Statin Users, CoQ10 Is Your New Best Friend


Statin Users, CoQ10 Is Your New Best Friend

Following your doctor prescribed cholesterol-lowering regimen that may include eating healthy, exercising regularly, and taking cholesterol medication such as statins can help keep your cholesterol in check.

However, it’s a bit of a double-edged sword. While statins help to keep your cholesterol levels under control, they can also deplete your body of essential compounds and chemicals that keep the body running smoothly.

More importantly, if you have high cholesterol and are currently taking statin medication, you run the risk of significantly lowering your normal CoQ10 levels, something that could compromise your normal body functions.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC), there is no doubt that statins will “reduce the natural levels of CoQ10 in the body.” In fact, it has been shown that statins can lower CoQ10 levels by up to 40%. This could potentially complicate other health issues and leave you vulnerable to side effects from your prescribed statins.

There is some good news, however. The UMMC reports that “taking CoQ10 supplements might help increase levels in the body and reduce problems.” It further suggests that CoQ10 may support healthy cardiovascular function – something worth considering, especially if you have a history of heart disease in your family.

What is CoQ10?

The term may look like something off the molecular chart from your high school science class, but coenzyme Q10 is the only name we have to describe this essential antioxidant.

What does it actually do, though?

You could say that CoQ10 is a bright spark in the tinderbox, as it gets everything fired up. From vital organs to muscles, you’ll find CoQ10 in every cell (did you know that the highest concentrations can be found in your heart, liver, and kidneys?), balancing electrons, producing energy and fighting off free radicals. It’s the life of the party! In essence, it’s an energy-producing coenzyme that keeps your engine running on all cylinders.

The Power Plant of Every Living Cell

It’s hard to imagine our cells busy at work, rushing through our bloodstream to every organ and muscle in the body, repairing, building, and fighting off intruders. It’s a beehive of industry and this requires a lot of energy. This energy is produced by a complex series of biochemical reactions that results in the production of Adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the energy currency of the cell.  CoQ10 is essential to this process due to its electron transfer characteristics and is in fact a vital factor for 95% of the overall energy production at the cellular level.

Thanks to CoQ10, this energy breathes life into your body and keeps it functioning optimally. However, when you’re taking statins, CoQ10 levels are significantly lowered.

What Happens When There’s a Shortage of CoQ10?

As you get older, CoQ10 levels naturally decline and researchers have identified  CoQ10 deficiency as a contributing factor to many health conditions.  Heart disease is probably the most common condition that can be affected by a CoQ10 deficiency, and this includes heart failure, angina, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and cardiovascular disease. CoQ10 is often recommended by general practitioners and cardiologists alike as a dietary supplement to help assure adequate levels of this coenzyme, especially if you’ve been prescribed statins. It’s has also proven to be an effective after-care supplement for heart failure, heart surgery, and chemotherapy.

CoQ10 is found in a bunch of foods like meat, fish, and whole grains. In a healthy, balanced diet, it should be in adequate supply. However, certain diseases like diabetes, Parkinson’s, and heart disease, as well as drugs like statins can diminish your natural CoQ10 levels considerably. In these instances, the best way to return to normal levels is for you to supplement your diet with CoQ10.

Your organs require huge amounts of CoQ10 to carry out their daily functions. So you can understand how vital this antioxidant is to ensure their health. It’s also a critical component in regulating blood sugar levels and is often also recommended to diabetic patients. Because of how essential it is for energy production and its characteristics as a powerful antioxidant, CoQ10 supplementation is regularly recommended for people with cancer, muscular dystrophy, and periodontal disease.

Is CoQ10 Good for Muscle Pain Caused by Statins?

CoQ10 is in hot demand by the body, as its role is critical in maintaining the overall health of your body. Your organs rely on it, and so too do your muscles. In fact, they can’t function without it.

During any given day, your muscle fibers break down and rebuild in order to get stronger. It’s a bit like housekeeping. Old muscle cells are swept away, with the arrival of fresh cells that are brimming with life.

Deep inside these muscle fibers, you’ll find CoQ10 delivering fresh energy stores to cells in need, as well as warding off intruders. But when levels of CoQ10 are compromised by statins, proper muscle function can be  impaired, and the whole process begins to collapse. The result is muscle pain and joint stiffness – one of the common side effects of statins. Muscle soreness can seriously affect your mobility, not to mention, your quality of life. It also increases your risk of falling, as it leaves you unsteady on your feet.

According to a study published in the American Journal of Cardiology, CoQ10 can help alleviate muscle pain and joint discomfort brought on by statin drugs:

“Results suggest that coenzyme Q10 supplementation may decrease muscle pain associated with statin treatment. Thus, coenzyme Q10 supplementation may offer an alternative to stopping treatment with these vital drugs” – American Journal of Cardiology

Not only is CoQ10 essential in maintaining heart and organ health, it is also instrumental in the proper functioning of your muscles. And one of the secrets to longevity and quality of life is strong muscles.

