That is a no brainer to those of us who have developed system wide pain after being prescribed drugs like Lipitor, Crestor, and Zocor etc.
Over the years sufferers have been able to read the studies and evidence of some great scientific minds, who have dug deep to discover – exactly why it is these so called ‘Miracle’ drugs – as the pharmaceutical companies would have you believe, do cause our body system to feel as if they are closing down.
People like Uffe Ravnskov, MD, PhD; Malcolm KendrickMD; Dr. Duane Graveline, MD and many other credentialed scientists over at THINCS, have spent considerable years researching the reasons why the cholesterol lowering Statins do the damage they do to the human body.
Initially the pharmaceutical companies indoctrinated our GP’s and Cardiologists into believing that statins could not and did not damage our systems. Doctors argued with every patient who complained about the side effects, telling them they were just getting old(er) and these were simply a natural part of the ageing cycle. But we knew better, especially when younger and younger people were being prescribed these medications, and they too were suffering similar effects.
Dr. Graveline, himself a victim of the side effects of Statin Drugs, has studied and written copiously on exactly how these drugs – do the damage they do. He explains in this you tube (5 part) presentation that statins can cause damage to the cell mitochondria causing them to mutate, and that is why even after you cease taking these drugs, your pain will persist and the muscles remain permanently damaged.
I honestly believe if more doctors took this medication and suffered the side effects fewer patients would be suffering now. Simply stopping the drug, for many people is not a remedy. The damage may be permanent.
We learned some time ago that Statin Drugs affect what is now known as the mevalonate pathway. Along this pathway (over simplification) many chemical actions and reactions occur, which are essential to a healthy body.
Doc Graveline says: By now many of you have read that all statins are reductase inhibitors. Unfortunately, the only reductase step in the entire 200 biochemical steps to the synthesis of cholesterol was right in the beginning of the mevalonate pathway, meaning that to get at cholesterol we had to interrupt many other vital functions sharing this same pathway such as CoQ10, dolichols, etc.
So taking statins to reduce cholesterol interrupts some ‘200 biochemical steps’. That is frightening! We now know that every cell requires it (cholesterol) for growth — they either have to get cholesterol somewhere or they die. That of course includes brain cells. One seriously must question the ever growing number of cases worldwide of dementia like illnesses. Doc Graveline himself first suffered from what is now called Transient Global Amnesia, which he traces back to statin use. However now he also suffers from an ALS like condition which again he attributes to his previous statin use.
In 2007 Joseph Vega MD reported: Dr. Ralph Edwards, the director of the World Health Organization’s Drug Monitoring Center, reported on data he says may show some link between the use of statins and the development of ALS, a devastating and uniforming fatal neurological disease.
According to Dr. Edwards, of the 172 people included in the data set used for his paper, 40 had been treated with statins; a number he says is not likely to be the result of statistical chance. Food and Drug administration officials, however, disagree.
Currently much research is focussing on
Seleno Protein inhibition
because of statin use.
Only recently have selenoproteins been discovered and the effects of statin use to blockade of the mevalonate pathway on their role in human physiology are just emerging. Deficiency of selenoproteins has been proven to result in various types of Myopathies formerly seen only in Selenium deficiency – ( a Trace element). Additionally some forms of cognitive dysfunction are associated with Selenium deficiency. Source
Up to date as usual, Doc Graveline tells us: Selenium deficiency has been known for years as a disease of large ruminants. In the UK it has the name of White Muscle Disease (WMD), a degenerative muscle disease caused by a deficiency of selenium in the soils and forage. Symptoms are those of heart failure and/or generalized muscle weakness. In those parts of the world deficient in selenium, the morbidity from this disease, particularly in sheep and goats, has been extreme and wide-scale use of supplemental selenium is now routine.
Most of the information about the role of selenoproteins in humans has come in the past decade paralleling the marketing of statin drugs. The use of statin drugs has served to increase attention to the role of selenoproteins in humans, since statins tend to block the vital mevalonate pathway by which selenoproteins are utilized. Current evidence suggests that daily selenium consumption for man of approximately 90 micrograms/day/adult should be the minimum daily requirement for optimum biological performance.
