Are you part of the one in four Americans over the age of 45 who take statins? Statin drugs are prescribed to help lower cholesterol, but the dangers of statins and the truth about its efficacy are now being questioned. One of the hurdles in reversing the policy on statins is the fact that Big Pharma makes huge profits from the sales of statin drugs, with a reported turnover of $29 billion in 2013.
The Dangers of Statins
Several surveys have reported results that show statins may be doing more harm than good when it comes to our health. Their results show:
- Statins interfere with the natural production of Coenzyme Q10, which helps maintain blood pressure, supports the cardiovascular system and is essential for the immune and nervous systems
- Studies have found a link between statin use and memory loss, possibly because cholesterol is essential to brain function. Some patients find they are unable to remember words while others develop serious neurological problems such as Lou Gehrig’s Disease
- Statins appear to weaken the immune system, so users are more prone to bacterial infections
- Statin drugs promote inflammation due to the increased production of cytokines
- Statin users are at higher risk of Parkinson’s and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), according to Dr. David Williams
- In animals studies, statins caused 226% more muscle damage in animals when they exercised, compared to animals that were not on statins
And the list goes on and on. It’s a cause for reflection for those who take statins and are so far unaware of the dangers of statins.
When to Stop Taking Statins
Although studies have shown that statins help reduce cholesterol, which is thought to lower the risk of heart disease, it may not apply to those over the age of 50. A Japanese study found that high cholesterol is not necessarily associated to coronary heart disease in those over the age of 50. This study suggests that older people would actually be healthier if they stopped taking statins at middle age.
Harlan Krumholz at the Cardiovascular Medicine Department at Yale discovered that elderly people with low cholesterol were twice as likely to die from heart attack as those with high cholesterol, which contradicts popular beliefs about the need for statins into old age.
In addition to this, the University of Minnesota Epidemiology Department studied 68,000 deaths and found that low cholesterol was associated with an increased risk of dying from gastrointestinal or respiratory disease. This ties in with the above findings about the dangers of statins weakening the immune system.
While the debate continues about the dangers of statins, one message remains clear. By eating a healthy balanced diet based on meat, fish, vegetables and fruit, such as the Paleo diet recommended by Dr. Mercola, your body may balance its own levels of cholesterol, leading to a longer life, safely and naturally.