What You Need To Know About Statins and Cholesterol

statins cluster

Heart disease is a leading cause of death in the United States and worldwide. Obesity levels and the sedentary lifestyle of many people multiply their risk of heart disease. The impact of heart disease is evident in increasing costs of medical care for patients, insurance companies and the government.

To address the issue of increases in heart disease, a time tested method was introduced: New drugs to “fix” the problem!

Statins have risen to household name status and massive increase in use because of their ability to lower cholesterol. Lower cholesterol has been considered to be associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases but now that theory is being challenged. Statin proponents say that heart attacks and strokes have been prevented thanks to these drugs. Many doctors prescribe them and encourage their patients to use them.

Why hasn’t the rate of mortality from cardiovascular diseases gone down if these drugs are so effective?

There’s more to the story. There is a hidden truth about statins and the shady way they have been pushed onto trusting patients.  In some ways, the story of statins resembles a medical thriller or drama on the big screen.

What is a Statin?

What are statins and specifically what are they used for? If you aren’t sure, you’re not alone.

Statins are part of a lipid-lowering class of medications.

Statins are meant to reduce cholesterol. Reduced cholesterol is meant to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases that include high-mortality conditions such as heart attacks and strokes.

The Truth About Statins

Studies published in the Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology have found that statins can cause heart disease. The study says “statins stimulate atherosclerosis and heart failure.”

More research has been done that shows additional negative side effects of cholesterol lowering statin drugs.

Here are a few adverse effects that may surprise you:

  • Statins poison the mitochondria of cells and prevent them from doing their job of producing cellular energy.
  • Statins cause oxidative stress. A contributing factor of heart failure.
  • Statins are a leading contributor to calcification of the arteries.
  • Muscle pain, damage and loss.
  • Liver damage.
  • Neurological side effects including memory loss and confusion.
  • Increased blood sugar.
  • Statins deplete, the important nutrient, CoQ-10 levels in the body.

What’s worse is these effects are exacerbated by those with other pre-existing conditions such as Type-2 diabetes.

Another way to look at statins is how effective they are. If they helped prevent a heart attack or stroke, the medical establishment would be able to justify these horrible side-effects above. Long term studies say the opposite.

Study results say that statins are almost completely ineffective at preventing heart attack or stroke in most people. One study found that 98% of people taking statins saw no benefit and some subjects suffered muscle loss/damage or developed diabetes.

Statins are effective at lowering cholesterol and for many, that’s where the problems start or get much worse. You need cholesterol to be healthy.

For a drug with such severe side effects and questionable efficacy, how has it reached such wide-spread use?

Here are 2 reasons to consider:

  1. The public’s general misunderstanding of cholesterol.
  2. Big Pharma.

Cholesterol is Misunderstood

Cholesterol has been unfairly demonized in the United States and elsewhere. Do you remember when “Low Cholesterol, Cholesterol Free, Fat Free and Low Fat” became all the rage in “healthy” food marketing? Why didn’t anyone pay attention to the outrageous amounts of chemicals and over the top sugar content of these processed foods?

Defenders of statin drugs will say there are two types cholesterol. The “good” HDL cholesterol and the “bad” LDL cholesterol that’s supposed to be responsible for clogging your arteries… It’s not that simple.

Advanced lipid testing reveals that in addition to the type of cholesterol (HDL and LDL), the size of the cholesterol molecule is the important factor for determining risk. The antiquated cholesterol blood test that most doctors’ offices rely on will not show you the particle size. Advanced testing is available from reputable organizations like The Cleveland Heart Lab, SpectraCell Technologies and Quest Diagnostics. If you are concerned about your risk for cardiovascular disease, ask your physician for one of these tests.

In reality, there’s no good or bad cholesterol. Cholesterol is vital for life and good health.

As the researcher Dr. Rosedale points out, cholesterol makes up all living organisms, and “it’s no wonder lowering cholesterol too much increases one’s risk of dying.”

Overall, cholesterol levels are not a good indicator of your heart health and risk of cardiovascular disease unless your numbers are outrageous.

Foods like pastured eggs, organic meats, and grass fed butter are high in fat and are more beneficial to your health than their low fat counterparts. Yet, most people look at them as “bad” because they “increase your cholesterol” even though the evidence says otherwise. Research has confirmed that a diet high in sugar and refined carbohydrates causes elevated LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, insulin resistance and inflammation.

Doctors Receive Money for Prescribing Statins

It is widely accepted that many doctors accept monetary “kickbacks” and other incentives from pharmaceutical companies.

The pharmaceutical company’s incentive could be as innocent as a free lunch or a round of golf. In some situations, the kickback comes in the form of huge cash payments for prescribing the latest and greatest drugs.

As the saying goes, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Doctors who take kickbacks of any amount, whether small or large, promote products from those companies.

money doctor

Statins are aggressively promoted, especially to men and the elderly.

The additional cost of statin drug use is becoming more apparent as the adverse effects of statins become more common and affect more people. People are having to live with the severe pain and memory loss caused by statins because of the fear of what will happen after getting off the drugs. Do they really need the statins in the first place? Are there alternatives? Can healthy and normal cholesterol levels be reached with diet, exercise and lifestyle changes? The answers to these questions can be found with a little research, a better understanding of cholesterol’s function and good communication with a prescribing physician who is experienced in nutrition and natural alternatives to pharmaceuticals.

The evidence is coming out to the public that statins don’t have the life-saving properties that the drug companies who produce them and the doctors who prescribe them claim they do.

The positive effects of lowering the mortality rate in high-risk patients is minimal to non-existent. Studies indicate the effects of statins are shown to be zero in many women and those with pre-existing cardiovascular conditions (including previous heart attacks).

A lot of problems related to proper heart health come from misperceptions and misinformed public knowledge of cholesterol. When everyone you know tells you something is bad it’s hard to believe otherwise.

Doctors who over encourage use of statins and use fear tactics to convince patients of the need for low cholesterol may not fully understand the dangers involved. Medical students only receive about 23 hours of nutrition education and may not discuss how dietary changes and exercise dramatically affect cholesterol levels.

The evidence of a corrupt and compromised system is apparent.

You will have to do your own research to figure out what’s best for you. Always listen to the advice of your healthcare professional and remember the choice to start taking a drug is always a choice. It’s your choice.