Statins is one of the most widely used drugs for the treatment of high cholesterol. It acts by preventing the production of cholesterol in the liver. The primary prevention of controlling cholesterol level is reducing the risk of developing heart disease and stroke.

We invariably know of friends and relatives who are have started on statins or have been taking it for some time. However, there are side effects of taking statins, which may lead to serious illness such as ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) when taken over a long period of time.

ALS is a gradual degeneration of the muscle controlling our movements. The symptoms include twitching, cramping, stiffness of muscle, muscle weakness of arms and legs resulting in falls, difficulty in chewing and swallowing.

There have been studies that link ALS-like syndrome to statins. One such study is by Dr Ralph Edwards from the WHO (World Health Organization) Foundation Collaborating Center for International Drug Monitoring Center, who reported his research in the Drug Safety Journal in 2007.

Dr. Ralph Edwards collated from the 4 million reports and found 5534 reported cases of muscle degeneration related to any drugs, out of which 547 cases are linked to statins.   Although, the US FDA reported inconclusive evidence of the link between statins and ALS, the report from Dr Ralph Edwards raises the signal for further work and analysis of a potentially serious and avoidable drug reaction.

A meta analysis (studies of previous scientific evidence in specific area) reported in the Internal Medicine Journal by Professor Kausik Ray of University of Cambridge and Addenbrooke hospital . He took data from 11 studies of 65229 people; 32623 were on statins and 32623 were on placebo over 3.7 years period. 2793 people died and out of which 1447 were on placebo and 1447 were on statins.

Hence, there is little evidence that shows statins saved lives in the short-term in groups with and without heart diseases. Yet doctors are prescribing statins when you are diagnosed to have high cholesterol

You can find may people posting their personal or family experiences of the side effects of statins  various websites but they seem far removed. It was not until I encountered a case of a friend’s friend whose husband was diagnosed of ALS after taking statins for 1 year.  He was only about 40 plus years and it was a death sentence for him. He is in hospital now and his hand twitches uncontrollably and he could not move his body.

Therefore, for those of you who are already on statins, it is better to work controlling cholesterol naturally and aim to reduce or remove the reliance on statins eventually. Adopt a healthy lifestyle of eating plenty of fruits and vegetables and exercise regularly

Statins that are commonly prescribed by doctors are:

  • Prevachol (BMS)
  • Crestor ( AstraZenneca)
  • Zocor and Mevacor (Merck)
  • Lipitor (Pfizer)
  • Baycol (Bayer)
  • Lescol (Novatis)

Take charge of your life now and do not rely on drugs to do so or you are at risk of the side effects of drugs and putting pressure on your liver to detox them.

Are you currently on statins? What other ways you are doing to control your cholesterol? Share with me in the comment box below

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