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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Ketchup, Mustard, Mayonnaise...and a Statin?

There's no question that many lives have been saved by cholesterol-lowering medication. In fact, the cholesterol levels in the U.S. have been on the decline for decades. But how aggressively should we promote their use?

According to CNN's "The Chart" blog, a recent article in the American Journal of Cardiology actually suggests that fast-food restaurants should start offering statin drugs along with their unhealthy food.

You read right.

Not everyone agrees, of course. Other physicians point out that although statins are generally safe, every medication carries some risk. And handing out pills at the local McDonalds won't do a thing to combat obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

I'm sure the authors of the Journal article know that their "modest proposal" has absolutely no chance of being enacted. Their point is that statins are a powerful weapon against heart disease, and they've been proven safe in most cases.

Even so, I think the concept underscores something important: when it comes to our health, there is no such thing as a magic elixir. You can't have your double cheeseburger and eat it too. (Or something like that.)

So how about you? Would you be willing to pick up a statin or two along with your Happy Meal?

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