Hello Dear Friends, Cultural Creatives & Seekers Everywhere,
There are rules! This is especially true within families and communities where individuals are expected to express behaviors that conform to community standards. Those that step out of the norms are often viewed with disdain, and referred to as crazy, weirdos, freaks, kooks and many other less than wholesome terms.
The point is conforming provides a valuable glue that holds a society together. However, while there is a drive to conform, society would be stagnant (and boring as hell) without the occasional “crazy,” whose “insanity” later influences the fate of the social system. Consequently, there are good sides to conforming, but conforming to societal expectations may also undermine the fate of a civilization.
The following is an example of when “conforming” compromised civilization: Atherosclerosis is a life-threatening disease of the arteries characterized by the deposit of plaques on the vessel’s inner walls. Arterial plaques always had large quantities of fatty cholesterol in the cells, consequently, there was a correlation between blood cholesterol and the risk of heart attacks.
The observations then led to the question, “What is the healthy level of cholesterol in the blood?” Doctors measured blood cholesterol in thousands of patients and derived an “average” concentration. Below this cholesterol level, people were safe, while those with higher blood cholesterol were prone to heart attacks. Conclusion: Those with elevated cholesterol concentrations should be prescribed statin drugs to reduce their cholesterol. Today approximately 200 million statin users spend nearly 25 billion dollars a year on their cholesterol-limiting prescriptions.
How’s that working out? Assessments reveal that only 3 patients out of a hundred (3%) of statin users benefit with a lower risk of heart attack, stroke, and death. Interestingly, 17 statin users out of a hundred (17%) end up with dysfunctional side-effects from the drug. It turns out that statins benefit only those that are at high-risk for heart disease. As a consequence, 97% of statin sales are not only useless, but their side-effects may also be dangerous.
Over the years, the so-called “safe” level of blood cholesterol has periodically been reduced. Every time this happens, a whole new population of statin-requiring patients is created. Lowering the acceptable level of cholesterol between 1987 and 2016 led to an estimated 600% increase statin sales. In the face of an escalating healthcare crisis, statins have not served the people, but have significantly enriched the profits of pharmaceutical companies.
While I was a research scientist in the lab of Theodore Hollis at the University of Pennsylvania, Ted’s study clearly revealed that atherosclerosis was not caused by cholesterol. We infused the circulatory system of rats with so much cholesterol, their blood was milky white. In the control group, these cholesterol-stressed rats became atherosclerotic as might be expected. However, in the experimental group, rats that were also given antihistamines along with the cholesterol never expressed atherosclerosis.
It’s not cholesterol that causes the plaque problem, it is elevated levels of histamine that produced the plaques. Histamine is derived from erratic blood pressure, which in turn, is a direct consequence of stress. Rather than using statins, atherosclerosis would be best treated by primarily controlling stress, and secondarily, can be prevented by using over-the-counter antihistamines. Profoundly cheaper than statins, antihistamines are more effective, and generally free of side-effects.
The whole problem with identifying an average level of blood cholesterol is that people are not clones. Each human has their own metabolic activity, therefore there is no “standard” cholesterol concentration that fits all. Many individuals have quite wonderful healthy lives and yet possess higher than average cholesterol levels. For them, statins might actually precipitate a negative impact on their health.
While we are encouraged to conform to community standards, sometimes that behavior might truly be detrimental or even socially divisive. Consider the consequences of the Covid pandemic. Authorities encouraged a breakdown of social order when pitting the conforming behavior of vaxxers against the non-conforming anti-vaxxers, a process that broke down long standing family and community relationships.
To CONform or not to CONform … the answer is based upon being INformed! Knowledge is POWER.
Dear cultural creatives, let us collectively seek Health, Harmony, and bathe in the resulting Happiness,
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