CoQ10 And Statins – It Makes Sense to Supplement with CoQ10

This vital coenzyme is so essential to the body that you’ll notice immediately if you’re in short supply. Because statins can rob your body of this vital component, it makes sense to supplement your diet with CoQ10. There’s also the added health benefit of its anti-aging, antioxidant properties that help to prevent free radicals from damaging your tissues.

Talk to your doctor to see if CoQ10 is right for you, especially if you’re currently taking statins. It’ll make all the difference to your quality of life.

 

COQ10 SOURCES & REFERENCES

Coenzyme Q10: University of Maryland Medical Centerhttp://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/coenzyme-q10

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) : In Depth; National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

https://nccih.nih.gov/health/supplements/coq10

CoQ10 and Statins: What You Need To Know : Healthline

http://www.healthline.com/health/coq10-and-statins#Overview1

CoEnzyme Q10, An Overview : Web MD

http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/heart-failure/tc/coenzyme-q10-topic-overview

Effect of coenzyme q10 on myopathic symptoms in patients treated with statins:

American Journal of Cardiology

Ghirlanda G., Oradei A., Manto A., et al. Evidence of plasma CoQ10-lowering effect by HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. J Clin Pharmacol. 1993;33(3):226–229.

Statin Users, CoQ10 Is Your New Best Friend


Statin Users, CoQ10 Is Your New Best Friend

Following your doctor prescribed cholesterol-lowering regimen that may include eating healthy, exercising regularly, and taking cholesterol medication such as statins can help keep your cholesterol in check.

However, it’s a bit of a double-edged sword. While statins help to keep your cholesterol levels under control, they can also deplete your body of essential compounds and chemicals that keep the body running smoothly.

More importantly, if you have high cholesterol and are currently taking statin medication, you run the risk of significantly lowering your normal CoQ10 levels, something that could compromise your normal body functions.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC), there is no doubt that statins will “reduce the natural levels of CoQ10 in the body.” In fact, it has been shown that statins can lower CoQ10 levels by up to 40%. This could potentially complicate other health issues and leave you vulnerable to side effects from your prescribed statins.

There is some good news, however. The UMMC reports that “taking CoQ10 supplements might help increase levels in the body and reduce problems.” It further suggests that CoQ10 may support healthy cardiovascular function – something worth considering, especially if you have a history of heart disease in your family.

What is CoQ10?

The term may look like something off the molecular chart from your high school science class, but coenzyme Q10 is the only name we have to describe this essential antioxidant.

What does it actually do, though?

You could say that CoQ10 is a bright spark in the tinderbox, as it gets everything fired up. From vital organs to muscles, you’ll find CoQ10 in every cell (did you know that the highest concentrations can be found in your heart, liver, and kidneys?), balancing electrons, producing energy and fighting off free radicals. It’s the life of the party! In essence, it’s an energy-producing coenzyme that keeps your engine running on all cylinders.

The Power Plant of Every Living Cell

It’s hard to imagine our cells busy at work, rushing through our bloodstream to every organ and muscle in the body, repairing, building, and fighting off intruders. It’s a beehive of industry and this requires a lot of energy. This energy is produced by a complex series of biochemical reactions that results in the production of Adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the energy currency of the cell.  CoQ10 is essential to this process due to its electron transfer characteristics and is in fact a vital factor for 95% of the overall energy production at the cellular level.

Thanks to CoQ10, this energy breathes life into your body and keeps it functioning optimally. However, when you’re taking statins, CoQ10 levels are significantly lowered.

What Happens When There’s a Shortage of CoQ10?

As you get older, CoQ10 levels naturally decline and researchers have identified  CoQ10 deficiency as a contributing factor to many health conditions.  Heart disease is probably the most common condition that can be affected by a CoQ10 deficiency, and this includes heart failure, angina, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and cardiovascular disease. CoQ10 is often recommended by general practitioners and cardiologists alike as a dietary supplement to help assure adequate levels of this coenzyme, especially if you’ve been prescribed statins. It’s has also proven to be an effective after-care supplement for heart failure, heart surgery, and chemotherapy.

CoQ10 is found in a bunch of foods like meat, fish, and whole grains. In a healthy, balanced diet, it should be in adequate supply. However, certain diseases like diabetes, Parkinson’s, and heart disease, as well as drugs like statins can diminish your natural CoQ10 levels considerably. In these instances, the best way to return to normal levels is for you to supplement your diet with CoQ10.

