Friday, January 30, 2009

Are you on a statin?

…You know how HA luvvs to exaggerate, so what do you think? Should we all become a nation of pained, limping zombies who can’t remember a lick?

…HA has read so many nice things about anticholesterol, heart enhancing statins her remaining eye is blurring. She has interviewed cardiologists who laugh about how they all take them and joke about it at their meetings. If they get leg pains, they switch to another brand! Gotta have the statins.

…This all goes back to a study of simvastatin in Scandinavia 20 years ago. Of course, a few doctors have timidly ventured that 20 years isn’t a lot of time study-wise.

…Of course, HA also sort of hates studies about studies—where they look at a ton of studies and try to draw common conclusions, but one caught her eye—at Univ of CA San Diego. They looked at 900 studies on the adverse effects of statins. Nine hundred—adverse effects…so there must be SOME adverse effects, right? (American Acad of Cardiovascular Drugs)

…Number one is muscle problems. Then come pain or numbness in the fingers and toes and after that trouble remembering. But tendon problems can also develop and blood glucose can rise.

…To make matters worse, many physicians are not on top of this, the researchers said. They don’t know about, or poohpooh, symptoms.

…At the heart of these drawbacks may be an injury to the body’s energy-producing cells, mitochondria. These produce energy and those free radicals that the antioxidants we all love fight against.

…Ergo, when mitochondrial function is reduced, less energy, and and more free radicals.This comes from blocking Coenzyme Q10—CoQ10—which is blocked along with cholesterol.

…Risk of statins goes up as age goes up and they are not worth the risk, some doctors day, after age 70 or 75. High blood pressure and diabetes are linked with mitochondrial problems. Ergo…statins have a higher risk for those people.

…Not to read like a bad outtake from a biochem textbook—but people vary. Statins protect some people from muscle and kidney and heart rhythm problems—and can worsen risk of those in others.

…Ask questions. Lots.

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