Monday, June 23, 2008

Can Using Sunscreen Cause Cancer?

When I was in high school and college, I spent my summers as a lifeguard. Exposing my skin to the sun was an occupational hazard. Fortunately, I tan very dark but I still covered up with hats, umbrellas, sunglasses and sunscreen. Little did I know that sunscreen would protect me from getting burned but would not protect me from getting cancer.

Suscreen came on the scene in the 1940's. Improved tanning lotions came on the market in the early 1960s, and a few years after that, the
melanoma rate zoomed up (refer to the chart on the left). Sales figures jumped from $18 million in 1972 to $500 million in 1996. Public health authorities became concerned, and melanoma became news. Seeing a commercial opportunity, the makers of tanning lotions repositioned their products as "sunscreen," and the now familiar sermonizing began. Since then, melanoma has become the nation's fastest-rising cancer and sunscreen sales have continued to climb. Ozone depletion may play a role in the higher melanoma rate, as some scientists say, but melanoma cases began to go up long before ozone depletion became an issue.

There are three main kinds of skin cancer: basal cell, squamous cell, and malignant melanoma. The first two are common (about 1 million cases a year) and almost always medically minor. The American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute don't even count them in the nation's cancer statistics. Melanoma is much less common (40,300 diagnoses last year), but often fatal (7,300 deaths).Of the three different kinds of skin cancer, malignant melanoma causes the most concern. If not caught in time, it can metastasize (spread destructively) easily and is often fatal.

According to a survey of new research by epidemiologist Marianne Berwick of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, there is no evidence that sunscreen offers any real protection against malignant melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer. "It's not safe to rely on sunscreen," Berwick told the press.

The first thing to know: Ultraviolet light from the sun comes in several wavelengths: UVA, UVB and the rarely discussed UVC (which is blocked out by the Earth's ozone layer). UVB, which damages the outer layer of the skin, has been recognized for decades as the cause of sunburn and as a major contributor to skin cancer and skin aging. UVA rays — while not contributing to sunburns — damage deeper layers of the skin and probably play an important role in wrinkling, spotting, lost elasticity and, most ominously, the dangerous skin cancer melanoma.

When sunscreens were developed, they were made to prevent sunburn and targeted only UVB. An SPF number refers to the UVB burning protection a product offers (one with an SPF of 15, used correctly, allows the user to stay in the sun 15 times longer without burning). So, instead of staying in the sun for 30 minutes, you could stay in the sun for 7.5 hours. Thinking that you are safe, you unknowingly expose your skin to damaging UVA rays for an extended period of time. By blocking the UVB rays, you block your skins ability to produce vitamin D which could prevent cancer and you are letting in dangerous amounts of UVA rays that could promote cancer. Although scientists have known for several years that UVA penetrates more deeply into the skin than UVB, they believed that less of it was absorbed by DNA, causing fewer dangerous mutations. However, an Australian-US study shows that UVA causes more genetic damage than UVB in skin cells where most skin cancers arise - the keratinocytes in the basal layer of the epidermis. UVB tends to cause damage in more superficial epidermal layers.

Even if sunscreen blocked UV-A completely, almost no one uses it in the way that grants real protection against sunburn. For sunscreen to live up to its hype, you have to slop it on real thick and reapply it every few hours. We're talking at least one full bottle per person per day at the beach. Meanwhile, the vast majority of sunscreen users apply a thin layer once or twice.

Around 1981, an ingredient called "Avobenzone" (Parsol 1789) was developed . It was an additive to sunscreen that was designed to block some of the dangerous UVA rays. The only problem with it is that it broke down in the sun and had to be reapplied constantly. Now there are additives that have increased it's stability such as mexoryl, octocrylene and oxybenzone. These have increased the protective abilities of sunscreen but at what cost to the health of your body and skin?

A team of researchers from the University of California has found that sunscreen can do more harm than good once it soaks into the skin. The sunscreen is supposed to be applied as a layer on the skin. When it is rubbed in, it penetrates to the deeper layers and promotes formation of harmful compounds. Thus sunscreens ironically cause the same damage against which they are meant to protect. Further, the chemicals present in commercial sunscreen products have also been found to be toxic and said to actually promote some forms of cancer.

Click on the following link to watch a short news clip from CBS about many of the toxic chemicals that are found in our personal care products.

