The Dangers of Statins and the Importance of Cholesterol

 By Dr. Ben Lerner and Megan Rall

If you are someone with high cholesterol, there are many things you can do to lower your cholesterol more effectively, cheaper and naturally with no side-effects except better overall health. Read on to find out how.

If you’ve been following the news over the past few years, you already know that the “statin” class of cholesterol lowering drugs, i.e. Lipitor, Zocor, Crestor, etc, have been shown to cause a host of problems, from muscle pain to heart attack and cancer.[1. Gebbers J. Atherosclerosis, cholesterol, nutrition, and statins—a critical review. German Medical Science. Vol 5. 2007.] [2.Newman T, et al. Carcinogenicity of lipid-lowering drugs. Journal of the American Medical Association. Jan 3, 1996. Vol 275, no. 1.] [3.Kucharska J, et al. Simvastatin decreased coenzyme Q in the left ventricle and skeletal muscle. Physiological research. 2007.] [4. Mohaupt M, et al. Association between statin-associated myopathy and skeletal muscle damage.] Even the drug Zetia, which actually works by a different mechanism than the statins, has come under fire after it was discovered that the drug’s damaging effects on the liver were not reported.[5. Data about Zetia risk was not fully revealed. New York Times. Dec 2007.]

In addition, a recent report out of the University of Glasgow has revealed that popular cholesterol drugs likeCrestor and Lipitor are responsible for increasing user risk of developing diabetes. Published in the journalLancet, the report quantifies the severity of the side effect for which doctors and researchers have only recently become aware. The report identified 13 different studies about statin drugs and all of the studies were aggregated together to arrive at the 9 percent statistic for the entire pool of statin drugs. Over 91,000 patients were evaluated in the various studies.[6. Sattar, N. et al.  Statins and risk of incident diabetes: a collaborative meta-analysis of randomised statin trials. Lancet.2010 Feb 27; 375(9716):735-42. Epub 2010 Feb 16.]

Clearly, lowering cholesterol levels artificially comes at a price.  What’s more is that your body actually needs cholesterol!  Thanks to cholesterol, your body is able to produce sex hormones as well as bile for fat digestion.  Your brain actually requires cholesterol to function properly![7. Arenas E. Cell Stem Cell. Oct 2009.]

This extremely important and life saving molecule (cholesterol) over the years has been given a bad rap.  High cholesterol for years has been correlated with heart disease, as the number one killer in America taking the lives of around 800,000 people every single year.[8. Lloyd-Jones D, Adams R, Carnethon M, et al. Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics—2009 Update. A Report from the American Heart Association Statistics Committee and Stroke Statistics Subcommittee.Circulation. 2009;119:e21-e181.]  In fact, several medical associations and the pharmaceutical industry have done everything possible to instill fear upon people that the elevation of cholesterol will lead to heart disease or a heart attack.  As a result,  it is suggested that people keep their cholesterol levels as low as possible to prevent heart disease, much of the time this is not done naturally, but by using cholesterol lowering drugs (“statins”).

However, if your body did not need cholesterol regularly to function it would not naturally produce it. Cholesterol is necessary to create vital hormones in the body, repair cell membranes, make vitamin D, make bile acids to digest fats, allow healthy neurological function, as well as repair damaged cells.  In fact, cholesterol is not the culprit at all to target as the cause of heart disease.  Damage can happen to the lining of the arteries, that damage creates inflammation in the area which is a part of healing.  Cholesterol is sent to the area to help repair damaged cells, but if there is chronic inflammation in the body much of the time due to sugars or damaged fats then that cholesterol may be oxidized causing it to cling to the walls of the arteries.  So it is not cholesterol that is the true problem, it is chronic inflammation that causes the damage to the blood vessels and then the oxidation of the cholesterol.

Too much cholesterol is commonly a sign that there is chronic inflammation in the body.  The problem is, lowering cholesterol doesn’t address the inflammation causing it.  Inflammation can be due to nutrition and diet, toxicity, as well as physical joint and nerve stress..

If you are someone with high cholesterol there are many things you can do to lower your cholesterol more effectively, cheaper and naturally with no side effects except better overall health:

  1. Make sure you are getting daily exercise at least a half hour to 1 hour.
  2. Get plenty of natural sunlight.  Even if you do live in an area with lots of sun, getting plenty of it is something most of us do not do.  Try our ML Vitamin D3 with Probiotics today to ensure you are getting your appropriate Vitamin D levels.
  3. Eat live foods such as raw fruits, vegetables, nuts.  Also, sign up for your local Maximized Living doctor’s advanced nutrition seminar coming in the next week.
  4. Avoid damaged fats and hydrogenated oils.  Can follow Maximized Living meal plans to find good fats to ingest and recipes.
  5. Maximized Function.  The liver is supposed to regulate cholesterol levels.  It makes as much or as little as is necessary to keep this important element at the optimum levels for health and recovery.  If your liver functions improperly, then it can no longer balance cholesterol effectively.  Work with a corrective care Chiropractor to make sure the spine and nervous system are healthy.  The spine totally controls the liver functions.

While every problem has unique needs, the ML Principle is the same when it comes to all conditions:

STEP 1: Build health.  If you work towards getting the body well and working right again, all conditions improve or are eliminated.

STEP 2: Look at causes.  Whether it’s heart disease, diabetes, asthma, ADD/ADHC, chronic infections, pain, fatigue, cancer, or Alzheimer’s – there’s an underlying reason.  Conditions are rarely there as simply a result of genetics or bad luck.  Might be easy to call it that – but just not true.




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