Did you know that in 2011 there were more than 32 million people in the U.S. taking a statin drug? Reporting on numbers from a study, Dr. Brownstein's Holistic Medicine blog also made clear that these drugs are among the biggest money-makers in the industry. For all of the adult men and women who have been told that these statins will help their heart health, an article recently published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology explained otherwise.
The Danger of Statin Drugs
It's not surprising that thousands of Americans are put on statin medication after a serious cardiovascular event. In fact, many people truly believe that these drugs are meant to reduce the risk of a subsequent heart attack or related disease. However, new research paints a different picture, according to Dr. Brownstein's Holistic Medicine blog. Investigators from the study, "Statin Medication Enhances Progression of Coronary Artery Calcification," analyzed two groups of people over a five-year period: one group that did take statin medications and one group that did not. The goal was to identify the impact that these statins had on coronary artery calcification during that time.
According to the study, "Statins are suggested to stabilize plaque by decreasing lipid-rich and necrotic plaque components and increasing plaque calcification."
The authors then stated that prior to this study, little data existed on the correlation between the progression of coronary artery calcification and these prescriptions and as such, the relationship was not clear. Research then revealed that among participants taking the statin drugs, their progression of coronary artery calcification doubled compared to participants taking placebo drugs. Rather than reduce the risk of heart disease, these statins were found to worsen the calcification of coronary arteries.
Coronary Artery Calcification
In another recent study, it was found that young adults with coronary artery calcification are more at risk for coronary heart disease, reported MedPage Today. Adults between the ages of 32 and 46 who were found during a CT to have coronary artery calcium were later more likely to experience a cardiovascular-related incident of coronary heart disease. The study, "Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults," published in JAMA Cardiology, found that high calcium levels were more closely linked to coronary heart disease.
Study investigators advised that young adults with a high risk of heart disease may benefit from early prevention methods such as image screening. However, others questioned whether or not that type of testing would actually help reduce or prevent risk.
"It should be acknowledged that even when coronary artery calcium is identified in young individuals, there are no data associating earlier use of statins with improved cardiovascular outcomes," wrote Dr. Ron Blankstein of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and Dr. Philip Greenland of Chicago's Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
Further, Blankstein and Greenland noted young adults who are at low-risk may not in fact benefit from statins and that potentially, statins would even be more damaging for these low-risk individuals, reported Medpage Today.
Other Risky Side Effects of Statin Drugs
Past research also indicated dangers with statin drugs. According to an article from the Alliance for Natural Health USA, one of the many negative consequences of statins is that they cause the body's immune system to grow weaker, which leads to a increased risk of infection and disease, as well as illness. These drugs have also been found to cause damage to the liver, increase one's risk for prostate and breast cancer and advance the risk of developing diabetes due to the heightened resistance to insulin, noted the source.
"Statin drugs do not work for the majority of people."
Statins have been linked to sleep problems, confusion and depression. They have been shown to diminish carotenoid levels, which can help to protect against disease and cell damage. It has also been found that these drugs compromise the process of producing coenzyme Q10, which is essential to muscle and heart health, the nervous system and maintaining blood pressure levels. Intended to reduce cholesterol, these drugs do exactly that but that may not necessarily be beneficial for your health, explained the ANH-USA. In fact, the body desperately needs cholesterol, for a number of functions. The distinction between "good" and "bad" cholesterol is no longer true and according to the source, even "bad" cholesterol is essential to health.
Perhaps most importantly, as natural health resource Dr. Mercola pointed out, statins only work for about 1 in 100 patients using them, citing data for absolute risk. Reporting on that published data, Dr. Mercola explained that cholesterol is far from the only factor that impacts your heart health and by using these statins to reduce your cholesterol levels, you are likely making your cardiovascular and overall health worse.
For those who do take statins, Dr. Mercola highly advised taking a vitamin K2 supplement along with the drugs. For other ways to protect your heart, consider eliminating sugar from your eating plan and focusing on a raw food diet. Boosting vitamin D levels is also recommended. If you're looking for another way to manage or reduce your cardiovascular risk, consider the Hallelujah Diet Cardiovascular Support System.