Should You Take Statins?: What Happens To Your Body When You Take Statins

This article is about whether you should take statins and whether they really should be prescribed on such a grand scale.
 
This is what the British government wants to advise, based on the new NICE guidelines and a recent Harvard study that claims statins benefits far out weight the risks.

You will also discover exactly:

  • What happens to your body when you take statins.
  • The mechanism of action of statins at lowering cholesterol
  • The potential side effects of statins that may result from this.

Based on this information you will be well informed to decide whether you want to still follow the government’s advice.

New Study Claims All Older People Should Take Statins For Life

Many G.Ps in the UK are now alarmed that they may have to prescribe statins to most of their patients, and rightly so given the confusion over whether statins really has any benefit at preventing heart disease given the well known risks.

The research from Harvard university claims to have found that almost all men over 60 and women over 75 should be taking the drugs and more than a third of people between 30 and 84 should be allowed to do so.

But the Royal College of GPs has given a warning saying that this could lead to some older people being prescribed the drug unnecessarily.

Who Is Behind This Study And Is It Legit?

The study was conducted by researchers at Harvard university who are already infamous for having very close ties with Big Pharma:

The New York Times reports:

Harvard Medical faculty members receive tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars a year through industry consulting and speaking fees. Under the school’s disclosure rules, about 1,600 of 8,900 professors and lecturers have reported to the dean that they or a family member had a financial interest in a business related to their teaching, research or clinical care. The reports show 149 with financial ties to Pfizer and 130 with Merck.

Harvard should also be embarrassed by the F grade it recently received from the American Medical Student Association, a national group that rates how well medical schools monitor and control drug industry money.

This makes it very difficult for me to take this new study seriously, especially when in 2011 I debunked whether cholesterol really causes heart disease and uncovered some serious shenanigans when looking more closely at the actual statin trials that were used to promote their effectiveness as preventing heart disease.

What Does This Study Base It’s Conclusion Upon?

Under the 2014 NICE guidelines, 11.8 million (37%) adults in England aged 30–84 years, including almost all males >60 years in all females >75 years, require statin therapy.

But why?

This study uses the total-HDL ratio as a risk factor to determine whether statins should be prescribed, as statins lowers cholesterol production in the body, and cholesterol has been made out to be the bad guy that causes heart disease.

To calculate your cholesterol ratio, divide your high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or “good”) cholesterol number into your total cholesterol number. An optimal ratio is less than 3.5-to-1. A higher ratio means a higher risk of heart disease.

The respected Mayo Clinic states:

For predicting your risk of heart disease, many doctors now believe that determining your non-HDL cholesterol level may be more useful than calculating your cholesterol ratio. And either option appears to be a better risk predictor than your total cholesterol level or even your low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad”) cholesterol level.

So is this study using outdated data? They are also basing their entire blanket prescription of statins on an outdated idea that cholesterol even causes heart disease.

After doing my own research I concluded that high cholesterol does not causes heart disease, the cause is actually a combination of physical and emotional stress and poor lifestyle choices such as smoking, excess alcohol, sugar and lack of exercise.

What We Know About Cholesterol Today And Why The Drug Companies Hide This From Us:

Just turning a page in a newspaper these days and you would think everybody, regardless of actual risk of heart disease would be taking a cholesterol-lowering drug.

Cholesterol is actually a naturally occurring substance inside our bodies. It is vital for our body to survive. It is essential for the growth and function of our cells and is found in high concentrations in areas such as the brain and heart.

Why would we want to stop our bodies from making something that we need?

Drug companies have made a serious amount of money from cholesterol lowering drugs. Merck for example made $4.3 billion from a single patent from its drug, Simvastatin. Patents make money. Unfortunately for them and us, they cannot put patents on things that are natural and free.

They cannot profit either if people get cured. Their whole business relies on people getting sick.

It is very worrying to see why although the average lifespan of people in the west has increased, the quality of life in old age has dropped considerable. The number of diseases has gone up dramatically and it is not uncommon to see patients leave pharmacies with shopping bags full of drugs.