CBS NEWS - Sunscreen Concerns

The sunscreen lotion is usually massaged into the skin. It penetrates into the deeper layers. The chemicals in the sunscreen are acted upon by the cells in the skin to produce free radicals and superoxides. These damage the skin structure and function resulting in aging.

What's even worse is the fact that both chemical sunscreens (methoxycinnamate, padimate-o and the like) and physical sunblocks (titanium dioxide and zinc oxide) generate free radicals when exposed to sunlight, which then can attack the nuclei of your skin cells and cause mutations. That's right: they can cause skin cancer. Furthermore, sunscreen chemicals have been found to pass through the skin and mimic the effects of estrogen, which may disrupt the delicate balance of the body's natural hormones.

Titanium dioxide is now being used as a new treatment for window glass because it attacks and degrades anything that touches it, thereby helping to keep windows clean. You probably don't want to have anything attacking your skin! My recommendation: Loose-fitting clothing, big hats and shady trees.

The only proven way to prevent melanoma is to cover up. Our forebears did so in the days before sunscreen. Clearly it worked because melanoma was so rare. It's also what people now do in Australia. White Australians come largely from light-skinned British/Irish stock. Queensland province, in northeastern Australia, has the highest melanoma rate in the world, but as the SCF proudly pointed out when it rebutted Berwick's study, melanoma rates there have started to flatten. What the SCF did not mention is that while the Queensland public health authorities began a big-budget PR campaign promoting sunscreen in 1981, they shifted the campaign's focus a few years ago to strongly encourage people to cover up and stay in the shade.

Another problem with sunscreen and sun avoidance is that UVB rays are responsible for creating vitamin D in our body. Sunscreens with a sun protection factor of 8 or greater will block UV rays that produce vitamin D. If you’re young, fair, scantily clad and near the equator, 10 to 15 minutes of peak sunshine produces 20,000 IUs if vitamin D.

There is a growing body of evidence that a higher intake of vitamin D may be helpful in the prevention and treatment of cancer, high blood pressure, fibromyalgia, diabetes mellitus, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis and other diseases.

Vitamin D works inside the cell nucleus as a basic building block to help turn genes on or off. Starting in the 1970s, researchers began finding the receptor for vitamin D in a huge variety of cells that have nothing to do with bone growth, including breast, colon, lung, brain, prostate and white blood cells. More recently studies using DNA chips have found that vitamin D can raise or lower the activity of at least 1,000 genes, says McGill University molecular biologist John White.

How vitamin D might ward off cancer is murky. But it's known that vitamin D stimulates white blood cells to produce a powerful natural antibiotic called cathelicidin. In the Mar. 24, 2006 issue of Science, scientists led by ucla dermatologist Robert Modlin found that when white blood cells were mixed with blood serum samples from African-Americans (who are prone to low vitamin D levels), they produce 63% less of this antibiotic than if the cells were mixed with blood samples from Caucasians. So, says Georgetown University immunologist Michael Zasloff, "Vitamin D has the capacity to turn on powerful antimicrobial genes." He predicts there will be new ways of staving off infections by modulating vitamin D levels.

So, getting a little unfiltered sun on your body is not a bad thing as long as it is done in moderation. It is a good thing. Your skin can handle it. The trick is not to get a sunburn. It is like alcohol consumption. A glass of wine with dinner can provide antioxidants and resveratrol which is very good for your body. Your liver can handle that but four bottles of wine is way to much and can lead to health problems.

Here are some tips for safe sun exposure:

  • Look to get at least 20-30 minutes of unfiltered sun on as much of your body as you can every day. Regular and moderate unprotected sun exposure in the early morning or late afternoon will help maintain a protective tan and keep your vitamin D stores at an optimum level.

  • Do Not try to get a tan by visiting a tanning studio. The rays from their UV lamps are extremely harmful and the tan produced does not have the protective effect of a sunlight-induced tan.

  • A sunblock with SPF 8 reduces the skin’s vitamin D production by 95 percent. Getting a sun tan through glass does the same thing. If you wear sunscreen ‘properly,’ you’ll become vitamin D deficient.

  • DO wear protective clothing and a wide-brimmed hat when you are outside. Avoid sun exposure between 10 AM and 3 PM if at all possible. Remember that UV rays, particularly UVA, are present even on cloudy days.