Thus far well over 30 selenoprotein enzymes have been discovered for the element selenium, expressing an unusually wide range of physiologic application with multi-system involvement. The four glutathione perioxidase enzymes all play various roles as anti-oxidants in the previously mentioned cytochrome C oxidase activity preventing lipid perioxidase formation with its adverse effects due to their high level of reactivity on adjacent tissues. As such these enzymes are highly beneficial in preventing mitochondrial damage, premature aging and many chronic diseases similar to the anti-oxidant role of CoQ10.
Again Doc mentions – even stresses the fact that damage along the mevalonate pathway will include – damage to the mitochondria.
Why is this so important? The mitochondria are the powerhouse of every cell in our body. If the cell has no power it dies.
Some of the symptoms of selenium deficiency are described thus:
include muscle weakness and pain, inflammation of the muscles, fragile red blood cells, degeneration of the pancreas, and abnormal coloration. There have also been associations of selenium deficiency with several diseases affecting the heart muscle, but a protective effect against heart disease has not been proven. In geographic areas where selenium is deficient in the soil, and therefore in food, human deficiencies have been reported to cause dilation of the heart and congestive heart failure.
Doc Graveline goes on to advise us:
The important role of selenium in brain function was first reported by Ramaekers VT and others in Neuropediatrics, 1994 after their successful treatment of two children in the same family with intractable seizures, liver function disturbances and osteoarthropathy, finally diagnosed to be selenium deficient on the basis of blood tests and responding almost immediately to supplemental selenium. They speculated that two of the seleno-dependent enzymes glutathione peroxidase (GPX) and phospholipid hydroperoxide glutathione peroxidase (PHGPX) played a key-role in the defence of neuronal cells against oxygen radical formation and peroxidative processes.
This was supported by the work of Ashrafi MR and others. Epilepsia 48(9), 2007 who in their study of 53 epileptic children, argued that oxidative stress and generation of reactive oxygen species are the cause and the consequence of epileptic seizures, re- affirming the critical role of selenium and glutathione perioxidase activity in the pathogenesis of epilepsy.
The importance of selenium in heart failure was emphasized recently by Saliba W and others in their report of a case of selenium deficiency induced heart failure reversed after selenium supplementation, published in Int J Cardiol. 2008. They advised that all non-ischemic heart failure patients deserve a serum selenium level measurement as a part of their work up.
The role of selenium in thyroid hormone metabolism was stressed by Nurhan U in Nutrition &Food Science, 2001. Since several selenium containing enzymes are responsible for conversion of the prohormone thyroxine (T4) to the active thyroid hormones (triiodothyronine or T3) consideration must be given to the possible effect of selenium deficiency in interpreting standard thyroid hormone tests. This is especially true of the elderly. In these cases although a thyroxine (T4) test might be normal, total T3 (and free T3) will be subnormal because the usual conversion of T4 is not taking place. Selenium testing must be done to properly interpret these results but functionally they are hypothyroid, despite normal T4.
In summary, selenium has critical roles in mitochondrial maintenance; muscular metabolism and brain function and are vital in general metabolism and thyroid function but we are only just beginning to make informed assessments.
This has ended up being much longer than I intended, however I believe it is vitally important for people who have been damaged by the statin drugs, and those who have chosen to remain on them because of doctors’ advice – to KNOW what the action/reaction of this class of medication is doing in their bodies.
Some maybe fortunate to suffer no long term damage, and when they come off the drugs their bodies may fully repair. It is my understanding that far too many of us have and will suffer permanent damage, either in thought, thinking, cognitive processes, in muscle weakness and mitochondrial damage, in heart damage. It seems it is our responsibility to learn as much as we can about the ugly side effects of statin drugs – our doctors still believe the pharmaceutical propaganda, that these drugs harm very few patients and their side effects are reversible with discontinuation of the drug. Even fairly recently it was proposed to put children, as young as eight years old, on these dangerous drugs. Seems the pharmaceutical machine is still in the business of making money for shareholders, at the cost of human health and lives.
Keep an eye out for more articles on the essential role of selenium in our diets.
Diagram showing the cause of statin side effects
Suggested additional reading: Townsend letter for doctors – worth reading in regards to brain issues from taking statin medications