When you are diagnosed with elevated cholesterol, doctors will normally prescribe statin drugs to control it. High cholesterol is known to increase the risk of heart diseases.

However, there are increasing evidences that statin drugs can actually increase the risk of heart attacks and diabetes.

Eric Topol, Cardiologist and Professor of Genomics at Scripps Translational Science Research Institute in La Jolla, California told USA Today that we are overdosing on cholesterol lowering statin drugs. Per 100 people who took the drugs,  two have heart attacks and one develop diabetes.

Statin drugs was launched in the market since 1980. 2010 data from 91,000 patients showed the risk of diabetes is 1 out of 255. The main stain drugs such as Simastatin ( Zocor), Atorvastatin (Lipitor) and Rosuvastatin (Crestor), when taken in high dose increase the risk of diabetes.

Stain drugs are useful for those who already had heart attacks and they are used to prevent further heart attacks. However, more than 20 million American are prescribed with statin drugs the moment high cholesterol is diagnosed without consideration of how high is the risk of heart attacks.

In fact, you should look at the measurement carefully. If your HDL and the total cholesterol ratio is more than 24%, or triglyceride and HDL ratio is less than 2, there is a decreased risk of heart attack. There is no need for statin drugs at all.

A study of 6673 people who were on statin drugs found to have 52% developing atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is the development of plaque on the blood vessel wall, which predicts heart diseases.

How do statin drugs increase the risk of heart attacks?

Statin drugs reduce Co-enzyme Q10 (Co-Q10) in the body. This is because statin drugs block the pathway for cholesterol production. It is the same pathway that blocks the production of Co-Q10 as well. And Co-Q10 is important for the generation of energy, especially, in the heart muscle cells.

The reduced cellular energy will in turn produce a lot of free radicals that further damages the mitochondria, which is the power house of all cells, including the heart muscle cells. Reduced energy affects the pumping function in the heart muscle cells, leading to heart attacks.

How do statin drugs increase the risk for type 2 diabetes?

Researchers examine clinical trial of 32,000 people who are given high dose of stain drug and found the risk developing type 2 diabetes was also increased.

Normally when there is excess blood sugar, they are stored as cholesterol and triglyceride in the liver. Statin drugs prevent the formation of cholesterol in the liver, so the excess sugar is returned to the blood causing type 2 diabetes to develop.

US FDA has admitted that there are other risk factors of statins drugs:

  • Liver damage
  • Memory Loss
  • Muscle damage

Instead of relying on statin drugs to manage cholesterol level in the blood:

  • Reduce intake of refined carbohydrates to optimize insulin level.
  • Increase the intake of Omega-3.
  • Take more foods that help the health of the heart.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Cut smoking and drinking.
  • Get sufficient sleep.

Take actions in your own hands to manage and lower your cholesterol instead of relying on statin drugs.

What are your ways to manage cholesterol? Share with me in the comment box below.

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