ACE Inhibitors Linked to an Increased Cancer Risk

A recent study published in The BMJ (British Medical Journal), angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitors were associated with an increased risk of lung cancer.

A 14% higher risk to be exact.

The drugs have been out for over 30 years. Now we find this out? How many people have died from this drug class that is also notorious for causing a cough, high potassium levels, and kidney issues?

Here is what the researchers found when they identified over 900,000 adults who began treatment with any type of blood pressure medication from 1995 through 2015. They excluded those with any history of cancer.

Over 335,000 patients were treated with ACE inhibitors, 29,000 with ARBs, and 101,000 with both an ACE and ARB inhibitor.

ACE inhibitors generic names end with the suffix, -pril, such as captopril, ramipril, lisinopril, enalapril, etc. Brand names included Capoten, Lotensin, and Vasotec.

Over a follow-up period of 6 years, lung cancer was diagnosed in 0.8% (7,952) of this 900,000-person cohort. After taking into consideration smoking and other potential confounding factors, ACE inhibitor use was associated with a 14 % greater risk for lung cancer relative to ARB use (1.6 vs. 1.2 per 1000 person-years). In a secondary analysis, use of an ACE inhibitor for less than 5 years was not associated with an elevated risk for lung cancer.

The risk did not become evident until people were on the drugs for 5 years, but increased to 31% with greater than 10 years of use.

In their study, researchers explained that ACE inhibitors increase bradykinin, which has been reported to stimulate growth of lung cancer.

ACE inhibitor use may also result in elevated levels of a compound known as substance P, produced in lung cancer cells and related to growth of the tumor and its associated blood vessels.

While ACE inhibitors have been highly effective medications used to treat high blood pressure in the short term, there have been concerns raised about the safety of their long-term use, specifically related to elevated risk of lung cancer.

The factor involved could be elevated levels of bradykinin and substance P that could facilitate growth of lung cancer.

Other experts weighed in on the issue.

“This high-quality study shows that ACE inhibitors are a risk factor for lung cancer,” said Klaus Lessnau, M.D, a pulmonary and critical care specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

“The most important factor remains smoking but implies that ACE inhibitors should be contraindicated in smokers and ex-smokers, armed with a study that reveals significant statistical association and biologic plausibility,” offered Lessnau.” “One wonders if they should be continued in nonsmokers,” he added.

Here is a Powerpoint slide I created for my presentation at The Truth About Cancer. This references cancer risk with another class of drugs.

These are scathing comments about a class of drugs that millions take.

There is a better way.

People are not deficient in ACE inhibitors or any other drugs. They are deficient in quality food and a healthy lifestyle.

Our website and my book, The Paleo Cardiologist, contains everything you need to stay healthy in a 21st century world. Here is a link to a free copy of The Paleo Cardiologist (just pay shipping and handling).

Read my article on “Natural ACE Inhibitors.”

Let me know your thoughts.

Natural Alternative Remedies Instead of ACE Inhibitors

There has been a lot in the news recently about pharmaceutical drug recalls. Most affected have been the class of drugs known as ACE inhibitors and Angiotensin Receptor Blockers (ARB’s).

These drugs are most often used for hypertension, but also for people after a heart attack and those who suffer from congestive heart failure.

The most common side effect of this drug class is a cough. But recently, reports and FDA recalls have alerted the public to significant cancer risk with these drugs AND cancer-causing additives in the drug.

A recent study found a 14% higher risk of lung cancer in people who used ACE inhibitors for 5 years and 31% for those who used for 10 years!

Drugs are not just the drug. They are the drug PLUS the “inactive” ingredients.

Why Not Do It Naturally?

The following is a list of phytonutrients found in plants that perform the same function as the ACE inhibitor, but they do so naturally.

Remember, you are not deficient in pharmaceuticals. Your blood pressure can be from nutrient deficiencies and not enough of the following:

  • Delphinidin (pomegranate, berries)
  • Cyanidin (pomegranate, berries)
  • Apigenin (parsley, celery, chamomile)
  • Luteolin (thyme, oregano, and mint)
  • Luteolin-7-O-glucopyranoside (dandelion)
  • Kaempferol (veggies, ginkgo, moringa)
  • Black cumin seed or oil
  • Cacao- the seed that makes chocolate, when sugar is added.
  • Green tea
  • Capers/onions (quercetin)- love adding capers to my homemade organic salad dressing
  • Nattokinase-eat organic Natto, a fermented soybean popular in the Japanese culture.

Many studies show that whey protein leads to ACE inhibition naturally. This is one of the many reasons we created our Daily Defense Shake Mix made with whey protein from New Zealand grass-fed cow’s milk.

Daily Defense contains the whey AND dozens of vitamins/minerals/phytonutrients to stay healthy in a 21st century world. Delicious chocolate and vanilla. Buy the shake mix TODAY are reap the benefits immediately.

