by Dr. Zeff of Salmon Creek Clinic | Topic of Discussion: Statins
I found this article about statins today and wanted to begin my new clinical blog with this posting from PubMed. PubMed is a web site run by the National Institute of Health where peer-reviewed journal articles are available. It makes medical research for clinicians and the public quite easy.
Statins stimulate atherosclerosis and heart failure: pharmacological mechanisms.
In contrast to the current belief that cholesterol reduction with statins decreases atherosclerosis, we present a perspective that statins may be causative in coronary artery calcification and can function as mitochondrial toxins that impair muscle function in the heart and blood vessels through the depletion of coenzyme Q10 and ‘heme A’, and thereby ATP generation. Statins inhibit the synthesis of vitamin K2, the cofactor for matrix Gla-protein activation, which in turn protects arteries from calcification. Statins inhibit the biosynthesis of selenium containing proteins, one of which is glutathione peroxidase serving to suppress peroxidative stress. An impairment of selenoprotein biosynthesis may be a factor in congestive heart failure, reminiscent of the dilated cardiomyopathies seen with selenium deficiency. Thus, the epidemic of heart failure and atherosclerosis that plagues the modern world may paradoxically be aggravated by the pervasive use of statin drugs. We propose that current statin treatment guidelines be critically reevaluated.
Recently, I saw a few research articles showing homeopathic successes, but that will come later.
I have long been saying that statins are not what they are purported to be. They do not significantly reduce the number of cardiac deaths in North America. Since the introduction of Statins, which are now one of the top three prescribed medications in North America, incidence of death from heart attack and stroke has not decreased. It remains the number one cause of death in our culture. Over 400,000 people a year die from these problems, and most of them are taking Statins. This article mentions several of the problems and proposed mechanisms for these.
Statins are prescribed to lower cholesterol, and in that they are very successful. This is quite satisfying for a doctor and for a patient. You see a number on a lab report: cholesterol level. It is called “elevated”. The doctor says this is a problem. You take a statin. The next lab report shows a significant reduction in the cholesterol level. The doctor is happy. You are happy. Has your risk of dying from a heart attack or stroke lessened? For the vast number of people on statins, the answer is no.
Statins lower cholesterol by poisoning an enzyme in the liver which is required to make cholesterol. That same pathway also makes Coenzyme Q 10, which is also significantly reduced. It also poisons the production of Dolichol, Heme-A, and Prenylated Proteins. All of these are essential to healthy body function. IT IS A FICTION THAT ELEVATED CHOLESTEROL CAUSES ATHEROSCLEROSIS. Atherosclerosis is caused by inflammation in the blood vessel. The body makes the cholesterol for many purposes. One of them is to heal certain areas of damage, that is, it is a response to inflammation. The type of cholesterol and more specifically small fat particles (lipo-proteins) in the blood, may contribute to the inflammatory damage, but cholesterol as a whole is used to heal and repair.
The brain is about 25% cholesterol. The cholesterol pool in the blood is used in part to help repair and nourish the brain. That is one of the reason the liver makes cholesterol. As the cholesterol pool is artificially lowered by these enzyme poison we call “statins”, the liver is prevented from making the cholesterol that the body is trying, in its wisdom, to make to keep itself health and to repair damage. Statins, therefore, interfere with brain repair, and contribute to memory and thinking problems. They also interfere with muscle metabolism, and may cause muscle pain and damage.
This article presents some of the growing body of information that demonstrates the dangers of statins and how they are causing disease. I do not like statins, except in rare instances. But if someone is prescribed a statin, they should be prescribed CoQ10 along with it, and possibly other nutrient substances as well. It has also been demonstrated how statins have increased the incidence of diabetes.
Cholesterol is not the problem; inflammation is the problem. If one has a problem with atherosclerosis, cardio-vascular disease, or similar problems, the solution is not to take statins, but to discover and reduce causes of inflammation. We have substantially reduced inflammation AND atherosclerosis in our patients with dietary interventions and other harmless and healthful means. We have seen this proven by arteriograms and other objective methods of evaluation. And by the way, for most people, eating eggs is not a problem, and may actually help by providing a good source of healthy dietary fats.