4 Good Reasons To Be Very Wary Of Statins

Statins

Statins are prescribed to nearly one-fourth of all American adults based on the outdated notion that lowering cholesterol levels is the way to prevent cardiovascular disease. Unfortunately, for the overwhelming majority of statin users, the drugs don’t even cut heart disease risk—but instead can actually boost risk for a variety of other diseases, many of which will then need additional drugs to “control,” bringing with them their own set of risks and side-effects. To say the least, statins are anything but a cure.

So what to do when your doc wants to put you on a statin? If your numbers are borderline or you don’t have any major cardiac risk factors, your first response should be “not so fast, partner.” Unless you’ve been diagnosed with heart disease, have had a heart attack or stroke, or have a family history of early heart attack or death, you probably don’t need a statin at all. So, don’t let the doc put you on one simply to cover their arse, ‘cus statins won’t cover yours.

Always remember, you are the client, the boss, the owner of your body and although your doctor’s heart might be in the right place, don’t immediately sign on for a drug that may be an unnecessary, ineffective and potentially dangerous treatment for a problem you don’t have – and here’s why:

Statins Make You Feel Old and Tired Before Your Time

Muscle pain, inability to concentrate, memory problems, and general brain fog are common side effects, which many doctors will brush off as ‘normal’ consequences of statin use. Easy for them to say! If the muscular and cognitive issues weren’t enough, statins also increase diabetes risk, so any of these three chronic problems that we commonly attribute to aging—aches and pains, mental decline and diabetes— may actually be the statins doing a number on you! What other ‘normal’ side-effects might you be expected to tolerate? How about:

  • Reduced energy
  • Lack of interest in activity
  • Increased fatigue after exercise
  • Erectile dysfunction and reduced ability to achieve orgasm
  • Memory loss and/or confusion, Alzheimer’s-like symptoms
  • Liver dysfunction
  • Digestive problems: nausea, gas, diarrhea, constipation
  • Rash or flushing
  • Hunger
  • Increased risk of cataracts

Statins Don’t Meaningfully Cut the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease, Life-threatening Illness or Death      

As if cognitive problems, increased diabetes risk and muscle pain weren’t enough, keep in mind that statins aren’t even an effective approach to reducing cardiovascular disease. True, they do lower LDL cholesterol.  But cholesterol by itself is not a major risk factor for heart disease or stroke. Since your brain, and every part of your body depends on cholesterol to function, drastically reducing it may actually be counterproductive to health.

Statins May Offer Minimal Benefits to Just 1 Out of 140 Patients      

In most cases, there is no good reason to take statins. When they reviewed the studies, researchers found that for every 140 patients treated with statins, only one would benefit—and even so, there was no overall reduction in death or life-threatening illness. However, for men over 50 who have had a heart attack, statins show some ability to lower the chances of a second heart attack. However, this effect may not be about lowering cholesterol but instead about reducing inflammation, which can be lowered more effectively with diet, supplements, and lifestyle changes.

Statins: Fantastic for Corporate Profits; You, Not So Much

If nothing else, statins are a cash cow for the pharmaceutical companies, and as long as they can continue to put out the way-off-base message that everybody should be popping them like candy, they will continue to reap the financial benefits. But from a sustainable wellness perspective, I believe there is simply no reason for most people to take statins—and far too many reasons not to, including:

  • There is no evidence that statins reduce the incidence of first-time heart attack, or that they reduce mortality (the chances of dying).
  • Three-quarters of first-time heart attacks occur in people whose cholesterol measures low or “normal.”
  • Some tests do give a more nuanced and specific portrait of LDL particles—but there is no research showing that these tests have any greater ability to predict heart attacks than the standard measures.
  • In a database study of nearly 26,000 beneficiaries of Tricare, the military health system, those taking statins were 87 percent more likely to develop diabetes.
  • 1 in 10 people on statins develop muscle pains.
  • A growing body of research links statins to violent death, for instance, suicide and homicide probably because lowering cholesterol affects our neurotransmitters, which affect thought and emotion.

Bottom Line

So if your doctor presses the issue, remind them of these disturbing facts about statins, and get a second opinion. Discuss your preference for a less potentially debilitating, drug-free option. If your primary care physician won’t work with you to take charge of your health in a supportive way, it may be time to consider adding an integrative physician to your team to help get your health on track.

  • Bonnie Sanders

    Thanks for this article, do you know if the dosage has any impact on the side effects?

