Should You Take Cholesterol Meds?

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Should You Take Cholesterol Meds?

It’s a common scene:  You’re told by your doctor you have high cholesterol and should take a medication to lower it.

You might resist at first.

After all, you feel fine.

But then again, you don’t want to die of a sudden heart attack, and practically everyone you know is on some cholesterol-lowering drug.

So, what should you do?

Before you make a decision, you need some information.

Cholesterol-lowering drugs manufactured in the 1970s and 1980s were found to only modestly, if ever, reduce death from heart attacks.

More ominously they often increased mortality, which of course isn’t a good thing.

Then in 1994, a new class of cholesterol-lowering drugs, called statins, was found to be far more effective at preventing heart attacks than other cholesterol-lowering drugs.

Researchers were certain those wonder drugs worked their magic by lowering “bad” cholesterol levels.

(As a side note, lowering insulin also lowers “bad” cholesterol levels.)

As it turns out, statins probably don’t work their magic by lowering cholesterol levels.

They actually have a much broader range of action than anyone ever anticipated.

They work as crude anti-inflammatory agents by blocking the release of C-reactive protein (CRP) from your liver.

People with the highest levels of CRP (crude marker for inflammation) had the greatest decline in heart disease mortality when they took statins.

Statins actually aren’t very good anti-inflammatory agents, because they don’t reduce pro-inflammatory cytokines causing the production of CRP in the first place; they just prevent the release of CRP from your liver.

So, statins work to reduce heart attacks by reducing only certain types of inflammation, whereas high-dose fish oil reduces all types of inflammation.

The statins’ ability to reduce LDL cholesterol levels may be just a secondary factor in their reduction of heart disease mortality.

What’s more, statins can cause a lot of side effects, including memory loss, muscle weakness, liver damage, and increased risk of nerve damage (neuropathy).

In fact, half the people stop taking statins within a year due to these side effects.

However, there’s another side effect of statins the drug companies don’t like to talk about.

Statins also significantly increase the production of AA.

This means long-term use of statins will ultimately increase silent inflammation.

In fact, one study showed the number of people who developed breast cancer (another disease caused by silent inflammation) was significantly greater in people taking statins.

This isn’t exactly what you want to hear, especially if you’re going to be taking these drugs for the rest of your life.

If you do take a statin, then always supplement with high-dose fish oil to reduce the increase in AA production (and therefore silent inflammation) these drugs cause.

Come join us on our natural weight loss journey!  We’d love to have you along!

Have an awesome day!

(Based on Dr. Barry Sears’ “The Anti-Inflammation Zone”)

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Dick and Lenay

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