phenomenon. It is a known killer.

The fact of the matter is here we have a doctor throwing statins into a lady who supposedly has high cholesterol. (I say supposedly because she struck me as a bit thin for her years). This doctor should well know what the side effects are, according to the Pharma Company’s leaflets. He will have been given a list of side-effects to watch out for. But then he always gets a little list with every drug, and since side-effects are not quantified (this is surely another great weakness of the so called gold standard Clinical Trial), he has little idea how bad the side-effects might be, nor how many people might be affected. Worse, he rarely (if ever) understands WHY the side effects occur? But then he has neither studied pharmacology or nutrition. How could your poor Doctor know?

Another anecdote shows this up perfectly.

Another friend was prescribed statins recently in the UK.

‘I don’t want to take them because of the side-effects’, he told his Doctor.

‘Don’t be silly the drugs are perfectly safe’, replied the medic.

‘But what about problems with muscles, and heart problems?’

‘Don’t worry, we will monitor you regularly for those’

Why are you going to monitor me if the drugs are perfectly safe?’


It can only get worse  


Our poor doctor is now seriously exposed. He rarely knows why the statins have side effects, nor does he understand what nutritional shortages are being shown in research to be linked to dementia.

And because of his reliance on often limited notes about the drugs, he doesn’t understand the effects of the drug inside the body. Which is why people with several ‘illnesses’ end up taking three or four drugs for each illness and why, sometimes, the side effects from one precipitate yet further illnesses, especially in combination with other drugs.

And if doctors do not understand basic nutrition or biochemistry, as more drugs are launched, this Polypharmacy can only get worse.

Lying deep underneath this whole sorry mess is a lack of understanding of basic nutrition and why people become ill in the first place. At CANCERactive when we do personal prescriptions for people with cancer, invariably the patient had another illness five or six years before the cancer developed. For this illness they were given drugs. Their Doctor rarely thought what might be causing the first illness, and simply provided the drugs to treat it. Consequently 6 years later, the original problem had not gone away and matters simply became worse. ‘Let’s stop the symptoms and move on,’ is the methodolgy. But the underlying problem is still a thyroid problem, an oestrogen excess, a yeast infection, a parasite. We have seen a lady who took a stomach drug for ten years, while on the internet it says, ‘Not to be prescribed for more than six months’. We have seen people given a full year’s treatment with antibiotics to clear up an infection; Slippery Elm, garlic, wormwood and Pau D’Arco would have killed the parasite off in less than 2 months without ruining the patient’s immune stimulating beneficial bacteria.

The fact is we don’t have a National Health Service, we have a National Illness Management Service. We don’t have healthcare, we have illness care.


Madness


Frankly, I think it is time the complementary and alternative industry went on to the front foot. Why do they suffer often idiotic media attacks about diet and nutrition when the real question is much more significant:  ‘Are doctors qualified to treat patients if they haven’t studied nutrition?’ Doctors are bright people. Surely it is not too much to expect them to ask how things might work, rather than just look up the symptoms on a computer and prescribe whatever drug the computer tells them to.

Also, if Doctors are going to prescribe according to ‘Best Practice’ for every separate illness a person may develop, then clinical trials are a complete waste of time. How many clinical trials are done where people take 10 or more drugs? It’s madness and the medical industry is in real danger of losing all credibility.

True, my example is just a one-off case, but you can bet there are many more examples around. 28 per cent of admissions in one hospital seems to prove this. And matters are getting worse with every new drug launched. And I haven’t even mentioned that generic drugs from China and India might actually not perform in the same way with differing side-effects to the original drug for which the gold standard Clinical Trial was organized.

Meanwhile perhaps it is worth someone reassuring us all on statins, Coenzyme Q10 and dementia – maybe it’s time someone looked into the nutritional clashes a bit more carefully. Before we all go mad.

Chris Woollams Quack Watch
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