Statins include Atorvastatin (Lipitor), Fluvastatin (Lescol), Lovastatin (Altoprev), Pitavastatin (Livalo), Pravastatin (Pravachol), Rosuvastatin (Crestor) and Simvastatin (Zocor). Are given as a prescription to lower cholesterol levels in the body.
According to the Mayo Clinic, (https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/in-depth/statin-side-effects/art-20046013) doctors often prescribe statins for people with high cholesterol to lower their total cholesterol and reduce their risk of a heart attack or stroke. While statins are highly effective, they have been linked to muscle pain, digestive problems, raising blood sugar and causing type II diabetes, mental fuzziness, cataracts (healthover50.com), raising liver enzymes and in some people, and may rarely cause liver damage. The people who are at higher risk for taking statins include: females, smaller body frames, drinking alcohol, other medications, and already having kidney or liver disease.
Statins work by blocking the enzyme HMG Co A Reductase in the liver which is used by the body to produce its own cholesterol. This enzyme is also responsible for the production of energy in the body causing many of the side effects listed as well as feeling tired all the time. What most people do not realize is that your body produces cholesterol for a reason. It is essential for the production of cell membranes (which is very important because your body is in a constant state of building new cells to replace old cells) and it is the key component in the production of hormones (they regulate all functions of the body including your metabolism). Most of all, it is essential in the production of vitamin D with sun exposure. Vitamin D is associated with higher HDL’s and lower LDL’s (good and bad cholesterol). Vitamin D is vital to:
- Maintain the health of bones and teeth
- Support the health of the immune system, brain, and
- Regulate insulin levels and aid diabetes management
- Support lung function and cardiovascular health
- Decreasing the expression of genes involved in cancer
Cholesterol also helps in the formation of your memories and is vital for neurological function. Your liver makes about ¾ or more of your body’s cholesterol. According to conventional medicine, there are two types:
- High-density lipoprotein or HDL: This is the “good” cholesterol that helps keep cholesterol away from your arteries and remove any excess from arterial plaque, which may help to prevent heart disease.
- Low-density lipoprotein or LDL: This is the “bad” cholesterol that circulates in your blood and, according to conventional thinking, may build up in your arteries, forming plaque that makes your arteries narrow and less flexible (a condition called atherosclerosis). If a clot forms in one of these narrowed arteries leading to your heart or brain, a heart attack or stroke may result.
Also making up your total cholesterol count are:
- Triglycerides: Elevated levels of this dangerous fat have
been linked to heart disease and diabetes. Triglyceride
levels are known to rise from eating too many grains and
sugars, being physically inactive, smoking cigarettes,
drinking alcohol excessively, and being overweight/obese.
- Lipoprotein (a) or Lp(a): Lp(a) is a substance that is made
up of an LDL “bad cholesterol” part plus a protein
(apoprotein a). Elevated Lp(a) levels are a very strong risk
factor for heart disease. This has been well established,
yet very few physicians check for it in their patients. (Lp(a)
also, was not assessed in the featured study)
Another factor that most do not realize when you take a statin is that you lower the good and the bad cholesterol levels. By doing so, you have no way to remove the harmful Triglycerides and Lipoproteins causing the buildup of plaque. Most articles in my research give false information and say that it is the cholesterol (a waxy like substance) that builds up in the arteries which is simply untrue and misleading!! Why aren’t the articles focusing on the dietary factors of Triglycerides and Lipoproteins and addressing them rather than the cholesterol.
A simple analogy would be: if your house is on fire and the smoke detectors (aka high cholesterol) were going off, a logical solution would be to remove yourself from danger and call the fire department. The fireman race into your house, break open the door, take an ax and smash the fire detector until it no longer can do its job, but the annoying noise of the alarm is gone. The fireman walks out, and says, “it’s safe to go back in to the house because that annoying fire alarm is no longer active.” Meanwhile, the fire is raging in the basement (aka Triglycerides and Lipoproteins) and you have no way of warning of the dangers anymore and the fire department is gone. So, you go about your business and wait for the inevitable to happen. (I know this analogy may sound ridiculous, but it is the same ridiculousness as blaming cholesterol for heart disease and stroke!)
Why then are so many statin’s being prescribed? Lipitor (Atorvastatin) was the top-selling prescription medication in the United States in 2010, earning its manufacturer, Pfizer, more than $7 billion in total revenue. The overall market for prescription lipid-lowering drugs continues to grow; this drug class had greater prescription volume than any other class in 2010, with statins dominating the market. (2010 U.S. spending and prescription information. IMS Health. April 7, 2011) (http://www.imshealth.com/portal/site/imshealth/menuitem.a46c6d4df3db4b3d88f611019418c22a/?vgnextoid=ed2e5a6b5895f210VgnVCM100000ed152ca2RCRD&cpsextcurrchannel=1)
There is also a big push to lower the cholesterol numbers to 180 to 200 milligrams per deciliter of blood. It all started in 1985 when Adult Treatment Panel (ATP) was organized. This panel is an expert panel to supervise cholesterol management and was set up under the aegis of National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP). Since then, NCEP-ATP has been revising and framing guidelines to enable clinician to deliver better treatment to cardiovascular patients and to educate general people. However, as cancer continues to rise, heart disease has also had a recent rise in incidences. (https://news.heart.org/cdc-u-s-deaths-from-heart-disease-cancer-on-the-rise/)
In conclusion, cholesterol is innocent and healthy! It is anti-inflammatory (good for the body). However, when we eat sugar, flour and trans fats, (IE: margarine, shortening) we inflame cholesterol by turning it into a free radical (damaging to the body). In other words, eating foods with cholesterol is not the problem. You could never eat enough cholesterol to raise levels in the blood, it is from your body’s production of it. The main issue is the non-cholesterol component of the diet, including sugar, flour, refined grains, and trans fats which determines if we inflame or defame our body’s cholesterol. (The Deflame Diet by David R. Seaman, DC, MS pg. 158)