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Growing Healthy Kids

Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs For Eight-Year-Old Kids?

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Report Courtesy Orthomolecular Medicine News Service

(Ed’s Note: Although the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service is an American organization, Vitality staff believe that many of the issues they cover are of interest to Canadians. Here’s one example.)


Two-thirds of North America is overweight or obese. Our kids are getting fatter, too. And these children’s cholesterol is going up so fast that the American Academy of Pediatrics wants kids as young as eight years of age to take cholesterol-lowering drugs.

But before you let any pediatrician put your child on drugs, check what may be a reason behind the recommendation: money. American Academy of Pediatrics projects receive cash from drug companies, including PediaMed, McNeil, Sanofi-aventis, AstraZeneca, Dermik, Abbott, and Merck. AAP also receives money from PepsiCo and McDonalds. No wonder they support putting your kids on drugs.

Statins for second-graders? Sure! Do you want fries with that? The money flows freely, too. The American Academy of Pediatrics, with 60,000 pediatrician members, is a business. To see just what kind of business they do, look at their upcoming October, 2008 conference in Boston: “The AAP 2008 Exhibition Hall is Sold Out.”  The booths might be full, but there still might be time for your drug company to “hold an industry symposium” at the big pediatricians’ conference. For $150,000, your drug company can sponsor the AAP magazine, Healthy Children, “distributed to physicians’ rooms at AAP conference hotels” and “for placement in waiting rooms for availability to parents.”

Drugs are not the answer, unless you are a drug company. The cholesterol-lowering drug “Lipitor” is the best selling drug on the planet. Yet it is well established that cardiovascular disease is not caused by a failure to take enough pharmaceuticals as a child. It is a lifestyle disease. If a person will not change their lifestyle, their doctor should prescribe niacin (vitamin B-3), the most effective way to lower cholesterol and triglycerides, and raise beneficial HDL. It is also the cheapest way. But most importantly, it is by far the safest way. The president of the American College of Cardiology, Dr. Steven E. Nissen, said, “Niacin is really it. Nothing else available is that effective.”

Additional protection against cardiovascular disease comes from supplementing the diet with vitamin E, vitamin C, and the amino acid L-lysine. If you need pills, take vitamins, not drugs. There is not one death per year from vitamin supplements.

Cholesterol-lowering drugs can produce serious side effects in adults. This risk is even greater for the still-developing bodies of children. Side effects of cholesterol lowering drugs include fever, liver damage, muscle pain, rhabdomyolysis (muscle breakdown), memory loss, personality changes, irritability, headaches, anxiety, depression, chest pain, acid regurgitation, dry mouth, vomiting, leg pain, insomnia, eye irritation, tremors, dizziness, and even more. If you check the Physician's Desk Reference (PDR), you'll see the whole disturbing list.

Obesity comes from lack of exercise plus high-fat, high-sugar diets. “Childhood obesity is almost completely preventable,” says cardiologist Dr. Dean Ornish. “We don't have to wait for a new drug or technology; we just have to put into practice what we already know. What's changed is our diet and lifestyle. If we caused it, we can reverse it.”

A typical teenage boy drinks 20 oz of soda a day. “Even chocolate milk gets a thumbs-up from dentists, who would rather see a child drink flavored milk than none at all,” commented the NY Times. But kids need to eat right and exercise. If they need help lowering cholesterol, give them a safe vitamin, not a dangerous prescription drug. And send them out to run around and play.

References

  • Tanner L. Cholesterol drugs recommended for some 8-year-olds. Associated Press.
  • Mason M. NY Times, January 23, 2007. An old cholesterol remedy is new again.  
  • Lucian Leape, Error in medicine. Journal of the American Medical Association, 1994, 272:23, p 1851. Also: Leape LL. Institute of Medicine medical error figures are not exaggerated. JAMA. 2000 Jul 5;284(1):95-7.

For further information: Read full text, peer-reviewed nutritional research papers, free of charge: www.orthomolecular.org/library/jom

Orthomolecular medicine uses safe, effective nutritional therapy to fight illness. For more information: http://www.orthomolecular.org. The peer-reviewed Orthomolecular Medicine News Service is a non-profit and non-commercial informational resource. Editorial Review Board: Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D., Damien Downing, M.D., Harold D. Foster, Ph.D., Steve Hickey, Ph.D., Abram Hoffer, M.D., Ph.D., James A. Jackson, PhD, Bo H. Jonsson, MD, Ph.D, Thomas Levy, M.D., J.D., Erik Paterson, M.D.

Article Tags: vitality, vitality magazine, drug dangers, cholesterol, childhood obesity