I am sorry to reveal this but from the extensive research I have done from leading experts on cholesterol, nutrition and cardiology, and my own independent results, I have grown very concerned that we may have been lied to. Cholesterol is not the bad guy that we have been led to believe.

Do Statins Cause Side Effects?

In my clinical experience I observed a high rate of patients suffering from the side effects of statins. This ranged from muscle pain, cramps and even memory loss. Some of these were very severe and I had to immediately request them to stop taking them. However some people disagree. One of them is Professor Peter Sever who wrote in the Guardian:

‘While statins do have some potentially serious side effects, including a slightly raised risk of developing type II diabetes and, very rarely, a potentially fatal muscle condition known as rhabdomyolysis, Sever said that the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) should remove warnings of side-effects including muscle pain and weakness, sleep disturbance, erectile dysfunction and problems with cognitive function”

Remove warnings? Really? I have seen many patients suffer horribly from the side effects he claims should be removed.

His claims are based on research by Ajay Gupta who was provided with financial support from the ‘Foundation for Circulatory Health’ who Professor Sever is also a board member of.

Looking more closely at the list of who funds this organisation you can clearly see some serious conflicts of interest:

Supporters (of the Foundation for Circulatory Health (https://www.ffch.org/supporters.html):
Pfizer
Sanofi-Aventis
Menarini
Novartis
Medtronic
Boston Scientific
Pulsecor
Patients attending the Hypertension and Cardiology Clinics

When the media makes any kind of a claim based on a scientific study, be sure to look closely at exactly who is funding it!

What Happens To Your Body When You Take Statins

Statins work by blocking the production of cholesterol in our liver. Drugs are not smart and they lower total cholesterol that includes both ‘good cholesterol’ HDL and ‘bad cholesterol’ LDL.

They also stop the production of Co-Q10, a vital heart nutrient.

In my clinical experience as a pharmacist, 1 in 5 patients who have taken simvastatin (the cheapest and most widely prescribed statin) have suffered from a nasty side effect from the drug such as muscle pain, extreme muscle cramps, significant tiredness and memory loss.

Why is it people get these side effects from statins that lower cholesterol as well as co-enzyme q10?

Cholesterol is vital because:

  • The body uses large quantities of cholesterol. In fact, every cell in the body produces cholesterol, found both in nerves and the brain.
  • Cholesterol is used to make important substances, such as hormones, bile acids and Vitamin D.
  • Body cells are continually dying and new ones being made. Cholesterol helps this process as they’re a major building block from which the cell wall is made.

Co- Enzyme is vital because:

  • It is a potent antioxidant
  • Co-enzyme is necessary for the functioning of every cell in our body and without it we wouldn’t survive. If our enzyme bodies start to drop, so does our own health.
  • As more energy is required in the body, the more CO-Q-10 is needed, especially in the heart and other tissues that require lots of energy.
  • Low levels can result in high blood pressure, heart attack, angina, immune system depression, periodontal disease, lack of energy and obesity.

Statins – What they really do.

  • The majority of those who support the use of statin have clear links to funding from the major pharmaceutical companies who make statin medication.
  • Statins are used to lower ‘bad cholesterol’ which is claimed to lead to heart disease. However statins lowers total cholesterol which means they lower ‘good’ cholesterol as well.
  • Recent studies have demonstrated that high cholesterol doesn’t cause heart disease, suggesting that there is no real purpose for statins to be prescribed. The real cause of heart disease is due to stress and poor lifestyle choices.
  • Over a long period of time the effect of taking statins that lower cholesterol could lead to brain degenerative diseases like Alzheimers, Parkinson’s and Dementia.

Now hold yourself back for this one:

Statins, yes, those magic little pills that you take that are supposed to be so good and wonderful, actually inhibits the production of energy inside our bodies, (yes it actually stops the production of this and it hurts telling you this), statins actually inhibit the biochemical pathway that results in the production of the body’s currency for energy (ATP) and, therefore, life itself!!!

