The Truth About Statins… 03/14/12

Statins (HMG CoA reductase inhibitors) are the 3rd most prescribed medications in the United States and Lipitor is the second most prescribed medication in the United States.  Every year about 52 MILLION prescriptions for statin medications are written to help people control their cholesterol levels.

Statin medications such as Zocor (simvastatin), Lipitor, Crestor, Pravachol (pravastatin), and others are designed to reduce total cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides.  Many of these medications can reduce your cholesterol levels by as much as 55%.

Some statin medications have also been shown to reduce the risk of having a heart attack and dying from a heart attack.

With the increase in childhood obesity in the recent years some physicians, and drug companies are suggesting that we begin giving statins to children and teens that have high cholesterol.  Many wellness practitioners joke that some people are recommending we put statin medications in the water.

All of this sounds good except for 2 things:

  1. STATINS CAN CAUSE SIDE EFFECTS

  2. Their reduction in heart disease may not actually be due to the reduction in total cholesterol and LDL.

Do statins cause side effects?  Yes and they are serious and should not be ignored. Some of these side effects include:

  1. Muscle Pain / Fatigue
  2. Liver Damage
  3. Increased risk for diabetes
  4. Increased risk for Alzheimer’s Disease

Muscle Pain – One of the most common side effects of statin medications are myopathies.  These myopathies can range from mild muscle pain to the rare but fatal rhabdomyolysis.

The reason for statin induced myopathies is not clear but some studies have shown that people who are taking statin medications and are having joint pains and muscles aches may get a very good benefit from taking Co Enzyme Q10.

Co – Enzyme Q10 is a fat soluble anti oxidant that is found in all of our cells.  It is highest in the muscle and heart cells.  Numerous studies have shown the benefit of Co – Enzyme Q10 when it relates to the heart.  Co – Enzyme Q10 has been shown to promote health blood pressure, blood sugar, and is used in the treatment of congestive heart failure and angina.

I typically recommend 100 mg of Co Enzyme Q10 for each drug that can reduce your levels. Click here to find out other medications that can cause your Co-Enzyme Q10 to be reduced.

Liver Damage – Your liver makes enzymes that digest the food, drinks, and medications that we consume.  Some times statin medications can cause your liver enzymes to become elevated.  This typically is reversible; however, if not addressed it can lead to permanent liver damage. Because liver damage typically has not symptoms it is very important that if you are on a statin you should keep your appointments with your physician.

Increased risk of diabetes – That’s right!  New information is now coming out that statin users have a much higher risk of developing diabetes than individuals that are not taking statin medications.

This is troubling news because diabetes can also increase a person’s risk for heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, amputations, and blindness.

While the mechanism for an increased risk in diabetes is not completely understood this risk has been seen with all statins.  Now I am not against statin medications at all and I do feel that they are need in some cases, but if you have slightly elevated cholesterol, LDL, it may be worth asking your physician if you can try some other alternatives to statin medicatins.

Increased risk of Memory Loss – The FDA anounced in Feb of this year that it will add warnings to statin drug levels about memory loss.

My view of statin use falls right inline with Steven Nissen, chief of cardiology at Cleveland Clinic. He was quoted as saying—

“If you have heart disease, you probably should be on a statin. If you’re at high risk, a statin may be warranted. But we don’t think these drugs should be put in the water supply”

Great natural alternatives to improving your cholesterol:

One Wellness Place Fish Oil – Excellent source of Omega 3 fatty acids that have been shown to help promote healthy HDL, LDL, and triglyceride levels.  Omega 3 fatty acids have also been shown help promote healthy C-Reactive Protein as well as particle size.

 

One Wellness Place Fish Oil is pharmaceutical grade, fresh caught, ultra purifed fish oil supplement.

Dosing:  I recommend at least 4 or 5 One Wellness Place Fish Oil capsules daily….Most people do NOT consume enough omega 3 fatty acids.

 

 

One Wellness Place Beni Koji Red Yeast Rice – Herbal product that is trutly the natural version of “statin” medications.

One Wellness Place Beni Koji Red Yeast Rice is USDA certified organic as well as Kosher.  It is tested to have less than 1 ppm of citrinin, a nephrotoxic compound often times found in other Red Yeast Rice products.  One Wellness Place Beni Koji Red Yeast Rice helps promote healthy LDL levels – remember, this product does work much like “statin” medications and you should have your liver enzymes evaluated by your physican prior to use.

You may also want to take Co-Enzyme Q10 with this product as well.

 

One Wellness Place Niatab – Excellent source of pure niacin (Vitamin B3).  It is relased over 2 – 3 hours which helps to reduce flushing.  Niacin has been shown to help promote healthy LDL, triglycerides, and HDL levels.  Niacin also helps promote healthy particle size.


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