More than twenty-five percent of adults age 45 and older take statins.1 Despite the fact that statin drugs, prescribed to lower cholesterol, are among the most frequently prescribed drugs, too often patients are not apprised of the fact that they are associated with serious side-effects and much healthier results can be achieved with dietary lifestyle changes.
Statin drugs work by blocking an enzyme involved in the liver’s production of cholesterol. Elevated blood cholesterol is an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Higher LDL cholesterol levels mean that more LDL from the bloodstream makes its way into the arterial wall. There, LDL is oxidized, setting off a chain of events leading to the formation of atherosclerotic plaque.
The Validity of Statin Drug Data
In the most recent analysis of statins for primary prevention (in patients who have not had a previous cardiovascular event), a 14 percent reduction in all-cause mortality and a 25 percent reduction in fatal plus non-fatal cardiovascular events were reported.2
However, the legitimacy of these numbers has been questioned; some researchers have claimed that studies conducted by scientists without conflicts of interest did not find any reduction in cardiovascular events, in contrast to studies supported or conducted by pharmaceutical companies.3