Summary notes from a surprising conversation with Brian Toomey who has done some investigation on these topics for his own and friends' health.

  • LDL and blood pressure are both independent risk factors for CVD and mortality
  • High readings of one or both are incredibly common (~25% of adults for LDL, ~40% of adults for BP in the United States)
  • Standard treatment for these involve statins and ace inhibitors respectively, which have serious side effects associated with them including problems when people's adherence to them is inconsistent
  • Some forms of these medicines were derived from natural sources, and ingestion of said natural sources does not seem to include the side effects from their synthesized forms. Here several mushroom species contain high levels of lovastatin and several fruits and seeds contain natural ace inhibitors
  • The expectation is that the synthesized versions have larger effect size, but the opposite appears to be true when dosing correctly
  • This knowledge is not widespread and deserves further evaluation of potential QALY's on the line
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My organization has been researching hypertension control as a potential new cause area, though we're looking more at the intervention of sodium taxes (shallow report here). Have also been looking at combating coronary heart disease (shallow report here)  via trans fat bans (with trans fat raising LDL and lowering HDL).

Talking to various experts right now, as part of our intermediate research round on these non-communicable diseases, and what I'm getting is that experts are generally more enthusiastic about prevention/addressing risk factors over treatment

What are the specifics? Can you provide links?

"ingestion of said natural sources does not seem to include the side effects from their synthesized forms"

Can you provide a source for this?