Wednesday, January 11, 2012

What cholesterol lowering medications may be doing to your health!

I believe that an informed consumer is the best consumer, especially where health is concerned. 

Many people are taking cholesterol lowering medications for treatment and prevention of cholesterol-related health problems, such as heart attacks and stroke. But, as the media has revealed over the last few years, such drugs, the statins, can produce many health related problems and the extensive use has caused many to wonder about the drug companies' role in over-promoting the medication to the extent that nearly 10 million Americans are taking this drug each year. 

The purpose of this post is to explore the information regarding statin use and to discuss ways to lower cholesterol.

What are the statin drugs?

Statins are HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors.  This means that they act by blocking the enzyme in your liver that is responsible for making cholesterol.

The list of statin drugs include: 

Advicor (lovastatin with niacin)

Altoprev (lovastatin)

Caduet (atorvastatin with Norvasc)

Crestor (rosuvastatin)

Lescol (fluvastatin)

Lipitor (atorvastatin)

Mevacor (lovastatin)

Pravachol (pravastatin)

Simcor (niacin/imvastatin)

Vytorin (ezetimibe/simvastatin)

Zocor (simvastatin)

As you can see, drug companies are all putting their hand in this lucrative pie.

What are the side effects?

Use of cholesterol lowering drugs have many, many side effects which include stomachaches, gas,
abdominal pain and cramps, forgetfulness and memory problems, neurological problems, liver
problems, sore, weak and painful muscles.Researchers are questioning the routine use of cholesterol lowering medications as a preventative measure in many people due to the extensive side effects list. Especially so in those who are taking this medication for prevention, and don't have the treatment resitant, familial form of the disease. (This is the only group that may need to take the medication for prophylaxis.)

Cholesterol, the only culprit in heart disease?

Now, despite all of its negative information, cholesterol does play an important part in the body.  The three major roles are:

1. It is used to manufacture steroid or cortisone-like hormones, such as the sex hormones.

2. It helps the liver produce bile, which is essential in the digestion of fats.

3. It is a component of the cell membrane and its structures.  Without it, there would be no life.  

The problem comes with cholesterol when there is too much of it - such as in poor, high fat dietary choices, or in a familial tendency to high cholesterol, or if it is deposited in the wrong places, such as in the coronary arteries, where it is deposited as plaque.

 Also, please be aware that there are many researchers that are even questioning if cholesterol is a major factor in the development of cardiovascular disease. So, don't be lulled into complacency by thinking that the cholesterol lowering drugs will eliminate all concerns regarding hypercholesterolemia and associated disease.


"Do you take any of these 11 dangerous cholesterol reducing drugs?

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