  • laurakraber

    Hi Bonnie — yes, the dosage does impact the side effects (e.g. the lower the dose, the better). whatever the does, we recommend supplementing with CoQ10. Best of luck with your health.
    -Be Well coach, Laura

  • Amber

    So many inaccuracies here. Lowering cholesterol (if it at a high-risk level) does reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. This is not an outdated notion, it is a mainstay of current guidelines and backed up by rigorous, up-to-date evidence: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD004816.pub5/abstract

    This review also demonstrates that statins do reduce mortality,stroke and heart attack, and do not cause serious harm (which would include violent death and homicide). Yes cholesterol is required for some neurotransmitters and many other important molecules in the body, but the aim with statins is to lower cholesterol from a dangerously high level to a normal level (obviously someone who has a normal level to begin with should not be prescribed statins). Yes they have side effects, as do all drugs, but these must be weighed against the risks of not taking them. When we are talking about major outcomes such as death and permanent brain damage, some minor side effects are acceptable.

  • madge hirsch

    Yes but who decides what “normal” levels are? Doctors with financial interests in pharma companies that make statins. The recent population studies from Norway showed that women with what is considered to be a “too high” level of cholesterol were less likely to die of anything than women with a so called “normal” or “low” cholesterol and concluded that statins were useless or counterproductive for all but a tiny fraction of women and should not be prescribed. There have been recent rows among the medical profession in the UK about statin guidance with many GPs complaining that the recommendations have been driven by research that is not fully in the public domain. Wonder why not?

  • Wendy Allen

    Cholesterol may help the brain/hormones and Ca plaques may narrow blood vessels. Serrapeptase/EDTA IV chelations may remove Ca plaques. Antioxidants may help and no gluten/dairy/soy/sugar/GMO…vitamins/good oils/minerals…probiotic…LDN..detoxing. Statin drugs may lower coenzyme Q10 and eventually cause heart failure. I know people who got hurt by statin drugs. Low thyroid due to gluten making antibodies the the thyroid may raise cholestrol. Instead of thyroid medicine may may have been given statin drugs. TSH should not be used to see if a person needs thyroid medicine, but free T4 and free T3. Zinc/Se/enough iron/probiotic may help T4 convert to T3. Hidden gluten may hurt and make antibodies to the thyroid. The heart needs energy/oxygen due to thyroid medicine. Antibiotics may hurt mitochondria and the person may need a higher thyroid dose which may not be proven by thyroid blood tests. Heart disease may be due to Celiac. Bad fats/heated oils may hurt people. Good fats like fish oil thin the blood. Lecithin may defat the liver. Alternative doctors and chiropractors may help with supplements/diet and more.

  • Wendy Allen

    Statin drugs may cause major side effects..dementia/heart failure and more. People may get very hurt. Cholesterol is needed by the body. See my above comment. Best wishes.

  • searchlight

    cool thanks for the info

  • Wendy Allen

    This is what helps me..short version. :
    No gluten/dairy/soy/sugar/GMO/food with a label etc. and vitamins/good oils/ LDN and detoxing help me. Vit D3 5000IU, zinc 50mg if detoxing, 2000mg fish oil, 2000mg evening primrose oil. 2000 mg lecithin, Phosphatidylserine/DMAE, krill oil, CLA, Coenzyme Q10, Rhodiola, Mg citrate 400mg, Vit C, 5000mcg of biotin, Nature’s Plus- Source of life multiple, HCl and Now brand- Super enzymes with meals, dairy free probiotic, Vit B12 methylcobalamin shot/spray/under the tongue kind/intrinsic factor kind, MTHF folate, coenyzme Q10, rhodiola, may help brain/body/thyroid/depression/immune system and more. Gluten is wheat/barley/rye/corn…oats has gluten with avenin…and there is a small amount of gluten in rice. GMO corn/soy/canola oil may hurt. Amour thyroid maybe needed since gluten may made antibodies to the thyroid. Coenzymated B vitamins far from synthetic kind make make me calm.

    Sunlight (helps the immune system and helps to heal the gut lining),exercise, organic food, good water..not tap water, cooking by scratch pure food….. no food in a box/bag/premade/label/restaurant which may help avoid hidden gluten. Certified gluten free food may have 20ppm of gluten…too much. Nuts not sold in the shell/meat basting/some spices may have hidden gluten/food with a label and lotion/make up etc. One restaurant cooks special for me…rice/veg/tea/extra mushrooms (no meat since the woks may have MSG/gluten in them).

    EDTA/DMPS IV chelations from an Alternative doctor, 600mg of cilantro, organic sulfur, Now brand- Detox support, Far Infrared Sauna and more may help detox. Hair tests show good minerals and heavy metals. Heavy metals can block thyroid and other chemical reactions in the body/brain.

