The Blonde & The Bald | Statins And Cholesterol


LDL is bad and statins should be in the water supply!!” That’s been the mantra for close to 60 years, and heart disease has only gotten worse as it’s still the number one cause of death in the USA and around the world. What if the prevailing wisdom was wrong? That’s what Drs. Frederick Schurger & Beth Bagley are discussing today. One of the many side effects of statin therapy is muscle soreness and weakness, which are common complaints in a chiropractic office. Join us as we discuss the research, some history of cholesterol, and what you may want to do to improve your health!

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Statins & Cholesterol

Welcome to the show. I’m Dr. Schurger.

I’m Dr. Beth Bagley. How are you guys doing?

I’m doing excellent.

It’s been a heck of a day here at the office.

You were telling me about that. Why don’t you share the craziness?

I didn’t see it happen. One of my patients told me about it before the front desk did. My front desk was sitting there and a guy walked in. We have a sign that says, “Come on in, we’re open.” A guy walks in and he has two rocks in his hands and he’s trying to sell my front desk the rocks for $10. He kept talking to him and he asked my front desk her name. Her name was on the shirt and he goes, “That’s you,” and he goes, “What’s your last name?” She goes, “I’m not going to tell you.” “When do you get off work?” We’re like, “Okay.”

Rocks are interesting pickup lines.

I think he was on the crazy train. She had to ask him to leave. Later on the day, not that long afterward, there was a giant car accident out front of my office and a car caught on fire. I do not think anybody was hurt. We know that they are going to need care from that, but I don’t think anybody had to go to the hospital.

I remember seeing a bad accident several years ago. We were teaching a seminar at your office and I saw the whole thing happening.

It’s a bad intersection there.

There’s stuff. Folks, if you’re going to go see Dr. Bagley, take your time. I recommend going back and turning on the Big Bend Road.

do not turn left onto Dorothy Ferry from my office. That is a bad idea.

I’ve done it.

I have too.

You’re better off driving around.

There’s a safer way. It might take a minute extra, but it’s a safer way and it’s worth it because as we know, lives can change in an instant in a car accident like that. The ligament is damaged by a whiplash or a collision like that. The problem that people have is they don’t realize that it impacts the entirety of the rest of your life if that ligament is damaged. That’s why we have jobs.

It is job security. I was thinking about this. I have another patient. I met her through a networking group and she was in today to get checked. They own, not a body shop, but they own a mechanic shop and we joked because we’ve got another friend who has the body shop. I thought about that in the back of my head. The job of the body shop is to fix the problems from the accident you wish you didn’t have.

Unfortunately, a lot of our job also mirrors that because you had the accident. Sometimes you have a little bit of damage to your car that you’re like, “I don’t need to get that fixed. It’s going to be $1, 000 for something that I barely see. It’s a minor scratch.” The only downside to what it’s going to cost to get your spine corrected and back in alignment, you don’t even see that. You might feel it and you might not feel it for years. If you’re in a minor fender bender, go get checked. There is no such thing as a small minor accident.

If you guys get a chance, go on YouTube and look up 5-mile-per-hour highway patrol accidents or simulated crashes, this highway patrol has this mini car that they put out. I don’t know what state it’s in and they take it to teach people to wear their seatbelts and they drop people down and it’s a slight incline but it goes up to 5 miles per hour. It stops short but I don’t recommend doing the demonstration either because watching the people’s heads flip forward in that impact of 5 miles per hour. It’s a nice training tool but I don’t recommend testing that out. That’s not good for your neck.

There have been people who have died in sub-10-mile-per-hour accidents. Bear that in mind. There’s a whole study where they were finding low-speed impacts have people who died. Don’t be part of that group. Let’s get on to tonight’s topic.

I’m excited for it.

I’ve been working on this. I’ve got so many notes around because it’s one of those topics where there is so much information. I think we’re going to split this into two parts, ultimately. What we’re going to talk about tonight is statins.

What I often see is when people are in an intake in the office, I have them list their medications. If the person is over 50, almost all of them have been put on medication. It happens to be one of these drugs. There are multiple names for the drugs and stuff. I’m excited about the research that you’ve done. I’ve done research for years on these, and I cannot wait to get into this.

The interesting thing is statins have been out forever. Let’s take it from the medical perspective. Maybe the question is why are two chiropractors talking about statins? How does that affect our patient base? Why is that a concern for us? For a couple of reasons. One argument about what statins do is statins lower your cholesterol, in particular, your LDL cholesterol and that protects you from heart disease.

They do lower your LDL cholesterol. We do see that.

I’m going to get into some of these details.

It does, but we’re going to talk about what that means. It looks like it was in November of 1987 that the FDA approved Merck. It is when the first commercial statin came out.

I thought they were doing it long before that because at least long before that, they were demonizing cholesterol as being a problem causing heart disease.

