1. There seemingly has been a push lately to encourage more and more people to take statins. IMHO it is basically just an effort by big Pharma to sell more drugs. They sponsor the studies that show the most benefits from statins. They have a huge vested interest in imposing thier product on everybody they can. The fact that their is such a debate going on whether they are beneficial or not shows the science is not solid on statins. I personally would not take them if my absolute risk reduction is just 3 percent. The medical profession needs to narrow the number of people they give these drugs to, not expand them. Figure out for sure who truly benefits and leave the rest of the people alone. Jimmy Moore on his podcast just today (episode 585) interveiwed Dr. Dayspring, a professional lipidologist who knows the newest research which is debunking the established “facts” about cholesterol and heart disease. Statin therapy should be used for the correct reasons, which isn’t because of high cholesterol, LDL or otherwise. At least that was my take from the interview. Give him a listen.

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts Suzie_B

      I agree with you that we have to be critical when selecting patients for statin therapy. I will listen to the interview with Dr. Dayspring. I have heard him speak and value his opinion very highly. Thanks for providing the link.

  2. Doc its not all black and white I am one of those shades of GREY.

    My body did terrible things while on statins, things effecting my brain, my memory and my muscles. I was 46-47 yeras of age and on multiple brands and multiple doses because I was told YOU MUST lower your cholesterol. I was also told the statins could not possibly be the cause of my symptoms as previously mentioned. I was treated like a hypochondriac, and told I was simply not coping with ageing!

    Not once did a doctor take any notice of information I took to them about the necessity of taking COQ10…. yet the pharmaceutical companies had 2 patents taken out because they already knew that statins damaged the pathway of Q10 in the human body.

    I stopped these drugs and live with the consequences…. it is an informed decision. My mind is better than it was, my memory issues are somewhat better, but I still have serious muscle problems even 5 years after stopping statins.

    What is better doc? quantity of years or quality of life?

    • Thank you for sharing your experience.

      You are absolutely right, it´s definitely not black and white. The grey area is indeed very large when it comes to the use of statins in primary prevention. I have seen severe side effets of statin therapy, similar to those you had to experience so badly. This is one of the reasons we have to be selective when using these drugs. I also agree with you that quality of life is something we have to value highly in modern medicine.

      I know there are some studies (1) indicating that COQ10 may reduce muscular side effects of statins, although this has not been confirmed by other trials. I have not used COQ10, in my clinical practice, to reduce statin side effects. As far as I know it has generally not been recommended because the data is inconclusive. I usually stop the drug if I think side effects are affecting the patient´s wellbeing. However, in theory I think the statin-COQ10 link is very interesting, and I look forward to seeing more clinical data.

      (1) Caso G, et al. Effect of coenzyme q10 on myopathic symptoms in patients treated with statins. Am. J. Cardiol. 2007 May 15;99(10):1409-12.

  3. ‘If health authorities want to spend money on prevention, they might as well use them to promote healthy lifestyle and educate people about risk factors, lifestyle, nutrition, healthy and unhealthy foods. Such an approach, however, would have to start already in childhood.’

    I have to smile at this. My husband recently went to our doc for his physical. The doc said, ‘You know, I tell EVERYONE to lose weight and no one does. Thanks for being the person who comes in and weighs in at a lower number….’

    Now, it’s certainly not true that no one loses weight who goes to this doc. They do, and they gain it back. No surprise there. Also, I know that my husband was 10 pounds heavier for most of the year and started dieting in earnest, just two months before his physical. So, good for him that he delivered a nice surprise to our doctor. Can he keep it off? We’ll see.

    This doc has said to me – and it seems to me that most doctors know this from experience – that the prescription to eat less, don’t smoke, don’t do recreational drugs, exercise more, is all well and good – if, in fact, people just followed that advice. When you get right down to the health issues, especially with patients whom you know well (we’ve had this doc for more than 30 years), you are very willing to prescribe for them whatever accomplishes that which they can never manage with healthful practice. This is a benefit of technology and advances in science, yeah, it is!

    As for statins – we both take them. We’ve heard about and been warned about side-effects, far more often than any admonitions about the side effects of aspirin (which is a commonly used drug with side effects and benefits). So far, after at least ten years on the stuff, I’ve appreciated one side effect: that someone even LOOKS at my liver function tests more than once a year (some docs don’t even check them annually). The results have been fine.

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts Kate. I agree with you that compliance often is a problem, not least when it comes to losing weight. However, I still believe that doctors play a hugely important role when it comes to informing people about healthy lifestyle, healthy foods and exercise.

      Let me quote Doctor Rita Ridberg who is Professor of Medicine and director of women’s cardiovascular services at the University of California, San Francisco, on the discussion of statin therapy in “healthy people”: This is from a recent article in the Wall Street Journal:

      “Fortunately, there is a proven, widely available treatment for people at high risk for heart disease that does prolong survival. This treatment is cheaper and more effective than any statin or other known drug, with virtually no adverse side effects. The treatment, which has been available for decades, involves almost no additional costs to patients, insurance companies or the government. Numerous studies have shown dramatic results in not only lowering cholesterol, but in preventing heart attacks and in prolonging life.

      This treatment is proper diet and exercise. If we were to spend a small fraction of the annual cost of statins on making fruits and vegetables and physical activity more accessible, the effect on heart disease, as well as high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer and overall life span, would be far greater than any benefit statins can produce.

      The effort is entirely feasible, but it requires commitment on many levels—by both physicians and public-health officials. Efforts should start in the school system through, for example, increased physical education and continued improvement in the nutritional value of school lunches and snacks.”

  4. I am 40 y/o and in good health with normal wt and bp. My father at the age of 74 developed angina for which he sought medical opinion and found to have 4 significantly blocked coronary arteries . He had a successful 4x CABG and is doing well. There is no other family hx of CAD but my paternal uncle had diabetes.

    My lipid profile as of 1 yr ago looked very much like my fathers at the same age of 39. My father only began statin tx at age of 66 responding to Lipitor 20 with normal TC, LDL-C, TG and high HDL-C ( low 60’s).

    I was briefly put on Simstatin 20 in 2010 when my lipids were TC 269, LDL-C 189, HDH-C 57 and TG 139. While on simstatin 20 my lipids were TC 218, LDL-C 145, HDL-C 54 and TG 96. Because of loss of health insurance and desire to try non-drug tx, I went off of statins and began marathons and triatholons. My lipid became TC 179, LDL-C 111, HDL-C 47 and TG 106.

    About 2 yrs ago, I went back to school to change careers. My exercise became more moderate but I went on a gluten-free, low carb and hi protein diet.

    2 mons ago, I had NMR testing done with : TC 285, LDL-C 207, LDL-P 2343, small LDL-P 809, LDL size 21.3, HDL-C 64, HDL-P( total) 32.9, large HDL-P 6.5, HDL-size 9.0, TG 70. My LP-IR is 26.

    Is a return to statins advisable given my lipid profile, family hx and normal state of my bp and wt. ?

    Should I change to another type of diet from my current one of gluten-free, low carb and hi protein?

    Should I increase my exercise from moderate to heavier?

    Thanks very much in advance

  5. Great read! Somehow, the idea of using drugs to to counter the effects of smoking,
    unhealthy eating and lack of exercise, does not appeal to me.
    Furthermore, forcing people to take drugs in order to reduce health
    costs seems odd, to say the least.
    BTW, if anyone needs to fill out a CBP I-94, I found a blank fillable
    form here "".

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