  • DO wear sunglasses that filter out 100% of the ultraviolet light to protect yourself against the development of cataracts.

  • DO make sure you get enough vitamin D3 and beta-carotene, if necessary through supplementation. Recent research has shown that taking 30 mg of beta-carotene a day protects against the suppression of the immune system by UVA rays.

  • DO make sure to supplement your diet with antioxidants. Vitamin C, vitamin E, and selenium can be used as a protection against the damages of excessive ultraviolet radiation. Try to get daily dosages of 1000 mg or more of vitamin C, 800 IU of vitamin E, and 200 micrograms of selenium (l-selenomethionine). Vitamins C and E also protect against cataract formation.

  • Cut down on the fried foods and saturated fat in your diet. Recent research has shown that patients with non- melanoma skin cancers can reduce their risk of developing additional actinic keratoses (precursors to skin cancer) by switching to a low fat diet. Use healthier oils like Olive oil, coconut oil, walnut oil or grape seed oil.

  • DO cover up by wearing a wide brimmed hat or a physical sunscreen with a SPF of 15 if you absolutely must be out in the sun for extended periods of time. Physical sunscreens containing titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, or talc work by reflecting the UV radiation rather than by absorbing it. Sunscreens that are tested by using artificial UV light and a screen with a SPF of 30 are not twice as effective as one with a factor of 15. Also, reapplying sunscreen during the day does not extend the period of protection. Even "broad-spectrum" sunscreens are not very good in filtering out UVA rays. A natural suntan is probably more effective.

  • DO see your health care provider if you spot any unusual moles or growth on your skin - particularly if they are irregular in shape, bleed, itch, or appear to be changing. Most skin cancers can be cured if caught in time.
*If you would like to check your suntan lotion or any other personal care products to see if there are any harmful chemicals in them, go to

Here is a list of the top ten sunscreens according to the Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Data Base. Click Here to read.

Helpful Sources:

Creighton Study Shows Vitamin D Reduces Cancer Risk

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

When Does A "Happy Meal" Become Sad?

This is not a funny picture. It is the kind of picture that McDonald's executives would rather you not see. I do not see two cute little chubby boys here. I see two young addicts who are headed for life of sickness and pain unless their parents decide to make some healthy life changes. We would not knowingly expose our child to a deadly virus or bacteria. Yet, many parents allow unhealthy eating habits for their children, putting them at risk for disease. This is the disease that we don't see, disease that lurks under the surface, within the cells, within the arterial walls, and within the bones of our children. This is not as obvious to us, nor will it become obvious until many years down the line, perhaps, long after we're gone.

Since the 1970s, the percentage of overweight kids and adolescents in the United States has more than doubled. Today, 10% of 2- to 5-year-olds and more than 15% of children between the ages of 6 and 19 are overweight. If you combine the percent of kids who are overweight with the percent of kids who are at risk of becoming overweight, about one out of three children are affected.

Nutritional Report Card

Many of today's children are overfed and undernourished. As nutrients fall short and as empty calorie processed foods fill our children up, we see that health risks in their future will be inevitable. They predict that 1 in 3 children born in the United States today will develop Type 2 diabetes in their lifetime. If that child is Black or Hispanic, that risk goes to 1 in 2. This generation of children may have a shorter lifespan than their own parents. It is no secret that we are facing rising trends in the number of children who are overweight as seem by the graph below from the National Health Examination Surveys.

Here are some statistics to think about:

  • American children are getting 40% of their calories from extra fat and added sugars.
  • Only 1% of children between 2 and 19 years of age met all the Food Pyramid recommendations. Sixteen percent of children met none of the recommendations.
  • Nearly 1 in 7 10-year-olds get 50-70% of calories from snacks.
  • 1/3 of all calories are now eaten outside the home.
  • A survey of nearly 300 students in 3rd, 5th and 8th grades found that students consumed fewer fruits and vegetables, less milk and more soft drinks as they moved from childhood to adolescence.
  • Soft drink consumption increased 21% among 2- to 5-year olds over the last 20 years and 37% among 6- to 9-year-olds. Milk consumption has dropped in all age groups.
  • Average soda consumption in 13 to 18-year-old males is 3 cans or more a day; 10% drink more than 7 cans a day. Soft drinks are given to infants as young as 7 months of age.
  • Nearly 2/3 of children failed to get the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) for vitamin E and zinc. Half did not meet the RDA for calcium and close to 1/3 fell short of the FDA for iron and vitamin B6.
  • Nearly 25% of all vegetables consumed by children and teens were in the form of french fries. French fries are the most popular "vegetable" for children under age 5.
  • 51% of children and teens eat less than one serving of fruit and day and 29% eat less than one serving a day of vegetables that are not fried.
  • The average child between 2 and 5 years of age watches nearly 28 hours of TV a week.