In ‘87 was the first actual statin. There was another drug before that, lovastatin. It was the first statin to be approved.

In any case, this has been what we’ve been told forever that you absolutely must have sugar in your diet to have energy. If you don’t have sugar, you’re not going to have energy.

Start your day off with a nice bowl of Cheerios, and that will also lower your cholesterol. That’s another thing we get told.

I’m pretty sure that they had to take that off.

Did they?

They did.

I don’t know if that’s true. It must have not been long ago.

I think it’s been a decade or more. Honeynut Cheerios got taken to court by the FDA because they were saying it lowers your cholesterol instead of being a heart-healthy part of your breakfast. None of this has been proven, which is the crazy part about all of this stuff.

Here’s a current picture of the box and it says, “Can help lower cholesterol as part of a heart-healthy diet.” Still says it.

Yes, but it’s not claiming that it’s the thing that’s lower.

Got it. They had to change the sentence, but it’s still on there and people have still told me, “I eat my Cheerios every day.”

I went over to get my in-body composition test today. The doc was in the back with, I presume, a new patient. I don’t know who this person was. I happened over hear them talking about stuff and she’s like, “Whole grains are good aren’t they?” I’ve known this doctor for a while. We should have Dr. Bax on for the cholesterol and heart side of this discussion at some point. He’s like, “No.” He as a medical doctor has come around to understand that the answers are much about what we’ve been talking about. In any case, LDL is bad and statins are so good that we should be putting them in the water supply. That is what medical doctors have been trying to do. Just like fluoride.

How It All Started

How did this all start? Who made the push to say cholesterol is bad and sugar is not a problem? It goes back to the 1950s when we started seeing more and more coronary heart disease. It used to be angina and this was a disease of the wealthy. There’s another phrase, but a disease of the city folk, whereas the farm folk you didn’t see angina and then later heart attacks. In the 1950s and 1960s in particular, two prominent physiologists were figuring out what was causing heart disease.

You have one guy by the name of John Yudkin, who identified added sugars as the primary agent. The other person is Ancel Keys. Ancel Keys identified total fat, saturated fat, and dietary cholesterol that was the problem. Here’s the thing, you had two things going on. You had big sugar, you had ag businesses that were promoting their products and they already had deep pockets. They were the ones that funded the research to show, “Sugar is not causing cholesterol problems. It’s all of these added fats in our diet. It’s the beef towel. It’s the lard. It’s the eggs.”

It’s all the stuff that has been part of our human nutritional program. Our entire time on this planet, whatever that is, those things have been around. It’s not the added sugars that have become more and more readily available in our diet in 60 years. It was turned to the century when we started seeing that come up.

There were several groups with the Sugar Research Foundation and you’ve got Dr. Mark Hegsted, who was a professor of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health. You have the National National Academy of U.S. Public Health Service, the American Heart Association, and the American Medical Association all on board for treating heart disease by lowering cholesterol.

Lowering fat, triglycerides, cholesterol. Get all the fat. What I’m remembering from the ‘90s is the SnackWell and low-fat craze in all the food. Everything said low fat.

It’s still low fat because it’s cheaper. I was looking for some cottage cheese and there’s a brand called Good Cultures that you could pick up. It is phenomenal.

I’ve never bought it.

I’m trying not to eat the whole thing in a sitting because it’s good. I don’t know how much it’s good for me as far as. Dairy and I sometimes decide to put on weight together. It’s good. As protein goes, it’s a clean protein. They have all the right ingredients in there that a lot of these cottage cheeses don’t.

It says low fat on there.

There’s that and they also have something called kerogen, which is the thickener, which sounds great and is generally considered safe but if kerogen gets into your gut, it screws up your GI and your happy bacteria.

I did not know that.

Kerogen is regularly used as a thickener in a lot of dairies. If you get heavy cream, a lot of the heavy cream will have kerogen as a thickening agent, whereas half and half do not. If you had to choose for your coffee or in general, go for the half and half because it’s a little bit better for you. Back in the late ‘50s, and early ‘60s, Yudkin is trying to show that it’s the sugar that is causing problems. He’s got a bunch of different studies that were published in that era. This was right before PubMed.

PubMed has become a thing, but rigorous study design like it’s supposed to be done today, key words supposed to be, wasn’t there. This is where Yudkin is trying to show that dietary fat and dietary sugar are in relationship to ischemic heart disease and diabetes. He’s trying to show studies like that and then you’ve got this big sugar industry that is pumping money and studies out. They do so much. Here’s the thing. They decided that cholesterol was the problem. When was that? There was a big consensus conference.

Use the word consensus when you think about how do we agree on things. Generally speaking, we agree when there’s a preponderance of evidence showing that something is real, and then if there’s enough of it, we say, “Therefore, there’s more evidence showing this and there is that.” There was more evidence showing sugar is safe and it’s the dietary fat that’s the problem. The dietary fat was safe and sugar was the problem.