Your organs require huge amounts of CoQ10 to carry out their daily functions. So you can understand how vital this antioxidant is to ensure their health. It’s also a critical component in regulating blood sugar levels and is often also recommended to diabetic patients. Because of how essential it is for energy production and its characteristics as a powerful antioxidant, CoQ10 supplementation is regularly recommended for people with cancer, muscular dystrophy, and periodontal disease.

Is CoQ10 Good for Muscle Pain Caused by Statins?

CoQ10 is in hot demand by the body, as its role is critical in maintaining the overall health of your body. Your organs rely on it, and so too do your muscles. In fact, they can’t function without it.

During any given day, your muscle fibers break down and rebuild in order to get stronger. It’s a bit like housekeeping. Old muscle cells are swept away, with the arrival of fresh cells that are brimming with life.

Deep inside these muscle fibers, you’ll find CoQ10 delivering fresh energy stores to cells in need, as well as warding off intruders. But when levels of CoQ10 are compromised by statins, proper muscle function can be  impaired, and the whole process begins to collapse. The result is muscle pain and joint stiffness – one of the common side effects of statins. Muscle soreness can seriously affect your mobility, not to mention, your quality of life. It also increases your risk of falling, as it leaves you unsteady on your feet.

According to a study published in the American Journal of Cardiology, CoQ10 can help alleviate muscle pain and joint discomfort brought on by statin drugs:

“Results suggest that coenzyme Q10 supplementation may decrease muscle pain associated with statin treatment. Thus, coenzyme Q10 supplementation may offer an alternative to stopping treatment with these vital drugs” – American Journal of Cardiology

Not only is CoQ10 essential in maintaining heart and organ health, it is also instrumental in the proper functioning of your muscles. And one of the secrets to longevity and quality of life is strong muscles.

CoQ10 And Statins – It Makes Sense to Supplement with CoQ10

This vital coenzyme is so essential to the body that you’ll notice immediately if you’re in short supply. Because statins can rob your body of this vital component, it makes sense to supplement your diet with CoQ10. There’s also the added health benefit of its anti-aging, antioxidant properties that help to prevent free radicals from damaging your tissues.

Talk to your doctor to see if CoQ10 is right for you, especially if you’re currently taking statins. It’ll make all the difference to your quality of life.

 

COQ10 SOURCES & REFERENCES

Coenzyme Q10: University of Maryland Medical Centerhttp://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/coenzyme-q10

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) : In Depth; National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

https://nccih.nih.gov/health/supplements/coq10

CoQ10 and Statins: What You Need To Know : Healthline

http://www.healthline.com/health/coq10-and-statins#Overview1

CoEnzyme Q10, An Overview : Web MD

http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/heart-failure/tc/coenzyme-q10-topic-overview

Effect of coenzyme q10 on myopathic symptoms in patients treated with statins:

American Journal of Cardiology

Ghirlanda G., Oradei A., Manto A., et al. Evidence of plasma CoQ10-lowering effect by HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. J Clin Pharmacol. 1993;33(3):226–229.

The Real Reason to Take a Statin


statins

“Why should I take a cholesterol medication if my cholesterol isn’t high?”

This is a question I heard recently from a new patient, Greg (not his real name, of course). Greg’s seeing me because he had a heart attack a year ago, and he wants to make sure he’s doing everything he can to prevent another one.

Overall, Greg’s doing quite well. He’s active, he quit smoking. and he’s taking his blood pressure medications as directed. However, he stopped the cholesterol medication because he didn’t think he needed it. As far back as he can remember, his doctors have told him his cholesterol numbers are good. Why would he need a cholesterol med if his cholesterol was OK?

He was surprised when I recommended that he start taking his cholesterol medication again.

What are Statins?

The medication that Greg had stopped was a statin. Statins are commonly referred to as “cholesterol medications” and are one of the most prescribed medications in the world. They are also one of the most controversial. There is a lot of debate about who should be taking a statin medication. While there are passionate people on both sides, often the “right” answer is mostly dependent on the goals of the patient. It’s my role to explain the risks and benefits of taking a statin. And, while I don’t tell the patient what to do, I do emphasize that countless studies have proven that statins do decrease the risk of heart attack, stroke, and death in those who are at high risk for heart disease.

They’re Not Just for Cholesterol

Why did I recommend that Greg restart his cholesterol med if his numbers were good?

There are 3 reasons:

1)    What is defined as “good” cholesterol numbers depend on the patient’s risk.  Cholesterol numbers that are perfectly acceptable in a young person with no risk factors, might not be acceptable in someone with a high risk of heart disease.  Greg had a heart attack in the past, which puts him in a high-risk group.

