Drugs used to treat preventable diseases carry serious risks (Part 2 - ARBs)

Part 2:

Angiotensin receptor blockers - anti-hypertensive drugs – linked to lung cancer and heart-related deaths


Angiotensin-receptor blockers (ARBs) are used to to treat hypertension, heart failure, and diabetic nephropathy (kidney dysfunction). They work by blocking a hormone system that regulates vascular tone and water and salt balance to control blood pressure.

Because angiotensin can affect cell survival and angiogenesis (formation of new blood vessels), two important factors in tumor growth, angiotensin is thought to play a role in cancer progression.1 To determine whether taking ARBs affected cancer risk, scientists performed a meta-analysis of several studies to uncover any possible links between ARBs and cancers. They determined that ARBs carry a increased risk of new diagnosis of any cancer (8%), and a significantly higher risk of lung cancer (25%).2

One ARB in particular, olmesartan (Benicar), was under scrutiny by the FDA for potential cardiovascular risks. In a clinical trial testing olmesartan’s efficacy for slowing kidney damage in diabetics, there were increased rates of sudden cardiac death and death from heart attack and stroke in the subjects taking the drug compared to those taking placebo.3

In my practice, and from results recorded from members at DrFuhrman.com, even people with dramatically high blood pressure readings and dramatically high cholesterol levels have successfully returned their levels to normal without medications. In fact, as published in the medical journal Metabolism, the nutritarian diet is the most effective method to lower high cholesterol, even more effective than drugs.4 If people were very informed of these results and the risks involved with taking medications many more would certainly embrace nutritional excellence as therapy. High cholesterol and high blood pressure are lifestyle-created conditions, and the safest and most effective treatment is a high nutrient diet and exercise.




1. Li H, Qi Y, Li C, et al. Angiotensin type 2 receptor-mediated apoptosis of human prostate cancer cells.Mol Cancer Ther. 2009 Dec;8(12):3255-65.

Feng Y, Wan H, Liu J, et al. The angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 in tumor growth and tumor-associated angiogenesis in non-small cell lung cancer. Oncol Rep. 2010 Apr;23(4):941-8.

Zhao Y, Chen X, Cai1 L, et al. Angiotensin II / Angiotensin II type I receptor (AT1R) signaling promotes MCF-7 breast cancer cells survival via PI3-kinase/Akt pathway. J Cell Physiol. 2010 May 10. [Epub ahead of print]

2. Sipahi I, Debanne SM, Rowland DY, et al. Angiotensin-receptor blockade and risk of cancer: meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. Lancet Oncol. 2010 Jun 11. [Epub ahead of print]

3. Reuters: UPDATE 2 – FDA looking into death risk from Daiichi’s Benicar. http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN1113920620100611

4. Jenkins DJ, Kendall CW, Popovich DG, et al. Effect of a very-high-fiber vegetable, fruit, and nut diet on serum lipids and colonic function. Metabolism. 2001 Apr;50(4):494-503.

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Comments (7) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Nathalie - June 22, 2010 2:27 PM

Very thought-provoking. I am on high-blood-pressure medication and have slightly high cholesterol. I am on day 2 of Dr Furhman's Eat To Live diet. I feel a little lost... having sugar cravings. Have 125 lbs to lose. So help me God!

Amy - June 22, 2010 3:40 PM

Hi Nathalie,

I am on Day 2 as well and I have about 100 lbs to lose. Good luck!

PERU - June 22, 2010 7:13 PM


Diane T - June 22, 2010 8:04 PM

Stick with the Eat to Live plan, it is hard at first, but the benefits are unbelievable. Everything will change, sleep paterns, your skin, your energy, etc.. Don't give up! If you have your health, you have everything!

Pam - June 23, 2010 5:45 AM

To Nathalie and Amy, You CAN do it. Be strong. I lost 113 and have kept it off 8 years now. The sugar cravings are the worst, but they pass and it will be worth it. Keep up the good work. Day by day it what it takes.

Steve - June 23, 2010 5:07 PM

I use to crave ice cream but after being on ETL for 10 months I no longer have any desire for it. I may still eat it once or even three times during the years but I use to eat it three times or more a week. I didn't have a blood pressure issue to begin with but my wife does and unfortunately she still does but we are not giving up. We are convinced that the nutritarian way of eating is the best whether it resolves all your health issues or not.

Zach - June 24, 2010 7:29 AM

Nathalie, I'm on day 109ish of the Eat to Live diet, and I've lost 53 pounds, and my blood pressure is down from pre-hypertensive 130/95 to 108/65. It will come. If you're faithful to eating the nutritarian way, the weight will come off and the blood pressure and cholesterol will drop.

I tried not to laugh out loud when I overheard a couple of guys on the gym talking about how they had to be on blood pressure medication because of their genetics, and how they tried to diet for a little, but it didn't help - I knew from experience that they just weren't trying the right diet.

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