Sugar is safe. The sugar industry has deep pockets. They put something like $5 million in today’s dollars into research studies, and they created a bunch of studies that say, “It’s the cholesterol that’s causing problems,” because honestly, you can make a study say anything you want.

Follow the money too. I know we talked about this in previous episodes, but when high-fructose corn syrup, sugar made from corn, which is industrial waste practically, was first marketed in the early 1970s, and then in the ‘80s, they started putting it in the sodas. We’re seeing this correlation. The big sugar also includes big ag, which is corn syrup companies.

That is close to big pharma because all of these companies are working together.

That’s part of this whole story. They introduced this fake sugar, this sugar that’s not found in nature in that quantity into our bodies, and then we’re like, “Why is everybody having heart attacks?” Instead of blaming this cash cow, high-fructose corn syrup, they start blaming butter.

Here’s the other thing to remember. Why did Ancel Keys even think that it was the fat that was the problem? He did a study called the Seven Nations Study. This was a study that he went and looked at all the European nations, including France. This is important, we’ll come back to France. He looked at all these seven countries shortly after World War II and looked at the incidents of heart disease in these populations and what they were eating.

This is important. We are at the end of Lent. Easter is coming up this weekend for us. It will have passed by the time this airs, but Ancel Keys did his study and research findings during the winter, during Lent in European nations, highly Christian and Catholic. What were they doing? They were already fasting, they were eating less, they had cut out red meat on Fridays at this point in time, and they were looking to be better. They’re eating this higher carb, lower fat diet, and all of a sudden everything looks right except France. France was still eating all the high fat and the heart disease stayed low. You over to French culture, they don’t have a lot of sugar. I don’t know if they did it that time. I don’t know where they at now.

They’re always about the quality of the food not quantity.

They’re very much about the quality of the food. Yes, exactly.

Quality ingredients and lots of healthy oils. That kind of thing and butter.

France broke the mold even though they have low heart disease, they have high fat. He called that the French paradox.

They’re not going to count. Don’t look at those guys.

Again, it is consensus data. Seven nations show we did this and this happened except for that one as opposed to saying, “Wait a second. We should understand why the one was an outlier more than understanding that everything else was a consensus. There’s a lot of evidence that says one thing, but that does not necessarily mean that that thing is true.


We should understand why a data point deviates from the consensus. Just because there’s a lot of evidence for one view doesn’t guarantee its truth.


Correlation and causation.

How Well Statins Work

This ends up being the problem. In any case, they get approved. Statins become very popular. They are more frequently looking at LDL as being the bad cholesterol. That’s one of the big things. Let me go to side effects because I think that’s the more interesting thing. Let’s talk about how well statins work. In 2004, statins were about $19 billion a year and growing quickly to the point they wanted to put it in the water supply.

I have two problems. 1) There are short-term studies. They never looked at the long term. Two to three years doesn’t sound like a long-term issue, but that is already a long-term use of a drug. I’ll come back to that when I start talking about neuropathies. This is out of the journal of The Royal Society of Medicine from 2004, Andrew Thompson, the case for statins has it been made. Drug therapy lowers cholesterol and lowers heart disease, as opposed to saying, “What else can we do?”

What they never looked at in that early study that got us in there was all-cause mortality. How many people are dying of heart disease and heart attacks, and how many people are being saved? In this study or this review, they make a couple of interesting points with respect to data on deaths, the most important endpoint is all-cause mortality. This can be manipulated only by fraud and is the one primary concern of the recipients of the treatment. Are they less likely to die soon, whatever the reason, if they take the drug?

If a drug or other intervention neither extends life nor improves its overall quality then it is of no value. We’re already right there saying, does your intervention improve the quality of life? You might have great health and you might lose five years. That’s not a bad trade-off if that’s a real thing. Here’s the crazy thing, there is no rigorous reporting of all-cause morbidity nor the measurement of changes in overall quality of life in any of the statin drug trials. We’ve talked about absolute differences and relative differences when it comes to statistics.

The statin drug trials show absolute differences of less than 1% to a maximum of 3.3%. What does that mean? That means that’s not great when we’re doing that but how does that translate to what you’ve heard about statins? Statins are supposed to be something like 33 % protective against dying from heart disease. Here’s where they get tricky. I’ve got two different studies that we’re going to go through.

The first one, drug companies play a little bit of a game taking a look at the group. In one study, the placebo group and the statin group were looked at. How many people died in each group? In this study, 3.1% of people died, flat out, 14% were in the placebo group, 14% of the placebo group died, and 11% of the statin group. Instead of saying it was a 3.1 % saving grace, they manipulated the number and said, “Well, you’ve got 11% in one group and 14% in another group, you divide 11 by 14 and you get 22%.” Therefore, the statin drug lowered the risk of death between the two groups by 22%. That’s not science.

