So you’re pretty healthy and your doctor wants you to take a statin drug to lower your cholesterol… Should you take it?
If you’re healthy, meaning you do not have uncontrolled high blood pressure, type 1 or type 2 diabetes, and you have not been diagnosed with heart disease or have a family history of parents or siblings dying at relatively young ages of heart attacks, you should probably say NO to taking statin drugs. This applies even if you are overweight as studies show that at least half of obese people are medically healthy.
Even in people with moderate levels of coronary artery calcium (hardening of the arteries), only one heart attack in 94 would be prevented by taking statins. Ninety-three would have received no benefit, but run the increased risks of developing liver damage, diabetes, dementia, peripheral neuropathy, etc. In fact, a study published in the Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology found that statin drugs may increase the risk of developing hardening of the arteries (coronary calcium) and the lead author stated –“I cannot find any good evidence to support people taking statin drugs!” One of the co-authors stated – “I don’t think statin drugs should have ever been approved.”
There is absolutely no quality evidence demonstrating that healthy people who take statin drugs to lower their cholesterol live longer, and in fact a fairly recent study in the BMJ (British Medical Journal) stated that people over the age of 60 with high cholesterol live longer than people of the same age with lower cholesterol levels. The study reviewed the results of 19 published studies covering close to 70,000 patients. (Gee, I wonder why that study was never mentioned by my local news channel? Anything to do with the billions of dollars of lost revenue if people stopped taking statins?)
Let me sum things up by quoting Dr. Rita Redberg, professor of medicine at University of California at San Francisco and director of Women’s Cardiovascular Services who stated in a published article – “For most healthy people the data shows that statins do not prevent heart disease nor extend life or quality of life and they come with considerable side-effects. That’s why I don’t recommend giving statins to healthy people, even those with higher cholesterol… I can’t in good conscience recommend them.”
If you are healthy, do not worry about your cholesterol. Instead focus on keeping your weight under control, eating vegetables daily, avoiding sugar and getting plenty of exercise.
To the Best of Health,
Curt Hendrix, M.S., C.C.N., C.N.S.