Statins are taken by one in four Americans over the age of 45, even though diet can fix high cholesterol quicker and more safely. Here’s new evidence of the drugs’ dangers.
A University of Massachusetts Medical School study has found that statins significantly increase risk of type 2 diabetes among postmenopausal women—an increased rate of 48% compared to those not on cholesterol-lowering drugs. The data comes from the massive Women’s Health Initiative, which surveyed 161,808 women.
Interestingly, this is not the first study to reveal such a link. A 2011 study found that the risk of adult-onset diabetes is much higher in patients who take high doses of statin drugs. And a 2010 meta-analysis found that statin therapy of any dosage was associated with 9% greater risk of diabetes.
But in the face of this research, the media is bending over backwards to say that the risk of statins do not outweigh the “benefits”! The headline of the Associated Press article (which was picked up by countless media outlets) says that statins are linked to “small diabetes risk,” calling them “cholesterol-lowering wonder drugs.”
The article continues, “Specialists say people who most need statins because of a high risk for a heart attack should stick with the drugs,” and quotes a doctor not involved with the research as saying, “What I fear here is that people who need and will benefit from statins will be scared off of using the drugs because of reports like this.” The AP also notes that more and more doctors are urging otherwise healthy people to use the pills as a way to prevent heart disease.
Conspicuously absent is any reference to recent findings from mainstream medical authorities that statins show no benefit whatsoever in reducing cardiovascular disease risk among patients who are currently at low risk of heart attack.
WebMD’s analysis of the study quickly states, “Experts say the evidence as a whole suggests that the risks are slight and that for most women who take statins, the benefits for preventing heart attack and stroke outweigh those risks.”
Let’s look at some of those “benefits.” As we reported recently, statin drugs:
- Weaken the immune system and make it difficult to fight off bacterial infections, and increase the production of cytokines, which trigger and sustain inflammation.
- Make some patients unable to concentrate or remember words, and is linked to muscle and neurological problems, including Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
- Have documented side effects which include nerve damage, muscle damage, liver enzyme derangement, and in some cases even kidney failure, not to mention, tendon problems, anemia, acidosis, cataracts, and sexual dysfunction.
This is all in addition to the blood glucose elevation and increased risk of diabetes.
Even more outrageously, some years ago the British Medical Journal advocated widespread use of a polypill that combines six different drugs—a statin, three low-dose antihypertensives (thiazide, an ACE inhibitor, and a beta-blocker), folic acid, and aspirin. In an editorial last year, MedPage Today, a service for physicians that gives medical news from a clinical perspective, suggested putting this combination directly into the water supply—though, it said, “we could probably drop the folic acid.”
(Dropping folic acid is not a bad choice, actually: it’s a synthetic, oxidized form of the B vitamin which can build up in the bloodstream and may become carcinogenic if you have too much. If you want plenty of natural folate, eat lots of dark green vegetables or get the reduced form, 5-methyl tetrahydrofolate [5-MHTF] in high-quality supplements!)
Now let’s contrast mainstream media’s support of statins and other dangerous drugs with their negative coverage of natural approaches to good health, including supplements. Look how many recent articles have made outrageous and demonstrably false statements like antioxidants not necessarily being good for one’s health, or vitamin use leading to an earlier death. The ultimate irony is that any time safety issues with very high-dose supplements have cropped up, as shown with beta-carotene and later with vitamin E, they’ve always been linked with the isolated, pharmaceutical forms of these vitamins, not the natural forms.
Remember the media coverage around the vitamin D study last November? The media said that people who take too much vitamin D were 2½ times more likely to develop atrial fibrillation—which, as we reported, the actual study absolutely did not say—thus scaring people away from an essential supplement. This is especially tragic since at least one-third of all Americans are actually deficient in vitamin D.
Do we really need any further evidence that conventional medicine, multinational pharmaceutical manufacturers, and the advertising industry are working hand-in-hand to further their own interests—and are using a compliant media (who are utterly dependent on advertisers) to carry out their agenda?
Antioxidants take the rust out of people’s bodies. Of course we need them. Not taking them and only depending on meds is totally ridiculous. Trying to force this on us is similar to putting a gun to our head.
Good critique … what is the nature’s way around it?
