I just left a meeting where I found out one of our members had been hospitalized for kidney failure following rhabdomyolysis (muscle damage).  The first thought to pop into my mind was statins.  This may or not have been the case, but it is a well known association with taking statins to lower cholesterol.

Since their introduction, the statin class of drugs (think Lipitor, Crestor) has been on a pedestal.  By 2003, Lipitor was the best selling drug in history.  Just like every drug, the statin class of drugs has a dark side and contributes to conditions such as muscle damage, heart damage, liver and kidney problems, diabetes and cancer.

The sad part about all this is that basically, statins absolutely suck at preventing a first heart attack (the data is somewhat better for 2nd heart attacks, but still trumped by dark chocolate…).  There is no other way to describe it.  I have review the absolute effectiveness of statins in previous posts.  Compare this to the effects of natural approaches:

  1. Nuts to lower cholesterol
  2. Berries to improve and protect your heart
  3. Honey helps to protect the heart

The bottom line is that statins are a very ineffective at preventing a first heart attack (overall, lowers absolute risk of having  a heart attack about 1%, the risk of dying from a heart attack even less) and there are natural approaches that are much more effective and safer and cheaper.  Worse, there are side effects that are high prevelant and occasionally life threatening.

However, if none of the above side effects really concern you, here’s a new one to add:  Damaging rheumatoid arthritis.

In this particular study, researchers found a strong association (absolute 7.3% increase–that means an extra 7 cases of RA for every 100 patients treated with statins) between statin use and rheumatoid arthritis.  Keep in mind that RA is one of the most debilitating forms of arthritis. 

All because of the use of a drug that will make your numbers look better, but don’t actually fix anything.  Lifestyle is the ONLY thing that can do that.

James Bogash

For more than a decade, Dr. Bogash has stayed current with the medical literature as it relates to physiology, disease prevention and disease management. He uses his knowledge to educate patients, the community and cyberspace on the best way to avoid and / or manage chronic diseases using lifestyle and targeted supplementation.