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The Serious Dangers of Statins

Statin drugs are over prescribed, over
hyped, over advertised and much more dangerous than pharmaceutical
companies would have you believe.

According to the big
pharmaceutical companies (who by the way, made a staggering $33 Billion
dollars in statin sales worldwide last year – Pfizer’s Lipitor alone
earned $13.6 million), statin drugs are “miracle” medicines that have
prevented countless heart attacks and strokes.

A different story
is told however by a recent study published in the British Medical
Journal (and not to mention by all the patients who have suddenly or
gradually lost their minds, muscle, liver, or eyesight while on the
drug).

The study looked at 2,004,692 patients aged 30-84 years
old (including 225,922 new statin users) and found that statin use was
associated with moderate or serious liver dysfunction, acute renal
failure, moderate or serious myopathy (muscle disease), and cataract.

In
fact for every heart attack the drug prevented, more people suffered
liver damage, kidney failure, cataracts or extreme muscle weakness as a
result of taking their statin.

These are some serious statistics!

But
it seems even the study’s researchers acknowledge the power of the pill
peddling drug companies, stating that these findings are unlikely to
affect the use of the best-selling statin medicines.

Rather, the authors recommend that patients taking statins should be “proactively monitored” for side effects.

This seems quite the minimal response to scientific evidence that shows statins actually harm more people than they help.

What??
Statins harm more people than they help? That can’t be correct! Why
have they flooded the market if they’re so dangerous?

It appears the only explanation for the widespread over-prescription of statins is that they bring in the big bucks.

Julia
Hippisley-Cox and Carol Coupland who led the 2010 British Medical
Journal study on statins found that for every 10,000 women treated with
statins, there were only 271 fewer cases of heart disease compared to an
extra 74 cases of liver damage, 23 cases of acute kidney failure, 39
cases of extreme muscle weakness and 307 cases of cataracts.

In other words, statins literally harmed 443 people, while ‘helping’ 271 people.

In
a 2004 interview with Beatrice Golomb, M.D., Ph.D., from the University
of California, regarding statins, Dr. Golomb said that “from the
reports that come into us, people are experiencing severe muscle
weakness, which is also linked to cognitive problems.”

Those cognitive problems include everything
from the inability to recall names or balance a checkbook to forgetting
whole episodes. The concern, says Dr. Golomb, is that statins haven’t
been adequately studied for their harmful effects.

And studies that are showing dangerous side effects of statin use, aren’t being taken seriously enough.

Side
effects experienced can be the result of low cholesterol, CoEnzyme Q10
deficiency and Vitamin D deficiency caused by the statin medications.

Just to clarify, you did not misread the above paragraph – chronic low cholesterol can be detrimental to your health.

Contrary
to popular belief, endless pharmaceutical campaigns and uneducated
discussions about putting statins in our water supply (of all the
unethical, nonsensical, hazardous…) cholesterol actually plays an
important role in maintaining health.

Every cell membrane in our body contains cholesterol because cholesterol is what makes our cells waterproof.

Without cholesterol we could not have a different biochemistry on the inside and the outside of the cell.

When
cholesterol levels are too low, the cell membrane can become ‘leaky’, a
situation the body interprets as an emergency, releasing a whole heap
of corticoid hormones that work by taking cholesterol from one part of
the body and transporting it to areas where it is lacking.

Cholesterol
is the body’s repair substance. Cholesterol also regulates proper
hormonal levels and is the precursor substance for the production of
vitamin D.

It is no wonder then that people who take cholesterol-lowering statin drugs are becoming vitamin D deficient.

In
a recent study, researchers found a clear connection between vitamin D
deficiency and muscle pain. Over 64 percent of patients with muscle pain
who were taking statin drugs were also deficient in vitamin D. Those
with muscle pain in general were also found to be deficient in vitamin
D.

When study participants who reported muscle pain were given
50,000 IU of vitamin D a week for 12 weeks, more than 92 percent of them
were completely relieved of all muscle pain.

It is also known
that statins are responsible for depleting CoQ10 levels, a vital
substance that is necessary for cellular energy production (not to
mention cardiovascular health).

Both CoQ10 and vitamin D supplementation should be recommended for anyone who takes statin drugs.

“We
are now in a position to witness the unfolding of the greatest medical
tragedy of all time – never before in history has the medical
establishment knowingly created a life threatening nutrient deficiency
in millions of otherwise healthy people.”
– Peter H. Langsjoen, MD

Cholesterol
also works to digest and absorb fats, nutrients, and vitamins and is
essential to proper neurological function. It plays a vital role in the
formation of memory and the uptake of hormones in the brain, including
serotonin, the body’s feel-good chemical.

Research recently
published in American Chemical Society’s weekly journal Biochemistry
suggests that chronic, low cholesterol levels in the brain might trigger
anxiety and depression due to the effect of statins on serotonin cell
receptors.

Interestingly, certain higher cholesterol levels can
be beneficial in some cases according to a report in the December 2010
issue of Archives of Neurology, which found that high levels of HDL
(also known as “good cholesterol”) appear to be associated with a
reduced risk for Alzheimer’s disease in older adults.