These drugs have been shown to be dangerous, and we need to make sure that the public knows what exactly is going on….make drugs to help people, not for PROFITS!
These meds are not for everyone or anyone for more than a few months – diet (no animal products) and lifestyle changes (daily exercise) are really the answer – not drugs. Thank you.
I agree. Unfortunately, the industry wants everyone on them indefinately. They would go broke if everyone did the right thing. BTW, be careful about going vegan. Even most omnivores are deficient in B12. Make sure you get the Methylcobalamin form if you choose to supplement.
Just another example of how Big Pharma leads the medical profession around by the nose. Reminds me of 4H pigs at the county fair
send me a petition to sign
Please research these drugs before putting them on the market.
I have been opposed to statins since the beginning.
Read Uv Ravnskov’s: “The Cholesterol Myths…”
On statinfor close to 10 years, no sign of diabetes or insulin intolerance. 80 years and rising.
I have had innumerable patients and friends who have experienced serious side effects from these drugs. The side effects resolved when the statins were discontinued. Some people smoke cigarettes until ripe old age without apparent disease from them. Would you then cease encouraging people to quit cigarettes because there are isolated cases like this? Of course not! You have escaped some of the worst side effects, but people with adverse reactions far outweigh people like you. So, would you then recommend statins because the occasional person tolerates them well?
Please stop poisoning the citizens of this great country – when is enough money enough?
The chemical manufacturing drug companies, doctors and pedlars of statins, are promoting one of the biggest scams of all time and are allowed to get awaywith this. Read my new book ‘SELLING SICKNESS!’ sub-titled How To Take Control Of Your Own Health, I S B N 978-0 9551051 8 0,which sets out, amongst much else, that cholesterol is not an ailment, sickness or disease. It is an invented, one could add, imaginary health problem.
Dear Mr. Plant,
How can I get a copy of your book? I have been telling my friends and family for many years that we owe it to ourselves to take charge or our own welfare. Why is it that we would question our auto mechanic about his diagnosis of our car problems and think any replacement parts recommended by him are to jack up his charges? Yet we let our physicians wild. We go for any expensive testing the physician dictates, we have any expensive treatment the physician tells us we have to have, and we willing swallow any drug poison our physician writes a prescription for. We hand our physician our bodies and our wallets and tell him/her to do with us what he/she desires. What is wrong with our thinking?
I take a good quality red yeast rice to control LDL levels. Are the side effects the same as for prescription drugs to control LDL? There has been significant improvement in my LDL count.
I think in some reports there have been side effects. I can’t take a statin without developing major side effects. I do take Red Yeast Rice so far without any problems.
My last cholesterol check was done differently than any of my previous tests. This last one measured by small, dense and large, buoyant counts within the LDL and HDL. I was not familiar w/ these counts and left wanting to understand better. Roughly, the small, dense create more risk to an individual than large, buoyant. It correlates as well, with trygliceride levels. This article does a nice job of explaining: Low fasting triglycerides: A marker for large-buoyant LDL particles
Tuesday, April 6, 2010 http://healthcorrelator.blogspot.com/2010/04/low-fasting-triglycerides-marker-for.html
Cholesterol is needed for the brain and muscles of our body to function. It’s never been proven that we need to reduce our cholesterol as a society, perhaps on an individual basis but not that “all” of us need to do so. Business Week summarized this in an article in 2008: http://www.businessweek.com/print/magazine/content/08_04/b4068052092994.htm
Cover Story January 17, 2008, 10:00AM EST text size: TT
Do Cholesterol Drugs Do Any Good?
Research suggests that, except among high-risk heart patients, the benefits of statins such as Lipitor are overstated
Not only is there increased risk of diabetes, but there is increased risk of stroke and dementia in older patients. Several studies point in this direction:
Cholesterol-lowering therapy and cell membranes. Stable plaque at the expense of unstable membranes? http://www.termedia.pl/magazine.php?magazine_id=19&article_id=13452&magazine_subpage=FULL_TEXT
Statin Adverse Effects: A Review of the Literature and Evidence for a Mitochondrial Mechanism
Beatrice A. Golomb; Marcella A. Evans
Authors and Disclosures http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/703699
Posted: 06/08/2009; Am J Cardiovasc Drugs. 2008;8(6):373-418. © 2008 other
Full PDF at http://healthandpharma.awardspace.com/Statin_BeatriceGolomb_Side_Effects-1.pdf
Implications of statin adverse effects in the elderly.
