Cholesterol and Statins at Your Fast Food Dive

6 Sep

Are you worried about high cholesterol or your diet or even weight gain? Well, I have some good news for you! All you need is another pill that you might get soon at your local fast food store. You can still get your hamburger, fries, cola but now you may be able to get a side of statins to help with the cardiovascular problems you are sure to get. And this comes from non other than the authors of a study in the American Journal of Cardiology.

A new report in the American Journal of Cardiology suggests that fast food restaurants should offer statins – alongside their unhealthy food. You’ve got to be kidding!

“We propose that the fast food industry is well placed to offer advice and supplements to counteract the cardiovascular harm arising from the foods they purvey,” the report said. “These companies already have an infrastructure for providing a variety of condiments… A generic statin could be added to the panoply of items in the self-service tray at little additional cost.”

The study – which likened taking a statin before eating to putting on a bike helmet before biking – was based on analyses of other scientific studies, and concluded that taking the drugs could offset the risk of eating fast food just enough to render the food harmless.

“Most of the primary prevention statin regimes we examined, with the exception of pravastatin, had the strength to counteract the increase in risk caused by an unhealthy diet; or eating an additional 36 g[rams] of total fat or 2.8 g[rams] of trans fat per day – approximately equivalent to a Quarter Pounder with cheese and a small milkshake,” the British researchers said in the study.

Is it any wonder that we have a health crisis in America? This was an actual study in the American Journal of Cardiology. The authors of the study are actually recommending statins in McDonalds! This is more bizarre than fiction.

Here is the study synopsis:
The cardiovascular risk reduction associated with different statins for the prevention of cardiovascular disease and the cardiovascular risk increase associated with excess dietary intake of fat have been quantified. However, these relative risks have never been directly juxtaposed to determine whether an increase in relative risk by 1 activity could be neutralized by an opposing change in relative risk from a second activity. The investigators compared the increase in relative risk for cardiovascular disease associated with the total fat and trans fat content of fast foods against the relative risk decrease provided by daily statin consumption from a meta-analysis of statins in primary prevention of coronary artery disease (7 randomized controlled trials including 42,848 patients). The risk reduction associated with the daily consumption of most statins, with the exception of pravastatin, is more powerful than the risk increase caused by the daily extra fat intake associated with a 7-oz hamburger (Quarter Pounder®) with cheese and a small milkshake. In conclusion, statin therapy can neutralize the cardiovascular risk caused by harmful diet choices. In other spheres of human activity, individuals choosing risky pursuits (motorcycling, smoking, driving) are advised or compelled to use measures to minimize the risk (safety equipment, filters, seatbelts). Likewise, some individuals eat unhealthily. Routine accessibility of statins in establishments providing unhealthy food might be a rational modern means to offset the cardiovascular risk. Fast food outlets already offer free condiments to supplement meals. A free statin-containing accompaniment would offer cardiovascular benefits, opposite to the effects of equally available salt, sugar, and high-fat condiments. Although no substitute for systematic lifestyle improvements, including healthy diet, regular exercise, weight loss, and smoking cessation, complimentary statin packets would add, at little cost, 1 positive choice to a panoply of negative ones.