In an earlier post, I mentioned ways to prevent cataracts and I advised avoiding statins. Statins are popular for lowering cholesterol, but they make cells unable to repair properly, create neuropathy and memory loss. Other side effects include sexual dysfunction, liver damage, high blood sugar, fatigue, cataracts, depression, anxiety, irritability, and learning disabilities.
Research shows that half of all women taking statins develop diabetes and an increased risk of Alzheimers disease or some other form of dementia.
High cholesterol has been deemed the main culprit behind heart disease but the real culprits behind heart disease have nothing to do with the amount of cholesterol in your blood.
So, what are they? The true factors that effect heart health stress, sugar, trans fat, inflammation, and free radicals. Believe it or not, statins can actually cause heart disease.
Extensive studies have shown that statin drugs can deplete levels of CoQ10, an indispensable antioxidant nutrient. And, the consequences can be grave.
When the body’s storage of CoQ10 are lowered, the oxidation of LDL cholesterol increases. This sets off a destructive cascade in which the low-density lipoprotein penetrates and creates holes in the arterial walls, triggering severe inflammation and raising the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Many integrative healthcare providers, such as board-certified chiropractic orthopedist Dr. Ronald Grisanti, insist that CoQ10 must be given along with statin drugs. (In fact, Dr. Grisanti maintains that prescribing statin drugs unaccompanied by CoQ10 “should be illegal.”)
Dr. Grisanti reports that CoQ10 deficiency can cause fatal cardiomyopathy, heart attack, angina and congestive heart failure. Cancer, high blood pressure, liver disease, depression and memory loss are other possible consequences of CoQ10 shortfalls.
In addition, low CoQ10 levels seem to be associated with premature death.
In one study, 94 hospital patients aged over 50 years were analyzed for CoQ10, alpha-tocopherol (a form of vitamin E) and free cholesterol. Researchers found patients who died within a follow-up period of six months all had significantly lower CoQ10 values.
CoQ10 is an astounding benefit to the heart, generating new cell mitochondria as it helps to regulate blood pressure.
In 2003, a Swedish study revealed that four years of 200 mg of CoQ10 and 200 mcg of selenium a day reduced heart disease by an astonishing 40 percent.
The original study was double-blind and placebo-controlled – which is the gold standard for medical research – and published in the peer-reviewed International Journal of Cardiology.
The follow-up research showed that the heart-protective effect persisted even after a dozen years – even after the study subjects had long since stopped taking the pair of nutrients!
So, why do so many doctors prescribe statins? Pharmaceutical companies.
Big pharma is a lot like politics. If you go to the FDA, they note on their website that “Cognitive impairment, such as memory loss, confusion, and forgetfulness have been reported by statin users.” They also advise that statins increase the risk of raised blood sugar levels and the development of Type 2 diabetes. Then they claim it’s safe and effective. That’s why I mentioned in an earlier podcast that it’s important to use these sites such as the FDA, but it’s also just as important to make your own decision in the end.
Statins are the best-selling prescription drug class in the United States. More than 20% of Americans between the ages of 40 and 75 are currently taking statins and the CDC reports that its prevalence is on the rise. You know what else is on the rise? Alzheimer’s disease, it’s the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. Statins are not the only thing that causes dementia but it sure doesn’t help.
Just remember that you never want to stop taking prescription medications without discussing it with your doctor first. Your doctor can help you find other options that work best for you.
Listen to our podcast on this topic at:
Mayo Clinic Staff. (2014, March 5). Memory loss: 7 tips to improve your memory
Mayo Clinic Staff. (2015, April 8). Statins: Are these cholesterol-lowering drugs right for you? Retrieved from mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/in-depth/statins/art-20045772
Mayo Clinic Staff. (2013, April 24). Statin side effects: Weigh the benefits and risks
Neel, A. B. (2015, June). 10 drugs that may cause memory loss
New heart disease and stroke prevention guidelines released. (2013, November 12)
Statins don’t cause memory loss, study reaffirms. (2013, December 9)
Statin medications may prevent dementia and memory loss with longer use, while not posing any short-term cognition problems. (2013, October 1)
What you should know about: Generic vs. brand-name statins. (2013, September 1)
Coping with memory loss. (2010, January 6)
FDA drug safety communication: Important safety label changes to cholesterol-lowering statin drugs. (2012, July 3)
FDA expands advice on statin risks. (2014, January 31)
Higher dementia risk linked to more use of common drugs. (2015)
Jamolowicz, A., Huei-Yang, C., & Panegyres, P. (2015). Statins and memory loss: An Australian perspective. Australasian Medical Journal, 73-79