    LDN may help block hidden gluten/heal the gut lining and help the immune system, but the Celiac diet is still needed. 100% no gluten..no hidden or microscopic gluten may help. Cutting back on gluten or cheating by eating gluten hurts the immune system. It may take 1 1/2 months to heal the gut lining after getting hidden gluten. HCl and enzymes with meals and gluten enzymes help me. There are now gluten enzymes also a person may use that may help, but LDN helps block gluten in the air/on the skin and all day long.

    Amour thyroid has some T3 and Calcitonin. Synthroid is only T4..may not convert to T3. Zn/Se/enough iron/strong probiotic may help convert T4 to T3 for thyroid.

    Alternative doctors/chiropractors/acupuncturists and more may help with health/vitamins etc.
    Books: No grain No Pain, Wheat Belly, Grain Brain, Dangerous Grains and The Autoimmune Fix and more explain Celiac. Peter Osborne/Tom O’Bryan on Facebook/Youtube.

    Best wishes.

  • cindy Jones

    are you in the pharmaceutical industry

  • madge hirsch

    No. Cindy it is obvious from your posting of my ancient letter on thyroid issues and your latest reply to me at FH that you have Googled me. As I do not wish to post anything there that is not relevant to our discussion about Bisoprolol ( unlike yourself) I will say this here. It is none of your business what I taught or what my qualifications for teaching it were.

  • cindy Jones

    Hello Madge

    Hope that you are feeling better now. Were you once a pharmacist. I ask because if you are or were the relevant regulatory body needs to be notified about your highly dangerous and misleading comments about bisoprolol.

    How is your neighbours wisteria doing?

  • cindy Jones

    How come you allege to know so much about beta blockers then Madge?

  • madge hirsch

    I’m afraid it’s your comments about generic drugs in general that are misleading. All that I have posted on FH is what I have found out by a few clicks. Some of it has come from articles that you yourself have posted. It is not difficult to do this. It is quite obvious that you randomly post stuff without either having read it or understood it. A little knowledge of basic chemistry helps- something that apparently was not on the curriculum for your degree in Health Education. Go ahead -spy on my disqus profile . Fat lot of good it will do you. As for “notifying relevant regulatory bodies” just listen to yourself. I am sorry for you because your bad experiences with prescription meds seem to have deranged you. This is the last time I will reply here to your nonsense but if you continue to post rubbish on FH I will reply as I want others there to see that your “advice” about anything and everything is untrustworthy.

  • cindy Jones

    madge Please apologise cyber bullying is unacceptable If not willing to apologise do not write to me or about me ever again.
    Disqus is in the Public Domain how do you equate that to spying? Perhaps you need a good holiday to relax and also review your brittle attitude to others. Generic drugs do differ you keep contradicting yourself on many points including the subject of generics and bisoprolol First you say there are no different types then you change your mind when confronted with the evidence. Now chill Madge. I do not like your bad language either.I can back up everything I say. How about you. Stop harassing me.

  • cindy Jones

    so madge in effect you do not have ANY qualifications. Never mind.

  • cindy Jones

    stop whining Madge

  • cindy Jones

    explain why they are misleading instead of resorting to wild bizarre allegations which you tend to do on a regular basis.Thus losing any credibility that you may have! Bullyonline.

  • cindy Jones

    madge I am sorry that you are unable to admit when you are in the wrong or given out dangerously inaccurate information re medical matters when you are not a dr or a nurse.
    I take your advice with a packet of salt. Bye.

  • cindy Jones

    If you only found out albeit erroneously by a few clicks then how come you spoke with such ‘authority’ on the subject?
    You are supposed to treat people holistically, as individuals, with dignity and respect.

    NB. You are not a healthcare professional at all . You are a doctor basher.
    You attack good drs and try to deter people from seeking medical advice about very serious signs and symptoms. IMHO that is barbaric and controlling.

    Also you need to note that the idea is to treat each patient as an individual, holistically.
    Your ill founded ‘advice’ about the bisoprolol is completely inaccurate and places gullible and vulnerable people who may take what you so irresponsibly write at face value and stop taking their medication and risking sudden cardiac death.

    For the avoidance of doubt the objective of writing this is to warn innocent people about taking any notice of what you may write in the future because looking at some of your postings they are pretty much ott. This is commonly known as IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST.

  • cindy Jones

    I agree statins are rubbish. They cause core muscle wastage in myself and peripheral neuropathy .