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Statin Side Effects

StatinsCholesterol-lowering drugs, also known as Statin drugs, are a booming market. Over 16 million Americans take these kinds of drugs. Lipitor, the market leader, sold approximately $13 Billion in 2002. Since these drugs are so popular, we should educate ourselves.

Current Statin drugs:
Lipitor, Zocor, Pravachol, Lescol, Mevacor, and Crestor.

How they work:
Statin drugs lower cholesterol by blocking an enzyme that is related to the production of cholesterol. The problem is that this enzyme also inhibits the production of many other substances, which have important functions in our body. Therefore, many side effects have been demonstrated.

Potential Side Effects:
Muscle pain and weakness, Nausea, Diarrhea, Constipation, Elevated liver enzymes (abnormal liver function), Neuropathy (weakness/tingling in extremities), Dizziness, Coenzyme Q10 depletion (CoQ10 is an essential nutrient for a thriving heart), Cognitive Impairments (memory loss and decreased concentration), Depression, Anemia, Cataracts, and Disruption of adrenal hormones (adrenal hormones help control energy, blood sugar, inflammation, allergies, asthma, fertility, and libido)

Is high Cholesterol a cause for heart disease? This is a controversial topic. Statin drugs are successful at lowering cholesterol, but what if cholesterol reduction is not the key to preventing heart disease and heart attacks? There are numerous studies and trials that show evidence to prove and disprove this belief, that cholesterol is a cause for heart disease. The book called “The Cholesterol Myth” by Dr Ravnskov which may shed some light on this topic.

Avoid drugs, try lifestyle changes first.Do not smoke, Keep stress levels down (try meditation, yoga and deep breathing), Exercise regularly, Eat a healthy diet filled with real, whole foods, Eat lots of fresh fruits and veggies, Eat fatty fish or supplement with Omega 3 fish oil, Use monounsaturated fats, Avoid Polyunsaturated fats and Saturated fats, Eliminate all hydrogenated and trans fats, Keep sugary food to a minimum.

Stay tuned for next month’s topic, Nutritional Supplements for Heart Disease Prevention.

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