5 Harmful Side Effects of Statins

If you are aged 40 or above, there is a good chance that you are already taking Statins. 

Statins are among the most widely prescribed drugs on the market, with more than 1 in 4 Americans over 45 taking them. 

They are commonly prescribed to help lower high blood pressure and high cholesterol. 

The medical industries believe that cholesterol is the primary factor in the development of heart disease. This has led to the pharmaceutical industry developing drugs called statins, which were designed to lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease. 

However, there are a number of detrimental side effects of taking statins that many people remain in the dark about. Here are 5 harmful side effects of statins that you should be aware of. 

5 Adverse Side Effects of Statins

1) Muscle Pain 

One of the most common complaints of people taking statins is muscle pain. People tend to experience soreness, tiredness, and weakness in their muscles when taking this drug and many people discontinue using it for this reason. 

In the largest statin survey ever conducted, the National Lipid Association observed that roughly 30% of statin patients reported experiencing muscle pain and weakness and 57% of surveyed patients reported stopping the drug due to adverse effects. 

The amount of pain felt varies for the individual. While some users experience mild symptoms of pain, others may experience severe muscle pain. 

An animal study linked statin use to muscle damage. The researchers of the study found that animals that exercised on statins had 226% more muscle damage than those not given statins. 

In rare cases, statins can cause life-threatening muscle damage called rhabdomyolysis. This can result in severe muscle pain, liver damage, kidney failure, and in worst cases, death.

2) Memory Problems 

The FDA updated statins safety information to include potential memory loss, forgetfulness, and confusion as potential risks. 

Research as to whether there is a link between cognitive decline and taking statins remains murky. Clinical studies are limited and those that have been carried out provide inconclusive results. 

However, a significant number of people taking statins have reported memory problems to MedWatch, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s adverse drug reaction database. 

3) Increased Risk of Developing Diabetes 

Some research has suggested that there may be a link between taking statins and an increased risk of developing diabetes. 

Two meta-analyses of randomized trials of statins found an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. In this sample of the general population, statin therapy was associated with a 14% increased risk of type 2 diabetes with simvastatin and atorvastatin, the most commonly used statins in this population.  

Research has suggested that the association of statin use with increased risk of developing diabetes is most likely directly related to statins decreasing both insulin sensitivity and secretion. 

In fact, in February 2012, the Food and Drug Administration released changes to the statin safety labels to include that statins have been found to increase hemoglobin (HbA1C) and fasting serum glucose levels.

4) Reduces CQ10 

Studies have also shown that statins could interfere with the production of coenzyme Q10. This important substance, similar to a vitamin, supports the body’s immune and nervous systems. 

It boosts heart and other muscle health, maintains normal blood pressure, and much more. CoQ10 is used for energy production by every cell in your body. It is therefore vital for good health, high energy levels, longevity, and general quality of life. 

Labeling in Canada, however, clearly warns of CoQ10 depletion. It even notes that this nutrient deficiency “could lead to impaired cardiac function in patients with borderline congestive heart failure.” 

As your body gets increasingly depleted of CoQ10, you may suffer from fatigue, muscle weakness and soreness, and eventually, even heart failure. Therefore, it is imperative to take CoQ10 if you are taking statins. 

5) Cholesterol Deficiency 

Statins work to lower your cholesterol level, yet this may not necessarily be good. The American Heart Association (AHA) published a study based on the over-simplified and outdated notion that there are just 2 types of cholesterol – “good” (HD) and “bad” (LDL). 

The AHA also centered their dietary recommendations on the debunked theory that “bad” cholesterol causes heart disease and that saturated fats raise LDL cholesterol levels and should, therefore, be avoided. 

However, cholesterol is actually vital to human health. Classifying cholesterol as “bad” is too simplistic. Yes, it can be harmful to health if there is an excess of cholesterol. However, we should also be worried if there isn’t enough cholesterol in our bodies as we age. Even “bad” cholesterol is essential. 

Numerous studies have linked an insufficient amount of cholesterol to deaths caused by heart attack and gastrointestinal and respiratory diseases. 

A study of over 15,000 patients over 18 years found that those with a higher LDL count and overall cholesterol level had a reduced chance of developing atrial fibrillation, an irregular heart rate that reduces blood flow to the body. 

The way to a healthy and long life is a balance of diet, exercise, and taking natural and healthy supplements instead of pharmaceutical drugs. As discussed, statins can have severe side effects which should be considered with your Doctor. 

Conclusion

Poor eating habits, lack of exercise, and obesity are direct causes of most metabolic diseases. These problems can all be addressed in a natural and simple way without the intervention of pharmaceutical drugs. Regular exercise and a well-balanced diet, such as the ketogenic diet, can help you to live a long and healthy life.

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Sources

  1. Parker BA, Thompson PD. Effect of statins on skeletal muscle: exercise, myopathy, and muscle outcomes [published correction appears in Exerc Sport Sci Rev. 2013. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3463373/ 
  2. Galicia-Garcia U, Jebari S, Larrea-Sebal A, et al. Statin Treatment-Induced Development of Type 2 Diabetes: From Clinical Evidence to Mechanistic Insights. Int J Mol Sci. 2020. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7369709/ 

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