It’s not even statistics.

That’s problem number one. The difference in deaths was between the statin group and the absolute value of death differences was 3.1%. They play these relative games to make it sound like it was better.

If I hear 22%, I think out of 100 people 22 don’t die because when they say 22% reduction, that’s what I’m thinking, and out of 100 people, 3 people.

This gets to something else that they use called the Number Needed to Treat. Out of 100 people, how many people do you need to treat to improve health? In a study, 100 patients took two statin drugs, and two had a fatal heart attack. In the placebo group, you got another 100, and 3 will have a fatal heart attack.

That’s 33%.

You’re exactly right because that’s only a 1% difference between the two groups. What they do is they divide 2 by 3 as the publish, the relative risk, which is a 33% reduction.

That’s not statistics.

It’s relative to statistics.

It’s 1%.

It’s bad marketing.

It’s great marketing. I have a 33% chance of less heart attack. I want that drug.

It is borderline fraud. It’s 1% because the absolute numbers are always the things we need to understand and we need to understand that two things. When anybody gives us a percentage, we need to know what the absolute numbers are. If I said it was 2% and it was out of 10, 000, that’s a different number than 2% out of 100 because you need to have both the percentage and the number that that’s from. Otherwise, people are trying to manipulate the statistics in their favor. If you only have one or the other, you don’t have the whole picture.



This happens all the time, In the last four years, all of these statistics were manipulated so that they make sense. Lots of people don’t like math and they trust the experts, but the experts are being paid by the people who want the numbers to be 33%. They want the numbers to be a 20% reduction. If they can manipulate it in a way, even if it’s a fraud, that the numbers sort of make sense, they’re going to do it.

Here’s the big thing that I think is a disservice to our school systems across the board. As I was going through my high school time. I was looking like, “What classes can I take that is pre-rex for college so that I can get some stuff out of the way,” with the theory being I’m going to get myself ahead so that I’m going to get through college faster. We had calculus, but I would have been better served, in fact, everyone is better served by doing statistics because then it’s harder for them to lie to you. Calculus in high school is often given to the smart kids because they’re going to go on to something else, some higher math.

Engineering of some sort of degree that they need calculus possibly for.

Engineering, maybe accounting, a couple of other things but a lot of people will grab the calculus class automatically. The kids who aren’t as smart, they’re smart. I’ve got some good friends who I would put in this category. One of the things that they were maybe more interested in was sports. Do you know what sports do day in out? Statistics.

If you could make it into a sports talk, you could catch a whole bunch of these people.

If you start understanding the statistics of things, now you understand the game. This is where we will get all sorts of stuff to bamboozle us so that way we don’t know what’s going on. That’s where statins started. The evidence isn’t great that it’s protecting people. In fact, where was the study that I was looking at here? We’ll talk a little bit about what it’s doing as far as side effects. I’m going to back up. The question is has statins helped anybody? The answer is sort of yes, but it’s a small group.


The Blonde & The Bald | Statins And Cholesterol


There are two big studies that I want to focus on. The first one is the Framingham Heart Study. The Framingham Heart Study has been going on since 1948. I think it’s out of Boston. There have been over 15,000 participants for over three generations. We’re talking about families time and again and again. In 2009, they’d already written 1,200 research articles and there’s so much much research and so much data that a lot of people want to data mine this information. One of the study directors is a guy by the name of William Costelli. He said that serum cholesterol is not a strong risk factor for coronary heart disease. It doesn’t exist.

There is no correlation between dietary cholesterol intake and blood cholesterol levels, and the Framingham residents who ate the most cholesterol saturated fat, total calories weighed the least and were the most physically active. Right off the bat, we’ve got a huge study with a lot of data that is probably one of the best pieces of data on the planet right now that says it’s not a thing. Some of these are out of Mark Sisson’s The Primal Blueprint Print, but reference that statins do not affect triglycerides which are blood fat levels, or LDL, the so-called bad cholesterol. Statins, do not decrease the risk of death in any woman and men over 65, or in men under 65 who have not had a heart attack.

No women. It doesn’t help.

It doesn’t help women. It’s not helping men over 65, heart attack or otherwise, and men under 65 who have never had a heart attack. It is not helping them. The group that it might be helping are people who have had a heart attack and men who had a heart attack under 65, it might help them short term, but what it is doing is depleting our natural anti-oxidants that we’ve been making ourselves, CoQ10.


Thank you, because I cannot say it. You don’t see it, but you do see CoQ10 a lot.

The Side Effects From Statin Drugs

Let me tell people the difference of the two things. Ubiquinol is the kind of reduced form of CoQ10. If you’re over the age of 30, 35, or something, you need the ubiquinol form. If you look at the back of a bottle of a supplement, it might say CoQ10 and still be ubiquinol, but it might be CoQ10. You want to take the one that is called ubiquinol. It’s going to be better. It’s a form that your body can use better than CoQ10. Let’s talk about what CoQ10 does because I think that’s interesting. The reason that there are a lot of side effects from these statin drugs is because of the depletion of CoQ10. Go into that. I know you got stuff on it.