Considering
the importance of a healthy balance of cholesterol in the body and the
dangers of statin use, it is relevant to note studies such as a recent
John Hopkins trial that shows statin treatment may be over-prescribed in
healthy people.

It makes you wonder whether the goal of the pharmaceutical industry is to promote public health or to sell more drugs.

There
is no doubt that it is significantly easier to prescribe a medication
than it is to teach somebody how to live a healthy lifestyle, but if we
look to the research and clinical findings around statin drugs would we
think twice about taking / prescribing this medication?

Seven Deadly Sins of Statins:

  1. Deplete ubiquinone (CoEnzyme Q10) in the body
  2. Change, weaken, damage or destroy muscle (depending on dose and other drugs you may be taking) and may induce muscle pain
  3. May induce sudden total memory loss and are linked to nerve damage
  4. Increase eye cataract risk
  5. Are linked with elevated transaminase (indicator of liver and kidney damage)
  6. Would be expected to interfere with any function that depends on
    cholesterol or CoEnzyme Q10 status (e.g. sex hormone production, proper
    digestion, hair growth, sleep, proper brain and nerve function, energy
    production etc.)
  7. Are prescribed to millions creating a 33 billion dollar market worldwide

 

Spinalc Centre’s Comment:

More than 20 million prescriptions are written in Australia each year
for statin drugs. Statin drugs are a class of drugs that are reputed
for lowering the level of cholesterol in the blood by reducing the
production of cholesterol by the liver. In effect, these drugs block
the enzyme in the liver that is responsible for making cholesterol.

Statin
drugs have an unfortunately long list of known side-effects and
dangers. People who take statins have suffered severe health
consequences, including permanent damage to their liver, muscles and
nervous system.  Other side-effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Irritability and short tempers
  • Hostility
  • Homicidal impulses
  • Rapid loss of mental clarity
  • Amnesia
  • Kidney failure
  • Diarrhoea
  • Muscle aching/weakness
  • Tingling or cramping in legs
  • Insomnia
  • Constipation
  • Impaired muscle formation
  • Nerve damage
  • Mental confusion
  • Liver damage and abnormalities
  • Neuropathy
  • Destruction of CoQ10 levels

It’s a huge price to pay for trying to lower your cholesterol –
especially when altering diet, nutrition and physical exercise will
automatically lower your cholesterol, without the dangerous
side-effects other than improved health.

And don’t forget natural medicines! There are many products that can
safely and naturally balance your cholesterol levels effectively.

Spinal Centres stocks a great range of top-quality fish oil supplements that
will help to boost your health and reduce your cholesterol levels.

 

Combining
fish oil and krill oil with a specific cholesterol-fighting natural
medicine, like MH Enhance CholestaHealth or Metagenics Cholesstanol will
help to reduce
your cholesterol levels, reduce your need for statin drugs and leave
you feeling better.

These supplements are available to buy through Spinal Centres via an online consultation. Alternatively you may wish to speak to your musculoskeletal practitioner about ways to naturally reduce your cholesterol levels.

 

What Else Can I Do?.

If you are taking a statin drug then you MUST take a CoQ10 supplement. Statin drugs leach
this important enzyme from our body, which can lead to serious
consequences like heart disease or heart attacks, not to mention all the side effects mentioned earlier.

You may also want to get your vitamin D levels checked. If levels are not optimal, consider supplementing with a good quality supplement.

 

 

References

A. A. Alsheikh-Ali, R. H. Karas. ‘Balancing the intended and unintended effects of statins’. BMJ, 2010; 340 (may194): c2240.

Beatrice A. Golomb, MD, PhD on Statin Drugs, March 7, 2002. www.coloradohealthsite.org/topics/interviews/golomb.html.

Christiane Reitz et al. ‘Association of Higher Levels of
High-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol in Elderly Individuals and Lower
Risk of Late-Onset Alzheimer Disease
‘. Arch Neurol., 2010;67(12):1491-1497.

Hippisley-Cox, J & Coupland, C 2010, ‘Unintended effects of statins in men and women in England and Wales: population based cohort study using the QResearch database‘, BMJ, vol. 340, c2197.

Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions (2010, November 17). ‘Statin RX may
be overprescribed in healthy people without evidence of diseased
arteries, study suggests’.
ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2010.

King, DS. Pharmacotherapy 25(12):1663-7, Dec, 2003.

Langsjoen PH. The clinical use of HMG Co-A reductase
inhibitors (statins) and the associated depletion of the essential
co-factor coenzyme Q10: a review of pertinent human and animal data.
http://www.fda.gov/ohrms/dockets/dailys/02/May02/052902/02p-0244-cp00001-02-Exhibit_A-vol1.pdf

Melissa Siig. Life After Lipitor: Is Pfizer product a
quick fix or dangerous drug? Residents experience adverse reactions.
Tahoe World, January 29, 2004.

Sandeep Shrivastava, Thomas J. Pucadyil, Yamuna Devi Paila, Sourav Ganguly, Amitabha Chattopadhyay. ‘Chronic Cholesterol Depletion Using Statin Impairs the Function and Dynamics of Human Serotonin1AReceptors‘, Biochemistry, 2010; 49 (26): 5426