You may not have heard of some recent news that is happening across the pond in the mother country concerning taking statins. You know statins as those drugs that are recommended to every man, woman, and child to “prevent heart attack due to all that pesky plaquing in the arteries.” For the past 40 years, our national government has had a vendetta against the little waxy substance called cholesterol.
Even dietary changes are happening. Hopefully it’s not another 40 years before they change the medical management of elevated cholesterol. Before you decide to take a statin or if people you know and love are on statins, you may want to consider a couple things.
Type 2 Diabetes
Taking statins can increase your chance of Type 2 diabetes by almost 50%, while doing NOTHING to prolong the lives of those at a low risk heart attack. In England, close to 8 million Brits take statins. It’s closer to 25 million Americans taking the essential molecule blocking drugs. Is it really working to reduce heart disease?
Researchers in Finland studied 8,749 non-diabetic men to see whether taking two of the most popular statins increased the chance of developing Type 2 diabetes.
They found those who took simvastatin or atorvastatin were 46 per cent more likely to develop the condition and those on higher doses were at even greater risk.
Last year, Britain’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence issued guidance making 40 per cent of adults eligible for statins.
It said anyone thought to have a greater than 10 per cent chance of a heart attack or stroke within 10 years should be offered the drug on the NHS. It means virtually all men aged over 55 and women over 65 are encouraged to take statins to stave off fatal cardiovascular disease.
Back in 2013, the American College of Cardiology created new guidelines that would increase statin use in the states by an additional 13 million Americans.
If that study that involved 8700 people in Finland translates into 38 million Americans, we should see an increase in diabetes by at least 19 million Americans as well as a drastic increase in heart disease in the coming decades.
“Ironically diabetes triples the risk of heart disease for men and multiplies it by five for women, so the very drugs given to prevent heart disease may well be causing it in, potentially, millions of people. Many researchers have been aware for many years that the true rate of side effects from statins have been hidden and under-reported.”
Dr. Malcolm Kendrick
Dr Kailash Chand, deputy chairman of the British Medical Association, was speaking following research which found those who take the cholesterol-lowering drugs are more than twice as likely to develop Parkinson’s disease in later life than those who do not.
The Parkinson’s research carried out over 20 years, and involving nearly 16,000 people, suggests cholesterol may have a vital role in protecting the brain and nervous system.
Other studies have shown a link between the cholesterol-lowering drugs and potentially disabling side effects including cataracts, diabetes, muscle pains, fatigue and memory loss.
What is Cholesterol?
Instead of blindly trying to lower cholesterol (naturally or synthetically) because it’s an after effect of artery plaquing, you must step back and first ask, ‘what is the role of cholesterol?
The body produces it so it must be there for a reason… a damn, good reason.
Cholesterol is both a lipid and a hormone.
As a Lipid…
As a lipid (a fat), it forms cell membranes (the protection of your cells), myelin sheath integrity (the fatty outside layer of nerves that allow signals to transport), a source of energy, a transport and storage of toxins, and a major component of bile.
So just taking the roles as a lipid, let’s look at the potential side effects you can experience by lowering cholesterol. If it forms the cell membranes, you just created weak membranes. If cells are weak, they die off quicker than programmed. If your cells are dying faster than normal, this means you are aging faster than normal. If your cells are weak, you don’t recover and repair as quickly as expected. You increase aches, pains, muscle fatigue, decrease strength, and lose function.
If your myelin sheath is compromised, you may have heard of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). MS is characterized by a loss of myelin. But you can place almost any neurological dysfunction within that list of ailments like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s (now being called Type 3 diabetes), and dementia, to forgetfulness, memory loss, and brain fog.
If you mess with energy…then you don’t have energy. One of the top symptoms reported to me by new clients is a lack of energy. There are many reasons for this but if you’re on a statin, you can probably rule in not enough cholesterol.
What happens if you can’t transport and store toxins? Your body never eliminated them properly. Too many toxins equals inflammation. Chronic inflammation leads to a host of illnesses already mentioned as well as heart disease, cancer, all types of arthritis conditions, to immune system problems.
Bile aids in digestion. It’s produced by the liver and stored in the gallbladder. It helps enzymes break fat down into fatty acids, which can be taken into the body via the digestive tract. Bile also contains waste products that should be eliminated by the body. If you can’t break down fats and get rid of toxins, you’re constantly circulating toxic goo.
As a Hormone…
Cholesterol is a basis for all your steroid hormones as well as Vitamin D.
If you are suffering from a ‘hormone’ imbalance, I would advise looking back to the source of your hormones instead of just chucking synthetic or even bio-identical hormones at the end product. With that in mind, you also need to figure out why your hormones are communicating one way vs. the other. Are your hormones trying to protect you or are they trying to grow you? If your life is always on the ‘erratic, everything is a crisis’ side of life, cholesterol will shunt to favor the formation of Cortisol instead of growth mode favoring your sex hormones. Applying those hormone creams may make you feel better in the short term but what are they doing long term?
What about Vitamin D? We have all heard how deficient we have become due to our lifestyle. Is your deficiency due to a lack of consumption or exposure or are you robbing the building blocks of Vitamin D by lowering your cholesterol?
The body is a self-healing, self-regulating organism that will set you up for success when you provide the body with what it needs and keep out what it doesn’t. The problem is that medicine has shifted your thinking into the body is a self limiting, chemical dependent regulating organism with the only solution at living any form of a quality of life by adding toxic chemicals or removing body parts.
This shouldn’t be news but you don’t have too many body parts and you aren’t deficient in toxic chemicals. Why do I call statins toxic chemicals? Because they have side effects that increase your rates of diabetes and Parkinson’s exponentially. If you just want lower cholesterol, than take a statin. If you want to reach your innate health potential, start asking different questions and figure out a better path. Need help? Bring it.