I’ll admit it. I’m no fan of drugs to lower cholesterol. 30+ blog posts on the topic should convict me. But linking statins to dementia is new news even to me.
To understand this association, there are two things you need to understand.
First, statins like Lipitor, Crestor and Zocor block an enzyme called HMG-CoA reductase. This is the enzyme that produces cholesterol in our bodies. However, this enzyme also produces a tiny little compound called Coenzyme Q10.
You may have heard of CoQ10 before because it is absolutely essential to make energy in every one of our cells. CoQ10 has been shown to play a role in various chronic diseases and conditions. They may include:
- Protecting the heart from damage
- Protect against migraine headaches
- Protect against heart disease
The other factor to understand for this post is that Alzheimer’s disease is associated with the presence of two abnormal proteins in the brain, called neurofibullary tangles (NFT) and amyloid plaques (AP) made up of tau proteins. It is pretty clear that these proteins are the result of damage to the brain, rather than creating the disease.
So, we can understand that anything that increases the production of tao protein is probably not a good thing.
By now, you can probably guess what prescription medication was shown to increase the production of tao protein in this particular study.
The statin class of drugs was shown to increase the presence of tao protein. If you combine this fact with the well accepted fact that statins reduce blood levels of CoQ10 and CoQ10 plays a distinct role in Alzheimer’s disease progression, you can see a serious problem here.
The bottom line? Lowering your cholesterol with statins may make your cholesterol levels look better, but the list of problems this class of drugs contributes to get longer all the time. This leaves lifestyles changes as the only viable option.
If you are taking statins to lower your cholesterol, tell me some concerns you may have over the long term damage that may be occurring…