Statin drugs are being prescribed like candy for tens of millions of Americans, but you need to seriously consider statin therapy before deciding to take your physician up on this prescription, as their use has serious and significant consequential side affects and risks, and, their use is clearly not appropriate for everyone.

The majority of people using statin cholesterol-lowering drugs do so because they believe that lowering their cholesterol will prevent heart attacks and strokes. How many of these people do you think would continue to take them if they knew that their drugs have been linked to increased risk of heart attack and increased risk of stroke?  Probably no one!

Until recently, statin use has been generally accepted based on studies primarily put together by the drug company selling the drugs.  However, recently these drugs are falling under increased scrutiny. A recent study in Clinical Cardiology found that heart muscle function was “significantly better” in the control group than in those taking statin drugs.  Weakened heart muscle function is the cause of heart failure.

Statin therapy is very effective in lowering total cholesterol levels rather significantly.  The real question however is why would you want to do this?  Lowering cholesterol, the “buzz” of the millennium, makes it appear as though you are benefiting from the drug therapy and thus improving your overall health.  Further, as your health deteriorates from the drugs, other problems which manifest later in life are often misinterpreted as being  separate and distinct conditions brought on for alternative reasons rather that affiliated with the statin therapy which was truly responsible.

It is and has been my medical opinion that for certain individuals who have high risk factors for heart disease, and/or have familial hypercholesterolemia, (about 1 in 500), statin drugs may be useful. Unfortunately, the vast majority of statin users does not fit this criterion and are taking them merely to lower cholesterol.  This equation needs serious rethinking.  More information on healthy eating and lowering cholesterol though diet is available on my healthy eating page.