Statins have many harmful side effects. They include muscle pain (myalgia), fatigue, exercise intolerance (muscles too painful and weak to exercise), memory loss, peripheral neuropathy (tingling, numbness or burning pain in the hands, arms, feet or legs), irritability, sleep problems, and sexual dysfunction (such as erectile dysfunction).
How can one drug cause so many different problems? Statins block a cholesterol-creating enzyme that also creates coenzyme Q10. This biochemical sparkplug and antioxidant is found in every cell of the body, where it protects and nourishes mitochondria, tiny structures that produce energy.
Now you might ask yourself: If statins — the No. 1 prescribed drug in the U.S. — don't work for primary prevention, how come you didn't hear about this study on CNN or read about it in the newspapers?
Follow the money. The No. 2 source of advertising money for the media is (you guessed it) prescription medications. You don't bite the hand that pays you.
The five-year "Heart Protection Study," involving more than 20,000 people, showed that those with high levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) — a biomarker for inflammation — do not benefit from taking statins any more than people with low levels of CRP.
"These results do not lend support to the suggestion that the beneficial effects of statin therapy are affected by â€¦ CRP concentration," concluded the study researchers.
And these results run counter to the widespread practice among physicians of prescribing statins for primary prevention in people with high CRP. This is a kind of epitome of a lot of modern medicine: using a meaningless test to prescribe an ineffective drug!
If you take a statin for secondary prevention, it is a very good idea to also take a coenzyme Q10 supplement, which can help protect you from side effects. I recommend 200 milligrams daily.
If you develop a side effect from a statin, talk to you doctor right away. Especially if you don't have known heart disease or CVD, as the statin may not be appropriate for you anyway. Another strategy if you develop a side effect from a statin is to simply lower the dose.
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