Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the United States, with approximately 610,000 Americans dying from it every year. It has become a popular theory that high cholesterol levels can have a negative impact on your heart health, so, in order to combat this, many people turn towards cholesterol-lowering drugs to lower their risk of heart disease.
But statins, which is among the most widely used cholesterol-lowering drugs in the U.S., is simply an ineffective drug for lowering cholesterol while also causing various unpleasant side effects. One big sad news is that it is even connected to cancer.
So What Exactly Are These Statins?
Now, statins are a family of drugs that are supposed to be prescribed so they can help lower the levels of bad cholesterol in the users’ blood.
However, studies conducted on them have shown that statins aren’t really good at their job.
One study published in the journal Vascular Health and Risk Management found that statins were incredibly ineffective at lowering cholesterol levels in patients with heart disease. Researchers found that statins only reduced cholesterol levels to the desired amount in 18% of the patients that were given them, showing that they are ineffective more than 80% of the time
- Their Side Effects
Aside from them being ineffective at lowering cholesterol, they also cause a variety of unpleasant and even harmful side effects. Some of these include:
– They cause rashes
– They cause memory loss
– They cause constipation
– They cause drowsiness
– They cause high blood sugar
– They cause diarrhea
– They dramatically increase the risk of diabetes (type 2)
They have been related to sever side-effects, like myositis and rhabdomyolysis, which are conditions which lead to muscle inflammation and serious muscle damage. Rhabdomyolysis can also lead to kidney damage, which can cause kidney failure and death.
Statins were found to increase the risk of cancer in numerous other studies. The journal Current Oncology published a study which discovered that these drugs raise the risk of cancer in the case of breast or prostate cancer, or in the elderly. Statins have been found to promote tumor growth in the case of bladder cancer.
It has been found that since the use of these drugs causes an upsurge in the production of the pathogen-fighting white blood cells (T-Cells), the resulting effect leads to the crippling of the rest of the immune system, and hence leaving the body more vulnerable to a cancerous attack.
- A Special Note About Cholesterol
The use of statins and other drugs became popular mainly due to the mainstream conception of cholesterol and the effect that it has on the human body. Many people fasley believe that cholesterol on its own is responsible for the clogging of the arteries that leads to heart disease.
According to Dr. Beverly Teter, a lipid biochemist at the University of Maryland, this was a mistake made by mistake scientists long time ago. She suggests that as soon as scientists noticed that high cholesterol levels damaged the blood vessels, they stated that cholesterol is the main reason for heart disease. Teter believes that cholesterol was put there to solve an issue whose actual cause was inflammation.
She says that it is the inflammation that causes the lesion on the blood vessels, and then the body deposits the cholesterol along the walls to prevent any more damage.
To lower the risks, Teter suggests consumption of anti-inflammatory foods instead of just going for those with low cholesterol. In that respect, natural fats and fatty acids (omega-3) are a great food choice.
Examples of what to eat: What to run from:
Edamame Pie crust
Pecans Cake frosting
Flaxseed oil Crackers
Eggs Deep-fried food
Hickory nuts Non-dairy creamer
In order to avoid inflammation-causing trans fats, make sure to not eat any deep fried or heavily processed foods. Not only do these foods cause inflammation, but they boost your cholesterol levels as well, leading to a combination that is sure to cause heart disease.