This article points out that statins are not the dream drug they are made out to be, and that cholesterol is not the evil it is made out to be.
The trials that a new drug goes through can only achieve limited
testing, and, almost always, the tests used to evaluate the side effects
of a drug are too short due to expediency and cost.
It is only once a drug is unleashed upon the real world, and enough
time passes, that we learn how its toxic effects can manifest themselves
after years of treatment.
Fortunately, the internet holds the key to answers obtained by
millions of patients who have unwittingly offered themselves up as
guinea pigs in the experiment of living long-term with a given drug.
Statin drugs are particularly problematic because they suppress the synthesis of a biological wonder drug, namely cholesterol.
Repeatedly, retrospective studies have shown an alleged benefit for
statins, which is actually a benefit derived from the many years of high
cholesterol that preceded statin treatment.
This game has been played out for sepsis, pneumonia, multiple
sclerosis, diabetes, and Alzheimer's, and these are just the ones I'm
When the proper placebo-controlled study is done, the effect reverses -- statins make the situation worse.
But these negative results are kept well concealed from the public's
eyes. This is how the myth has been kept alive that statins, instead of
cholesterol, are the wonder drug.
Below are 13 links to Web sites that contain useful information about
statin drugs and cholesterol. Spend some time perusing these links, and
then you will be better informed to decide for yourself whether or not
to take a statin drug.
#1. Biological Mechanisms Behind Statin Side Effects: Duane
Graveline, the M.D. who goes by the nickname "Spacedoc" has done
everything he can to inform the public of the dangers of statin drugs.
Dr. Graveline is a former NASA astronaut and Air Force flight surgeon.
His reasons for taking on the challenge of debunking statins are very
personal, because he developed global transient amnesia while taking
Lipitor, an unnerving experience that deprives you of all memory of
events in your life looking back several decades.
Since then, he has conducted extensive research
on the biological mechanisms behind the diverse severe side effects of
statin drugs. The link above is but one branch of a vast network of
frightening yet informative information about the potentially
devastating long-term effects of statin therapy.
#2. Statins and Nerve Damage: The People's Pharmacy is a wonderful forum that allows patients to share their experience. This is one of many examples of adverse side effects of statin drugs available on that site.
#3. Statins and Pregnancy: Like
thalidomide, statin drugs are a class X drug with regard to pregnancy,
meaning they are contraindicated and should NOT be taken by pregnant
women. They can cause significant damage to the nervous system of a
#4. New York Times Exposes Potential for Misdiagnosis Caused by Statin Use: This
article points out some of the severe side effects statins can cause,
and illustrates with a poignant story about a woman from Kansas. She had
been taking a statin for years to reduce her cholesterol. Over that
same time period, she experienced chronic muscle pain which neither she
nor her doctor attributed to the statin therapy. It even led to a
useless shoulder operation.
Her problem eventually escalated into skin lesions caused by a
reaction to toxic protein by-products released by her disintegrating
muscles. She was given an antifungal to treat the skin lesions, another
misdiagnosis. But the antifungal interacted with the statins to further
increase the severity of her muscle disorders. Three months later, she
could barely stand, and her pulmonary muscles were so weak she couldn't
breathe. She died shortly thereafter.
#5. The International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics (THINCS): Dr. Uffe Ravnskov has campaigned tirelessly to fight the myth that high cholesterol is damaging to your health. This web page contains valuable information about all the ways in which cholesterol keeps you healthy.
#6. The ASEPSIS Trial: The
statin industry continues to claim that statins protect against sepsis
because of several retrospective studies that show that those who take
statins have less risk than those who don't.
What these studies are proving is that cholesterol protects
from sepsis. The media keep saying that what is needed is a double-blind
placebo controlled study, but they already have one they could
talk about. It's just that you can't find out anything about it except
that it was completed in January, 2008. You can read my take on statins
and sepsis here.
#7. Statins Increase Pneumonia Risk: Just
as for sepsis, the statin industry likes to claim that statins improve
your chances against pneumonia. But a double-blind placebo controlled
study proved them wrong. The risk for pneumonia that required
hospitalization was increased by 61 percent in the statin group compared to the controls.
#8. WebMD Article on Muscle Pain and Weakness: This
relatively benign article on WebMD provoked a firestorm of responses;
each comment tells the story of another tragedy unfolding. To understand
the biological mechanism behind the process by which statin drugs
destroy muscles, see this link.
Here's a typical comment from that site:
"I was prescribed Crestor 20mg 2 weeks ago with cholesterol level
7.6. First time on any medication. After approx. 4 days I started to
experience severe muscle pain, thigh, buttocks, arms, legs to the extent
that I can hardly get out of bed in the morning. Have been back to Dr.
who advised stopping tablets. Have been off them for 3 days, very little
difference. I am hoping these pains will go away soon. I will never
take a statin drug again - would rather take the healthy option, diet
and exercise and take the risk. Have never felt so bad. Usually very
healthy, fit person."
#9. Statins and Heart Failure: Dr.
Peter Langsjoen believes that statin drugs greatly increase your risk
of heart failure. I have argued why this might be true here.
#10. JUPITER Trial and Diabetes: The
JUPITER trial, which was terminated prematurely after less than two
years, was widely heralded for showing that statins reduce the risk of
heart attacks in the short term for people with high levels of
C-reactive protein but without high cholesterol.
However, little note was made of the fact that the JUPITER trial also
showed a 25 percent increased risk to new-onset diabetes in the
treatment group. Since diabetes is a strong risk factor for heart
disease, one wonders how the trial would have turned out if it had been
allowed to run to completion.
#11. High Cholesterol and Alzheimer's: This
is the article that inspired the Newsweek article, #12 below, with the
lead story that statins "protect from" Alzheimer's -- which is the exact
opposite of the truth about statins and Alzheimer's.
The only relationship between high cholesterol and Alzheimer's the
authors could find was if they looked back 30 years. What they're not
saying is that, in the intervening years, cholesterol levels fell
for those who later developed Alzheimer's. While no one has said
exactly why their levels might have fallen, statin drugs are a good bet.
Here's the only thing that the article above has to say about statin drugs:
"Information on lipid-lowering treatments, which have been
suggested to decrease dementia risk, was not available for this study."
You can be sure that, if there was any inkling that the statins might
have helped, these researchers would have been allowed access to those
statin treatment data. You can read my essay on statins and Alzheimer's to learn why statins would likely cause Alzheimer's.
#12. Glowing Newsweek Article on Statins:This
article illustrates how thoroughly the statin industry has succeeded in
brainwashing the media into believing that black is white. The lead
story is that statins protect against Alzheimer's. If you have read my essay on statins and Alzheimer's, you will think otherwise.
The only two placebo-controlled studies mentioned in that article
were "underway" at the time. Interestingly enough, the media have kept
mum on one of these studies: "S5-01-05: Multi-center, randomized,
double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of Simvastatin to slow the
progression of Alzheimer's disease," Alzheimer's Association
International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease, Volume 4, Issue 4,
Supplement 1, July 2008, Page T200, now that it's done. I wonder why?? Unfortunately, there's not even an abstract available in the public domain for this study.
The other study, on multiple scerosis, failed due
to the fact that they couldn't get enough people to agree to
participate. I think people with multiple sclerosis were wise to stay
away from it. Here's an article that shows that statins increase damage in multiple sclerosis.
About the Author:
Dr. Stephanie Seneff is a senior scientist at MIT and has been
conducting research there for over three decades. She also has an
undergraduate degree in biology from MIT, and a minor in food and
nutrition. She's affiliated with the Weston A. Price Foundation