2)    It’s not just about lowering cholesterol numbers, but HOW the cholesterol is lowered. Although we call statins “cholesterol meds”, what we primarily use them for is to lower the risk for future heart attack and stroke. This is an important point because not all cholesterol medications are the same. Some (such as some niacin-based medications), make cholesterol numbers look better, but don’t change risk and are rarely used.

3)    Statins have been shown to lower risk even in those with normal or low cholesterol numbers. Rather than “cholesterol meds”, statins would be more appropriately called “risk meds”.

Once Greg understood why he was prescribed a statin (not just to lower his cholesterol, but more to lower his risk for future heart attack and stroke), he was glad to start taking it again.

Statins myth: thousands are dying because of warnings over non-existent side effects


False claims about the risks of statins may have cost the lives of tens of thousands of Britons, researchers have said, after a Lancet study found the drugs do not cause side-effects which have deterred many.

The research on 10,000 people found that if they did not know what drugs they were given, they were no more likely than those given sugar pills to report symptoms such as muscle pain, sleep disturbance and cognitive impairment.

Yet when participants in a second part of the trial were told the drugs were statins, rates of some reported side-effects shot up – with muscle pain appearing up to 41 per cent more common.

Last night the study’s lead author accused British medicines regulators of “jumping the gun” in ever listing such side-effects on drug packaging.

Prof Peter Sever, from Imperial College London, urged the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to now strip packets of such warnings, in order to save “tens if not hundreds of thousands of lives”.

There are people out there who are dying because they’re not taking statins, and the numbers are large, the numbers are tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousandsProf Peter Sever, Imperial College London

He said it was a “tragedy” akin to the MMR scandal that high risk patients had been deterred from taking drugs which could save their lives. Urging patients not to “gamble” with the risk of heart attacks and strokes, he said “bad science” had misled the public, deterring many from taking life-saving medication.

The study of patients at risk of heart disease, found that those told that their daily drug was a statin were far more likely to think they were suffering side-effects.

Researchers said it illustrated a “nocebo effect” which meant patients were more likely to think they were experiencing side-effects if they expected them.

As a result, daily aches and pains were more likely to be attributed to statins.

The phenomenon is the opposite to the well-known placebo effect, the beneficial response sometimes experienced by those given “dummy” drugs as part of trials.

NHS guidance recommends the cholesterol-busting drugs for around 40 per cent of adults.

But a number of doctors have argued against “mass medicalisation” saying too many pills are being doled out instead of efforts to improve lifestyles.

The new study suggests millions of patients could benefit from high doses of statins

Prof Sever said many of those arguing against statins had exagerrated risks such as muscle pain, which were not backed by the new study, the largest ever research into their side-effects.

In 2009, the MHRA listed such side-effects on packaging for statins, after a series of observational studies suggested such links.

Prof Sever said the regulator should never have taken such action.

“There are people out there who are dying because they’re not taking statins, and the numbers are large, the numbers are tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands. And they are dying because of a nocebo effect, in my opinion,” he said.

“Many of us would say that the MHRA … did not make a profound value judgment based on the evidence,” the professor said.

“We would hope that the MHRA will withdraw that request that these side effects should be listed.”

He added: “These warnings should not be on the label … I would love to see these side effects removed.

A spokesman for the MHRA said: “The benefits of statins are well established and are considered to outweigh the risk of side-effects in the majority of patients.”

“Any new significant information on the efficacy or safety of statins will be carefully reviewed and action will be taken if required, including updates to product labelling.”

The study’s researchers said statins were not without any side-effects. Statins carry around a 9 per cent increased risk of diabetes, they said, with links to uncommon side effects such as myopathy, resulting in muscle weakness.

Even so, the benefits of the drugs in reducing risk of heart attacks and strokes “overwhelmed” the risk of side-effects, Prof Sever said.

Speaking of the nocebo effect, he said: “Just as the placebo effect can be very strong, so too can the nocebo effect.

“This is not a case of people making up symptoms, or that the symptoms are ‘all in their heads’. Patients can experience very real pain as a result of the nocebo effect and the expectation that drugs will cause harm.”

The study was funded by drug company Pfizer, which makes statins, but the authors said all data collection, analysis and interpretation of the results was carried out independently.

London cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra, who has argued against mass prescribing of statins, last night insisted the drugs had only “marginal” benefits for those with established heart disease, and did not save lives for lower risk patients.

Other research had found that more than half of patients put on statins abandoned them within a year, most commonly because of side-effects, he said.

He said the misrepresentation of the risks and benefits of statins would unfold to become “one of the biggest scandals in the history of medicine”.

 

7 Ways To Prevent and Even Reverse Heart Disease With Nutrition


7 Ways To Prevent and Even Reverse Heart Disease With Nutrition

You can reverse heart disease with nutrition, according to a growing body of scientific research.

