It’s like a really bad joke – the scary news about FDA-approved drugs. Seems every month a study shows that a drug either increases your risk of toxic side effects… or another disease… or even the one it’s supposed to prevent!
Or, best-case scenario, we learn the drug simply doesn’t work.
This latest and worst is about beta blockers. You’ve probably heard of them. Doctors prescribe these drugs to lower blood pressure. They are also used to treat abnormal heart rhythm and chest pain. And physicians usually prescribe them to people who have already had a heart attack to prevent another one.
Millions of people take these pills every day. They think it makes them safe from heart attack. Yet, not surprisingly, that just isn’t the case.
A study in JAMA (Journal of the American Heart Association) brings us this news from a very reliable source. It’s called REACH. It’s a worldwide registry of patients with heart disease or risk factors.
Researchers sifted through REACH data on nearly 45,000 people. They looked at four years’ worth of evidence.1
What they discovered was shocking. Well not to us… but would be for most people.
It didn’t matter whether or not the patient had already had a heart attack. The beta-blockers did not prevent another heart attack or stroke. And the patients were no less likely to die from their heart condition.
Oh, a tiny fraction fared better. These were the people who’d had the most recent heart attacks. They were less likely to have another heart attack or hospitalization.
But overall, the beta-blockers made no difference in the patients’ outcome. That bears repeating…
The beta blockers did not help save their lives!
“Plenty of people are taking the medications who don’t need them,” says researcher Dr. Lydia Bazzano of Tulane University.2
“A lot of physicians still prescribe beta-blockers, especially in patients who have known [coronary artery disease],” says lead researcher Dr. Sripal Bangalore of the NYU Langone Medical Center in New York. “We need clinical trials to say which are the patients who would benefit from beta-blockers.” 3
Given all the evidence, it’s hard to believe that anyone would actually benefit. A few months ago, we heard that beta blockers actually spiked blood pressure levels.4
Apparently, there’s a lot we don’t know about these prescription medications. Problem is, the patent on beta blockers has expired. That means drug companies have no more incentive to study them. There will be no more clinical trials to address these problems.
Many people don’t like beta blockers because of the side effects – fatigue, upset stomach, dizziness, constipation, diarrhea, feeling lightheaded.5 Also, beta blockers can cause weight gain.6
Since these drugs are generic, they’re cheap. And many, many people take them for YEARS. Yet, as we see in this study, there’s no evidence they work at all!
It brings to mind the evidence against statin drugs. Doctors prescribe them to lower LDL “bad” cholesterol, and to prevent build-up of plaque in arteries.
But, we wondered, how safe are these drugs?
The evidence was clear, in one major study. Patients who took statins actually had MORE plaque in their arteries.7 Sad, but true.
This news about beta blockers, then, comes as no real surprise. And if you read Health Watch regularly, you know the best ways to avoid heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.8 I’m talking about solutions that really work. Without all the crazy side effects.
First, avoid simple carbs and grains. They raise blood sugar which releases insulin into your system. Insulin stores and builds fat – especially around the waist. That leads to inflammation and heart disease. Also, avoid vegetable oils as they contain unhealthy omega-6 fatty acids. They cause chronic inflammation.
Avoid fried foods, of course. Also, switch from grain-fed “regular” beef and chicken – and embrace organic. Eat plenty of wild, organic berries. And make sure you get plenty of exercise.
These simple changes are sure to help… without any nasty side effects.
P.S. Of course, there are many other all-natural ways to strengthen your heart. Our health research team has uncovered:
- One all-natural supplement that’s more effective than statin drugs (and without the risks)…
- One specific food group – backed by findings from the National Institutes of Health – that reduces heart disease risk by 15 percent in just three months…
- And a Harvard study that shows how one type of exercise drastically slashes heart disease risk.
Find out how you can learn these safe, effective methods for combating heart disease by reading the short letter here.
Like this Article? Share this article here with one of your friends or family.