Overweight children are at risk of developing medical problems that affect a child's present and future health and have direct impact on quality of life including:

  • high blood pressure, high cholesterol and abnormal blood lipid levels, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes
  • bone and joint problems
  • shortness of breath that makes exercise, sports, or any physical activity more difficult and may aggravate the symptoms or increase the chances of developing asthma
  • restless or disordered sleep patterns
  • tendency to mature earlier (overweight kids may be taller and more sexually mature than their peers, raising expectations that they should act as old as they look, not as old as they are; overweight girls may have irregular menstrual cycles and have fertility problems in adulthood)
  • liver and gall bladder disease
  • depression

Risk factors present in childhood (including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes) can lead to serious adult medical conditions like premature death, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, cardiovascular disease, stroke, gall bladder disease, respiratory dysfunction, gout, arthritis, macular degeneration, and certain kinds of cancers. Preventing or treating obesity in children may reduce the risk of developing these conditions as they get older.

Steps to take:


  • Let your child know he or she is loved and appreciated whatever his or her weight. An overweight child probably knows better than anyone else that he or she has a weight problem. Overweight children need support, acceptance, and encouragement from their parents.
  • Focus on your child's health and positive qualities, not your child's weight.
  • Try not to make your child feel different if he or she is overweight but focus on gradually changing your family's physical activity and eating habits.
  • Be a good role model for your child. If your child sees you enjoying healthy foods and physical activity, he or she is more likely to do the same now and for the rest of his or her life.
  • Realize that an appropriate goal for many overweight children is to maintain their current weight while growing normally in height.


  • Be physically active. It is recommended that Americans accumulate at least 30 minutes (adults) or 60 minutes (children) of moderate physical activity most days of the week. Even greater amounts of physical activity may be necessary for the prevention of weight gain, for weight loss, or for sustaining weight loss.
  • Don’t make exercise a punishment. Forcing your child to go out and play may increase resentment and resistance.
  • Plan family activities that provide everyone with exercise and enjoyment.
  • Provide a safe environment for your children and their friends to play actively; encourage swimming, biking, skating, ball sports, and other fun activities.
  • Reduce the amount of time you and your family spend in sedentary activities, such as watching TV or playing video games. Limit TV time to less than 2 hours a day.


  • Be a role model to your children. Don't expect them to make any changes unless you are willing to make some changes in your own life. Kids will pay more attention to what you do than what you say. Spend less time watching TV and playing with the computer and spend more time outside and being active. Eat more fruits and vegetables and less junk food.
  • Guide your family's choices rather than dictate foods.
  • Eat meals together as a family as often as possible.
  • Don't place your child on a restrictive diet.
  • Avoid the use of food as a reward.
  • Avoid withholding food as punishment.
  • Replace soda pop with real fruit juices (no added sugars), lowfat milk and lots and lots of filtered water. Add a slice of lemon or a strawberry to the water. It will make it more fun!
  • Take a high quality multivitamin every day. Vitamin water is NOT a good choice since the vitamins in it are suspect and it contains way to much sugar.
  • Aim to eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
  • Discourage eating meals or snacks while watching TV.
  • Eating a healthy breakfast is a good way to start the day and may be important in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.
  • In breads and cereals, look for whole grain and whole wheat listed as the first ingredient.
  • Find cereals with whole grains and at least 4-5 grams of fiber per serving. Some brands include: Cheerios, Shredded Wheat, Wheaties, Toasty-O's, Grape Nuts, Raisin Bran, wheatena, oatmeal and oat bran. Mix healthier cereals with your child's less healthy cereals to get some benefits of added fiber.
  • Eat brown rice instead of white.
  • Find whole wheat pasta, amaranth pasta or quinoa pasta (the last two are available at health food stores).
  • Add fiber to meals by adding kidney beans, black beans, pinto beans, lima beans. Add them to salads; soups; main dishes like burritos or tacos or chili; mash and mix in with meatloaf and burgers.
  • Add wheat bran or Fiproflax (available at most health food stores) to casseroles, meat loaf, baked goods, pancakes, and cereal.
  • Add All-Bran cereal to muffin recipes.
  • Drink plenty of fluids when you are eating fiber. This will help offset the gas, cramping and bloating that may occur.
  • Raw fruits and vegetables with the peels on have more fiber than cooked or canned.
  • Dried fruits are good fiber sources, especially figs, apricots and dates.
  • Discover other whole grains and find ways to cook them. Whole grains are getting easier to find these days. Look for them at your health foods stores. May stores have bins of raw grains where you can buy a small quantity. Some grains to try: amaranth, barley, buckwheat, kamut, millet, oats and quinoa.
  • Don't offer dessert as a reward. Withholding dessert sends the message that dessert is the best food, which may only increase your child's desire for sweets. You might select one or two nights a week as dessert nights, and skip dessert the rest of the week. Or redefine dessert as fruit, yogurt or other healthy choices.
For more tips and ideas, check out the following web sites:

