Legal disclaimer: since we are not doctors, do NOT follow anything based on health-related topics on this or related sites without first consulting with your doctor or other trusted health professional. This is NOT medical advice and we are not qualified in any way to offer medical advice.
See prior posts on arteriosclerosis.
Americans love an easy pill solution, but the more I learn about statins the more I think that 40 million Americans taking statins are just guinea pigs in a huge and damaging experiment.
What a statin does
Statins damage a key function of the body: the ability of the body to use cholesterol effectively. Cholesterol is vital for metabolism, nerve and brain function, liver function, and much more.
Yet here we are, severely impacting the body’s ability to use cholesterol for all its necessary functions. Doctors would have us believe that stomping on a key biological bodily function is worry free.
Would you accept a 2600% increased risk of neuropathy for a 25% reduction in risk of a cardiac event? More on that below!
Statins damage just about everything
Consider that it is a certainty than many adverse reactions are not reported at all, or never properly investigated and reported.
Consider a few points I picked up from The Truth About Statins by Barbara H Roberts, MD. You can find numerous studies backing up all this stuff; do your own reading. It doesn’t matter if any particular area is more or less risk; the key point here is that statins affect just about every key area in the body, and that this damage can appear early or later and if you’re unlucky, it can be permanent.
You can count on there being very little money for research on any of these issues—no one has an interest in funding it and the FDA and Big Pharma and experts making money from this stuff have no interest in making an issue of it.
- WOMEN ARE NOT MEN — studies have shown women often get zero (ZERO) benefit from statins. Drugs get approved tested largely on men. That situation is just outrageously irresponsible. Yet the drug pushers push statins on women too, increasingly so.
- Polyneuropathy (damage to multiple nerves) — this is near and dear to me because it took me two years to recover from peripheral neuropathy from the antibiotic Metronidazole. What would a statin do to myelination of my nerves and to my brain function, finally (mostly) recovered from concussion?
Statins have been shown to increase the "odds ratio" to 14.2 times higher for polyneuropathy in short term use to 26.4 times for 3+ years. For perspective, being severely obese vs being of normal weight has an odds ratio of 7! Since statins are a lifelong medication, what does that mean 5 or 10 years out? How many cases of ALS cases (Lou Gherig’s disease) or similar issues result from statin use, and how would they even be diagnosed as such?
- Tendonities and tendon rupture —hundreds of cases. What the hell happens to an athlete putting tendons under far greater stress vs the general population?
- Rhabdomyolosis, severe muscle damage, muscles aches —muscle aches are very common. What happens year after year and one day you have grapefruit juice and end up in the hospital with your kidneys about to fail?
- Mitochondrial damage — damage to mitochondria which are essential not just in muscles, but in nerves and the brain too.
- Cancer — increased risk of some cancers (think colon polyps), possible lower risk of others.
- Congenital birth defects — babies with neurological and other problems from mothers who take stations.
- Diabetes — with 40 million Americans taking statins, the estimate is that 146,000 of them might develop diabetes due to statin use.
- Cognitive decline — statin users don’t learn or remember as well and may suffer serious problems like memory loss. What does this mean after 20 years of a statin for dementia and similar declines?!
- Liver damage — liver inflammation can cause all sorts of issues.
- Stroke — potentially lower risk of some mild strokes but higher risk of severe strokes because cell walls might be damaged by statins.
Doctors get the squeeze
There is considerable pressure on doctors to recommend statins, since the guidelines say they should. In other words, a doctor who fails to recommend a statin is at risk of being sued. Yet a doctor who prescribes a statin has no liability for that damage, no skin in the game. That in itself is a grotesquely flawed system.
Accordingly, most doctors go along with the dogma which has little or no actual cause-effect science to back up its claims. Data analysis for millions of people is not real science, it is only the basis for hypotheses to be tested. Yet statins are the recommendation stemming from this data analysis and in a contexte which fails badly from a total risk analysis perspective (the numerous side effects and how those risks escalate over time). We don’t know what we don’t know and those things known to be side effects are poorly studied, particularly over time.
If you don’t look for things you won’t find them, and that’s largely the story of statins. Sadly, the case is largely closed on statins. The FDA and Big Pharma consider the matter a nice solid done deal, they are NOT going to fund basic research to prove or disprove out the various assumptions on diet vs cholesterol and cholesterol vs heart disease, let alone go looking hard at the downsides. No one today can make any statement about individual risk, yet it is individuals being treated!
Intellectually and ethically bankrupt government-medical establishment
At 8% body fat I was borderline obese. That’s all you need to know about the intellectual rigor of modern medical “science”, whether it is BMI or cholesterol. The same data analytics approach gives rise to the same mass guidelines that any statistician will tell you are inapplicable to single data points (e.g., a human being).
This intellectually bankrupt approach is used for cholesterol levels to recommend to individual patients to take on all the risks, for an unknown benefit, a mere statistical probability.=
Are we really so clueless as to have a fixed cutoff value of a “safe” level of LDL, stating that regardless of genetics, epigenetics, gut biome, diet, activity level, family history, gender, etc—that everyone should have an LDL under 100? Such a guideline is profoundly anti-intellectual, yet that’s all most doctors will even look at.
In light of research showing the exact opposite assumed relationship between fat intake and LDL and a reliance on gross data analysis, the whole cholesterol thing is worm-holed structure of rotten wood. We don’t really even know why statins lower cardiac events—only that there is a correlation between their use and fewer events. It might have nothing to do with LDL!
I go on record here as saying that within 10-15 years, we will look back and find that statins incurred far more damage than benefit, and that some of those damaged will be severe for for some, and millions will have needlessly suffered an impaired quality of life for all the years they take statins.
Furthermore, the risks rise over time, so as millions of people continue to use statins the risk rises. Eat that grapefruit and (maybe) you suddenly one of those with a severe problem up to and including death.
Patently misleading claims: relative risk reduction
It reads like a sales pitch to me, virtually a scam: when speaking to benefits, a relative risk reduction is used.
If I told you that you could reduce a 4% risk to a 3% risk (a 25% risk reduction) over ten years , would you accept a 2600% higher risk of neuropathy? Along with numerous other hugely increased risks? Risks that almost certainly rises each year as never and brain and other body organs are under continuous assault by the statin.
IMO, you have to be a fool to accept odds like that (barring some overriding extreme factors).
Don’t expect your doctor to be reliable or even rational here. They will be off in fantasy land relying on experts. They don’t have time to go study up on the huge number of risks and they don’t have time to take a serious look at risk vs benefits. You’re going to get a quick “take your pill and see you in 6 months” recommendation from most doctors. Managed care, but not managed for your benefit.