The Dangers Of Cholesterol Drugs

Tens of millions of Americans are taking cholesterol-lowering drugs—mostly statins—and some “experts” claim that many millions more should be taking them.

I couldn’t disagree more.

Statins are HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, that is, they act by blocking the enzyme in your liver that is responsible for making cholesterol (HMG-CoA reductase). The fact that statin drugs cause side effects is well established—there are now 900 studies proving their adverse effects, which run the gamut from muscle problems to increased cancer risk.

For starters, reported side effects include:

  • Muscle problems, polyneuropathy (nerve damage in the hands and feet), and rhabdomyolysis (a serious degenerative muscle tissue condition)
  • Anemia
  • Acidosis
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Immune depression
  • Pancreas or liver dysfunction, including a potential increase in liver enzymes
  • Cataracts

Muscle problems are the best known of statin drugs’ adverse side effects, but cognitive problems and memory loss are also widely reported. A spectrum of other problems, ranging from blood glucose elevations to tendon problems, can also occur. There is evidence that taking statins may even increase your risk for Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Statins currently available on the U.S. market are:

  • Advicor  (lovastatin with niacin) – Abbott
  • Altoprev (lovastatin) – Shionogi Pharma
  • Caduet [atorvastatin with amlodipine (Norvasc)] – Pfizer
  • Crestor (rosuvastatin) – AstraZeneca
  • Lescol (fluvastatin) – Novartis
  • Lipitor (atorvastatin) – Pfizer
  • Mevacor (lovastatin) – Merck
  • Pravachol (pravastatin) — Bristol-Myers Squibb
  • Simcor (niacin/imvastatin) – Abbott
  • Vytorin (ezetimibe/simvastatin) – Merck/Schering-Plough
  • Zocor (simvastatin) – Merck

Ninety-Nine Out of 100 People Do Not Need Statin Drugs

That these drugs have proliferated the market the way they have is a testimony to the power of marketing, corruption and corporate greed, because the odds are very high— greater than 100 to 1—that if you’re taking a statin, you don’t really need it.

The only subgroup that might benefit are those born with a genetic defect called familial hypercholesterolemia, as this makes them resistant to traditional measures of normalizing cholesterol.

And, even more importantly, cholesterol is NOT the cause of heart disease.

If your physician is urging you to check your total cholesterol, then you should know that this test will tell you virtually nothing about your risk of heart disease, unless it is 330 or higher.

HDL percentage is a far more potent indicator for heart disease risk. Here are the two ratios you should pay attention to:

1. HDL/Total Cholesterol Ratio: Should ideally be above 24 percent. If below 10 percent, you have a significantly elevated risk for heart disease.

2. Triglyceride/HDL Ratio: Should be below 2.

I have seen a number of people with total cholesterol levels over 250 who were actually at low risk for heart disease due to their elevated HDL levels. Conversely, I have seen many people with cholesterol levels under 200 who had a very high risk of heart disease, based on their low HDL.

Your body needs cholesterol—it is important in the production of cell membranes, hormones, vitamin D and bile acids that help you to digest fat. Cholesterol also helps your brain form memories and is vital to your neurological function.

There is also strong evidence that having too little cholesterol increases your risk for cancer, memory loss, Parkinson’s disease, hormonal imbalances, stroke, depression, suicide, and violent behavior.

Parents Beware: Outrageous New Push to Put Kids on Statin Drugs!

In a bold attempt to increase profits before the patent runs out, Pfizer has now introduced a chewable kid-friendly version of Lipitor. Its US patent for Lipitor expires in November 2011, and seeking to boost sales of the drug, children have become the new target market, and the conventional medical establishment is more than happy to oblige.

Researchers and many doctors are now calling for universal school screening of children to check for high cholesterol, to find those “in need of treatment.”  In addition, older siblings, parents and other family members might be prompted to get screened as well, the researchers say, which would uncover additional, previously undiagnosed adults in need of the drug.

This is clearly NOT the way to improve public health. On the contrary, it could produce a new, massive wave of extremely dire health consequences in just a few years time.

So rather than improving school lunches, which would cost about a dollar a day per child, they’d rather “invest” ten times that for tests and drugs that in no way, shape, or form address the root cause, which is an improper, unhealthy diet!

All they’re doing is allowing all the industries to maintain or increase their profits: Big Pharma; Big Sugar; Big Corn and the processed food industry.

Who pays?

You, and your children! And in far more ways than one.

I will address this issue in depth in a future article, so please stay tuned…

If You Take Statins, You Must Take CoQ10

If you take statin drugs without taking CoQ10, your health is at serious risk. Unfortunately, this describes the majority of people who take them in the United States.

CoQ10 is a cofactor (co-enzyme) that is essential for the creation of ATP molecules, which you need for cellular energy production. Organs such as your heart have higher energy requirements, and therefore require more CoQ10 to function properly.

Statins deplete your body of CoQ10, which can have devastating results.