Kids Eat Great by Dr. Christine Wood (pediatrician)

Dr. Green on Obesity in Children

Dr. Greene on Children's Nutrition

American Heart Association - Children and Exercise

Here are some books that might help:

How to Get Kids to Eat Great & Love It!

Ending the Food Fight: Guide Your Child to a Healthy Weight in a Fast Food/ Fake Food World

The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids' Favorite Meals

Healthy for Life: Developing Healthy Lifestyles that Have the Side-Effect of Permanent Weight Loss

Monday, June 09, 2008

Can Cholesterol Lowering Drugs Cause Parkinson's Disease?

My mother died of Alzheimer's disease about this time last year. Click here to read about it. My father will be 90 next month and he is suffering from Parkinson's and related dementia. Back in the 1970's or 1980's, their doctor put them both on a drug called Zocor to lower their cholesterol. Drugs like Zocor, Lipitor, Crestor and Pravachol are in a class of drugs called "statins."

Many of these drugs have known side effects like:

  • Abdominal Pain
  • Arrhythmia
  • Asthenia
  • Myalgia
  • Myopathy
  • Pancreatitis
  • Rhabdomyolysis
  • Kidney Failure/Dialysis
  • Hospitalization
  • Death
Now, scientists are exploring the connection between statin drug usage and the development of Parkinson's disease. American researchers have found that patients with low levels of LDL are more than three times more likely to have Parkinson's than those with high levels. Here is a news article that appeared in the Telegraph (U.K.) last year.
Scientist raises fears over statins and Parkinson's +
Here are some highlights from the article:

Dr Xue Mei Huang, an assistant professor of neurology at the University of North Carolina's School of Medicine, was "very concerned" by her study's findings and plans a 16,000-patient survey to examine the possible role of statins.

Dr Huang, whose study was published in the journal Movement Disorders, said there was a well-established link between Parkinson's and apoE2, a gene associated with lower LDL cholesterol.
Participants in her study with LDL levels lower than 114 mg/dl (milligrams per decilitre) had a 3.5-fold higher risk of Parkinson's than participants with LDL levels of more than 138 mg/dl.
It was unclear, however, whether the low cholesterol levels in those with Parkinson's predated the disease.
Asked whether she was worried by the initial results, Dr Huang told Chemical and Industry magazine: "Yes I am very concerned, which is why I am planning a 16,000-patient study to examine the possible role of statins."
Dr. Ronald Ziman, a California neurologist and board member of the American Parkinson Disease Association, said he is intrigued by the study.

"Parkinson's is a neurodegenerative illness like Alzheimer's. We know lipid profiles have a bearing on Alzheimer's, and there are a lot of similarities between Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. So I wouldn't be surprised by the link" between LDL and Parkinson's that the University of North Carolina team described," Dr. Ziman said.

