Trying to sell a drug with memory loss as a side effect???
That’s what they’re hoping, anyway… with the latest pitch for cholesterol-lowering statin drugs.
One recent report goes ON and ON and ON about all the dangers… all the side effects… and all the open questions about the drugs.
Yet in the end, the part that MATTERS most…
The part many doctors SKIP TO when they’re skimming journal reports…
It goes right ahead and urges docs to PRESCRIBE the drugs anyway!
Maybe they’re taking statins and suffering from memory loss so severe they forgot what they had just written.
So today, I’ve got a refresher… for them and for everyone else pushing statins… on why these cholesterol meds are such as BAD idea.
What docs are told to IGNORE in treating ‘high’ cholesterol
Let me start where your doc will likely start… and skip right to the end of the report in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
That’s where it concludes that docs should “have confidence and share with their patients that short-term lipid-lowering therapy in older patients, including with statins, is unlikely to have a major impact on cognition.”
I gotta wonder if these people are yoga teachers in their spare time…
Because WOW is that a stretch!
Let’s start with the key phrase in there: “short-term.”
Statins aren’t like antibiotics. No one’s taking them for the “short-term.”
Most folks are expected to take them FOREVER – so that pretty much cancels out the rest of the sentence.
Even more alarming, that same report… the one that says docs should “have confidence” the drugs won’t screw up your memory… doesn’t seem to have any confidence in that statement AT ALL!
Earlier in the report, they wrote of one study that found a “trend toward an increase” in Alzheimer’s risk – and that was after just 4.5 years on the medication.
What’s more, older folks who START OUT with cognitive problems are more likely to develop dementia and changes in episodic memory, according to another study cited in the same report.
So clearly, they ARE worried about SOMETHING to do with cognition and these drugs.
They just FORGOT all about it by the end of the report.
Not exactly something to “have confidence” in, if ya ask me!
And that’s not all that SLIPPED their collective minds.
See, when it comes down to it, cognitive problems… memory loss… and even the potential for Alzheimer’s disease AREN’T the worst risks linked to statins.
Not by a long shot.
There are others – much more serious and far more frequent side effects, like severe and of course the neat little fact that taking the meds can CAUSE .
The report even mentions that early on, calling the diabetes risk “well established”… but then essentially says docs just don’t care.
“[F]or the greater part, this risk is not factored into clinical decision making given the overall benefits of statins in patients at risk for diabetes who have indications for statin therapy.”
Not factored in??? You GOTTA be joking!
There’s a better option for cholesterol “control”…
Mostly STOP trying to control it.
Don’t let it go TOO crazy, mind you.
But the single-minded obsession over LDL numbers is wrong and dangerous – especially when the cholesterol itself is NOT the cause of cardiovascular problems.
Here’s a better approach to blood vessel health…
Follow a natural diet with NO processed foods and STRICT limits on carbs, and…
Try natural therapies such as…
- policosanol (10-20 mg, which you can combine with red yeast rice and fish oil)
- niacin (vitamin B3) (250 mg)
- L-carnitine (1,000 mg)
- coenzyme Q10 (100 mg)
- magnesium (500 to 800 mg), and
- vitamin E as mixed tocopherols (400 to 800 IU).
In Your Corner,
Dr. Allan Spreen