Considering that heart disease is the #1 cause of death in the developed world, anything that can prevent cardiac mortality, or slow or even reverse the cardiovascular disease process, should be of great interest to the general public.

Sadly, millions of folks are unaware of the extensive body of biomedical literature that exists supporting the use of natural compounds for preventing and even reversing heart disease.

Instead, they spend billions buying highly toxic cholesterol-lowering pharmaceuticals with known cardiotoxicity, among 300 other proven side effects, simply because their doctor told them to do so.

So, with this in mind, let’s look at the biomedical literature itself.

Three Natural Substances that Reduce the Risk of Heart-Related Death

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: There is a robust body of research indicating that the risk of sudden cardiac death is reduced when consuming higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Going all the way back to 2002, the New England Journal of Medicine published a study titled,  “Blood levels of long-chain n-3 fatty acids and the risk of sudden death,” which found  “The n-3 fatty acids found in fish are strongly associated with a reduced risk of sudden death among men without evidence of prior cardiovascular disease.” Another 2002 study, published in the journal Circulation, found that Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation reduces total mortality and sudden death in patients who have already had a heart attack.[i] For additional research, view our dataset on the topic of Omega-3 fatty acids and the reduction of cardiac mortality.

It should be noted that the best-selling cholesterol drug class known as statins may actually reduce the effectiveness of omega-3 fats at protecting the heart. This has been offered as an explanation as to why newer research seems to show that consuming omega-3 fats does not lower the risk of cardiac mortality.

Vitamin D: Levels of this essential compound have been found to be directly associated with the risk of dying from all causes. Being in the lowest 25% percent of vitamin D levels is associated with a 26% increased rate of all-cause mortality.[ii]  It has been proposed that doubling global vitamin D levels could significantly reduce mortality.[iii] Research published in the journal Clinical Endocrinology in 2009 confirmed that lower vitamin D levels are associated with increased all-cause mortality but also that the effect is even more pronounced with cardiovascular mortality.[iv] This finding was confirmed the same year in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society, [v]and again in 2010 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.[vi]

Magnesium: In a world gone mad over taking inorganic calcium supplementation for invented diseases such as T-score defined “osteopenia” or “osteoporosis,” despite their well-known association with increased risk of cardiac mortality, magnesium’s role in protecting against heart disease cannot be overstressed. It is well-known that even the accelerated aging of the heart muscle experienced by those in long space flight is due to magnesium deficiency. In 2010, the Journal of Biomedical Sciences reported that cardiovascular risks are significantly lower in individuals who excrete higher levels of magnesium, indicating its protective role.[vii]  Another study published in the journal Atherosclerosis in 2011 found that low serum magnesium concentrations predict cardiovascular and all-cause mortality.[viii] Remember that when you are looking to ‘supplement’ your diet with magnesium go green. Chlorophyll is green because it has a magnesium atom at its center. Kale, for example, is far better a source of complex nutrition than magnesium supplements. But, failing the culinary approach, magnesium supplements can be highly effective at attaining a therapeutic and/or cardioprotective dose.

For an additional list of compounds that may reduce cardiac mortality, including cocoa, tea, wine and yes, even cholesterol itself, view our Reduce Cardiac Mortality page.

Pomegranate Heart Health Benefits

Four Natural Compounds Which May Unclog the Arteries

Pomegranate: this remarkable fruit has been found in a human clinical study to reverse the carotid artery thickness (i.e. blockage) by up to 29% within 1 year. [ix] There are a broad range of mechanisms that have been identified which may be responsible for this effect, including: 1) lowering blood pressure 2) fighting infection (plaque in arteries often contains bacteria and viruses) 3) preventing cholesterol oxidation 4) reducing inflammation.[x]

Arginine: Preclinical and clinical research indicates that this amino acid not only prevents the progression of atherosclerosis but also reverses pathologies associated with the process. (see also: Clogged Arteries and Arginine). One of the mechanisms in which it accomplishes this feat is by increasing the production of nitric oxide which is normally depressed in blood vessels where the inner lining has been damaged (endothelium) resulting in dysfunction.

Garlic: Not only has garlic been found to reduce a multitude of risk factors associated with arteriosclerosis, the thickening and hardening of the arteries, but it also significantly reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke.[xi]  In vitro research has confirmed that garlic inhibits arteriosclerotic plaque formation.[xii]  Aged garlic extract has also been studied to inhibit the progression of coronary artery calcification in patients receiving statin therapy.[xiii]

And let us not forget, garlic’s benefits are extremely broad. We have identified over 150 diseases that this remarkable culinary and medicinal herb has been confirmed to be of potential value in treating and preventing and which can be viewed here: Garlic Health Benefits.

