A new study highlights the fact that using statin drugs to lower cholesterol levels are not risk-free. Researchers found that statin use increased the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 46% in men. These results are a little better than the 72% increase in type 2 diabetes noted in postmenopausal women who consume the drug. The results from these studies and others similar studies question the false hope that physicians and consumers place in statin drugs to promote a longer, healthier life.
While statins have been shown to reduce the risk of heart attack and extend a patients life with confirmed cardiovascular disease such as a history of a heart attack, stroke or clinical evidence of blockage of the arteries such as angina. About 80% of the prescriptions for statins are written for people with no clinical evidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD). In many cases, physicians are prescribing statins to people with the only risk factor being high LDL cholesterol levels. Statins have not been shown to increase life expectancy in these patients or in others not suffering from clinical evidence of CVD.
Statin Drugs Include
- Altoprev (lovastatin extended-release)
- Crestor (rosuvastatin)
- Lescol (fluvastatin)
- Lipitor (atorvastatin)
- Livalo (pitavastatin)
- Mevacor (lovastatin)
- Pravachol (pravastatin)
- Zocor (simvastatin)
Statin Side Effects
- Liver problems and decreased liver function.
Q10 (CoQ10) is a key substance responsible for energy production within the body.
- Interference with the manufacture of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
- Rhabdomyolysis, dangerous breaking down of muscle tissue.
- Nerve damage, the chances of nerve damage are 26 times higher in statin users.
- Cognitive impairment such as memory loss, forgetfulness and confusion.
- Possible increased risk of cancer and heart failure with long-term use.
- Increased muscle damage caused by exercise and reduced exercise capacity.
- Worsening energy levels and fatigue after exertion in about 20% of cases.
- Increased risk to obesity and insulin resistance.
While drug companies and many doctors state that statins are so safe and effective they should be added to drinking water, the reality is that they are very expensive medicines, provide very limited benefit and come with considerable risks for side effects. In addition to the increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, it also poses several other risks.
To further explore the risk of type 2 diabetes with statin drug use, researchers investigated the effects of statin on blood glucose control and the risk of type 2 diabetes in 8,749 non-diabetic men aged between 45 -73 years. This was done in a 6 year follow-up of the population-based Metabolic Syndrome in Men (METSIM) trial, based in Kuopio, Finland.
Results clearly showed that statin use was associated with a 46% increased risk for type 2 diabetes after adjusting all confounding factors. Patients taking statins also had a 24% decrease in insulin sensitivity and a 12% reduction in insulin secretion compared to those not receiving the drugs.
It is interesting to note that despite the clear risks of taking statins, physicians are largely brainwashed into believing that the benefits outweigh the risks. The data just does not support this line of thinking. Statins only produce some benefits in reducing deaths due to a heart attack in people with a history of a heart attack, stroke or current signs and symptoms of existing CVD. And large studies in people without a history of heart attack or stroke who took statin drugs to lower their cholesterol have had a shorter life span than people in the placebo group. This is largely true in the case of women
This is largely true in the case of women and, in fact, there is no real solid evidence that statins increase life expectancy even in women with cardiovascular disease. This recent study is just one of the many that further strengthens my consistent message on statins. They are not addressing the major causes of CVD and may be creating serious health issues of their own. The conclusion is that the majority of people on statin drugs are achieving no real benefit from them and may, in fact, be exposing themselves to considerable harm including the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.