Health

Statins are a commonly prescribed medication used to decrease bad cholesterol and increase heart health. Due to recent studies and new research, these medications are now under fire because of the serious health risks they associated with their consumption.

Typically referred to by brand names such as Lipitor, Crestor, and Zocor, these drugs are now prescribed to a vast majority of prescription drug consumers. In 2014 the amount of money spent on prescription drugs increased to a massive $374 billion which is the highest amount of drug spending since 2001. Statins make up a vast majority of this increase in spending which means that drug consumers are now risking quite a bit more than just their savings.

One study that was published by the American Journal of Physiology stated that the statins’ “impact on other biologic properties of stem cells provides a novel explanation for their adverse clinical effects.” To be more specific the study further states that adverse reactions such as advancement in the process of aging, diabetes, neurological damage as well as myopathy have been found. Myopathy referring to skeletal muscle weakness. In some cases, statins have also been associated with rhabdomyolysis, a life-threatening form of muscle damage that causes severe muscular pain, kidney failure, and death. Statin consumers also seem to be experiencing a higher percentile of degeneration and pain in relation to nerves, memory loss, confusion, and depression. They are also at a higher risk for developing ALS and Parkinson’s according to Dr. David Williams in his 2014 Alternatives newsletter.

The FDA has acknowledged that these drugs increase the risk for high blood sugar (directly relating to higher risk for type 2 diabetes) as well as impaired cognitive function, liver damage, and muscular degeneration. Strangely enough, the FDA goes on to contradict themselves by maintaining that statins are not only safe but also effective. According to the FDA’s website:

“This new information should not scare people off statins, says Amy G. Egan, M.D., M.P.H., deputy director for safety in FDA’s Division of Metabolism and Endocrinology Products (DMEP). “The value of statins in preventing heart disease has been clearly established,” she says. “Their benefit is indisputable, but they need to be taken with care and knowledge of their side effects.”

Seems somewhat odd that the FDA would issue a report on the risks in relation the use of statins and in the same breath state that these medications are not only safe but beneficial.

What can we understand based on this information? Usually, the side effects and health risks associated with these medications are far worse than any benefit. We must continue to question the benefits of prescription drugs in comparison to natural and proven remedies. Staying informed and educated on pharmaceuticals is a must for anyone who is concerned with maintaining good health.