Great article. Statin drugs are very dangerous. Dr. William Campbell, who publishes the Douglas Report,would absolutely agree with you. Nine years ago when I first started seeing my Acupuncture Doctor I was in extremely poor health and my body lacked protien. He introduced me to a raw food diet, which includes lots of raw fat. The diet consists of raw meat with fat, raw dairy products (milk, cream, butter and cheese), raw eggs, green juice, avocado, coconut milk and oil, certain fruits and raw, unheated Honey. He explained that my Cholesterol may go up to 300 but not to worry as Cholesterol is a natural part of our body.
I am now 75 years old and the picture of good health. I have lots of energy, still run my own business and look much younger than my age.
I have known for some time about the dangers of statin drugs. I have a combination of naturally high cholesterol and dietary-induced cholesterol and was prescribed every statin drug ever on the market over a period of two decades or more. And I went along with it because I didn’t know any better. My cholesterol levels never improved, but one day I got smarter.
I saw a television ad for Crestor that spoke of “serious side effects – muscle pain or weakness” and I knew immediately that I must never take another statin drug if I wanted to continue living. For years I had an unexplainable inability to stand up now and then. I’d have to sit quietly until my legs were able to lift my body. I never said anything to my doctor because I didn’t realize this was caused by a medication, but the minute I heard this commercial, I knew the truth.
The fact that statins is now tied to diabetes explains why I was the first in my family to develop that awful disorder. I am currently taking four prescriptions and intend to be drug-free as soon as possible. There are natural ways of dealing with almost every disorder, and I’d rather go that route.
i am taking perque vessel health guard which has b 12 and calcium folinate. i am also taking pravachol and 40 mg and zetia 10. your opinion, please.
Get off the Pravachol and Zetia, both of which are statin drugs. Zetia works a little bit different, but is still a statin. The fact that you are taking two statins is worrisome, like you’re doubling your chances of severe side effects. It’s been proven that statins do not lower cholesterol, and can lead to a host of problems. I refused statins against my doctor’s advice even before the reports against it came out. It was sort of a gut reaction I had, and I’m glad I made the choice. If you have high cholesterol, there are other safer methods of lowering it, either by natural alternatives or even certain foods. Do some research on line. There’s a lot of information out there. Good luck!
Even with these protectors, you are draining your system of CoQ10, and risking the myriad other side effects of the statin drugs. My cardiologist refuses to prescribe statins. I can’t tell you what to do, but if it was me, I would get off those drugs asap! BTW, there is no harmful effect from stopping statin drugs abruptly–no need to taper off.
When the president of Glaxco Welcome announces that prescription drugs only work for about 60% of the people, it is wise to listen to how your body responds when taking prescription drugs. The people are learning that we can’t always trust or believe what big money interests try to tell us. Please, make your own decisions, don’t chew everything you hear.
this article is rubbish. true only if you take high doses of statins plus the lowering of inflammation is actually good for your brain, not bad. i’ve been taking 5 mg of crestor and took other statins in low doses for 20 years with no ill effects. .
Re. statins – take the lowest possible dose. Choose the “water soluble” statins over the “lipid soluble” statins. Liquid lecithin or lecithin granules along with psyllium fiber will help to lower. Increasing fiber in general helps, too; loose weight, optimized thyroid function.
Forgot to mention most important point – a person must take supplemental CoQ10 if taking a statin. This generally never gets mentioned. Sorry about the previous typos.
I’m taking red yeast rice caps right now. I was on Simvistatin for years, but had a lot of other troubles. I’ve been a chronic pain patient for 29 years now. I recently was put thru a nightmare by the VA that dropped my weight from 210 (I’m 6′ 2″ tall) to 143 lbs. Still trying to recover from that and catastrophic w/drawals, abusive under-treatment for the nerve pain and other such while my wife was bed-ridden and dying with only me to care for her. I’ve decided to stop worrying about the cholesterol and leave that to my VA docs; they seem to enjoy it. I’ll see what the Red Yeast Rice caps do. My docs aren’t interested in “anti-statin propaganda” from “those health food magazines.” They’re well-insulated from information! I’d like to get hold of some peer-reviewed studies to hold under their noses. Suggestions? Ah – I couldn’t put a down-payment in a free meal. Other than that though, just fyi since my wife’s death two and a half years ago – I’m remarried: new wife, 6 kids ages 6 to 17 (!!!) Some new problems, but I’m NOT bored!
