And Yet Another Brain Threat: Statin Drugs

Statin-Drugs-1These widely-used cholesterol drugs can cause memory loss—there are even new warning labels about this and diabetes risk.

Statin drugs are huge money-makers for the drug companies. They’re touted as being able to lower cholesterol and thus reduce the risk of heart attack and heart disease. They also weaken the immune system and make it difficult to fight off bacterial infections; increase the production of cytokines, which trigger and sustain inflammation; deplete the essential nutrient Co-Q10; and have documented side effects. These include nerve damage, neurological problems (including Lou Gehrig’s Disease), muscle damage (don’t forget that the heart itself is a muscle), liver enzyme derangement, and in some cases even kidney failure, not to mention tendon problems, anemia, acidosis, cataracts, and sexual dysfunction.
Moreover, as we reported in January, statin drugs increase one’s risk of developing diabetes. A 2010 meta-analysis found that statin therapy of any dosage was associated with 9% greater diabetes risk.
The FDA should pull all statins. But at least there are some new label warnings, however mild. Now the consumer may read about the risk of memory loss and confusion. But the FDA adds: “These reports generally have not been serious and the patients’ symptoms were reversed by stopping the statin. However, patients should still alert their health care professional if these symptoms occur.”
New labels also include a warning that increased blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia) and an increased risk of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes have been reported with statin use. We wonder how long it will take for FDA to add warnings, however mild, about bacterial infections, neurological problems, muscle damage, anemia, and sexual dysfunction. (“Never mind the sexual dysfunction,” the drug manufacturers will say. “We have a pill for that!”)


  1. I was on statins for several years. Every year the doctors would increase the dose and add more meds to add in lowering cholesterol. Every year I watched my blood sugar go up to the point of being prediabetic. This along with the horrible muscle pain (I have ankylosing spondylitis,gout and osteoarthitits) so more pain I do not need. Wound up throwing up more meals then I care to remember, and the never ending flu like symptoms.
    At age 50 threw it all away– If that is the remedy to better health you can keep it. Blood sugar never did return to normal.
    As far as modern medicine I have no use for it. Do my research in using supplements and now eat only organic foods plus my organic garden.
    Last doctor who suggested statins I just about punched out.
    Good health does NOT come from the DRUG STORE

  2. the never-ending greed over health saga continues, but at what cost to the public. This is horrible that these drugs continue to be on the market and destroy peoples lives in return for profits.

  3. Stantin drugs are among the worst on earth, I was prescribed and the pain the caused in my legs (cramps) head aches, eye pain, back pain, I couldn’t sit down, couldn’t lie in any position, couldn’t sleep from the pain. Prohibit Atorvastatin Calcium, and Pravacgl, Pravastatun. They are horrible and no one should have to suffer from them. I felt it would be better to die than to put up with the pain caused by these drugs even in a short term. Nina Diamante

  4. How does one get off statins, I’m taking a combination of 3 statins, my cholesterol levels are at normal levels but my primary tells me to keep taking the following:
    Crestor (simvastin) 40mg
    Zetia 10mg
    Fenofibrate 160mg

    1. The main points are to follow a vegetarian + seafood diet and don’t eat too much meat and if you don’t eat enough seafood (wild salmon, etc.) take fish oil capsules that contain at least 1000 mg of EPA and DHA per day (or more).

  5. There is a class action lawsuit against Merck, I believe, the company making Lipitor. Have to check whether it’s Merck or another company. In any case, the company making Lipitor is being sued. I wrote about this last year in a post entitled, “Low Down Lipitor.” If you go to my blog, you will be able to pull up the post.
    Statins are to be avoided…the main reason being not only the side effects, but the fact that there is little correlation between heart disease and cholesterol. There is a greater correlation between inflammation and heart disease. One thing that statins do, though, is reduce cholesterol numbers…but if cholesterol DOESN’T CAUSE HEART DISEASE, THEN WHAT’S THE POINT? $$$$$ Doctors are big investors in statins and have made sure to lower the threshold numbers for who “needs” to take them. There is a greater correlation between high blood pressure and stroke/heart problems than cholesterol. The evidence of cholesterol may be the bodies way of coping with inflammation caused by diet and others factors, like stress and other drug side effects.

  6. Given that my choice is statins or another stroke I just think I shall continue taking my statins, losing weight and hoping maybe they can work.

    1. Read the book “The Omega-3 Effect” by Dr. William Sears — you will learn a lot that will help you and may possibly be able to eventually get off statins.

  7. I thank goodness do not have a cholesterol problem or at least the blood test is below a certain number. I have done a lot of research using Dr. Fife books and others on saturated fats mainly coconut oil. I documented as I learned about the dangers of statin drugs. I have convinced at least 3 people to do further research and then stop the use of the drugs. None of the three have had the Dr. agree with them.
    Read my story A Brief History of Trans Fat
    April 27, 2012 By Joan L. McDaniel

  8. References please? The last time I attempted this discussion with my PCP, an internist, he responded with a comment, ” Well, we like to say that anyone over 60 has a 50% greater chance of developing tendon problems (in my case, fibromyalgia), acidosis, cataracts, hyperlipidemia and diabetes, type II. Otherwise healthy, I am only 62, having gone through cataract surgeries at barely 61. I need ammunition, as I am located between Duke, UNC Chapel Hill and not far from Wake Forest. I do more research than my docs do, so references would be quite helpful! Many thanks.

