Lifestyle choices rather than prescription drugs should be the first line of defense against disease.

News today indicates that a single pill can reduce heart attack and stroke. It is called a polypill. It contains several generic blood pressure and cholesterol medications.

The Polypill Announcement Four drugs – Simvastatin (a cholesterol-lowering drug), Atenolol (a beta-blocker blood pressure drug), Hydrochlorothiazide (a diuretic drug), and Ramipril (an ACE inhibitor) are contained in the polypill. Initial test results indicate that patients can expect a 20% reduction in risk of heart attack and stroke.

The Polypill Study The New England Journal of Medicine published on November 13, 2020, describes the study and results. Over 5,700 participants were randomized into a 2-by-2-by-2 factorial design and tracked for almost five years. Participants were selected who had no cardiovascular disease but had an elevated INTERHEART Risk Score.

The study had one group taking the polypill, another group taking a placebo, a third group taking the polypill with low-dose aspirin. The results showed the polypill group demonstrated a 20% reduction in cardiovascular risks compared to the placebo group. The group with the polypill and low-dose aspirin reported a 40% reduction in cardiovascular risks.

INTERHEART Study Deaths from cardiovascular disease is decreasing in the most developed countries and continuing to increase in lesser developed countries. The INTERHEART study was conducted in fifty-two countries to determine the factors that define the cardiovascular disease. Initially, the factors (smoking, hypertension, elevated cholesterol, abdominal obesity, homocysteine, nutritional, and lifestyle choices) were quantified.

INTERHEART Risk Score The INTERHEART study evolved with the CVRISK (cardiovascular relative individual risk) to evaluate the risk of cardiovascular disease in healthy people. The polypill study used healthy people in their study.

Specifics included were age, gender, heredity, smoking, hypertension, obesity, previous cardiovascular disease, and psychosocial stress. Laboratory results included cholesterol levels, triglycerides, and fasting plasma glucose. Diet and physical activity were also quantified.

Cardiovascular Disease What is included under the umbrella of cardiovascular disease? Heart disease is a term used for heart and blood vessel problems. A heart attack happens when blood flow is blocked and the heart muscle begins to die. A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is congested.

Heart failure (congestive heart failure) ensues when blood flow is not adequate to sustain needed oxygen levels in the heart. Arrhythmia refers to heart rhythm. Other common cardiovascular disease includes heart valve problems – they do not open and close properly.

Causes of Heart Disease Most causes of heart disease are lifestyle choices. That means we control our heart health. Diabetes, obesity, elevated cholesterol, elevated blood pressure, smoking, excessive drinking, physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, and clinical depression are typical causes of cardiovascular disease. Family history (genes) has about a five percent effect. Epigenetics (lifestyle choices) can address many genetic markers in family history.


I am an advocate for healthy lifestyle choices – balanced nutrition, restricted calories, fasting, alkaline pH, exercise, stress relief, toxin removal, and more. Healthy people in this study were assessed as having potential cardiovascular risks later in their lives. By taking a single pill, a person need not worry about controlling a handful of medications. Doctors would only have to write one prescription.

Is this making the world easier for future patients (fewer pills) and for doctors (fewer prescriptions)? We know the causes of many diseases, cardiovascular being one group. Why not concentrate on lifestyle choices rather than giving away pills?

Part of the reason is that doctors have a moral and legal obligation to treat known medical/health problems. If there are no symptoms present, cholesterol-lowering drugs or hypertension drugs should not be administered because someone is getting older and they may develop some disease.

Doctors are restricted to prescribing drugs that have been approved by the FDA. This protects them in court if something wrong happens with a patient. They cannot prescribe leafy green vegetables, omega-3 fatty acid, and other nutrient-based options. They are not FDA approved to fight disease or improve health. The FDA does not test and approves foods.

I have a concern with anyone taking a prescribed drug for a condition that has no symptoms. I research the human body at the cellular level looking for cause and effect relationships – chemically speaking. Why treat symptoms and never address the cause of a problem? Treat the cause of a problem to eliminate it.

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin –


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