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Efficacy and safety of statins is not evidence based

Saturday, 6 August 2016  |  Editor

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The widespread use of cholesterol-lowering statin medications has once again been called in to question by a new research review examining studies performed with statins.

Writing in the Journal of Controversies in Biomedical Research, the authors warn that trials carried out before 2005/2006 are ‘probably flawed’ as the regulations governing company-sponsored statin studies were more lax then, with a high bias against reporting harmful outcomes of trials. 
Examination of more recent studies found that:

  •  No statin is more effective than another.
  •  Statins are not protective in secondary cardiovascular disease prevention and the results for primary prevention are “highly debateable”.
  • Statins confer no protection to diabetics.
  • In subgroups of chronic kidney failure and chronic heart failure patients statins appear ineffective.

The authors concluded by stating “a complete reassessment [of statin use] is mandatory”.

Many of the main side effects of statins are caused by the drugs blocking production of co-enzyme Q10 in the liver.  This crucial nutrient is required for energy production in the mitochondria, the tiny energy ‘batteries’ inside each cell in the body.  Certain organs such as the heart have high numbers of mitochondria, denoting their high demand for COQ10.

Many factors influence cholesterol levels, including stress, injury, infection and poor liver function.  Only a small proportion of our total cholesterol comes from our diet, the rest is manufactured according to need by the liver.

Improving our innate cholesterol handling abilities through supporting digestion and bowel function and enjoying regular exercise and relaxation are the natural routes to healthy cholesterol balance.  High strength lecithin powders and multi-strain probiotics are supplements to consider: lecithin aids cholesterol breakdown and metabolism whilst the beneficial bacteria support elimination of old cholesterol via regular bowel movements.

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