How statins make you more likely to catch the flu

May 11, 2010
Volume 07    |   Issue 20

I’ve told you in the past that statins do lower cholesterol — at a price. They also cause mild-to-severe muscle pain or weakness, liver damage, digestive problems, and a rash or flushing. But there’s another health problem statins cause. And you won’t hear this from your doctor. The problem? Statins can make you more susceptible to the flu, colds, and other infections.

Researchers from Italy discovered this “side effect.” They published the information in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology ( What did they find? They found that simvastatin — a very common statin – reduces the ability of macrophages (immune cells) to kill bacteria and viruses. This has major implications for anyone with a chronic illness. But it’s also important for anyone who wants to avoid them.

Here’s what this study found.

First, researchers used human cells from healthy donors. They treated some of the macrophages with simvastatin. And then they incubated the treated and untreated immune cells with the common, and potentially lethal bacterium, Staphlocollus aureus. The cells treated with the statin had two undesirable results:

They were less effective in killing and removing the bacteria. And they produced high amounts of cytokines. Cytokines trigger and sustain inflammation. As I’ve said many times in past articles, inflammation is at the core of most chronic illnesses. This includes cancer, heart disease, and illnesses ending in “itis” (bronchitis, arthritis, etc).

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These researchers then repeated this study using mice. The results were the same.

It makes no sense to me to take a drug you may not even need when it has so many unwanted side effects. And when one of those side effects is inflammation and a lowered immune system, my recommendation is to talk with a doctor of integrative medicine ( and find a safer alternative. I’ve written about many of them in past articles. These articles are available on my website (

And if you’re really concerned about lowering your cholesterol, do so without dangerous statins. Try Advanced Cholesterol Formula from Advanced Bionutritionals and watch your numbers drop quickly and safely.

Your voice of reason in Women's Health,


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