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High Cholesterol and Statin Drugs

I recently had a blood test and found my cholesterol level was 272, HDL 44 and LDL 183.  Should I be on medication? How serious is this?

What you have brought up is a major issue that is widely misunderstood.

There is no scientific correlation between total cholesterol level and heart disease. Total cholesterol levels in the 300s and above still have no correlation with heart disease. A good study done on elderly women demonstrated that levels of 272 (how coincidental is that?) imparted the longest longevity, inferring those levels were the most healthy.

Statin medications do reduce cholesterol levels, and (in a very minimal way) reduce heart disease, but not because of the reduction in cholesterol levels. It is because statins are antioxidants, albeit expensive antioxidants.

The statin medications also interfere with the production of energy in the body, which is why people on statins typically become fatigued after a few months on the medication. The muscle pain is related to the production of insufficient energy production, and the deaths associated with statins are related to muscle breakdown leading to kidney failure when the muscle proteins are excreted out the urine. You should not be on statin medications.  Talk with your physician or get one who understands how our body energy, cholesterol, statins, and inflammation are interconnected.

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Cholesterol Issues

Crestor: My cholesterol has been 210. My doctor put me on crestor. I read your article in Utah’s Senior Review and was impressed. I’ve always wondered if we have over reacted to cholesterol, but I’m nervous about stopping the crestor, as you recommended. My doctor says his main concern is not heart trouble, but stroke prevention. Could you email me back and tell me whether I can safely stop crestor and be safe from stroke. Is there a link between high cholesterol and stroke? I exercise regularly. Thank you

You will want to prayerfully consider your options and review them with your doctor before making decisions.  All I can do is offer you my perspective.

Strokes and cardiovascular disease are caused by plaque and clots forming in the arterial walls of the blood vessels. These plaques are caused by inflammation, and not by cholesterol. Therefore, your best protection is by reducing those things that cause inflammation, and ingesting those things that decrease oxidation (free radicals) in your body.

1. Stop the intake of pro-inflammatory substances like sugar, caffeine, trans fatty acids (and hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils), and aspartame.

2.  Eat real (organic, whole, fresh) food.

3. Take a potent multivitamin that includes plenty of anti-oxidants–vitamins C and E, selenium, zinc. Additional ones include glutathione, alpha-lipoic acid. Cholesterol is one of the most important anti-oxidants in the cell wall of every cell in the body.

4. Consider nattokinase, which interferes with the conversion of fibrinogen to fibrin, one of many mechanisms that contribute to clot formation in the body.

Crestor is a statin medication. Statins interfere with the production of CoQ10 in the body, which is the major energy producing system in every cell in your body.  When the cells do not have energy, they do not function correctly. Keep up the exercise.

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Statins and Lou Gehrig’s Disease

Statins have become suspect in people developing Lou Gehrig’s Disease.  Be very careful about subjecting your body to anything that can cause more problems.  Do your research online about drugs and their side effects before deciding to take them.  There are many natural things that can heal the body as well without dangerous risks of drugs.

Wisely stated.  I appreciate when my readers share your insights and discoveries with each other in this forum.  Lou Gehrig’s disease is a neurodegenerative progressive disease which, at least in part, is manifest by muscle weakness.  Statins will only compound this problem, as they interfere with the CoQ10 production, which is the key step in the major production of energy in the body.

Without energy production in the muscles, they will become weaker. We want to do the opposite–make the muscles as strong as they can be.  Testosterone can help build muscle, and those levels could be at the high end of the healthy range, instead of at the lower range.

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I, too, took several statins – and then rheumatism symptoms caused an internist and my regular doc to put their heads together and decide it might be the statins.  It was; took quite a few months but slowly as the statins dissipated and left my body, the aches went away, the rheumatism factor went down, and the cholesterol count went up.  However, niacin, garlic, losing weight [also slowly], exercise, less salt, fewer fats, and other things have helped.  My same two fingers have begun to show rheumatism symptoms [weakness, pain & swelling]; but so far, so good, they are still straight; no statins going in, just Zetia.  I wonder if Zetia has any statin reaction to it???

Zetia and statins work in different ways. Statins interfere with the production of cholesterol synthesis, and at the same time interfere with the production CoEnzyme Q10, which is very important for our energy systems in our body. That is why you have the leg aches–there is not enough energy being produced for the muscles to function.

Zetia blocks the absorption of cholesterol and ‘related phytosterols.’ Since I think the higher levels of cholesterol is healthier for us, I do not recommend anything that lowers cholesterol levels, except good diet.

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Lowering Cholesterol, More on Statins

I do most everything possible to lower cholesterol – but cannot take statins. Am on Zetia but a new Dr* says I should try a statin again. Hesitant to do it -they got me to the point of looking at the clock to see when I could take the next handful of ibuprofin for muscle pain. Any ideas?

First of all you need to understand there is no relationship between total cholesterol levels and heart disease, and since the only reason you want your cholesterol levels lower is because you have been told that will reduce your risk of heart disease or make you healthy (neither of which is true), there is no reason to take statins.  To learn more, type “cholesterol” or “statins” in the search box on the upper right hand side of this page to read past articles about this.

In fact, lower cholesterol levels increase your risk of dying earlier, and statins make that even worse. An excellent study was done on women in their 60s and 70s to determine the ideal cholesterol level for longevity. They found a level of 272 was ideal, and women lived the longest who had that level.

Statins interfere with the production of CoQ10, which is at the core of the major energy-producing system in your body, the electron transport chain. When the energy goes down in your body, your muscles will feel it first, as they demand high amounts of energy. If you feel obligated to ‘try to get your levels down,’ try the following:

  • red yeast rice,
  • gugulipids,
  • policosinol,

as they do reduce the level.

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High Cholesterol and Statin Drugs

I have high cholesterol and the medicines prescribed are beginning to cause side effects.  Basically, muscle ache. Are there natural foods to take to help lower the bad and raise the good cholesterol?

I assume the cholesterol-lowering drugs you are on are statins, which I take Continue reading High Cholesterol and Statin Drugs

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Concerns About Vytorin

A recent study from the Ulleval University Hospital in Oslo, Norway, known as the SEAS study, showed an increased risk of cancer with the use of Vytorin (a combination drug with a statin, Zocor, and zetia, which blocks the absorption of cholesterol through the intestinal tract).

Since Zocor has not been associated with increased cancer risk, the conclusion is that Continue reading Concerns About Vytorin

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Is Cholesterol as Bad as They Say?

Take the following true-false test and see how you do. I’ll give you the correct answers below, from an alternative medicine standpoint, and I’ll explain each answer so you can understand the science behind them. (Of course, what you might call “correct” depends on if you believe the information I share with you or the present prevailing philosophy).

1) I will be healthier and live longer if my total cholesterol level is low, especially less than 200. Continue reading Is Cholesterol as Bad as They Say?

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Ten Medical Myths

Author’s Note: Recently I received a couple of responses to my article on cholesterol that asked some good questions and were thought-provoking. I want to share with you those questions, as well as the answers I gave to them. This is a good way to enlarge on some of the principles that I have mentioned previously. I have chosen to break my response down into the Top Ten Medical Myths: some about, cholesterol, and a couple about the “hard” research behind medical claims. Best Regards, Stan M. Gardner, M.D.

First Comment:

Boy, this is quite a bit of misleading journalism. While the author of your article chose to take the antioxidant route, he failed to look Continue reading Ten Medical Myths