The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has shown that more than twenty-five percent of adults age 45 and older take statins. Statin Drugs are prescribed by Dr’s to lower cholesterol and are among one of the most frequently prescribed drugs. What’s more is that patents advised to take them are actually not told that they are in fact associated with serious side effects and much healthier results can be achieved and more successful than nutritional and lifestyle changes. Have I got your attention?
As we all know too well, elevated blood cholesterol is an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease, and Statin drugs work by blocking an enzyme involved in the liver’s production of cholesterol.
Taylor F, Huffman MD, Macedo AF, et al. research shows that the validity of statin drug data, in the most recent studies of statins for primary prevention, for patients that HAVEN’T had any previous cardiovascular issues, shows a 14% reduction in all-cause mortality and a 25 percent reduction in fatal plus non-fatal cardiovascular problems.
However, after saying this, the validity of these numbers has also been questioned by Okuyama H, Langsjoen PH, Hamazaki T, et al who prodiced the study; Statins stimulate atherosclerosis and heart failure: pharmacological mechanisms that have claimed that studies conducted by scientists without conflicts of interest did not find any reduction in cardiovascular events, in contrast to studies supported or conducted by pharmaceutical companies.
Side Effects of Statin Drugs
So, with the so called ‘miracle’ of these drugs, there are, however, some serious adverse effects that can appear as a result of taking them.
- Myopathies (impaired muscle function), which may be due to impaired energy production in the mitochondria of the muscle cells. These negative effects on skeletal muscle may blunt the fitness-building response to aerobic exercise training, and can also lead to kidney and liver dysfunction.
- It is now well established that there is an increased risk of type 2 diabetes in statin users, one meta-analysis reporting a 9 percent increase in risk, another reporting a 13 percent increase in risk.
- A study examining Canadian healthcare records for 2 million patients who had been newly prescribed a statin found an increase in the incidence of hospitalisation for acute kidney injury during the first six months of statin use, high potency statins in particular.
- They also may possibly promote heart disease. Although statins appear to have side effects that are helpful, such reducing inflammatory markers, the question is now being raised whether statins have effects that actually promote heart failure, contradicting thepotential benefits. A team of researchers from Japan and the U.S. compiled and described possible molecular mechanisms by which statins could actually accelerate heart disease.
So, without taking Statin Drugs, how do you lower cholesterol? Simple! DIET! A more safe, natural and healthful alternative to statin drugs! If you have elevated cholesterol, dietary and lifestyle modifications should be the first course of action. Medication is unnecessary for most people who make the appropriate lifestyle changes. A high-nutrient diet, containing a portfolio of foods such as green vegetables, nuts, beans and berries, works to bring cholesterol down and restore the health of arteries.
Jenkins DJ, Kendall CW, Popovich DG, et al, found out that a high-fibre, high-nutrient diet, focusing on natural plant foods, such as vegetables, fruit and nuts, was found to reduce cholesterol by 33 percent within two weeks. Unlike taking a statin while continuing a disease-causing eating style, a balanced, nutrient dense diet and lifestyle does more than address one or two heart disease risk factors. This lifestyle reduces cholesterol levels, blood pressure and inflammation.
I strongly feel that prescribing statins for elevated cholesterol is counterproductive. Taking a statin drug allows those affected to psychologically downplay the urgency of making lifestyle and dietary changes that would drastically improve health, life expectancy and quality of life. It’s like anything; you can choose to remove the cause or treat the symptoms. Treating the symptoms with statin drugs doesn’t reverse heart disease and carries the risk of adverse effects. Removing the cause with a health-promoting diet and lifestyle not only reduces cholesterol, but also reduces blood pressure, reverses heart disease and protects against diabetes, dementia and cancer.
- S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Statin drug use in the past 30 days among adults 45 years of age and over, by sex and age: United States, 1988–1994, 1999–2002, and 2005–2008 [http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/2010/fig17.pdf]
- Taylor F, Huffman MD, Macedo AF, et al.Statins for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2013, 1:CD004816.
- Okuyama H, Langsjoen PH, Hamazaki T, et al.Statins stimulate atherosclerosis and heart failure: pharmacological mechanisms. Expert Rev Clin Pharmacol 2015, 8:189-199.
- Jenkins DJ, Kendall CW, Popovich DG, et al.Effect of a very-high-fiber vegetable, fruit, and nut diet on serum lipids and colonic function.Metabolism 2001, 50:494-503.
- Fuhrman J, Singer M.Improved Cardiovascular Parameter With a Nutrient-Dense, Plant-Rich Diet-Style: A Patient Survey With Illustrative Cases. Am J Lifestyle Med