Monday, October 18, 2010

Reduce your heart attack without cholesterol lowering drugs

A recent Swedish study of 31671 woman found that multivitamin use was associated with a reduction in the rate of heart attack (myocardial infarction). This should have been front page news around the world but it did not seem to even get a look in. This is one of the dozens of studies that show a strong link with supplementation and health benefits. The study was broken into two groups. Women with a history of CVD and woman without any history of CVD. During the average of 10 years of follow-up the woman without any history of CVD and who took multivitamin supplements had a 27% in heart attacks over the period. That is better than any stain drug to lower cholesterol. The use of multivitamins over a 5 year period, that is, those who took them the longest, saw a reduction of 41%. Wow. This is so simple and so cheap. However in the CVD group use of multivitamins was not associated with any decrease in the rate of heart attack. So if you already had a heart attack low doses of multivitamins don’t appear to help at all. The levels were what you would find in a standard multivitamin supplement such as 400ug for folic acid. Perhaps it is my bias but the levels were probably so low for someone who already had a heart attack to make any difference. Better still make sure you don’t have a heart attack. (Am J Clin Nutr (September 22, 2010). doi:10.3945/ajcn.2010.29371)

Interestingly I have been doing a lot of reading on magnesium lately and there is a lot of research on the link between heart attack, atherosclerosis, angina and most other forms of CVD and low magnesium levels. That is low levels are associated with increased risks so if you want to lower your risk increase your magnesium. This may be obvious but the highest concentration of magnesium is in heart muscle and magnesium is essential for relaxing muscles. Magnesium also stops calcification of arteries and build up of plaque (no it is not all cholesterol, it is mostly calcium blocking your arteries). Another simple hint would be to have lots of water. It sounds simple but most of us don’t drink enough of it.

What amazes me as I read the volumes of research is why our medical system doesn’t tell us this.


  1. I have found a wealth of supporting evidence on the role magnesium ( and MANY other vitamins/minerals) in the publications of the Post Polio Network of WA.( Tessa supports Dr Dingle and his work.(sort of a mutual admiration society)

  2. Hi Dr Dingle
    An interesting article, I have been interested in this for a couple of years after my doctor put me on Lipitor due to high Cholesterol and family history of CVD. After 3 weeks I had to stop taking it after experiencing severe muscle pain and weakness in my legs, I am an avid cyclist and these drugs crippled me totally. I did some reseach on the web and found a lot of interesting stuff regarding statins and my belief now is they are one of the biggest cons in the medical industry. I also read a lot of articles about Dr's Pauling and Rath and the research they did regarding Vitamin C, I subsequently decided to take 4000mg of Vit C and 2 fish oil capsules a day and have continued over the last couple of years. My total cholesterol is still deemed fairly high but the ratio between LDL/HDL is good, I am not convinced that Cholesterol is the problem as it is a fundamental requirement for rebuilding cells, however I decided recently to get a CT Angiogram to find out once and for all what my risk factors were with regard CVD and any plaque build up both soft and hard. I got a call yesterday from the doctor that did the scan to tell me how he had not seen such a good clear and plaque free set of arteries for a long time and my risk level is as low as he could go, to me this means I was never at risk in the first place but due to an arbitary number touted by the drug companies my doctor put me on a drug I didn't need, or more likely the Vitamin C and fish oil has kept my arteries beautifully clear and free of any arterial plaque build ups. I know this does not prove much as a one off case but I know which way I will go in the future.

  3. Hi, I too was diagnosed with high cholesterol and prescribed a statin (Lipotor) and after about 10 days I was aching and lethargic from muscle/joint pain. The only change had been the drug, so I stopped taking them. Within about 48 - 56 hours I was mostly pain free and back to feeling relative normal.
    Laurie. Perth WA

  4. Hi Peter
    My partner and I visited his cardiologist recently. I had an interesting conversation with the cardiologist in relation to the very low level of Total Cholesterol he was brought down to (3.0)to achieve his "required" LDL level (1.28). My question was in relation to increased risk of cancer with such a low level of Total Cholesterol.His answer was that studies showed that cancers created a reduction of cholesterol, not the other way around. I would appreciate your feedback on this.
    Best regards. Francoise

  5. Thank you.
    After receiving a stent at 43 I changed my life. I tried statins. Within 20 mins Lipitor made me feel like life was 'pointless' and that i was going 'mad'... i tried Crestor... both my ex wife and current spouse noticed my mood change and anger. I have gotten healthier by other means. Statins sent me, well.... mad? Some things just dont work for everyone... to say the least.

    Dr Joe