B-Complex: One of the few vitamin categories that has been confirmed in human studies to not only reduce the progression of plaque buildup in the arteries but actually reverse it is B-complex. A 2009 study published in the journal Stroke found that high dose B-complex vitamin supplementation significantly reduces the progression of early-stage subclinical atherosclerosis in healthy individuals.[xiv] More remarkably, a 2005 study published in the journal Atherosclerosisfound a B-vitamin formula decreased the carotid artery thickness in patients at risk for cerebral ischemia.[xv] Another possible explanation for these positive effects is the role B-vitamins have in reducing the production of homocysteine, an artery and otherwise blood vessel scarring amino acid.[xvi]

Additional Heart Unfriendly Things To Avoid

No discussion of preventing cardiac mortality would be complete without discussing things that need to be removed in order to reduce risk, such as:

NSAIDs: Drugs like aspirin, ibuprofen, and Tylenol, have well-known association with increased cardiac mortality. Review six studies on the topic here: NSAID Cardiotoxicity.

Statin Drugs: It is the height of irony that the very category of drugs promoted to millions globally as the standard of care for primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease and cardiac mortality are actually cardiotoxic agents, linked to no less than 300 adverse health effects. Statin drugs have devastating health effects. Explore the research here: Statin Drug Health Effects.

Wheat: while this connection is rarely discussed, even by those who promote grain-free and wheat free diets, wheat has profound cardiotoxic potential, along with over 200 documented adverse health effects: Wheat Toxicity. And why wouldn’t it, when the very countries that eat the most of it have the highest rate of cardiovascular disease and heart-related deaths? For an in-depth explanation read our article: Wheat’s Cardiotoxicity: As Serious As A Heart Attack.

Finally, for additional research on the topic of heart health promoting strategies visit our Health

Reduced statin benefits observed as CKD worsens


In patients with advanced chronic kidney disease, the benefits of statin therapy on cardiovascular outcomes decreased with declining estimated glomerular filtration rate, according to a recent meta-analysis.

“Our results show that, even after allowing for somewhat smaller reductions in LDL cholesterol as GFR declines, there is a trend towards smaller relative risk reductions for major coronary events and strokes,” researchers from the Cholesterol Treatment Trialists’ (CTT) Collaboration wrote. “In particular, there was little evidence that statin-based therapy was effective in patients starting treatment after dialysis had been initiated.”

Researchers from the CTT analyzed patient data from 28 randomized controlled trials assessing the effects of statin therapy on LDL cholesterol reduction according to baseline renal function (n = 183,419; mean age, 62 years; 73% men; 58% with vascular disease; 20% with diabetes). In 23 trials, a statin-based regimen was compared with control (n = 143,807; mean baseline LDL cholesterol, 3.64 mmol/L; mean difference in LDL cholesterol at 1 year, –1.08 mmol/L; median follow-up, 4.8 years). In the remaining five trials, researchers assessed the effects of an intensive statin regimen vs. standard statin regimen (n = 39,612; mean baseline LDL cholesterol, 2.53 mmol/L; mean difference in LDL cholesterol at 1 year, –0.51 mmol/L; median follow-up, 5.1 years).

Baseline renal function data were available for 99% of patients; 68% had an eGFR of at least 60 mL/min/1.73 m²; 19% had an eGFR between 45 and 60 mL/min/1.73 m²; 6% had an eGFR between 30 to 45 mL/min/1.73 m²; 3% had an eGFR 30 mL/min/1.73 m² or less and were not on dialysis; 4% were on dialysis.

Statin therapy treatment effects were estimated with rate ratio (RR) per mmol/L reduction in LDL cholesterol.

Researchers found that statin-based treatment reduced the risk for a first major vascular event by 21% per mmol/L reduction in LDL cholesterol (RR = 0.79; 95% CI, 0.77-0.81), including reduced risks for major coronary events (RR = 0.76; 95% CI, 0.73-0.79) and stroke (RR = 0.84; 95% CI, 0.8-0.89).

“There was a significant trend towards smaller proportional effects on major vascular events with lower eGFR at randomization (P = .008 for trend),” the researchers wrote. “Within each baseline renal function category, the proportional reduction in major vascular events was similar, irrespective of estimated cardiovascular risk level.”

Researchers also found that, overall, statin therapy reduced the need for coronary revascularization procedures by 25% per mmol/L LDL cholesterol reduction (RR = 0.75; 95% CI, 0.73-0.78); however, there was no trend observed for this outcome by baseline renal function.

Statin therapy also reduced the risk for vascular death overall by 12% per mmol/L reduction in LDL cholesterol (RR = 0.88; 95% CI, 0.85-0.91), and researchers found a trend toward smaller proportional effects on vascular mortality with declining baseline renal function (P = .03 for trend).