Duane Graveline MD MPH was a former
USAF Flight Surgeon, NASA Astronaut and retired family doctor. He wrote a provocative book calledLipitor Thief of Memory In it, he talks about his experience with taking Lipitor and how he temporarily loses his short-term memory. He goes on to warn people about what needs to be done to prevent the devastating side effects to body and mind from the escalating use of the statin drugs.

Statin drugs work by inhibiting the
HMG-CoA reductase enzyme
which is what lowers the LDL (bad) cholesterol. At the same time, it also inhibits the production of Coenzyme Q10. Every human cell contains a cellular power plant called the "Mitochondria." This is where food is converted to energy. Ninety-five percent of all the human body’s energy requirements (ATP) is converted with the aid of CoQ10. The heart and the liver have the highest energy requirements and without CoQ10, it could eventually lead to a heart attack and/or liver failure.

Dr. James Whittaker petitioned the FDA in 2002 to put a warning label on every bottle of statin drugs. The warning label read:

Warning :
HMG CoA reductase inhibitors block the endogenous biosynthesis of an essential co-factor, coenzyme Qlo, required for energy production. A deficiency of coenzyme QlO is associated with impairment of myocardial function, with liver dysfunction, and with myopathies (including cardiomyopathy and congestive heart failure). All patients taking HMG CoA
reductase inhibitors should therefore be advised to take 100 to 200 mg per day of supplemental coenzyme Q~
Recent studies have shown that the antioxidant properties of Coenzyme Q10 benefit the body and the brain in animal models. Some of these studies indicate that Coenzyme Q10 protects the brain from
neurodegenerative disease such as Parkinson's, although it does not relieve the symptoms. Dosage was 300 mg per day. Consumption of 100 to 200 mg per day of CoQ10 can reverse CoQ10 depletion induced by statins. It is interesting to note that Merck Pharmaceuticals has obtained a patent for the combination of CoQ10 with statins in one prescription dose.

I took my parents off of Zocor about 5 years ago after discovering that heart disease is not a disease of high cholesterol. Most people who die of a heart attack or stroke do not have high cholesterol and statins could actually cause you to have a heart attack. Read two of my other posts on this subject.

The Cholestrerol Conspiracy

Debunking The Cholesterol Myth

In addition to that, my father had p
eripheral neuropathy (numbness and pain) in his hands and lower legs, pain in his spine and memory loss. The pain in his spine was so great that we were scheduled for a back operation with an orthopedic surgeon. For many years, he got steroid shots in his spine every so often to ease the pain. We got another opinion from a Neurosurgeon and decided against the surgery. We opted to try physical therapy, changes in diet, a pharmaceutical-grade multivitamin and stopping the statin drug Zocor.

He has been pain free for over five years now. I am so glad we did not do the operation on his back. Even his nagging arthritis is mostly gone. We went to the doctor recently and found that his cholesterol is normal without the use of statin drugs. Here is the kicker, though. Our doctor asked me if I would like to put him back on Zocor. Can you believe that? I was almost speechless.

I am angry though. Although I cannot prove it, I strongly suspect that all those years of taking Zocor is one of the root causes of their physical and mental decline. Lowering their LDL cholesterol and depriving their cells of Coenzyme Q10 for all those years was not a good thing if it caused them to have neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. I will wait for the study by Dr. Huang to be completed and see what they find.

Lowering your LDL cholesterol will NOT keep you from having a heart attack. Click here to find out why you can have PERFECTLY NORMAL LDL cholesterol and still have heart disease. For those of you who are interested in raising your HDL cholesterol naturally and are not getting answers from your doctor on how to do this without drugs, I suggest a three pronged approach:

  1. Eat a healty diet that encourages you to eat those good carbohydrates, good fats, and good proteins.
  2. Start a modest but consistent exercise program.
  3. Take high-quality nutritional supplements every day

Other articles of note:

Cholesterol is NOT the Cause of Heart DiseaseHigh Cholesterol Does Not Cause Heart Disease

**Update as of February 2012
The FDA has finally seen fit to put a "Black Box" warning on all statin (cholesterol lowering) drugs. It warns of a connection between the use of statin drugs (Zocor, Lipitor, Crestor, Mevacor, etc.) and getting diabetes and memory loss and confusion (dementia, Alzheimers, Parkinson's, etc.).
Click on the following links to read about it.

Forbes - The Latest Statin Scare: Are You At Risk
Black Box Warning Labels for Statin Drugs