It is a critical micronutrient is CoQ10 and it’s called coenzyme Q10. It does a couple of important things. Let’s go down the list. Dr. Bagley, what does the mitochondria do?

It’s the powerhouse of the cell. That’s the first thing you learn in science class when you’re in middle school.

CoQ10 is essential to healthy mitochondrial function and defending ourselves against free radical damage. Right there we’ve got that.

What I know at least in my little bit of knowledge of this is people will get some massive muscle aches and body pain when they’re on statin drugs. Different ones will cause different problems for different people. A lot of times they’ll switch from one to another to another and sometimes they’ll find the one that doesn’t have the side effects as much. I honestly don’t know why one would have side effects more than another. I do know that depletion of CoQ10 can cause your muscles not to work right.

I found this one out of oxidative stress disease in cancer which was from the Roswell Park Cancer Institute out of New York and this is Imperial College Press here. CoQ10 controls these functions. It’s participation as an electron carrier in the mitochondrial respiratory chain. That is the Krebs cycle.

It’s energy production.

It’s also called the vitamin C cycle. That’s the other thing.

Why that’s important, and we don’t need you to memorize the Krebs cycle like we had to memorize in Chiropractic School, which was so important for us. We need to know this because if you look at a muscle cell, it has a lot of mitochondria in it. It’s got a lot of these processes that are making energy because what is something that needs a lot of energy is your muscles to work. Every time they’re working, they’re sucking up energy. We need to feed the energy. Now, we’re putting a substance into our body that depletes one of the chemical parts of the reaction that creates energy. You are like, “My bicep doesn’t work so well.” What else is made of muscles?

The heart.

The heart and that’s what we’re trying to solve. The cardiac muscle is in the heart. We have smooth muscle in the gut. We have smooth muscle around our bladder. We have three different types of muscles, skeletal, heart, and smooth. This could affect any of them or all of them.

Here’s the thing. You’re making to some degree some CoQ10, but statins are believed to lower CoQ10 levels by up to 50%.

That’s a lot.

Let’s go through the list of other things. It’s an electron carrier inside the cell. That’s again the Krebs cycle. It is also an electron transport outside of the mitochondria. It’s an antioxidant made by your body again. Regulation of mitochondrial permeability transition is poor. You have to get things in and out of those mitochondria to get the energy.

You need the energy outside of the mitochondria so that your muscles can work in other cells too. We’re talking muscles a lot here.

Uncoupling of proteins in the mitochondria. Regulation of the physiochemical properties of membranes. We were talking about calcium channels here not too long ago. That is a membrane potential. Things have to get in and out of the cells and CoQ10 is a big part of that. How about this one? Improvement of endothelial dysfunction.

That’s interesting because that’s what they’re trying to solve with statin drugs. Let’s talk about what those words mean.

Endothelial is all your smooth muscle tissue. That is the inside of your blood vessels that are now being damaged. One of the theories about all these plaques in the arteries that statins are supposed to be helping with, one of the theories is that plaque is building up because there is endothelial damage to the arteries in your body. There is a theory and there’s some significant evidence to support that the blood is not getting sticky and sticking to the walls, but rather the cholesterol plaques are coming from the outside of the blood vessel and into the inside the way anything else would work in a cell. The body says, “I got to maintain this super highway of a blood vessel, I’m going to bring stuff from outside to do the repair work that I need to do.”

What I want people to realize is because so many people think that a blood vessel, this tube is here then there’s cholesterol stuck to the inside of the tube, like a drain that’s clogged up with gross hair and nastiness. That’s not what it is. The endothelium is still around the tube. It’s behind that. It’s on the other side of the membrane of the endothelium, the double membrane. I know why they call it a clogged artery. I understand. It’s not the way you think it is. It’s in between the arteries.

The arteries have layers and we’re dealing with the tissue layer that is trying to heal and repair.

What do you think could be causing an artery to need to be repaired? What is causing the insult?

In general, the question is what’s going on in the body? The body is always repairing. Sometimes you have the wrong materials being laid down. One of the contentions I have with some of these Ehlers-Danlos folks is now that we understand that glyphosate looks very similar to glycogen, our most abundant protein in collagen that you might see. A lot of these people with loose ligaments and things are dealing with bad materials coming in that make bad collagen.

What could be a bad material that we’re putting in our bodies that is causing this constant insult?

This is where we start getting into sugars.

It’s sugar, but I heard sugar was good. That’s what they like to say. That’s where we’re coming to this full-circle movement. When people have these huge giant spikes constantly with sugar and every time you get hungry, you eat more sugar. It will start injuring the endothelium of your blood vessels. What also injures the endothelium, that’s why we were both like, “Ah,” is statin drugs. What we’re saying is statin drugs could possibly make artery disease worse.