Other Blood Pressure Remedies

Why not try some of these other supplements for blood pressure control?

There is a better way to heart health. I talk about this in my book, The Paleo Cardiologist. Also, tune in to The Healthy Heart Show podcast and YouTube videos.

Top 5 Heart Disease Drugs You Can Do Without

Watch time: 5 minutes 18 seconds

Cardiologist Dr. Jack Wolfson explains five common heart disease drugs that you can do without.

By watching this video you will discover:

  • 5 heart disease drugs you can do without
  • Natural alternatives to these 5 conventional heart disease drugs


Hey, it’s Dr. Jack Wolfson, cardiologist, and today I want to talk to you about 5 conventional heart medications that have risk and have alternatives and you do not need to be on these drugs.

Like anything, check with your doctor first before you stop any pharmaceuticals.

But I want to talk to you about these top 5 conventional heart drugs that you do not need in your life.

Number one, statin drugs. I love to bash statin drugs. Not because I’m just anti-pharmaceutical – it’s just because we don’t need them.

Statin drugs, in the majority of cases, if they work, they work in a very small amount. They lower your risk from here to here. Can we lower your risk all the way down to zero? In many cases, I think so.

We know the statin drugs can’t offer that.

So, with statin drugs of course there are side effects. There are side effects including liver and kidney and muscle, and some are concerned also with brain injury from statin drugs and I’ve seen a lot of those patients who believe that brain injury was caused by statin drugs.

I certainly think so in the case of my father.

So, once again, we are not deficient in statin drugs for cholesterol. We need to work to find our best cholesterol by eating the right foods, getting sunshine, getting sleep, getting the right lifestyle, using evidence-based supplements as necessary.

The second cardiac drug that I think people need to avoid. And that is aspirin.

Aspirin has been billed as the wonder drug. The reality is it causes bleeding, ulcers, all different types of other issues associated with aspirin. You name it. But millions of people are taking it and they don’t need it.

In fact, the American College of Cardiology recognizes that aspirin is contraindicated in healthy women age 65 and under, yet so many people take it thinking it’s preventing something.

Once again, the benefit of aspirin is very, very tiny. Do your research on that. Is there a better way? We are not deficient in aspirin. We’re deficient in things that make for healthy blood flow. Once again, such as the right foods, sunshine, sleep, evidence-based supplements.

Omega 3 fish oil, for example, is a great way to normalize and regulate blood coagulation. Beetroot Powder is also another thing also that is anti-platelet. Helps blood flow that much better.

The third pharmaceutical that I want to talk about is a blood pressure drug, beta blocker category.

Beta blockers have been around for forty years. They help to lower the adrenaline response and we don’t need those drugs either. They cause side effects – fatigue, loss of libido, low energy. All of the adrenaline surge sometimes that people need to get the job done, the beta blockers take that away.

So, let’s come up with a better way for blood pressure. Let’s find the cause of high blood pressure and let’s fix it. And then once again, we just kind of reverse engineer it and go back to diet, sunshine, sleep, lifestyle, physical activity, stress. Look at sleep apnea as a cause of hypertension as well.

Get that all fixed and the symptom and sign that is elevated blood pressure will go away. The pharmaceuticals, if they have any benefit, they’re tiny. They can reduce blood pressure numbers, but they do very little to reduce outcomes, such as heart attacks, strokes and dying.

Number four is another blood pressure category drug of pharmaceuticals and this is ace inhibitors. Ace inhibitors block a certain enzyme in the body – the ace enzyme – that our body manufactures because we need it.

And it’s not that ace inhibitors don’t work to lower our numbers down, but they do have side effects. Certainly, cough would be the most notorious side effect, kidney issues can also be there. Allergic reactions to ace inhibitors are also a problem. So, let’s come up, like I said in number three, with a better way to go after the cause of high blood pressure.

Number five, last but not least, as far as conventional heart drugs is concerned is coumadin.

Coumadin is a blood thinner – heavy duty blood thinner. Some people need it. If you’ve got a mechanical heart valve, you definitely need it.

Other people we can certainly has this conversation, “is that drug necessary?”

And I invite you if you do have atrial fibrillation and the doctor advised you to take coumadin. If you are on coumadin, go to a website called Chads. C – H – A – D -S – V-A-S-C dot org. And that is an online calculator about your stroke risk if you do have atrial fibrillation.

So, go there and check it out and then go back to your doctor and say, “Hey listen. My annual stroke risk is three percent. I realize that’s not zero percent but it’s not 50%. Is there a better way? Is there alternatives?”

And I mention those alternatives all over my website and in my Amazon best-selling book, The Paleo Cardiologist.

So, there you have five conventional cardiac pharmaceuticals that you can do without. There is a better way.

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