This is one of the primary causes for tiredness and muscle cramp as our muscles use the most amount of ATP (energy) on a daily basis.

Our brain is rich in cholesterol as there are so many nerve endings and new cells being grown everyday. It is this growth of new nerve cells in our brain that gives us our memory. So you don’t have to be a brain surgeon to see why statins could be responsible for memory loss.

“What other brain disorders are on the rise at the moment? Mmm let me see, dementia. Alzeimers, Parkinson’s?”

All these are attributed to a slowing in the growth of new brain cells and repair. Surely taking a drug that reduces the amount of cholesterol in our body, including our brain, that is essential for cell growth, will have an impact on the onset of these diseases of the brain. Again you don’t have to be an expert to figure that out.

My major concern is that statin use has become so widespread that millions of people with normal levels of cholesterol are using statins thinking that they are going to prevent heart disease just by popping a pill.

In the UK you can even buy them over the counter without medical supervision. This misuse of a potentially dangerous drug is lowering people’s level of cholesterol and co-enzyme Q10 to below normal and unsafe levels.

This problem is now compounded with the fact that people who are taking this drug are now sitting back, taking for granted they are safe and protected by this so called wonder drug, when the real cause of disease is being neglected.

Good, The Bad And the Damn Right Ugly:

You will probably be aware that there are two types of cholesterol. Good cholesterol (HDL) and bad cholesterol (LDL). Firstly HDL and LDL is not cholesterol at all. They are in fact lipoproteins. HDL carries cholesterol to our cells and LDL carries cholesterol back to our liver. Cholesterol is not water soluble so it needs to be piggy backed by these carrier proteins.

Statins stop the production of cholesterol by blocking the enzyme that creates cholesterol in the liver. This means it lowers both HDL and LDL in the bloodstream.

LDL is considered the bad guy for the following reasons: cholesterol has shown to be found in high levels in people who have died from coronary heart disease. In particular, LDL has been present in high levels too.

As you are probably well aware, coronary heart disease happens when plaques that are sticky and fibrous in nature, build up and block arteries that supply blood to the heart. LDL is found in these plaques too. So the theory goes that if we reduce the body’s level of cholesterol and LDL, we should reduce the risk of the building up of these plaques.

The “ugly” truth is that it probably in reality a very profitable theory that has been unfortunately misused by drug companies and the media. It is this theory that has created the massive $4.3 billion windfall of Simvastatin.

I want to make clear to you that it is not cholesterol or HDL that is the bad guy. It is clearly obvious why cholesterol is so important to us.

So What Really Causes Heart Disease?

Stress both physical and emotional leads to hypertension or high blood pressure. Over time this increase in blood pressure means the impact of the flow of blood to them weakens the walls of our arteries.

This means extra cholesterol needs to be sent to these areas to strengthen the walls of the arteries. If the cause of the high blood pressure is not rectified then more and more cholesterol gets sent. Cholesterol also serves the purpose of mopping up excess acid in the arteries as an antioxidant.

Cholesterol will eventually lose the battle if the cause of the excess acid is not dealt with. This is what causes the formation of plaques which are much like puss that you find during the healing process of wounds.

This is a normal immune response that is similar to when you bruise yourself and you get a swelling. Cholesterol plays an important role in this immune response. LDL is actually a powerful antioxidant, which is essential for the healing process. Cholesterol and LDL are actually trying to heal, not cause heart disease!

Killer fats such as trans fats and triglycerides from processed foods and animals turn into sticky glue in our bodies. This is one of the main ingredients that clog up our arteries. Our bodies cholesterol is actually trying to protect the arteries from them too.

Read my in depth article on the truth about statins and whether high cholesterol really causes heart disease here.

The Renegade Pharmacist’s Verdict

A big question is that if statins to do not really help fix the root cause of heart disease, why is there still a big push for mass prescribing of it?

Putting Big Pharma’s profit potential aside there may still be some benefits for statins. These benefits could actually be more attributed to the fact statins were originally derived from the Chinese natural heart medicine, red rice yeast.

