|Statin Drugs and Cholesterol Levels
Statin drugs such as Lipitor, Zocor, etc are excellent at reducing blood serum cholesterol levels, but these drugs come at a high price, both costs and risks. Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent marketing this class of pharmaceutical to the medical community and general public. Why is it important to take statin drugs and lower our cholesterol level? According to some in the medical field, it's to lower our risk of heart attack and heart disease. Lipitor's own ad states "has not been shown to reduce risk of heart attack…". If the statin does not reduce the risk of heart attack, why do we take it?, to lower cholesterol levels. Unfortunately lower cholesterol levels have not only NOT improved life expectancy, but actually increases risk of earlier mortality. Even though U.S. Government just lowered the acceptable cholesterol levels to 180, a 40,000-person study in Japan showed the ideal cholesterol level to be 240.
Statins are beginning to show higher rates of muscular and mental side effects then previously reported. In the Zocor study, and amazing 50% of the participants were rejected from the study during "lead in" phase, due to an inability to take or tolerate the drug. These participants were not counted in the study's reported side effect data. In addition, the study reports a 25% improvement in mortality, but this is relative measurement, not absolute. In absolute terms, there was only a 1.5% improvement. What's even scarier, if you have a heart attack, while taking statins, your risk of total heart failure actually INCREASES. This information is never presented.
Two of statins most often experienced side effects are serious muscle cramps and/or emotional irritability. These symptoms slowly become worse over time. Statins while doing a great job reducing cholesterol levels, also negatively reduce the much needed CoQ10, which muscles use for energy. Remember, the heart is a very powerful muscle and reducing it's source of energy can have a negative impact. One of the best summaries on statins can be found here . Searching the internet for statin problems, statin side effects, or brand specific searches will lead to literally thousands of pages. The medical community is becoming divided with a healthy skepticism towards claimed benefits of statins.
Here are several additional very good web sites of information:
http://www.westonaprice.org/moderndiseases/statin.html One of the best summaries written
http://www.second-opinions.co.uk/cholesterol_myth_2.html - cholesterol myth
http://www.survivediabetes.com/lowfat.html - one of the diabetes links
http://www.becomehealthynow.com/ebookprint.php?id=1112 - article on blood fats
http://www.lowcarbluxury.com/sortingfacts.html - article on margarine
http://www.spacedoc.net - real life expose on lipitor...Lots of links
http://www.mercola.com - search on Statin
http://www.westonaprice.com - health site
http://thincs.org - cholesterol skeptics
http://www.spacedoc.net/board/ - Forum for Lipitor problems
http://www.rxlist.com/rxboard/lipitor.pl - Forum for Lipitor problems
http://www.healthboards.com/boards/forumdisplay.php?f=69 - Forum for high colesterol
http://www.mercola.com/2002/aug/17/saturated_fat1.htm - three part article on fats
Chris Gupta - Researchers funding cut off for not showing the correct results
New Statin Study evaluating the justification of lowering acceptable LDL from 130 to 70
Here is a quote from the framingham study director, which is the study most often quoted to justify lowering cholesterol
The ongoing Framingham Study found that there was virtually no difference in coronary heart disease (CHD) "events" for individuals with cholesterol levels between 205 mg/dL and 294 mg/dL - the vast majority of the US population. Even for those with extremely high cholesterol levels - up to almost 1,200 mg/dL - the difference in CHD events compared to those in the normal range was trivial.29 This did not prevent Dr William Kannel, then Framingham Study Director, from making claims about the Framingham results. "Total plasma cholesterol," he said, "is a powerful predictor of death related to CHD." It was not until more than a decade later, in 1992, that the real findings at Framingham were published - without fanfare - in the Archives of Internal Medicine, an obscure journal. "In Framingham, Massachusetts," admitted Dr William Castelli, Kannel's successor, "the more saturated fat one ate, the more cholesterol one ate, the more calories one ate, the lower people's serum cholesterol ... we found that the people who ate the most cholesterol, ate the most saturated fat, ate the most calories, weighed the least and were the most physically active."30