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Cholesterol Lowering Statins May Be Harmful — an article on the Smart Living Network
January 29, 2010 at 3:52 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Cholesterol Lowering Statins May Be Harmful

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Having high cholesterol can be a life threatening condition. If you are diagnosed with high cholesterol, it is often necessary to make many lifestyle changes in order to get control of your cholesterol levels. An exercise plan and a healthy diet are usually the first steps taken. These changes are often hard to make, and sometimes are just not enough. When you have made the necessary changes in your lifestyle, and you are still having difficulty lowering your cholesterol, statins are usually the next step. Unfortunately, statins can do more harm than good.

What are Statins?

Cholesterol lowering drugs, otherwise known as statins, are used by millions of people every day. Since the late 1980s, when statins first started being used, they have been regarded by many as a "miracle" drug. statins work by inhibiting the enzyme HMG-COA reductase. This enzyme is responsible for controlling the rate of cholesterol production in the body, so by inhibiting this enzyme, your cholesterol level will decline. Unfortunately, this is not the only enzyme that statins effectively block. statins also block the production of many other enzymes that are needed by the body.

Common Side effects of Statins

Like almost all prescription drugs, statins have their share of side effects. Some of the more common side effects of taking statins include:

  • Stomach pain
  • Vomiting
  • Pain and Weakness
  • Discolored urine
  • Sore muscles
  • Abdominal pain
  • Constipation
  • Gas
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Diarrhea
  • Short temper

Serious Problems with the Use of Statins

Some of the symptoms, mentioned earlier, may seem minor; however, they are not the only problems that have been associated with the use of statins. The risk of heart failure is believed to be much higher when statins are used. This is because the statins lower the amount of CO-Q10 in the body, which is used by the cells in the heart to produce energy. This may cause muscle pain, weakness, and lead to congestive heart failure. Cognitive impairment is another condition that has been reported. Research has shown that up to 15% of statin users have experienced cognitive side effects (1). Many of these people experience complete memory loss, lasting for long periods of time. Cognitive impairment usually occurs without warning, and can sometimes leave you in a dangerous situation; wondering where you are at and what you are doing. As if these problems are not serious enough, statins can also lower your immune system, leaving you more vulnerable to illness, and increase the likelihood of cancer. According to Westonaprice.org.

Alternative to Statins

The first things you can do, to lower your cholesterol, include: start exercising, and eating healthier. If you are still having problems controlling your cholesterol, most doctors will prescribe you statins, despite the known side effects. Fortunately for you, there are alternatives to prescription drugs, and their side effects.

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