Are Statin Drugs Really that Good?
Statin drugs claim to be a great way to lower your cholesterol levels and is one of the most prescribed drugs in the world. Did you know that 1 in 4 adults over 45 are now taking statin drugs? That is over 30 million Americans. This is a ridiculously high amount of people since most are on it unnecessarily. Especially when, to date, there are at least 900 studies proving they have adverse side-effects like birth defects, increased cancer risk, diabetes and muscle problems.
Statins Have Been Linked to Cancer for Over 10 Years
Findings from previous studies investigating the statin-cancer link have been mixed, but a number of studies over the past 15 years have raised warnings over such a potential link. The problem is they simply do not know or understand the consequences of artificially lowering cholesterol levels.
10 years ago, research indicated that besides lowering cholesterol, statins could also promote the growth of new blood vessels. Although this effect may help to prevent heart attacks and other forms of heart disease, it could also promote cancer by increasing the growth of blood vessels in cancerous tumors.
But, other studies have indicated the complete opposite; that statins can inhibit angiogenesis (the formation of new blood vessels), so again, it’s virtually impossible to say that statin safety and effectiveness is based on hard science.
In actuality, the statin-cancer connection goes much farther. A review published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1996 stated:
“All members of the two most popular classes of lipid-lowering drugs (the fibrates and the statins) cause cancer in rodents, in some cases at levels of animal exposure close to those prescribed to humans. …
Longer-term clinical trials and careful postmarketing surveillance during the next several decades are needed to determine whether cholesterol-lowering drugs cause cancer in humans.
In the meantime, the results of experiments in animals and humans suggest that lipid-lowering drug treatment, especially with the fibrates and statins, should be avoided except in patients at high short-term risk of coronary heart disease.”
What’s So Bad About Statins
Statins act by blocking a critical enzyme in the liver that makes cholesterol. The problem is this enzyme also has another important function, it makes CoQ10 (Coenzyme Q 10). CoQ10 is vital for neutralizing free radicals, the optimal production of cellular energy and is essential for mitochondrial health.
When your body gets depleted of CoQ10 you can suffer from muscle weakness, fatigue, soreness, and eventually heart failure. The problem is, doctors do not tell you about your need to supplement with high quality CoQ10 while on statin drugs, especially if you are over 40. Prescription drugs kill over 125,000 people per year in America alone; there have been no deaths or reported side effects from high quality CoQ10 supplementation.
On the other hand statin drugs can lead to these problems
- Serious degenerative muscle tissue condition (rhabdomyolysis)
- Pancreas or liver dysfunction, including a potential increase in liver enzymes
- Muscle problems, aches and pains
- Polyneuropathy (nerve damage in the hands and feet)
- Immune system suppression
- Increased risk of food borne illness
- Sexual dysfunction (erectile dysfunction)
- Cognitive impairment, including memory loss and transient global amnesia
Statins and LDL Cholesterol
Statin drugs are said to be effective for lowering LDL (low-density lipoprotein) or “bad” cholesterol. The problem is there are many different sizes of these cholesterol particles. When dealing with LDL cholesterol, it is the size that matters. Smaller particles get stuck easier causing more inflammation. The smaller the cholesterol particles you have, the worse off you are going to be.
Statins do not regulate the size of the particles and may actually increase your risk of heart disease. The only way to make sure LDL particles are too big to get stuck, and cause inflammation, is through diet! The drug companies won’t tell you this. The insulin in our bodies does the regulating of LDL particle size. When you eat right and maintain normal insulin levels, LDL particles stay large and buoyant and don’t cause inflammation.
Inflammation can be brought on by many things. Since you want to reduce inflammation it is good to know what can bring it on. Some things that cause inflammation are
- Oxidized cholesterol (cholesterol that has gone rancid, such as that from overcooked, scrambled eggs)
- Eating lots of sugar and grains
- Eating lots of processed foods
- Eating foods cooked at high temperatures
- Eating trans fats
- Eating too much junk and fast food
- A sedentary lifestyle
- Emotional stress
What You Can do for Heart Health
The average American lives off boxed and fast foods, drinks soda or juice instead of water, don’t exercise much, and spends most of their time indoors or slathered with sunscreen when outside which blocks natural production of vitamin D3.
We are learning more and more about vitamin D3 and its benefits for heart health. Being deficient in vitamin D, which most Americans are, contributes to a host of ailments. Having enough vitamin D can help everything from fibromyalgia to depression and heart health to cancer prevention.
There’s evidence that CoQ10 is beneficial for Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and even cancer, as well as staving off premature aging in general by preventing telomere shortening, which can slow or potentially even reverse the aging process as well as heart health.
Other things you can do are exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, eating more raw or lightly steamed veggies and fruit, cut out soda (just cutting out soda can help you lose twenty pounds), drink plenty of water, cut out sugar and refined foods, take high quality supplements, and remember to relax.
Changing the way we do things will bring about a positive change in how we feel.
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Filed under: Heart Health
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