124 of 127 people found the following review helpful
Joel M. Kauffman
- Published on Amazon.com
This book focuses on the side-effects of statin drugs used "to lower cholesterol" or LDL-cholesterol. Its author has been an astronaut, aerospace medical research scientist, flight surgeon, family physician for at least 10 years, writer (including novels), and holder of a Masters degree in Public Health (MPH). Still, he enjoys being known as "Spacedoc". But what makes him super-qualified as author of Statin Drug Side Effects (SDSE) is that he has experienced two episodes of transient global amnesia himself after taking Lipitor(tm).
This side-effect, shocking in its implications for drivers, pilots, etc., was temporary for Spacedoc, but not for everyone, as he reports on hundreds of cases. He also wrote that there are thousands of cases of less severe mental impairments due to Lipitor, and the equally dangerous statin drugs Zocor, Mevacor, Crestor and Baycol (now withdrawn). These and the less dangerous Pravachol and Lescol had been well-known for causing muscle pain, muscle weakness, muscle decomposition leading to kidney failure, peripheral neuropathy, digestive problems, chronic fatigue, sexual dysfunction, headache and skin rash. There are warnings that pregnant women or those are breast feeding should not take any statins. Most people accepted (or were not told) about these common side effects. And now Spacedoc exposes mental problems, heart failure and increased cancer rates! He spells out the biochemical pathways for these side effects. He gives case descriptions of many of the amnesia cases, including his own episodes.
Spacedoc's experience as a novelist helped to make his book very readable. The first 112 pages are less technical than the final 44 pages of addendum, which include more detailed biochemical pathways for the brain damage, immune system damage, and heart damage from statin drugs. A final 10 pages is a brief summary of the whole. For busy physicians, these 44 pages alone are worth the price of the book. SDSE is carefully referenced, mostly to medical journals, with numbered citations (the best way). There is no index. While I disagree with a half dozen narrow aspects of the work, Spacedoc's credentials are far better than mine, and the main messages are solid. His tone is very civil, even in lamenting the baseless demonization of cholesterol. Other authors have referred to this as a fraud, myth, conspiracy and con. Spacedoc gives example after example of how common and necessary cholesterol, including LDL-cholesterol, really is in your body.
Spacedoc has explained that the whole dogma of lowering cholesterol or LDL-cholesterol has no scientific basis, despite $billions of TV advertising and medical claims based on clinical trials. Flaws in trial design and reporting are explained very well. Spacedoc has shown that the low-fat diets promoted by the avaricious or ignorant for 50 years have failed, as you can see from the number of fat people around you. Diets that will reverse obesity and type 2 diabetes are given. Spacedoc had anticipated the more recent book on diets: "Good Calories Bad Calories" by Gary Taubes.
Is Spacedoc a zealot or nearly alone? Not a chance, since at least 30 books have appeared in the last 10 years in agreement, all solidly accurate and well-referenced. About 70 cholesterol skeptics and their publications may be found at <[...]>.
I recommend this book especially for physicians, physician assistants, nurses, pharmacists, as well as FDA and USDA employees. Big Pharma detail women (or men) might want to read it in secret. Many of the rest of you will find SDSE to be a personally useful revelation that will restore health in later life for you or a relative or friend. Or a window showing the dark world of over promoted prescription drugs.