(NaturalHealth365) Each year, around 50,000 people are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in the U.S. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates that as many as 500,000 American citizens are currently living with the illness. Now new research is pointing to the side effects of statins as a potentially major risk factor for developing this neurodegenerative disease.
Statins are a drug originally designed to help persons with heart problems. They are most often prescribed to people at risk for cardiovascular disease. However, they are also used to help reduce “bad” cholesterol blood levels. They are believed to help improve blood flow and restore elasticity in the arteries.
Some health professionals erroneously thought statins prevented Parkinson’s disease
Some health professionals were hopeful that statins could also help to protect the brain in persons at risk for neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
While these medical professionals believed that statins could have a similar effect in brain neurons as they do on arteries, the research results on this are inconclusive at best. Higher cholesterol and statin use has been connected with a lower occurrence of Parkinson’s disease in some cases; however, it’s been difficult to know if it was the preexisting cholesterol status or the statin’s protective effect that was making the difference.
Further research seems to indicate that fat-soluble statins could very well INCREASE Parkinson’s disease risk. An assessment of medical insurance claim data from 50 million people has shown the use of statins correlates directly with a higher risk of Parkinson’s disease.
Widely-used lipophilic (fat soluble) statins have the most damaging effect
The effect seems to be strongest at the beginning of statin treatment and up to 2.5 years of use. The association between statins and Parkinson’s disease was most significant with lipophilic statins, which comprises the majority of statins in use today. Lipophilic statins are fat soluble and have the ability to reach the brain, unlike water soluble statins. The findings were published in the Movement Disorders medical journal.
The data directly contradicts beliefs that lipophilic statins could have a neuroprotective effect in the brain. Also, it corrects the previous hypothesis that stopping statin treatment could cause Parkinson’s disease. The truth is that using statins most likely leads to Parkinson’s symptoms, after which patients stop using the drugs.
Side effects of statins also include diabetes and CoQ10 depletion
While additional research is required, it’s becoming clear that there is a correlation between statin use and Parkinson’s disease. While it might be too soon to say that statins expressly cause Parkinson’s disease, the new research indicates that they could be putting users at a higher risk of developing the neurodegenerative disease.
Statins have been linked with a number of other health problems, including diabetes and its related complications including kidney, eye and nerve damage. Statins also deplete the body of CoQ10, an essential enzyme for heart health and general cellular health.
The evidence is clear: statins are dangerous. They are not a shortcut to maintaining optimal levels of cholesterol. But, the negative side effects of statins far outweigh any gains they may offer. Instead, favor healthy lifestyle changes such as getting more exercise and eating organic, unprocessed foods. This is the most sustainable approach to heart health and optimal cholesterol levels.