Cholesterol is a lipid with global functions in the body and brain. The misinformation around good and bad cholesterol has caused many people to accept statins as a preventative measure for heart disease. Statins were first discovered in the late eighties. Between 1996 and 2012 the drug company Pfizer made 125 billion dollars on the sale of Lipitor over a fourteen year period. Are there fewer heart attacks a result? Hardly, but the drug company is much richer, so that’s all that matters.
Statins top the list of drugs given to seniors, with 50% of all seniors prescribed the drug. Suggestions and arguments were advanced at one time to add this poison to the water supplies. People as young as forty are being prescribed statins, and there is no end in sight. Next they will be targeting children, with some articles suggesting they be given to children as young as seven years old. Yet statins are the culprit in a high percentage of children who are victims of accidental poisonings. 30% of teens who took statins thinking they might get high, ended up in the hospital in more serious trouble than when they take opiates. Even a single adult pill can poison a young child.
Since statins have been prescribed so much, one would think the death rate from cardiac disease would have dropped by now. But heart disease continues to be in the top ten causes of death worldwide. Statins are now directly linked to an increase in cognitive decline, but they won’t tell you that when it is prescribed. Why do people get suckered into taking these drugs? Fear and misinformation, is what drives people to take statins. Plus, there has been long term indoctrination to blindly trust, and turn our autonomy over to doctors to make decisions about our health. How do they know what a person’s daily diet and habits are? Like the general population, there are doctors who are competent and trustworthy, and those who are not. Doctors can and do save lives – but over prescribing medications is a huge and steadily increasing problem, that does just the opposite.
The brain, nerves and all muscles need cholesterol. Cholesterol is a lipid. The misinformation surrounding the good and bad cholesterol is based on an over simplified and faulty sales pitch. LDL and HDL are actually cholesterol carriers, not two different types of cholesterol as we are led to believe. They serve many different functions, not only in the brain, but in digestive processes and the production of bile. LDL means low density and HDL means high density carriers of lipoproteins. The body needs both to function. In fact the higher levels of cholesterol occur naturally and serve to protect the brain as we age. At different stages of life, the body makes adaptations to feed and protect different functions.
The brain is 60% fat for good reasons. Human breast milk is very high in cholesterol, because the brains of babies are growing and developing at a rapid rate. Cholesterol is an antioxidant and protects the brain from free radicals. It provides insulation and protection of the myelin sheath and nerve cells. It provides a cell membrane barrier to further protect brain cells and enhance the function of neurotransmitters.
To narrow scope and function of statins to the chemical prevention of arteriosclerosis is a non holistic and faulty description surrounding a very complex subject. Probably the most comprehensive information that does not oversimplify their use and how they work, is a book written by James & Hannah Yoseph entitled How statin drugs really lower cholesterol: and kill you one cell at a time.
What are the main side effects and complaints when people start taking statins? Although the side effects are numerous and often debilitating, the main complaints revolve around muscle weakness and brain fog. The most common side effects are headache, sleep disturbances, muscle tenderness, drowsiness, dizziness, impaired cognitive function, nausea and vomiting, and in some cases liver damage and kidney failure. Recent information is linking it to an increase in dementia (another leading cause of death).
Almost every research institute continues to make broad and generalized claims that statins are a wonder drug, however since heart disease has not decreased even though 50% of seniors take statins, that should tell the average lay person the claims are bogus.
People who are developing arteriosclerosis do not need statins. They need to change their diet and get more exercise. There are good and bad fats, good and bad foods, good and bad daily habits – but cholesterol is cholesterol and is very important to our health. In my opinion, if we listen to our bodies and get a side effect from a drug, it means there is something haywire happening as a result of it. When we get a severe headache from MSG laced food, doesn’t that tell us our brain and bodies are sensitive to that chemical and we are best to avoid it?
If LDL is “bad” cholesterol, why does every single human being have it? It is because we need it. It should not even be defined as bad cholesterol because cholesterol is cholesterol. If anything it might be described as a bad carrier – yet that makes no sense, so this very complex subject gets overly simplified and people accept the statement as fact, when what they should do is research the causes of higher than normal LDL levels and then make lifestyle and diet changes to lower them. The claims of good or bad tends to make people immediately think – “Oh no, I don’t want bad cholesterol” so they are quickly convinced a pill is the answer.
But the very thing it is supposed to help with is completely derailed. When people have side effects such as muscle weakness, drowsiness, poor appetite, abdominal pain, etc. they are less likely to exercise. If a drug causes generalized weakness and muscle pain – what is it doing to the heart muscle?
The interesting thing about drug companies and the reporting of side effects is that they downplay them. They want us to believe the side effects are minor, or a necessary evil so to speak. Of course once you start taking them, you must take them for life. Now that’s profitable (not for the patient though)! One cardiologist on YouTube went on and on about a genetic condition that prevents people from breaking down cholesterol. The particular genetic condition he was referring to is very rare, with fewer than 1 in 500 people who are afflicted with it – so how does that translate into prescribing the drug for half the population? How can they seriously claim they are not trying to dupe people?
We need cholesterol and healthy fats. We also need functional carriers for cholesterol. When we experience adverse reactions or side effects to anything we are exposed to, we need to stop and evaluate what is happening to us. Only the individual knows how he or she felt before taking the drug and what symptoms or side effects develop. In many cases people were being told the side effects were not real, but rather imaginary somatic complaints (delusions). How handy! What a bizarre and arrogant way to invalidate what people are experiencing. The second very valid question is to ask yourself, “Is there a conflict of interest or profit motive that supersedes my well being in prescribing this drug?” It’s a no-brainer!
Disclaimer – The opinions in this article are my own and not intended to undermine required treatment or medications. The information provided is to encourage research and seek methods of reducing over prescribing for seniors. The Beers list provides a comprehensive list of high risk medications to help inform the public. The link ishttps://www.guidelinecentral.com/summaries/american-geriatrics-society-2015-updated-beers-criteria-for-potentially-inappropriate-medication-use-in-older-adults/#section-420