No explanation is offered as to WHY statin drugs raise the risk of diabetes. However, I would think that it has to do with the depletion of Co-enzyme Q10 caused by statin drugs. Co-Q10 is an important antioxidant that protects the function of mitochondria, the energy producing factories within each of our cells. Mitochondria utilize oxygen and glucose to make energy for our heart and muscles. If Co-Q10 becomes depleted with statin use, then mitochondria are more susceptible to oxidative damage, which would reduce their ability to use oxygen and glucose. This would lead to weaker heart function, also known as congestive heart failure, which is a well documented side effect of statin drug usage.
Let the public know about the REAL THREAT TO THEIR HEALTH!!!!!!! Without statins Gradually levels of cholesterol comes down for
I would also like to add that Statin drugs also increase muscle pain DRAMATICALLY! I have Fibromyalgia, and my Uncle found an article about statins causing muscle pain, (not to mention that they only help less than 1% of the users), so I decided to stop using Crestor to see if it made a difference. I CANNOT believe what a difference it made!! Its horrible that the manufacturers and even doctors KNOW about all of these problems and just dont care about the end user. As usual, greed before people.
And as for my cholesterol, its always been high, and even though it kept it pretty level, it was never considered ‘good’. It was a waste of time and money. I am now taking niacin and plant sterol esters to see if they will help. Niacin always helped in the past, so screw those chemical pills that dont do anything. GO NATURAL!!
Need to eat whole food. Anything chemical sooner or later will harm.
Have you tried omega 3 supplements. The company I am affiliated with has a natural product Phytomega, which has great results in lowering cholestoral.
You’re welcome to contact me.
After twenty five years of declining health I’m finally reversing my downward spiral and am getting better after I found a doctor who was really willing to dig for causes. It was EXTREMELY difficult to get across to new doctors that statins and beta blockers made my chronic pain and fibromyalgia incredibly worse. With a change in diet, what I call quasi-Atkins, and a combined bug killer protocol that took nearly four years, my health has turned around and I feel better than I did some thirty years ago. Unfortunately only one of my brothers and sisters has listened to my statin worries, his health improved after he stopped taking them as well.
It is so sad to see so many people so deluded by the cholesterol is bad theory and to watch the Medical Industry and HHS allow this delusion and indeed to PROFIT by it. To me this shouts corruption, criminality and collusion at the highest levels of our poor country.
“Sit down before fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every preconceived notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatever abysses nature leads, or you will learn nothing.” Thomas Huxley, Note please do this and “The Cholesterol Problem” becomes the scam it is
A good article, at long last people are becoming aware there are horrid side effects from Statins, as they deplete what natural Coenzyme Q10 we produce, so therefore anyone prescribed statins, must take a quality Q10 supplement to allieviate muscle pain and other side effects.
I just commented on a site today in regards to the conflicting reports of Statins. I am so glad this article was published. Yet another example of the media causing confusion in the minds of the consumers.
I do trust all the ideas you’ve offered to your post. They are really convincing and will certainly work. Still, the posts are very quick for beginners. May you please prolong them a bit from subsequent time? Thank you for the post.
75% of cholesterol in your body is produced by your body, and that it is essential for life and health. The evidence that cholesterol causes heart attacks is based on faulty assumptions and poor research. Have too low cholesterol is far more dangerous for you. It is used by every part of your body to heal damage and inflammation.
The real problem is vegetable oils, hydrogenated, partially hydrogenated, and even non hydrogenated. These are what cause plaque build up in arteries, not cholesterol. The reason so much cholesterol is present in heart attacks and blocked arteries is because the body is trying to fix the damage.
As a registered nurse, my advice to everyone is to stay away from conventional medical doctors unless you absolutely need them, as a last resort. Take responsibility for your own health and stop believing a pill will make you all better.
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