  9. As a Naturopath speaking daily with people who suffer from side and after effects of the use of statins, some of which are terrible, I cannot understand why action has not been taken to stop their use. In front of me is a letter received to-day setting out how the writer’s husband is now suffering from memory loss. The last sentence of this good and too trusting lady reads ” IF I HAD KNOWN AS MUCH ABOUT THE DANGERS OF STATINS AS I DO NOW NOT ONE WOULD HAVE CROSSED MY HUSBAND’S LIPS.
    This is not an isolated case, there are hundreds other serious complaints on record.

  10. And I have been cognizant of changes and problems with my body, that I can probably attribute to statins (Zocor). Thanks for the read.

  11. What is the alternative to taking statin drugs??? How do you keep chlosterol down??

  12. Let us not forget our brain is largely made of cholesterol so its no wonder people are having problems with memory loss and concentration.
    I talked to someone who’s mother who started statins developed brain atrophy.
    It’s a funny thing cholesterol isn’t even linked to heart disease, its inflammation that causes the problem.
    The only way to put a stop to all the abuse by doctor’s, the FDA and pharmacuetical companis is to educate people and i wil continue to do so.

  13. FDA regulations require warnings about EVERY side effect reported by those consuming a prescription drug with no exception for those that were more prevalent among non-users.
    Please read:
    Note that 69 of the 8,901 patients taking Crestor reported “nervous system disorder” compared to 76 on placebo; 515 Crestor patients reported psychiatric issues, including insomnia and depression, compared to 533 on placebo.
    Back in 2006, the Statin Safety Task Force of the National Lipid Association formed a Neurology Panel and examined the literature, a 22 million-person HMO database, and the FDA adverse event reporting system.
    They concluded there is no evidence that statins are a common or significant cause of cognitive decline or memory loss based on large, randomized clinical trials, including the Heart Protection Study (HPS) and the Prospective Study of Pravastatin in the Elderly at Risk (PROSPER). HPS included 20,536 participants who were followed over a 5-year period. The Jupiter Study, with 18,000 patients on Crestor 20mg, had absolutely no data to suggest that a statin has any effect on the neurologic system, including loss of memory.
    There is nothing evil about cholesterol in specific amounts and locations. Reducing synthesis in the brain can disturb sleep with secondary effects on tiredness, irritability, and cognition. Reducing synthesis in the liver to lower levels in blood serum is so beneficial to the brain that risk and rate of progression of Alzheimer’s disease are both far lower among statin users in spite of the effect on sleep. The obvious solution is to use the newer hydrophilic statins that do not penetrate the brain. Please read:
    Co-Q10 is not magic but is good in specific amounts and locations. Remember how drosophila and C. Elegans are the benchmark species for longevity research. While many supplements increase the lifespan of the fruit fly drosophila, supplemental Co-Q10 DECREASES lifespan. Statin treatment increases lifespan and improves cardiac health in drosophila. Please read:

  14. I thought it was just old age.I can’t remember much of anything anymore but thought it was just that I was over 60.My significant other can’t remember anything at all.It was really worrying me but she does more statins than I do.I also have zero libido.I thought that was opiates but it never bothered me before.Why are all pharmaceuticals worse than the disease they purport to cure?This is very troubling to me.Why is a society so addicted to medications so at war with natural substances?Even opium is better than the chemical substitutes.Cannabis is illegal but far better than the chemical alternatives.The world is truly insane and big corporations own the asylum.

  15. Thank you so much for this information. Your site is awesome. The more information one has on these drugs the better. I have been on a statin and am experiencing some of these side effects. People need to be more informed before they begin any prescriptions. Too bad the doctors don’t do that but then again they would lose out on the monetary end. Their loss – our gain. Blessings to all.

  16. After a Head injury on 8/15/1995, I was conveyed to a local Hospital to be checked out for my injuries, was prescribed a anticonvulsant (PHENYTOIN) by the treating Physician. By the end of the year and into the first quarter of 1996, I began to hear what sounded to be the roar of blood in motion in the vicinity of my right ear, coupled with headaches; I chose to see a Neurologist. The Neurologist had me admitted to the hospital, this began my hideous journey of being injected, tested and manipulated by what is considered “acceptable standards of care” which included predominantly, these Prescription Drugs that created multiple issues for over 10 plus years:
    The physical issues created by those synthetic compounds listed above was extensive:
    Night sweats, Hyponatremia, CSWS, Drug Induced Recurring seizures (despite anticonvulsants), Severe perspiration when working, Aura moments, Insomnia, Drug-induced exfoliative dermatitis, Drug Induced Testicular Atrophy, Erectile Dysfunction, Erosion of Marital intimacy, Muscle fatigue, Drug induced Oral decay (loss of teeth), Memory lapses, Recurring sinus infections, Drug Induced Nutrient Depletion, Eye irritation, Stephen Johnson Syndrome, Speech impediments (i.e.) slurring of words.
    Provide insight (answers) to the following:
    1. Who serves as an advocate and vanguard for citizens, taxpayers in this country regarding the need for CURES RATHER THAN TREATMENTS?
    2. Physician related (Iatrogenic) harm to patients via the drugs prescribed is wholly ignored in this country and supported by the nation’s medical boards, why?
    3. Iatrogenic illness issues and drug induced nutrient depletion factors are buried in the board decisions to protect the doctors and the pharmaceutical industry, with no concern about the patient, why?
    4. Three hospitals with their ER staff, four neurologists, and three internal medicine doctors over a ten year plus period caused harm, why?
    5. Questions 2, 3, and 4 supports these statements found in my research “The purpose and driving force of the pharmaceutical industry is to increase sales of pharmaceutical drugs for ongoing diseases and to find new diseases to market existing drugs”, “The pharmaceutical industry has no interest in curing diseases. The eradication of any disease inevitably destroys a multi-billion dollar market…

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