It might be doing that. There’s another study here in 2013. The Ugly Side of Statin: Systemic Appraisal of the Contemporary Un-known Unknowns. They looked at everything that was going on and they said, “Specifically reviewed studies that show statins do not work for the primary prevention of coronary heart disease.” That was the first thing they came up with. They reviewed studies that show statins cause an increased risk of myopathy, which is the muscle weakness that we were talking about.

Increased risk of lung disease can cause or increase the risk of diabetes, which can only be made with insulin. We do know that statins raise insulin and blood sugars. That shows that studies cause or can increase the risk of intracerebral hemorrhage. You don’t want to bleed in the brain, can increase the risk of Parkinson’s, can increase the risk of cancer, can increase the risk of cataracts, and arterial calcification.

I know we’ve talked personally about statin drugs, but hearing all of that right now, I have a buildup of anger because there are so many people even in my practice who are taking this drug. There are lots of statin drugs, but taking a statin drug. Once you start taking it, it’s not like taking a steroid like, “I’ve got Poison Ivy. I’m going to take a round of that and get better faster.” This is a drug that they put you on and you never, ever go off. It’s a drug that you stay on for the rest of your life.

They want you to be on it for your entire life because it’s going to save you. There is this myth that zero cholesterol would make everybody healthier. That is patently false. That’s the short of it right there.

My mind is a little bit blown right now because I have a very close family member who’s been diagnosed with an interstitial lung disease, which is awful. Lungs no longer move much and you cannot catch your breath, so you’re on oxygen 24/7 and I’m betting she’s on a statin drug.

We’ve talked about oxidative stress, we’ve talked about COQ10, we’ve talked about the potential risks. We talked about myopathy, I want to talk about this other side effect that they think is going on, polyneuropathy. I had to look this up. We hear about neuropathy and it’s pain in the extremities. Where’s the poly? Here it is. What is polyneuropathy? Polyneuropathy is characterized by extremity weakness, tingling, difficulty walking, and general weakness. Statin drugs raise a person’s risk of polyneuropathy nerve damage by about 16%.

Is that 16% or is it 60%, but they mess with the number?

It may have an increased risk of up to 45%. Who’s taking it? It’s all the Baby Boomers right now. How many people do you have in your office that you’re seeing regularly that have some sort of neuropathy? They consider this long-term exposure of 2 to 3 years. We’re not talking 10 years.

I’m looking this up too. Affected nerves, autonomic nerves, blood pressure, and digestion, then sensory nerves are responsible for touch and sensation, and then motor nerves. It affects all types of nerves, the autonomic and the sensory.

I got one last side effect that we haven’t covered yet. Can you guess what it is? Let’s have some fun and then we’ll talk a little bit about what cholesterol is and why it’s important. The two biggest killers in modern life are heart disease and cancer. Guess what statins also have? Carcinogenicity. They are cancer-causing. This was an interesting study from back in 1996 as I was getting out of my undergrad program.

This is about ten years after they’ve been introduced widely to the public.

This was an interesting study. They looked at two different groups of drugs because the two different things that they’re concerned about with heart disease certainly, cholesterol is one of them. The other one is hypertension. Hypertension is a problem and getting that under control is important. They looked at whether or not statins or hypertensives would cause cancer in rats. What they found is that hypertensive drugs did not cause cancer in rats.

Tons of people are on them, and some of them are on Lisinopril. When I have a patient on one of those, I’m not like worried about them. If you do have truly some bad high blood pressure and not doing anything to try to solve it, you don’t start, stop taking your high blood pressure supplements. You need to take it. What they’re saying is that things like Lisinopril, the hypertensives are not necessarily causing cancer, but the statins were. Do they have a type of cancer or in general an increase of cancer?

It was an increase. This was a rodent study. This was not a human study but the amount observed with that they were giving the rodents was equivocal to the maximum dose recommended for humans. We’re already at a spot where it’s a problem. Let me pull this other study out or this last one. Go ahead.

The amount of cancer, I mean, like there’s lots of reasons cancers are increasing right now, not just statin drugs, but we have seen more cancers, Cancer is on the rise, they keep saying and all those things, but it’s interesting that cancer has been on the rise when we decreased the fat in our diet, and increased the sugar, which cancer thrives on sugar and then also put a ton of people on a long-term medication. Quite a moneymaker there, because then the more people that get cancer, the more money they make. I hope you all can see that the big pharma conundrum is not trying to cure anything. They’re trying to create more customers and it’s disgusting.


Let me show this last bit. We haven’t talked about cholesterol. I think we’re going to need a whole other.

Cholesterol shouldn’t be demonized. I think we should have a whole podcast on cholesterol, but the real quick thing I will say is cholesterol is healing to your body. It is part of every single cell of your body. It is part of the membrane of every cell of your body.