Red rice yeast is a natural source of statins and contains the active ingredient monacolin K. This is also called lovastatin and is the active component of the FDA approved statin Mevacor.

Unlike pharmaceutical products, red rice yeast provides a mix of these compounds rather than a single one. The complex mixture interacts with the body more smoothly and is less likely to cause toxicity. There may also be other ingredients that also help minimise red rice yeast side effects compared to pharmaceutical statins.

A significant study published in the June 16, 2009 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine showed that a red rice yeast supplement worked as well to lower LDL cholesterol as prescription statin drugs. Users also reported far less side effects compared to statins too.

Statins have been shown to have significant protection against a heart attack if a patient has already had a heart attack. However its benefit for people who have never had a heart attack is not proven at all.

Statins have been shown in some studies to have an anti-coagulant and vasodilating effect similar to viagra as they raise nitric oxide levels. This means they may thin the blood, preventing blood clots and may slightly improve blood flow.

This mechanism could explain why they help people who have already had a heart attack as the arteries are more prone to clogging in this case. This could also be why red rice yeast is cardioprotective. However drugs like asprin are more effective blood thinners without any of the side effects of statins an in the larger doses prescribed clinically the side effects of pharmaceutical statins probably outweighs the benefits.

I would personally stick to nature and take red rice yeast under the supervision of a trained chinese doctor if you are really concerned about high cholesterol.

I would also not rely on just a single drug or supplement to protect your heart. Heart disease is complicated and it really requires a more holistic approach.

Here are my 10 commandments for a healthy heart:

  • Managing stress and taking time to relax and unwind.
  • Use sauna/ice baths.
  • Spend time in nature and get grounded.
  • Eat a natural whole food diet that is rich in: essential oils, healthy fats and cardio-protecting vitamins and minerals, especially flavanoids and polyphenols (found in green tea, coffee and cacao) but is free from as much as possible: refined carbs, sugars and artificial trans fats (stick to having these as treats or rewards for doing something productive)
  • Have a regular exercise routine (30 mins walk a day in fresh air), yoga/meditation/breathwork and sitting down and sitting still a lot less!
  • Use the instant stress reduction breathwork for better digestion and lowering stress.
  • Have a couple of glasses of red wine, or a resveratrol supplement.
  • Take Niacin (vitamin B3)
  • Have moringa daily – not only does it give you all the nutrition you need, it also lowers blood pressure.
  • Do more of the things you love and learning the power of forgiveness and compassion.

References:

Prescribing statins in general practice: who decides? Nick Steel, Bob Fleetcroft and Yasmeen Hassan

https://bjgp.org/content/67/659/246

Red Yeast Rice for Dyslipidemia in Statin-Intolerant Patients: A Randomized Trial

David J. Becker, MD; Ram Y. Gordon, MD; Steven C. Halbert, MD; Benjamin French, PhD; Patti B. Morris, RD; Daniel J. Rader, MD

https://annals.org/aim/article/744541/red-yeast-rice-dyslipidemia-statin-intolerant-patients-randomized-trial

Dr Malcolm Kendrick – The Great Cholesterol Con
https://drmalcolmkendrick.org/category/cholesterol-statins/

Statins: Almost every older person should be given potentially life-saving drugs, study finds
GPs are worried they could be encouraged to prescribe the drugs to most of their patients

Andrew Griffin

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/statins-older-people-men-women-health-benefits-prescription-study-research-safety-a7869606.html

Application of the 2014 NICE cholesterol guidelines in the English population: a cross-sectional analysis

Peter Ueda, Thomas Wai-Chun Lung, Philip Clarke and Goodarz Danaei

https://bjgp.org/content/early/2017/07/31/bjgp17X692141

Cholesterol ratio: Is it important?

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/expert-answers/cholesterol-ratio/faq-20058006

I am Luke Miller, content manager at Truth Theory and creator of Potential For Change. I like to blend psychology and spirituality to help you create more happiness in your life.Grab a copy of my free 33 Page Illustrated eBook- Psychology Meets Spirituality- Secrets To A Supercharged Life You Control Here

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