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 dangerous and have very serious side effects. Many documented reports detail the severe side effects that otherwise healthy people have experienced after taking these drugs. The side effects include:
Dr. Peter Langsjoen is a cardiologist and an expert the damage that statins cause to CoQ10 in the body. Here's a comment from him in an article on Red Flags Weekly:
"In my practice of 17 years in Tyler, Texas, I have seen a frightening increase in heart failure secondary to statin usage, "statin cardiomyopathy". Over the past five years, statins have become more potent, are being prescribed in higher doses, and are being used with reckless abandon in the elderly and in patients with "normal" cholesterol levels. We are in the midst of a Coronary Heart Failure epidemic in the US with a dramatic increase over the past decade. Are we causing this epidemic through our zealous use of statins? In large part, I think the answer is yes. We are now in a position to witness the unfolding of the greatest medical tragedy of all time - never before in history has the medical establishment knowingly (Merck & Co., Inc. has two 1990 patents combining CoQ10 with statins to prevent CoQ10 depletion and attendant side effects) created a life threatening nutrient deficiency in millions of otherwise healthy people, only to then sit back with arrogance and horrific irresponsibility and watch to see what happens. As I see two to three new statin cardiomyopathies per week in my practice, I cannot help but view my once great profession with a mixture of sorrow and contempt.”
You can learn more about Dr. Langsjoen's work here.
There is a myth in the mainstream media that statins protect against cancer. The more likely truth is that cholesterol protects against cancer, and people with high cholesterol are given statins, so the link is through association, not direct causation.
As would be expected, a meta-analysis published in the Journal of American Medical Association states: "In our current meta-analysis, statins did not reduce the incidence of cancer or cancer death." JAMA. 2006; 295: 74-80.
It is more likely that statins contribute to the development of cancer. Otto Warburg, the Nobel prize winning physiologist wrote that "cancer is the result of irreversible injury to mitochondrial respiration". So it's not surprising that statins would be linked to higher rates of cancer because they block the production of CoQ10, a critical nutrient needed for energy metabolism in the mitochondria of each cell.
In 1996, Newman and Tulley published a meticulous review of the links between cancer and statins in a paper titled The Carcinogenity of Lipid-Lowering Drugs in the Journal of American Medical Association. (JAMA 27 55:60, 1996). The CARE trial in particular, resulted in a much higher rate of breast cancer for the women in the treatment group.
Uffe Ravnskov M.D. PhD, writes about this in The Cholesterol Myths: Exposing the Fallacy That Saturated Fat and Cholesterol Cause Heart Disease:
"There is good reason to exercise caution in the use of statin drugs because in the CARE study, breast cancer was indeed more common among those who took the drug than in the control group. In the treatment group, twelve women got breast cancer during the trial, whereas only one case in the control group, a difference that is highly significant."
This same cancer promotion effect was seen in the PROSPER trial, and most recently in the Japan Lipid Intervention Trial. Look at Table 6, and note the Malignancy Relative Risk rates. The lower the cholesterol, the worse the risk.
The sad truth is that the reason given for taking these dangerous drugs is to "fix" a condition that IS NOT life or health threatening for most people. Elevated cholesterol is not the cause of heart disease, and therefore, 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 and low levels of Omega-3 fatty acids. 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. Forcibly 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, cell integrity, muscle and tendon strength, bile and digestion, vitamin A and D metabolism, protection against infectious organisms, 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, low cholesterol 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.
Please, remember that many, many scientifically valid studies have shown that higher cholesterol levels are positively correlated with lower rates of death from all causes. If you are directed to take statins by your physician, I recommend that you read the following books and websites before you agree.
Although I have a Master's degree in Applied Clinical Nutrition, I am not a physician. Do not change your medication without speaking to your physician. The advice on this website is not intended to replace the advice of your physician. My intention is to provide the alternative facts, so that you have all the information you need to make informed decisions about your health care.
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