It’s most of your brain.

You need cholesterol. Low-cholesterol diet is silly like no cholesterol is good. Cholesterol is wonderful.

You can see what I’ve got here. This is a very simple metabolism at a glance of what cholesterol is. We start with something called acetyl-CoA, which turns into this hydroxymethyl glutaric acid CoA as it goes through things. Statins come in right about this point and shut down that process.

I wonder why everyone’s deficient in vitamin D. Because cholesterol and vitamin D start as the same thing.

You don’t get to vitamin D until step 30 of this process.

Now we’ve inhibited the ability to make one of these steps that creates vitamin D.

Here’s CoQ10. How many people do you know who come into your office, “Doc, I am so tired.” “Are you on a statin?”

As chiropractors, we cannot be like, “Get off that statin.” That’s not what we do. That’s not what I’m telling anyone on this show to do, but these are questions you should be asking your medical doctor and saying, “I know I’m tired all the time. Could it be the statin?” or “My vitamin D levels won’t go above 30. Could it be the statin?”

This is just the body making cholesterol. Dietary cholesterol does not impact this. Eat the good stuff, and that is the fats, butter, egg yolks, and all because that’s where the nutrition is. This is all the body making cholesterol directly. Once you make cholesterol, your body has seven more steps to make bile acids so it can digest the fats that you’re consuming. For women, it’s got eight more steps to produce estrogen.

For men, it has seven more steps to produce testosterone, both of which the sex hormones are way out of balance in our society for so many people that you don’t know up or down. You don’t feel good, and so many men are going right to TRT to increase their testosterone when all they need to do is clean up their diet a little bit.

Maybe not take a statin.

For women, the same thing. How many women are having all sorts of problems between PCOS, menstrual cramps, and all the ups and downs we’ve talked about otherwise? All of these things are going on. When you hit menopause, now your body is shutting down. You’re not able to make the estrogen you need which is your feel-good hormone, and then we have aldosterone which is a kidney, and blood pressure mix there. We’ve got cortisol. Cortisol is good. There’s bad cortisol when you’re all stressed out being chased by a lion at 3:00 in the afternoon.

I don’t want to get chased by a lion.

I know especially not at 3:00 in the afternoon. Better to do it at 7:00 AM when you’re waking up. In any case, these are necessary products in your system and if you don’t have these working, your life is going to be a living hell. We don’t tell people to get on or off cholesterol meds or any meds. We will tell you to get ubiquinol. You might need some vitamin D.

I’m glad you showed me this because I talk about vitamin D a lot to my patients, not just the ubiquinol. I’m going to tell people who are on statins that they need to also supplement their vitamin D.

If you’re having problems digesting fats, you might need some bile salts to help re-kick and start your gallbladder so that you can do that. That’s one of the things I’ve got my brother on because who knows what kind of problems he had. It wasn’t a statin problem, but he needs bile salts, otherwise he cannot digest fats. He has an avocado and he’s paying for it for days.

Let’s refresh what we’re saying. There’s a possibility, a very high probability, that statin drugs increase your risk of coronary artery disease. They decrease your body’s ability to process energy correctly, which then affects your muscles and can cause weakness and pain. It causes neuropathy or polyneuropathy. It can cause vitamin D levels to decrease, which then can affect the immune system in itself. It causes digestive problems because the bile salts or bile acids will be reduced. It causes hormonal shifts because you’ve now decreased some of the steps to get hormones made.

If you’re already diabetic, it’s going to make things worse. Your diabetes is going to be a nightmare.

It gets frustrating. In chiropractic, we talk a lot about this thing called above down inside out, and where health comes from is from inside of us. If you believe in a higher power God has granted us this beautiful body and soul that we can create a healthy environment and express life through our body, which is amazing. If we look at it as outside in, it means I need to take all of these things for me to survive. Where I get into this whole conundrum is a supplement isn’t that much different like I need a supplement to survive the type of thing. The job of a supplement is to increase your body’s ability to function.



Supplement is not meant to replace. I was chatting with a patient today and she’s like, “I’m so tired of taking all these pills.” Wouldn’t it be nice if we could get it all in our food? That should be your first goal is to eat as much healthy food as possible as opposed to depleted crap that unfortunately exists in the food supply. Read the label, if it has more than five ingredients, it is not healthy.


Your first goal is to eat as much healthy food as possible. If you have read the label and it has more than five ingredients, it is not healthy.


That’s processed food. In general, the long and short of it that I want people to know is you can lower your cholesterol if your inflammation levels are lower. Inflammation is what causes your cholesterol to go up. If your cholesterol is up, your cholesterol is trying to solve the problem that inflammation has created. Cholesterol is not the enemy. Inflammation is the enemy, chronic inflammation. One of the things that causes chronic inflammation is high sugar and processed foods. Also, inflammation is caused by spinal subluxation. Misalignments in the spine cause problems and inflammation. Why chiropractors care about any of this is because we want our patients to have less inflammation.


