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Sunday, October 9, 2016

Medicines and Vegetable Oils as Hidden Causes of Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes

Pharmacology. 2016;98(3-4):134-70. doi: 10.1159/000446704. Epub 2016 Jun 2.

Statins are Mitochondrion-Toxic and Cytotoxic

Statins inhibit HMG-CoA reductase to lower the levels of prenyl intermediates in cholesterol biosynthesis as well as lower blood cholesterol levels. Coenzyme Q 10  and heme A derived from prenyl intermediates are essential components of the mitochondrial electron transport chain, and thus statins inhibit the generation of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) that serves as an energy source for cellular activities. ATP depletion is the major cause of atherosclerosis progression under ischemic conditions ( fig. 2 ). Under diabetic conditions, glucose is not utilized efficiently as an energy source and hydrophilic ketone bodies, synthesized from fatty acids partly in mitochondria, are transported to the tissues and utilized as an energy source. Statins inhibit ketone body synthesis  [4] .

Mitochondrial membranes are relatively rich in cholesterol, and a decrease in cholesterol content caused by statins is likely to alter mitochondrial integrity. In the case of steroidogenic cells, steroidal hormone synthesis in mitochondria is inhibited, as will be explained later (Section IV-3). Thus, statins are mitochondrion-toxic in all tissues, accelerating atherosclerosis and exacerbating diabetic conditions.

Placing Emphasis on Human Health by Overcoming the Pressures of Current Industrial and Socioeconomic Structures

Rapeseed, soybean and corn have been used as feed materials for stock raising and poultry farming because of their good amino acid scores, energy content and apparent (short-term) safety. Oils are extracted from these grains to produce meal for cattle, while vegetable oils rich in linoleic acid have been extracted for human use. In every country every year, the amounts of different vegetable oils produced need to be consumed in order to be economical. Keys’ equation allowed industry to convince consumers that linoleic-rich vegetable oils were good for their health. Even after Keys’ equation was found not to be applicable for the prevention of chronic diseases, and excessive intake of linoleic acids was found to increase cancer, CVD and all-cause mortality, certain countries exporting these grains would not accept the risks associated with linoleic-rich vegetable oils.

In the health food sector in Japan, more than 10 kinds of food were claimed to be effective in lowering plasma cholesterol, and their labeling as ‘Food for Special Dietary Use’ was approved by the Consumer Affairs Agency of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. On television, information on these foods appears hourly and full-page advertisements are often seen in major newspapers, successfully convincing the majority of people to accept the discredited hypothesis that a high cholesterol level is bad for the health and linoleic-rich vegetable oils are good. Needless to say, statins are a huge financial interest to the pharmaceutical industry.

In this era, when big industry exerts enormous influence over the media, and nutritional and treatment guidelines are issued by professional societies in favor of industry, we seem to have largely lost our way in the promotion of human health. However, despite the pressures from current industrial and socioeconomic structures, many scientists in medical and nutritional fields working in evidence-based research have begun to raise their voices and we join them in unison because the impact of increasing the intake of some vegetable oils on human nutrition seems to be much more severe than what we previously thought.


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