High cholesterol and heart disease are major health concerns in the United States. As such, it should not be surprising that most are familiar with cholesterol-regulating statins such as Lipitor, Crestor, Zocor, and Livalo. Roughly a quarter of American adults over the age of 45 use this type of medication to help treat or prevent cardiac disease. Unfortunately, statin use may cause more harm than good.
Many important factors of health are negatively impacted by statins. Therefore, other less-disruptive methods of supporting heart health should be prescribed and utilized to help protect cardiac function and overall wellness.
The Problems with Statins
Recent research suggests that statins can significantly increase the risk of developing major conditions such as diabetes, various cancers, neurodegenerative diseases, and musculoskeletal disorders. Furthermore, some studies have found that statins may actually increase the risk of coronary artery disease (CAD) even though their primary purpose is to reduce the likelihood of developing coronary issues. Such damage can be linked to the disruptive attributes of statins.
The following sections provide examples of the negative impact of statins on specific substances resulting in greater risk of developing various symptoms and conditions.
CoQ10 is an essential coenzyme that is involved in cellular energy production and regulation. This is in part due to the fact that ubiquinol, the reduced form of CoQ10, is necessary for cellular respiration and the synthesis of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is the most widely utilized form of energy in the body and is used prominently in the heart and brain.
CoQ10 is also a powerful antioxidant that limits the DNA damaging effects of free radicals. Therefore, maintaining a healthy level of CoQ10 is an important factor regarding energy level, longevity, and general wellness.
Statins inhibit both cholesterol and CoQ10 production by blocking a substance called HMG-CoA. Inhibition of this chemical frequently results in a deficiency of CoQ10. Therefore, statin use may actually increase the risk of heart disease and neurological issues by disrupting CoQ10 balance.
Vitamin K2 Inhibition
Vitamin K2 supports healthy heart-function by removing excess calcium from the arteries. This action helps limit arterial calcification and congestion. As K2 levels decline, the risk of atherosclerosis and subsequent heart failure increases. Unfortunately, statins inhibit vitamin K2 synthesis and absorption. This means that statin use may promote arterial congestion even though its primary goal is to limit cholesterol in order to facilitate plaque removal.
The draining effect of statins on vitamin K2 may also promote the development of other conditions including:
- Brain disease
- Heart attack
- Heart disease
- Improper calcification leading to heel spur and kidney stone formation
A 2011 study found that as statin dose increases so too does the risk of developing diabetes.
Statins promote insulin resistance, which is a primary contributor to diabetes. Statins also increase blood sugar, which further increases the risk of developing diabetes. Furthermore, the CoQ10 suppressing attributes of statins disrupt proper blood sugar regulation resulting in greater risk of glucose spikes. Because blood sugar regulation is an essential part of diabetic treatment, statins can be dangerous for those already diagnosed with diabetes.
Overly reducing cholesterol levels through the use of statins can be potentially harmful. About 25 percent of the body’s cholesterol is located in the brain. Cholesterol is an important component of synapse formation, and by extension knowledge acquisition and memory. A common symptom of statin use is memory loss, which is often attributed to reduced cholesterol availability in the brain.
Safe Alternatives to Statins
If heart disease is a concern, there are many safer alternatives to statins that may provide greater benefits without risking serious side effects or the development of other conditions.
Lifestyle changes and healthy supplementation can provide powerful support to heart health and wellness. The following sections outline different methods of naturally supporting heart health.
Increasing consumption of some foods while limiting intake of others can help better regulate cholesterol and support heart health. Eating more omega-3 fatty acids in the form of fish, fish oil, and coconut oils can help regulate cholesterol and provide neurological protection.
Eating more raw foods such as green leafy vegetables provide essential nutrients that can improve heart function. Fermented foods provide major intestinal benefits that can support immune function while also improving levels of vitamin K2. This promotes better arterial movement and plaque removal.
Destress and Exercise
Stress is a major contributor to increased blood pressure and heart disease. Limiting stress by engaging in relaxing activities such as yoga, gardening, or reading can help lower blood pressure. Regularly exercising also provides significant stress relief while also building cardiovascular strength which helps limit the risk of heart disease.
Sleep is an essential part of the body’s restorative process and is necessary for healthy bodily function. Lack of sleep is a significant contributor to stress and anxiety, which may promote the occurrence of cardiovascular disease. Ideally, individuals get at least 8 hours of good quality uninterrupted sleep every night.
Instead of using medications such as statins that may actually promote the occurrence of cardiovascular disease, consider utilizing cholesterol-regulating supplements.
Chol-Less Max KO and Heart Solution Plus are two supplements produced by HoltraCeuticals that support cardiovascular wellness and function. Each act on cholesterol regulation through various means without influencing other factors such as CoQ10 and vitamin K levels. Effective supplementation with such products can help support heart health without causing the wide range of symptoms and greater risk of disease associated with statins.
Swapping out Statins to Protect Your Health
Even though statins are one of the most common methods for managing heart disease and cholesterol levels, they are likely not the best option. The many side effects and increased risk of developing other serious conditions make statins potentially harmful. If you need to reduce cholesterol, consider safer alternatives such as improving diet, reducing stress, and supplementing with heart healthy products.
If already using statins, it is important to speak with your doctor before stopping treatment. Abrupt cessation of statins can cause significant arterial damage. Always consult a trusted medical practitioner before stopping or starting any new treatment.
Protect your heart and your health by using the safest treatments possible.
1. 5 Great Reasons Why You Should Not Take Statins. Mercola. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/02/10/5-reasons-why-you-should-not-take-statins.aspx
2. Statins: Helpful or Harmful? Holtorf Medical Group. https://www.holtorfmed.com/statins-harmful-side-effects/
3. More Concerns over Statin Drugs. Holtorf Medical Group. https://www.holtorfmed.com/more-concerns-over-statin-drugs/
4. Lower Cholesterol Naturally and Fast. Dr. Axe. https://draxe.com/lower-cholesterol-naturally-fast/