Overview of Statin Drugs
Statins are drugs that can lower your Cholesterol. Statins work by blocking a substance your body needs to make Cholesterol. Statins hamper with the production of cholesterol in your liver. Statins block the enzyme in the liver that is responsible for making Cholesterol. This enzyme is called hydroxy-methylglutaryl-coenzyme. Statins are referred to as HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, scientifically. Statins lower Bad Cholesterol Levels, raise Good Cholesterol Levels, and can slow down the formation of plaques in your arteries. Statins lower the chances of a heart attack and death in a group who have an elevated risk of developing Heart Disease or who already have Heart Disease.
Types of Statins available
There are two groups of Statins available:
Benefits of Statins
Beneficial effects of Statin include:
- Statin improves on the whole vascular function
- Statins reduce the size of plaques in the arteries.
- Statins stabilize plaques there by reducing the chance of rupture and reduce chance of acute heart attacks.
- Statin reduces inflammation, believed to be an important component of plaque formation and rupture.
- Statin reduces CRP levels
- Statin reduces formation of blood clots. main cause of plaque rupture and heart attacks are considered to be Blood Clots.
Side effects of Statin Drugs
Lifestyle strategies represent a holistic approach to control Cholesterol and it will benefit overall health also. Side effects of Statins include:-
- Damage to muscle tissue leading to body aches, muscle symptoms are a very common adverse events. Myopathy, involving actual damage to muscle tissue, can be very serious.
- May cause damage to Kidneys
- Elevated liver function tests, changes in liver function occur in some people and blood test monitoring may be required.
- Elevated Blood Sugar, People on Cholesterol Lowering Statins are more likely to develop Diabetes or High Blood Sugar problems
- Depletion of coq10, those taking Statins may consider also supplementing with 30 or 50 mg of coq10 two or three days a week.
- Slight damage to Brain Cells may occur, leading to mild impairment of mental function. Another way to minimize adverse effects is to take the pills every other day rather than on a daily basis.
- Neuropathy may be another concern. Statins can also trigger underlying neuromuscular conditions.
- Statin drug use may be associated with an increased risk for Prostate Cancer, particularly in those who are obese.
- Statin may increase Breast Cancer risk in certain women.
- Statin use may increases the risk for Cataracts in the eye.
Precautionary Measures for using Statin Drug
Statin Therapy may be indicated if the HDL level falls below 40 mg/dL or if the ratio between “bad” (LDL) cholesterol and HDL is greater than 3.3. With higher HDL Levels, little benefit is achieved with Statin therapy. Statin Drugs should be used if diet and natural supplements have not been successful in lowering Very High Cholesterol Levels. Most people who need a Statin should take the lowest dose that reduces their LDL Cholesterol to an acceptable “target” level, because higher doses pose a greater risk of serious side effects, such as muscle, kidney, and liver problems. Some people such as those who suffered from a heart attack may require a higher dose.
- Do not use Statins during pregnancy and nursing.
- Do not use Statins if you have liver disease.
- Drinking grapefruit juice (qt or more can affect Statin medications).
- Those who use niacin, birth control pills, Nefazodone and HIV medicines need to consult doctor about the risks involved using Statins.
- In case you are taking Gemfibrozil, Amiodarone, Verapamil, Fenofibrates, blood thinners (anticoagulants) use Statins with caution.
Methods to Avoid Statin Drug
Statin drugs lowers Cholesterol at the cost of your health; measures mentioned below can ensure a healthy cardiovascular system.
- Optimize your vitamin D levels by appropriate sun exposure for normalizing your cholesterol levels and preventing heart disease.
- Reduce grains and sugars in your diet.
- Consume a good portion of your food raw.
- Include plenty of high quality, animal-based omega 3 fats in your diet.
- Include olive oil, coconut and coconut oil, organic raw dairy products and eggs, avocados, raw nuts and seeds, and organic grass-fed meats in your diet.
- Exercise at least 30 Minutes minimum four days a week.
- Manage stress
- Avoid smoking
- Avoid drinking alcohol excessively.
- Get plenty of good, recuperative sleep.
- Drink red grapefruit juice
- Red yeast rice lowers cholesterol, prevents heart disease as effectively as statins (foodconsumer.org)
- New Drugs for Lipids Set Off Race (nytimes.com)
- How millions are tricked into ingesting harmful statins (sott.net)
- Statins alternative ‘lowers cholesterol by two-thirds’ (telegraph.co.uk)