Physicians rarely inform people of this risk and only occasionally advise them to take a CoQ10 supplement. As your body gets more and more depleted of CoQ10, you may suffer from fatigue, muscle weakness and soreness, and eventually heart failure.

Coenzyme Q10 is also very important in the process of neutralizing free radicals. So when your CoQ10 is depleted, you enter a vicious cycle of increased free radicals, loss of cellular energy, and damaged mitochondrial DNA.

If you decide to take a CoQ10 supplement and are over the age of 40, it is important to choose the reduced version, called ubiquinol. Ubiquinol is a far more effective form—I personally take 1-3 a day since it has such far ranging benefits.

Optimizing Your Cholesterol Levels, Naturally

There’s really no reason to take statins and suffer the damaging health effects from these dangerous drugs.

The fact is that 75 percent of your cholesterol is produced by your liver, which is influenced by your insulin levels. Therefore, if you optimize your insulin level, you will automatically optimize your cholesterol.

It follows, then, that my primary recommendations for safely regulating your cholesterol have to do with modifying your diet and lifestyle:

  • Reduce, with the plan of eliminating, grains and sugars in your diet. Eat the right foods for your nutritional type, and consume a good portion of your food raw.
  • Make sure you are getting plenty of high quality, animal-based omega 3 fats, such as krill oil.
  • Other heart-healthy foods include olive oil, coconut and coconut oil, organic raw dairy products and eggs, avocados, raw nuts and seeds, and organic grass-fed meats as appropriate for your nutritional type.
  • Exercise daily. Make sure you incorporate peak fitness exercises, which also optimizes your human growth hormone (HGH) production.
  • Address your emotional challenges. My favorite technique for stress management is the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT).
  • Avoid smoking or drinking alcohol excessively.
  • Be sure to get plenty of good, restorative sleep.

Unlike statin drugs, which lower your cholesterol at the expense of your health, these lifestyle strategies represent a holistic approach that will benefit your overall health—which includes a healthy cardiovascular system.

10 Foods That Lower Cholesterol
Lowering Cholesterol the Natural Way
3 Prescription Drugs That Do More Harm Than Good

Love This? Never Miss Another Story.


Edvanir L.
Edvanir L.2 years ago

Thank you.

Summerannie Moon
Summerannie M.3 years ago

I still have muscle problems with the front of my thighs from taking Lipitor...thanks a lot to them who made it. I stopped it a few years ago b/c of terrible side effects and as far as I know, this is the problem that is left I have to deal with on a daily basis..why make/create drugs that have horrendous side effects when those side effects can be even worse than what the original drug was to beats me and drives me insane! WE are supposed to have cholesterol for our body to work and to have a reading after a C test of 2.1 is quite ridiculous. Terrible side effects and one wonders if this isnt a total myth and lining the drug companies oodles of money...yeah....or is it a conspiracy? What would I know except I have terribly sore front of thighs.

Susan A.
Susan A.3 years ago

Thanks for the info...

Joe R.
Joe R.3 years ago


gary c.
Gary C.4 years ago


Lika S.
Lika S.4 years ago

I'm on simvastatin (generic Zocor) and Tricor. I don't take anything else with it. I'm also diabetic, so I take metformin also. I was on the zocor for much longer than I've been diabetic. I'm wondering if there is a connection.

I try to be as active as possible, but because I have literally decades of back pain (not related to cholesterol, it was 15 years before I started taking ANY prescriptions) so I'm over weight. But no one wants to believe me when I say that giving me IV liquids & antibiotics not only alleviate the pain, but, I lose a lot of weight - just in a couple days.

I don't know what it is about that. but, I wish I knew what was going on.

Jane R.
Jane R.4 years ago

Informaative. I take a statin. Now I wonder if I should stop. I also take CoQ10 but only one a day. They are expensive.

Roger B.
Roger Bird4 years ago

heather, the fact that Mercola is heavily criticized by other doctors merely makes me feel that Mercola is a good doctor. When you stop worshiping at the altar of modern medicine, then you will have a real chance of getting well.

heather g.
heather g.4 years ago

Mercola's views differ to that of most doctors and he is heavily critisized in the medical fraternity. However, I think it is always a good thing to read alternative advice. It leads to questioning your regular doctor again and makes them aware that we are taking an interest in our own health.

Pam D.
Pam Drake4 years ago

I have always said that I would not take cholesterol medication even though high cholesterol runs on my mother's side. I'm a firm believer that side affects from Rx's are worse then the problem they're given to you to fix. However, my "functional medicine" doctor gave me Red Yeast Rice to help lower the "numbers". It did. I have not had side affects - yet - but after reading a number of articles on this "natural" product, I decided to stop taking it. It's STILL a satin with the potential of the same side affects as the synthetic forms of statins. So, I guess I will continue to take my chances on keeping my levels in the best number I can through exercise and my continuing efforts to choose healthier foods.