What You May Not Know About Statin Drugs
Although Statin Drugs may achieve a 30-50% decrease in your LDL cholesterol, after reading this article and doing your own due dilligence, please thoroughly consult with your medical doctor and do more research about all of your possible alternative therapies... current authorities are questioning whether elevated cholesterol is even the real culprit in cardiovascular disease!
Statin Drugs Have Many Side Effects Your Doctor May Not Have Told You:
While these drugs lower the risk of heart disease, Statin drug users don’t have an overall lower mortality rate! Instead of dying from heart disease, death rates actually increase from other causes and drug-induced side effects, for example…
1- Cancer rates increase in Statin Drug Users -- since Statins lower the production of a compound called NFicB in white blood cells, which acts to fight cancers.
2- Statins also lower the body’s Vitamin D levels -- thus you need at least an extra 1000 IU Vit D per day, or about 2-3000 IU total daily supplementation of Vitamin D3, if you are on Statin Drugs…
This Vit D deficiency is associated with an increased risk of…
22 types of cancer including breast, colon, and prostate
Type I Diabetes
Chronic Pain Syndromes (* 90 percent of people with chronic non-specific pain have Vitamin D deficiency!)
3- Statin Drugs also lower Coenzyme Q10 production -- therefore, you need to supplement a costly additional 500-600 mg CoQ10 per day.
Due this Co Q10 production deficiency…
Statin drugs end up destroying connective tissue
Statin users have a 14X greater likelihood of peripheral neuropathy “pinched nerves” throughout their bodies
2 years on Statin drugs increase the likelihood of a peripheral neuropathy by about 26X !
Note: If you take Coenzyme Q10 with any diabetes medication, beware that it has a further blood sugar lowering effect, consult your doctor or pharmacist first!
4- Statin Drug use may lead to Liver Failure
5- Statin Drugs are linked with an increased likelihood of Multiple Sclerosis
6- Statin Drugs may cause transient Global Amnesia & Permanent Memory Loss
A large study funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (a part of the National Institute of Health) which looked at sleep patterns of people who took the statin drug Zocor or Simvastatin found they had significantly worse sleep quality compared with people who took Pravachol or pravastatin, another Statin type of cholesterol-lowering drug. "The findings are significant because sleep problems can affect the quality of life and may have adverse health consequences, such as promoting weight gain and insulin resistance," said Dr. Beatrice Golomb, of the University of California at San Diego School of Medicine.
Strangely, Statin drugs work to help fight heart disease more as a result of their property of lowering inflammation in the body, versus their other property of lowering cholesterol in the body!
While they lower bad cholesterol “LDL” levels, they don’t raise good cholesterol “HDL” levels, and this doesn't create an ideal health picture. So if a person wishes to achieve the same inflammation lowering effect as Statin drugs, while greatly lowering LDL levels and raising HDL levels, the following supplements (especially combined with diet and exercise), may be better alternatives--without all of the dangerous side effects discussed above…
- Omega 3 fatty acids, found in fish oils. They are 44% better at reducing overall mortality vs. Statin drugs. A supplement should contain 2700 mg of EPA and 1200 mg of DHA total per day. For quality and price, I recommend Puritan's Pride "Highly concentrated Fish Oil" from www.puritan.com or GNC's "Triple Strength Fish Oil" supplements to my patients--5 capsules/day with meals. ** (NOTE: Fish oils thin your blood and should not be taken if you are taking aspirin, ibuprofen, any other anti-inflammatory drugs, or blood thinners.)**
- “Ruby Red” Grapefruit -- research has shown that eating one per day gives you nearly the equivalent cholesterol lowering effect that Statin drugs have. (SOURCE: Gorinstein, S. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Feb. 3, 2006; online edition. News release, American Chemical Society.)
- Psyllium husk fiber -- (10 gm/day) and/or Ground Flax seed (50 gm/day)
- Phytosterol and Stanol Esters -- have been shown to significantly reduce total cholesterol with up to a 9-14% reduction in LDL cholesterol. They help to reduce absorption of cholesterol in your intestines and must be taken with meals.
- Good formulas containing Phytosterols, which are best absorbed in ‘gel cap’ form are:
- Puritan’s Pride Phytosterol Complete
- Twin Lab Cholesterol Success
- Natrol Cholesterol Balance
- Vitamin Shoppe Advanced Cholesterol Formula
- Citrus Bergamot Extract -- multiple recent studies have shown that by taking this supplement at 500 mg to 1000 mg daily, levels of bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides drop very significantly while levels of good HDL cholesterol increase.
Most modern research is finding that Cholesterol is probably not the real culprit in cardiovascular disease. We'll discuss this in another article. It still might ge a good idea, however, to eliminate excess Cholesterol in the diet, and definitely certain "bad fats" which are primarily found in products containing 'partially hydrogenated oils' these are oils through which hydrogen has been injected, in order to make them harder at room temperature, and have a longer shelf life. The problem is that the hydrogenation process creates "Trans Fats" as a by product, and these are definitely bad for our cardiovascular health.
Trans fats are found in any processed foods made with partially hydrogenated vegetable oils -- such as vegetable shortenings, and some margarines -- crackers, candies, cookies, snack foods, fried foods, and baked goods often contain these. If you read labels, they are now required to list the types of fat content in foods, including trans fats. A daily intake of only about 5 g of trans fat is associated with a 25% increase in the risk of coronary artery disease.
Current research findings are that medium chain saturated fats are very good for the body, and they actually lower cholesterol, increase immune function, enhance metabolic activity in all organs -- especially the brain and nervous system. Organic animal fats fall into this category, however, the best medium chained saturated fats come from coconut oil, clarified butter (ghee), olive oil, avocado oil, raw nut oils, and especially fish oil.
Add Cardiovascular Exercise – 25 to 40 minutes, 3x per week, at least at 75% of your maximum heart rate level, i.e., (220-Your Age) X .75 = target heart rate. This frequency and intensity has been shown to increase HDLs and lower LDLs. If you are out of shape, start training at a lower heart rate level, for less time, and gradually build up to a 75% max heart rate level. A good rule of thumb is never exercise at a sustained level which has you breathing so hard that you cannot carry on a normal conversation. Consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program on you own!
In a revealing article, " The Case for Statins - Has it Really Been Made?", from the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, October 2004: Volume 97, Number 10, pp. 561-464, the authors state:
The ‘positive’ outcomes of statin research studies “have been magnified by the manner of presentation of results...” For example, in a study where 100 patients take statin drugs, 2 will have a fatal heart attack. Out of 100 patients taking a placebo, 3 will have a fatal heart attack. The absolute risk reduction of a heart attack is thus clearly only 1 percent. Yet the drug company spins the pathetic results by dividing 2/3 and publishing the relative risk, which is a 33 percent reduction of a fatal heart attack! This is intentionally misleading and dishonest. The authors of this article claim that an honest disclosure from the pharmaceutical companies, based on available research to date, would be to state that “if you take statins then, in seven years time, there is a 1 chance in about 120 that your death will have been prevented.”