Author: Dr. Gary Huber
Statins may be indicated for many people to lower cholesterol but whether they truly reduce risk of heart attack is up for debate. One of the problems is that statin drugs cause DIABETES and diabetics tend to die from vascular disease like heart attack and stroke. Uh-Oh . . . conflict here!!
It has been known for years that statins increase diabetic risk but as the studies grow larger and larger we are seeing drastic increases in the amount of diabetes being caused by the use of these drugs. The 42% increase in diabetes with statin use was reported in 2015 in the journal Diabetology by Dr. Cederberg. The fact that increases diabetes means that it also causes risk for Alzheimers. The fact that 80% of diabetics die from vascular disease such as heart attacks and strokes means that this study is in essence saying that statins increase risk of heart attack. That statement is actually supported by another study that is actually entitled, “Statins stimulate atherosclerosis and heart failure: pharmacological mechanisms” and was just published last year.
When statins first arrived back in the 1970’s all of the studies being done were done by the very companies that manufactured the drug. As you might guess these studies looked great. But as more and more un-biased studies are hitting the medical journals we are seeing a completely different swing toward concern that these drugs are not the saviors they claimed to be and are in fact a wolf in sheeps clothing.
That's OK because there is ample literature showing us that we can control heart disease risk, lower cholesterol and reduce the real cause of heart attacks, which is “inflammation”. Our diet and lifestyle are strong players and are capable of lowering your risk for more significantly than a mere statin drug could ever hope to.
In a recent lecture by Dr. Perlmutter, the author of Grain Brain he sites that food and the bacteria in our bowels are the most significant element in reducing inflammation, reducing heart disease and reducing Alzheimers risk.
If you are currently on a statin (cholesterol lowering) drug I would encourage you to explore why? Cholesterol elevation is NOT typically caused by your genes and if your doctor suggests that it is then look at the genetic tests that were run. Most commonly doctors don’t even run gene tests so the idea that your elevated cholesterol is genetic is a guess and not likely a fact. The truth is your cardiac risk is not coming from your LDL cholesterol. The biggest risk factors in order of importance are:
- Oxidized LDL (not the same as LDL cholesterol)
- Particle number or ApoB protein
- Particle size
- Hemoglobin A1C
Notice that total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol don't even make the list. To truly assess your real risk for heart disease, these are the numbers that need to be measured. Statin use has been associated with causing the following:
- Cognitive decline
- Alzheimers disease
- Low testosterone
- Depletion of coenzyme Q10
- Muscle ache
- Liver compromise
So if you are accepting this risk there had better be a strong case for its need and the labs listed above would be a part of that argument.