Statins and Heart Disease

The latest findings of a study, published in the journal ‘Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology’, have shown that patients taking statin drugs are more likely to suffer from hardening of the arteries, a leading cause of heart disease.  Yes, the condition that they are given to prevent, they actually cause!

Commenting on the findings, lead researcher, Dr Okuyama of Nagoya City University, Japan, said: “We have collected a wealth of information on cholesterol and statins from many published papers and find overwhelming evidence that these drugs accelerate hardening of the arteries and can cause, or worsen, heart failure.”

We have known for some time that statin drugs have several side effects such as cataract, type 2 diabetes, depression, muscle pain, fatigue, memory loss, kidney damage, liver dysfunction, neurological damage, migraines and digestive problems, but this one caps the lot – heart disease!

The researchers also discovered that patients taking statin drugs were more likely to have calcium deposits in their arteries, a phenomenon directly linked to heart attacks. This is because statins block a molecule needed for the body to produce a vital vitamin, Vitamin K, which prevents calcification of the arteries.

Dr Okuyama added that many earlier industry-sponsored studies, like the notorious JUPITER trial, which show the benefits of statins, are completely unreliable. As a result, Dr Okuyama proposes that current statin treatment guidelines be critically re-evaluated.

Dr Malcolm Kendrick, who has done extensive studies on heart health and statins, said: “This study demolishes the argument that these drugs should be prescribed to anyone, as the harms clearly outweigh any previously suggested benefits.”

Dr Peter Langsjoen, a heart specialist based in Texas, said: “Statins are being used so aggressively and in such large numbers of people that the adverse effects are now becoming obvious. These drugs should never have been approved for use. The long-term effects are devastating.”

A spokesman for the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (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 of statins will be carefully reviewed and action be taken if required.”   I wonder how long we have to wait and how many more people are going to die of heart disease before they remove statins from the market as ‘dangerous.

In my opinion high cholesterol levels are not as bad as the GPs lead us to believe but if you do have high cholesterol and would like to reduce it, cutting sugar out of your diet and taking plant sterols may be a less dangerous approach!

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