CHOLESTEROL DRUGS – DANGER ZONE
DANGEROUS CHOLESTEROL DRUGS
Tens of millions of Americans are taking cholesterol-lowering drugs—mostly statins—and some “experts” claim that many millions more should be taking them.
I couldn’t disagree more.
Statins are HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, that is, they act by blocking the enzyme in your liver that is responsible for making cholesterol (HMG-CoA reductase). The fact that statin drugs cause side effects is well established—there are now 900 studies proving their adverse effects, which run the gamut from muscle problems to increased cancer risk.
For starters, reported side effects include:
- Muscle problems, polyneuropathy (nerve damage in the hands and feet), and rhabdomyolysis (a serious degenerative muscle tissue condition)
- Sexual dysfunction
- Immune depression
- Pancreas or liver dysfunction, including a potential increase in liver enzymes
Muscle problems are the best known of statin drugs’ adverse side effects, but cognitive problems and memory loss are also widely reported. A spectrum of other problems, ranging from blood glucose elevations to tendon problems, can also occur. There is evidence that taking statins may even increase your risk for Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Statins currently available on the U.S. market are:
- Advicor (lovastatin with niacin) – Abbott
- Altoprev (lovastatin) – Shionogi Pharma
- Caduet [atorvastatin with amlodipine (Norvasc)] – Pfizer
- Crestor (rosuvastatin) - AstraZeneca
- Lescol (fluvastatin) – Novartis
- Lipitor (atorvastatin) - Pfizer
- Mevacor (lovastatin) – Merck
- Pravachol (pravastatin) – Bristol-Myers Squibb
- Simcor (niacin/imvastatin) – Abbott
- Vytorin (ezetimibe/simvastatin) – Merck/Schering-Plough
- Zocor (simvastatin) – Merck
Ninety-Nine Out of 100 People do Not Need Statin Drugs
That these drugs have proliferated the market the way they have is a testimony to the power of marketing, corruption and corporate greed, because the odds are very high— greater than 100 to 1—that if you’re taking a statin, you don’t really need it.
The ONLY subgroup that might benefit are those born with a genetic defect called familial hypercholesterolemia, as this makes them resistant to traditional measures of normalizing cholesterol.
And, even more importantly, cholesterol is NOT the cause of heart disease.
If your physician is urging you to check your total cholesterol, then you should know that this test will tell you virtually nothing about your risk of heart disease, unless it is 330 or higher.
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