“However, reducing LDL cholesterol with statin-based therapy had no significant effect on non-vascular mortality at any level of renal function,” the researchers wrote.

In sensitivity analyses excluding patients undergoing dialysis at randomization, researchers did not observe any trends for vascular outcomes or deaths across eGFR categories (P > .05 for all trend values).

In a commentary accompanying the study, Muh Geot Wong, MBBS, PhD, FRACP, and Vlado Perkovic, PhD, FASN, FRACP, both of The George Institute for Global Health, University of Sydney, Australia, noted the results raise further questions regarding the effects of lipid-lowering in advanced disease and highlight the importance of new trials with highly-effective agents.

“By defining what we still do not know, this analysis will hopefully encourage further studies that improve outcomes for this high-risk patient group,” they wrote. – by Regina Schaffer

Study on CT calcium testing redefines who needs statins


CT calcium testing could significantly refine conventional wisdom regarding long-term statin therapy, as well as favorably influence cost containment and flexible treatment options, according to a study in the October 13 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

The study, which involved CT calcium testing in a large patient population, found that nearly two-thirds of adults ages 45 to 75 are either recommended or considered for statins by current guidelines. Almost half of these candidates have no coronary artery calcium, and their actual risk is much lower than the threshold suggested by the guidelines to consider statin therapy. The greatest reclassification was noted in those at an intermediate level of estimated risk by traditional risk factors.

The results showed that a CT coronary artery calcium scan can efficiently guide cost containment and reduce the need for costly medical therapy, including limiting high out-of-pocket expenditures, according to the Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography (SCCT).

Coronary artery calcium (CAC) scoring has been used primarily to identify those at an increased risk of downstream events to guide appropriate medical therapy. However, the new data confirm that CAC also identifies those at a low risk of events, especially if they have a CAC score of 0.

The study could therefore significantly affect the physician-patient shared decision process regarding statin initiation for managing cardiovascular risk, added lead author Dr. Khurram Nasir from Baptist Health South Florida. Because the majority of patients are already candidates for statin therapy according to guidelines, the need to identify additional individuals for testing and preventive treatment becomes less compelling.

“We believe these risk-guided approaches can limit overtreatment at the population level,” he added.

 

Statin scam exposed: Cholesterol drugs cause rapid aging, brain damage and diabetes.


Sadly, many people take statin drugs, which are commonly known by brand names including Lipitor, Crestor and Zocor. Prescription drug spending in the U.S. shot up to about $374 billion in 2014, representing the highest level of spending since 2001. Statins undoubtedly made up a significant portion of this spending, and now consumers who take such drugs have much more to worry about than the dent it’s making in their wallets.

The study, which was published in the American Journal of Physiology, states that statins’ “…impact on other biologic properties of stem cells provides a novel explanation for their adverse clinical effects.” Specifically, the study states that such adverse effects include advancing the “process of aging” and also notes that “…long-term use of statins has been associated with adverse effects including myopathy, neurological side effects and an increased risk of diabetes.” Myopathy refers to skeletal muscle weakness.

cholesterol-drugs-cause-rapid-aging

Statins make cells unable to repair properly, create nerve problems and destroy memory

Experts involved in the study suggest that the health problems associated with statins have likely been downplayed through the years. In reality, those taking such cholesterol-lowering drugs have been experiencing cataracts, fatigue, liver problems, muscle pain and memory loss. Simply put, the drugs have been found to tamper with cells in such a way that their primary purpose of reproducing and helping the body repair is thwarted. With that comes the onset of terrible health issues or the worsening of existing ones.

Professor Reza Izadpanah, a stem cell biologist and lead author of the published study, says, “Our study shows statins may speed up the ageing process. People who use statins as a preventative medicine for [health] should think again as our research shows they may have general unwanted effects on the body which could include muscle pain, nerve problems and joint problems.”

Statin Doesn’t Reduce ICU Ventilation Delirium


Rosuvastatin (Crestor) is not effective for reducing delirium and subsequent cognitive impairment in critically ill patients with sepsis-related acute respiratory distress who require mechanical ventilation, according to ancillary findings from a randomized controlled trial.

Participants in the multicenter, nationwide Patients in the Statins for Acutely Injured Lungs from Sepsis (SAILS) trial who were treated with rosuvastatin were no less likely to experience delirium while hospitalized in intensive care than patients in the placebo arm of the study, and the two groups had similar rates of cognitive impairment at 6- and 12-months follow-up.

