Pharmaceutical companies are at it again: telling us that statins are safe and that many more people should take them. I've talked about the dangers of statins, their side effects, and reasons not to take them for years.
Despite their dangers, conventional medicine recently came out with new guidelines that will likely double the number of people taking statins. These new guidelines suggest anyone with heart disease or diabetes should automatically take statins. And anyone with LDL over 190 or a high likelihood of having a heart attack in the next 10 years should also take statins. But these guidelines won't prevent any more heart attacks, because no studies prove statins prevent heart attacks in women. (Statins might prevent second heart attacks in middle-age men who have suffered a first heart attack. They won't help anyone else.)
Today I'd like to remind you of information that I shared with you several years ago. It shows you why you shouldn't pay attention to the nonsense in today's news suggesting that "cholesterol-busting drugs" are desirable. They aren't desirable for anyone, but they're especially dangerous for women. Here's why...
First, studies have concluded that statins don't work well on women. I've told you in the past that statins contribute to liver toxicity while robbing you of your heart's essential nutrient Coenzyme Q10. This antioxidant is essential to your cells' production of energy. Your heart and brain must have CoQ10, but statin use significantly lowers blood levels of this nutrient. When women take statins, the studies show that they are at a much higher risk for these side effects than men.
But there's more. Statins also contribute to your risk of cataracts, particularly if you're diabetic. We're still seeing lots of prescriptions for statins to lower cholesterol to help avoid heart disease. But high cholesterol isn't necessarily a risk for heart disease - and taking statins is definitely a risk for cataracts. And the fact that the new guidelines want every diabetic to take statins ensures we'll see more cataracts in the near future.
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That's not all. According to a paper from the University of California San Diego's Statin Study group, there are nearly 900 studies of statins' adverse side effects. That's right, 900! These side effects include muscle pain, fatigue, and weakness. Statins can also rob you of your memory and ability to think coherently. They can cause pain or weakness in your fingers and toes - a condition known as peripheral neuropathy.
So what can you do if you have high cholesterol? Obviously, don't take statins. Instead, change your diet. In one study, patients who had high cholesterol and high CRP (a marker for inflammation) ate various diets. One group ate a diet that minimized consumption of saturated (animal) fats. Another group ate the same diet and took a statin. The final group ate a diet high in vegetables, soy, and almonds and did not take a statin. The third group fared the best. In fact, their results were almost as good as those who took the statin. The only significant difference was they avoided the dangerous side effects.
Don't listen to the pharmaceutical companies. You don't need a statin to lower your cholesterol. If your doctor does coerce you into taking statins, make sure you're taking Ubiquinol CoQ10. It won't protect you from all of the side effects of statins. But at least you can overcome this one major problem.
Your voice of reason in Women's Health,
Dr. Janet Zand
Carolyn M. Machan, Patricia K. Hrynchak, Elizabeth L. Irving. Age-Related Cataract Is Associated with Type 2 Diabetes and Statin Use. Optometry and Vision Science, 2012; 89 (8): 1165 DOI: 10.1097/OPX.0b013e3182644cd1
Jenkins, DJ, et al, "Direct comparison of dietary portfolio vs statin on C-reactive protein", Eur J Clin Nutr, May 18, 2005.