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56 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling, 19 Aug. 2011
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This review is from: The Statin Damage Crisis (Paperback)
The Statin Damage Crisis arrived by post yesterday and I read it, cover to cover, yesterday.

There are ways in which this book is a re-hash; Graveline openly declares it draws upon content of two of his earlier books, 'Lipitor: Thief of Memory' and 'Statin Drugs Side Effects'. Indeed I think it was interest in the need to revise 'Statin Drugs Side Effects' for a new edition that resulted in publication of this newer book and title.

The 'Statin Damage Crisis' is generally a very slick text. It's concise, at times a bit scientific and technical where biochemistry is concerned, very informative and highly explanatory, comprehensible, and occasionally a bit repetitious. But it does what it says on the cover; it alerts the reader to the statin damage crisis - and its more than alert because it explains the 'what?, how?, and why?'. It does so without sensationalising matters, without hyperbole, and very convincingly through reason and explanation.

The main thrust:
# Cholesterol doesn't kill you.
# Blanket prescription of cholesterol lowering drugs is not justified - it doesn't reduce incidence of CHD in most people.
# Saturated fat doesn't kill you.
# Cholesterol lowering drugs can reduce CHD events in certain patients - those who already have heart disease - but there efficacy does not arise as a consequence of lowering cholesterol.
# Statins can lower cholesterol, they may reduce incidence of CHD in certain groups, but overall mortality rates from all causes can be 'flat' or actually rise. This is because lowering cholesterol, and/or interfering with cholesterol synthesis can give rise to other effects including increased incidence of cancer.
# Homocysteine and processes of chronic inflammation better explain the mechanisms at work behind CHD.
# Efficacy of statins is not a blanket efficacy and where there is efficacy it is not down to lowering cholesterol. On the positive side statins can act with anti-inflammatory effect.
# Cholesterol is important for good health.
# Cholesterol is the staring basis from which other important physiologic biochemicals are made.
# Statins do not just impede the process of cholesterol synthesis.
# Statins act at a point early in a chemical pathway nature gave us to synthesis some other important biochemicals.
# Statins impede the production and synthesis of other biochemical factors with other important and health giving properties.
# Statins impede the production of a biochemical with an important role in a healthy immune system.
# Statins have many side effects. Impeding cholesterol production gives rise to a major side effect; memory of cognitive impairment. That statins also impair synthesis of other important biochemicals gives rise to the rest.
# Statin side effects are being mistaken for dementia and Alzheimers.
# Aside from certain anti-inflammatory properties the principle virtue of statins is just how profitable this class of drugs can be for the pharmaceuticals companies.
# Welcome to 'pharmageddon!'

Aspects of biochemistry and terminology that might be unfamiliar to the lay reader could be off-putting. The references to biochemistry and cell metabolism are helpful and instructive, if potentially unfamiliar. Gravelines argument is well constructed and his reasoning sound and easy to follow. I think I followed the bits that discuss the metabolism of cells without any more than the cursory knowledge Graveline imparts. Basically if one is unfamiliar with the references to cell metabolism and to biochemical synthesis or exchanges it should not detract from the worth of this book. It is possible to be carried along by the strength of Gravelines reasoning and the clarity of his explanation without prior familiarity with some of the explanatory concepts and terminology.

There are, as I already indicated, elements of repetition. The chapters are well organised, constructed to be concise, and designed to concentrate on quite specific aspects of the argument but certain precepts and assertions do crop up in several different chapters. In the main, without being overly analytical about it, I spotted this element of repetition but considered it to be leveraging of the argument - meaning; arriving at similar conclusions but from different starting points. Chapters are generally quite short and the overall impression of the book is that it is concise. Its compelling, pace-y, interesting, well researched, and thoroughly absorbing. Above all I think Graveline is well informed, carries gravitas, sincere, well-intentioned, and largely correct. He stands head and shoulders above the deceitful antics of the pharmaceuticals companies, the cynical regard of those they bankroll, and the lazy reasoning and slap-dash policy making or reporting of government bodies who are supposed to regulate these affairs.

Statins are the thalidomide of our time. We are guinea-pigs and cash-cows whose primary purpose for the corporate and profit agendas is to provide the income streams to feed the profits to preserve share price and shareholder value. Statins are poison, mostly: but profitable, immutably so.

Welcome to the world of deceit and destructive economics.

Parting thoughts:
Incidentally, it all has to do with money. It has a lot to do with the design and attributes of money. It has a lot to do with the relationship money has to debt. And it has a lot to do with the durability of debt. I'd recommend reading Bernard Lietaer (The Future of Money), and/or Micheal Rowbotham (The Grip of Death) or viewing Paul Grignon ('Money as Debt' feature on YouTube).

Don't be downbeat. Things are bad, but better IS possible if only we understand WHY things are bad. Its simple yet not readily comprehensible; better money would result in a better world.

# Spacedoc has a helpful website.
# I also recommend a visit to The Cholesterol Truth, a website largely authored by Dr John Briffa.
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Location: Cheshire, UK

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