The findings do not support those of previous preclinical and observational studies showing statins to be associated with reduced daily delirium in intensive care, researcher Dale Needham, MD, of Johns Hopkins University, and colleagues wrote in Lancet Respiratory Medicine, published online Jan. 28.
Delirium is very common in critically ill, mechanically ventilated patients, occurring in as many as 80%, in one study. Delirium is also strongly associated with cognitive impairment lasting for a year or more after discharge.
In an email exchange, Needham told MedPage Today that more than 70% of the patients in the SAILS study who required invasive mechanical ventilation due to sepsis-associated acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) experienced delirium during their ICU stay.
“Approximately one-third of surviving study participants had cognitive impairment at 12-month follow-up, which prior studies have demonstrated is associated with duration of delirium in ICU,” Needham noted. “Despite encouraging preliminary studies, this trial showed no benefit of rosuvastatin in reducing delirium in intensive care or in reducing cognitive impairment during 12 months of follow-up.”
The double-blind study was conducted at 35 hospitals located throughout the U.S., and patients were randomly assigned in blocks of eight, stratified by hospital to receive either rosuvastatin (40 mg loading dose, followed by 20 mg daily until 3 days after discharged from ICU, study day 28, or death) or placebo.

The primary endpoint was daily delirium status in ICU up to 28 days in the intention-to-treat population and secondary endpoints were cognitive function at 6- and 12-months.
A total of 272 patients were assessed for delirium daily in intensive care, and the mean proportion of days with delirium was 34% (SD 30%) in the rosuvastatin group versus 31% (SD 29%) in the placebo group (hazard ratio 1.14, 95% CI 0.92-1.41; P=0.22).
Nineteen (36%) of 53 patients in the rosuvastatin group had cognitive impairment at 6 months versus 29 (38%) of 77 in the placebo group, with no significant difference seen between groups (treatment effect, 0.93, 95% CI 0.39–2.22; P=0.87).
At 12 months, 20 (30%) of 67 patients versus 23 (28%) of 81 patients had cognitive impairment, with no significant difference between groups (treatment effect 1.1, 95% CI 0.5–2.6; P=0.82).
“To our knowledge, this is the first ancillary study of a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial evaluating the effect of rosuvastatin compared with placebo to evaluate effects on delirium in intensive care and subsequent cognitive function in patients with sepsis-associated acute respiratory distress syndrome,” the researchers wrote.
Researchers noted that incomplete data on delirium in the SAILS study was a potential limitation of the analysis, along with possible measurement error. They also noted that rosuvastatin has less antibacterial effects and tissue penetration than other widely used statins, including atorvastatin and simvastatin.
“Hence, we cannot conclude that a different statin would not be beneficial,” they wrote. “Some experts have suggested that randomized trials of delirium should assess statins with both high and low lipophilic properties given the uncertainty about the effects on neuroinflammation. However, both a lipophilic (ie. simvastatin) and nonlipophilic (ie. rosuvastatin) statin have been assessed in large randomized trials of patients with ARDS with similar findings of no beneficial effects on mortality and ventilator-free days.”
Based on findings from their observational study suggesting a benefit for keeping critically ill patients on pre-existing statin therapy, researchers in the U.K. are conducting a clinical trial aimed at determining if statins reduce the risk of delirium in this population.
Needham told MedPage Today that the lack of efficacy in the newly published post-hoc analysis highlights the importance of conducting studies on other potential strategies to reduce delirium in critically ill patients requiring mechanical ventilation.
“There is a need to continue evaluating interventions aimed at reducing delirium in the ICU and post-ICU cognitive impairments commonly observed in this population,” he noted.

Statin Use Strongly Linked to Diabetes in Healthy Adults


Even healthy adults taking statins are 87% more likely to develop diabetes.

A recent study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine evaluated 3982 Tricare beneficiaries who were taking statins and 21,988 peers in the military health system who were not.

Using 42 baseline characteristics, the researchers matched 3351 statin users to 3351 nonusers and then examined the incidence of diabetes, diabetic complications, and obesity in both groups. At baseline, all study subjects had no cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or other life-limiting chronic disease.

In addition to seeing a strong association between new-onset diabetes and statin use, those taking statins also had a 250% greater likelihood of developing diabetes with complications than their counterparts, and they were 14% more likely to be overweight or obese. The researchers also determined that the higher the dose of the statin, the greater the risk of these conditions.

While previous studies have linked statin use to increased risk of diabetes and potential weight gain, the current authors noted they provided more evidence of the association among healthy adults, which is less frequently studied.

“The risk of diabetes with statins has been known, but up until now, it was thought that this might be due to the fact that people who were prescribed statins had greater medical risks to begin with,” said lead author Ishak Mansi, MD, a professor and physician-researcher with the Veterans Affairs North Texas Health System and the University of Texas Southwestern, in a press release.

The authors did not advise patients to stop taking statins based on their study results; rather, they recommended that patients and health care providers discuss potential benefits and risks with statin use. However, they also encouraged patients to pursue lifestyle changes to potentially avoid taking statins.