The Dangers of Statins
Statins are a class of drugs designed to block the production of cholesterol by the body, with the effect of lowering a patient’s blood cholesterol levels. According the modern medical mythology, the use of these drugs ultimately lowers the patient’s risk for coronary heart disease.
These drugs are extremely dangerous. There are huge volumes of reports detailing the horrible and often permanent side effects of taking these drugs. They include:
- Severe muscle cell damage leading to a fatal kidney condition called rhabdomyolysis. The debris from the dying muscle cells releases myoglobin, a substance which damages the kidneys, causing failure.
- Muscle pain and weakness which cannot be reversed.
- Neurological problems including global transient amnesia, memory loss, learning impairment and confusion.
- Statins can cause congestive heart failure by interfering with the metabolization of essential fatty acids.
- They interfere with metabolic pathways having to do with neuropeptide formation, leading to increased hostility, aggression and depression.
- Statins also block the production of important cell chemicals such as CoQ10 enzymes which compounds the damage they cause.
- Statins are also linked to the much greater risk of developing diabetes as a “side effect”.
- There are host of other side effects, including pancreatitis, an increase in respiratory infections and pneumonia, peripheral neuropathy, skin rashes and sexual dysfunction.
Ironically, the reason for taking these dangerous drugs is to “fix” a condition that IS NOT life or health threatening for most people. Elevated cholesterol levels are not a health risk, and “cholesterol” is not an appropriate target to treat with dangerous drugs.
The hypothesis that elevated levels of cholesterol cause arterial plaque is misguided and incomplete. Cholesterol is used by the body to repair arterial damage created by inflammatory factors such as elevated insulin levels. The source of the inflammation should be treated, not the band-aid of the cholesterol repair function.
Cholesterol is not a health threat. It is a substance that is ESSENTIAL to LIFE. Lowering it with drugs has the consequences noted above because it plays a role in the most critical body functions, including brain cell connection formation, muscle strength, tendon maintenance, vitamin A and D metabolism, essential fatty acid metabolism, and the manufacture of hormones which regulate the blood levels of salt, water and calcium, and other critical metabolic processes.
Cholesterol is a significant player in the moderation of mood, and low levels have been linked to increased aggression, hostility and depression. In fact, cholesterol is so important to physical life, the body will make cholesterol if you don’t eat enough.
This self regulation factor makes it very difficult to use a low fat diet alone to lower your cholesterol levels, because as you lower your fat intake, your body increases its cholesterol production. In order to get cholesterol levels below the recommended 200 mg/dl, you have to take cholesterol lowering drugs.
How convenient for the pharmaceutical companies and those who benefit financially from drug sales that only prescribed, expensive drugs will lower cholesterol to the “healthy” level that our nutritional experts recommend.
On the advice of the National Institutes of Health, and the urging of pharmaceutical company representatives, physicians are prescribing these cholesterol lowering drugs in ever greater numbers. Expensive statins such as Advicor, Lipitor, Crestor, Pravachol and Zocor are being prescribed to millions of Americans each day, despite the evidence of the major harm they cause.
According to Consumer Reports:
Monthly prescriptions for statins rose 3.9%, from an average 12.6 million per month in the period October 2005 to May 2006 to an average 13.1 million per month in the period June 2006 to December 2006 a gain of some 500,000 prescriptions per month.
Just recently, the Jupiter study hailed statins as a new “cure” for people with elevated rates of CRP (C-Reactive Protein) which is a marker for inflammation within the body. What the media and the promoters of statin drugs don’t tell you is that the risk reduction from the study was minimal, considering the horrible side effects of statins, and it cost the patients $3.50 a day to take these drugs.
In addition, other studies have shown that plain old, cheap magnesium supplements work much better to lower CRP at a much less risk of danger. Doctors must treat the underlying cause of the inflammation with less dangerous options.