Statin lipid lowering drugs including Levacor, Zocor, Pravachol, Lipitor, and Crestor, are some of the most widely prescribed drugs in the world. In fact, the propaganda for these medications has been so hyped for lowering cholesterol that some doctors have advocated they should be sold over-the-counter like aspirin or worse placed in our drinking water. Others want children as young as two to be on these drugs as a way to prevent elevated cholesterol!
Before you fall victim to the propaganda, you should know that scientist’s from the University of California (UC) San Diego School of Medicine have published a review paper setting the record straight.
Analyzing the nearly 900 research studies on statins to see just what the facts are. The verdict? The drugs may predispose many people to serious muscle and kidney problems, potentially deadly heart arrhythmias, depression, fatigue, muscle pain, dementia, and a host of other health problems.
The paper, co-authored by Beatrice Golomb, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine at the UC San Diego School of Medicine and director of UC San Diego's Statin Study group, and Marcella A. Evans, of UC San Diego and UC Irvine Schools of Medicine, was published in the on-line edition of the American Journal of Cardiovascular Drugs.
It provides the most comprehensive look to date of not only the reported side effects of statins, but the evidence of how these side effects are caused by the drugs. The paper also offers explanations as to why certain people on these medication are at increased risk for adverse reactions.
For example, the paper points to accumulated data showing higher statin doses and statin drugs with the strongest ability to lower cholesterol are linked to the greatest risk of developing side effects. Certain genetic conditions have also been found to place people at higher risk for serious problems from the prescription medications.
"Muscle problems are the best known of statin drugs' adverse side effects," Dr. Golomb said in a media statement. "But cognitive problems and peripheral neuropathy, or pain or numbness in the extremities like fingers and toes, are also widely reported." In addition, the paper discusses other negative health effects from the drugs, including irregular heartbeats, elevated blood glucose, and tendon problems.
Specifically, the review of statin research found powerful evidence that statins induce injury to mitochondria, membrane-enclosed organelles often described as "power plants" inside the body's cells. They generate adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is used as a source of cells' chemical energy. So by interfering with this pathway, statins may cause many of the adverse effects that occur to people taking the medications. With injured mitochondria, the body produces less energy and more "free radicals" are produced.
As they block the production of cholesterol in the body, statins also block the production of much of the body's coenzyme Q10 (Co-Q10), a compound important to the process of making energy within mitochondria and also to stopping free radical damage. In addition, statins reduce the very blood cholesterol that is needed to carry Co-Q10 and other fat-soluble antioxidants throughout the body.
Hypertension and diabetes -- as well as advancing age -- are independently linked to higher rates of mitochondrial problems and associated with a higher risk of statin complications, too.
"The risk of adverse effects goes up as age goes up, and this helps explain why," Dr. Golomb said in the media release. "This also helps explain why statins' benefits have not been found to exceed their risks in those over 70 or 75 years old, even those with heart disease."
Did you know you are likely to die from all causes with low cholesterol than high cholesterol? Did you know that statin drugs reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke by a whopping one percent?
You can read more about the medical myths of hear disease and why the AMA’s propaganda is flat out wrong at the link below-