The Blonde & The Bald | Statins And Cholesterol


Inflammation has a time and a place. If I twist my ankle, the inflammation is bringing the healing to my ankle. It’s great. I want the inflammation to an extent. It’s the chronic overall inflammation that’s causing people to get very sick and die. We’re not going to solve it by decreasing the chemical that our body makes or we eat called cholesterol. That correlation that caught in causation. Just because cholesterol levels are high in someone does not mean that the cholesterol is the enemy. Cholesterol is high in someone because inflammation is causing it to be high and the cholesterol is trying to solve the problem. Frustration.


Just because cholesterol levels are high in someone does not mean that it’s the enemy. Cholesterol is high in someone because inflammation is causing it to be high, and it is trained to solve the problem.


There is some interesting stuff. This is going to require another long deep dive into cholesterol. There are some theories that when you start looking at cholesterol as an energy delivery system, we are now thinking that instead of thinking of these particles as being good, bad, or ugly, think of them as boats. When you have a full boat, that’s got all that energy that is trying to deliver, and then when you have an empty boat, an LDL, a low-density, high-density, HDL, has stuff on it.

You’ve got the triglycerides, which is an interesting thing in and of itself. If you’re eating a high-sugar diet, you will kick up those triglycerides. If you want to take a look at one of the numbers in that cholesterol panel that you have sitting at home, take a look at that triglyceride number. Your triglycerides divided by your HDL should range somewhere between 1 and 3. This is a newer hypothesis and a newer number. It is not on your list. You have to do the math yourself. You can do this division and it will be right.

It’s not 1%.

It is not a crazy percentage play, but it should be between 1 and 3 because you should have a higher HDL and lower triglycerides, or at least relatively, but if you have high triglycerides, they’re sugar problems. That’s what’s driving a lot of this inflammation. Triglycerides are an inflammation marker.

That’s what you see your triglycerides and you’re like, I need to lower my fat. No. You do not need to lower your fat. You need to lower your sugar.

Because in the absence of inflammation, in what we would consider a lean individual, we are seeing a situation called lean mass hyper responder, where their cholesterol levels are very high, like 300, 400, 500 and yet they are low in inflammation as a result of everything else. They do not show inflammation problems and they also do not show the coronary heart disease or calcification of plaques that would be normally associated with very high cholesterol in an otherwise obese individual.

The cholesterol science is certainly not closed science, it’s not done and we may see in our lifetime a change in this approach as long as we can get real science done and real approaches to say, “What is going to help you lower your heart disease risk? What is it going to make sure that you aren’t having aches and pains from a medication you’re taking that doesn’t show any benefit for its primary purpose?”

The studies are already there.

The evidence is there, but nobody is looking at it.

I cannot imagine being a medical doctor and still prescribing this whole statin deception. There’s even a book called The Statin Deception.

I don’t envy them because they know the system. Many of them understand it and they’re like, “Let’s try it with diet for a little bit,” because of the system they are in and the requirements of their malpractice. What is the standard of care? The standard of care for high cholesterol is to prescribe a statin as opposed to changing the diet and getting them healthy.

Let’s say I come in and I have high cholesterol and then I go to the medical doctor and I’m like, “I have high cholesterol.” He was like, “Stop eating so much sugar and the cholesterol go down.” That’s not the standard of care, and then I have a heart attack. I can sue him because he didn’t follow the standard care and gave me a statin drug. That is not cool. I would win that because he did not follow the standard of care. I don’t know if they’re afraid. This happened during COVID too. There was a standard of care that they had to go on some of these IV drugs that were causing more harm than good.

They were known to cause kidney disease and death.

That was the standard of care and the hospitals wouldn’t let the doctors make these decisions. I don’t envy the doctors who are in these giant healthcare conglomerates and cannot make real decisions for their patients. It’s going to take a lot of brave individuals to break this open.

I think I need to talk to Dr. Bax and have him come on the show.

I would love to have him on. I’d love to pick his brain.

I think he’d enjoy it too. I think we need to wrap because it’s late and my eggs and bacon are waiting for me.

That has a lot of cholesterol in it. You should probably not eat it.

I will eat all of it.

Eat all of it. It’s healthy. Where can they find you, Dr. Schurger?

I am at in Keystone Chiropractic here in Springfield, Illinois.

I’m in St. Louis, Missouri at I’m on the west side of the city and watch out for my parking lot because there are car crashes in it all the time.

Dougherty Ferry? No. Turn on Big Bend. It is always safe and sometimes you might find yourself stopping at JJ Twigs to get yourself a pizza.

Get yourself a pizza. That has no cholesterol either. It was good talking to you. We see you all next time on the show.

Bye, everyone


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