Medication ALERT: Cholesterol lowering drugs cause heart disease
(NaturalHealth365) The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that one in every four people die of heart disease in the United States every year. And, coincidentally (or not?), that same ratio are taking cholesterol lowering drugs like, Crestor, Lipitor and Zocor.
These medications are promoted as ‘the answer’ for high cholesterol levels. And, most heart patients are led to believe that taking these medications will reduce the risk of heart disease.
There’s only one problem: By increasing coronary artery calcification, cholesterol lowering drugs can actually worsen – and even cause – heart disease.
According to a study published in the journal Atherosclerosis, statins increase calcified plaques which limit vital blood flow – and can contribute to potentially fatal heart attacks and strokes. Let’s look at ways to minimize the harm.
Undeniable FACT: Cholesterol lowering drugs threaten heart health
The study, conducted at Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute in Los Angeles, CA, involved 6673 participants with no known history of heart disease. 2413 of the volunteers were on statin drugs, while 4260 were non-users of cholesterol-lowering medications.
The researchers used coronary CT angiography to visualize coronary atherosclerotic plaque, and found that the statin groups had a higher number of coronary segments with calcified plaques – along with a corresponding higher prevalence of obstructive coronary artery disease.
Keep in mind, none of the participants had any initial history of heart disease when the study began!
But the results leave little room for doubt: statin drugs cause coronary artery calcification that can exacerbate, and even precipitate, heart disease. And, this study is not the only research to link statin drugs with heart disease – far from it.
Another recent study, published in Diabetes Care, involved diabetic volunteers with advanced atherosclerosis. The team found that frequent statin use has the disturbing effect of speeding the progression of coronary artery calcification – and the researchers were concerned enough to call for further investigation.
The research appears to support what many natural health experts have been insisting all along – statin drugs do not protect against heart disease and heart attacks, and do not significantly decrease mortality risk.
Nutrient ALERT: Statin drugs interfere with the production of disease-fighting coenzyme Q10
Extensive studies have shown that statin drugs can deplete levels of CoQ10, an indispensable antioxidant nutrient. And, the consequences can be grave.
When the body’s stores of CoQ10 are lowered, the oxidation of LDL cholesterol increases. This sets off a destructive cascade in which the low-density lipoprotein penetrates and creates holes in the arterial walls, triggering severe inflammation and raising the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Many integrative healthcare providers, such as board-certified chiropractic orthopedist Dr. Ronald Grisanti, insist that CoQ10 must be given along with statin drugs. (In fact, Dr. Grisanti maintains that prescribing statin drugs unaccompanied by CoQ10 “should be illegal.”)
Dr. Grisanti reports that CoQ10 deficiency can cause fatal cardiomyopathy, heart attack, angina and congestive heart failure. Cancer, high blood pressure, liver disease, depression and memory loss are other possible consequences of CoQ10 shortfalls.
In addition, low CoQ10 levels seem to be associated with premature death.
In one study, 94 hospital patients aged over 50 years were analyzed for CoQ10, alpha-tocopherol (a form of vitamin E) and free cholesterol. Researchers found patients who died within a follow-up period of six months all had significantly lower CoQ10 values.
Winning team: CoQ10 and selenium provide a natural solution for heart disease
As extensive studies have shown, CoQ10 is of tremendous benefit to the heart, generating new cell mitochondria as it helps to regulate blood pressure.
Here’s the real deal: a landmark 2003 Swedish study revealed that four years of 200 mg of CoQ10 and 200 mcg of selenium a day reduced heart disease by an astonishing 40 percent.
The original study was double-blind and placebo-controlled – the gold standard for medical research – and published in the peer-reviewed International Journal of Cardiology.
The follow-up research showed that the heart-protective effect persisted even after a dozen years – even after the study subjects had long since stopped taking the pair of nutrients!
Important note: In addition to threatening CoQ10 stores, statin drugs have been associated with anxiety, irritability, depression, increased risk of diabetes, weight gain, nerve degeneration, muscle damage, increased inflammation and pain – quite a list of ills!)
Could the role of LDL cholesterol in heart disease be a “red herring?”
Increasingly, researchers and integrative doctors are questioning the current theory of heart disease. These experts note that even “harmful” LDL cholesterol is needed by the body – and that poor diet and sedentary lifestyle are the real culprits in heart disease.
Although many conventionally-trained doctors still believe that the benefits of statins outweigh the risks, a growing number are beginning to acknowledge their harmful effects – and declaring that their widespread use must be questioned.
If you take statin drugs, there are several steps you should take to protect your health.
Ask your doctor to perform coronary artery calcification scoring so that the effects on your arteries can be evaluated. In addition, insist that your CoQ10 levels be checked – immediately.
Finally, discuss the possibility of safer, natural methods of lowering cholesterol.
Cutting-edge research seems to indicate that using statin drugs to protect heart health can be likened to having a “fox in a henhouse.”
When it comes to protecting precious heart function and arterial health, CoQ10 – and not statin drugs – appears to be the real hero.
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