You know when I read articles about the side effects of taking the Statin class of drugs – prescribed to lower cholesterol numbers; a large amount of space is devoted to the fact that statins deplete the human body of the vital enzyme COQ10.
It is tragic that even though the pharmaceutical companies knew this would happen when these drugs were taken, they declined to notify practitioners and patients of this seriously important fact. This in and of itself should be construed as criminal.
That statins deplete CoQ10 in the body is widely known; information about this was first published in 1990. Statins work by interrupting the process of the biosynthesis of cholesterol and “. . . the biochemical pathway for CoQ10 synthesis is a branch of the same pathway where cholesterol is made.” One pharmaceutical company (Merck) has a patent on a drug combining statins and CoQ10 in one dose. In Canada a precaution is included in the prescribing information for statins.1
One of the most vocal advocates we have (not the only one) in the ongoing fight against these dangerous drugs is Doc Graveline (Duane Graveline MD MPH). In one of his many articles on the Management Of Statin Damage he tell us:
Directing our attention to those already presenting with statin associated damage of whatever kind, I recommend stopping the statin and robust CoQ10 supplementation. CoQ10 has no maximum allowable dose, so progressive dosage elevations to 1500mg daily may be reasonable for a period of time to observe for response. The addition of Acetyl-L-carnitine and selenium must be considered for persistent muscle pain and weakness. These recommendations are based upon known mechanisms of action of statin drugs and results of recent research.
As the title of this blog infers, Statin Drugs not only damage the COQ10 pathway, they interfere with the Dolichol Pathway (and the seleno-protein pathway) as well. In fact Doc Graveline has stated that many vital metabolic pathways are damaged by taking these drugs.
Doc talks about dolichol inhibition as well. It is an unfamiliar phrase unless you are working in medicine or the scientific field. He tells us:
I have been talking of the consequences of statin associated dolichol inhibition for years now, calling attention to the importance of this substance in neuropeptide formation and our feelings of thought, sensation and emotion. More recently, I have pointed at dolichol inhibition as a possible cause of statin associated behavioral side effects, such as irritability, hostility and depression, while wondering how, with so few proteins, such amazing subtlety of emotion could be created.
Now, however, I have learned that along with peptide assembly within the endoplasmic reticulum of every cell is the process of sacharride attachment. It is here in the heart of every cell that sacharrides (sugars) are attached to proteins to give a far broader range of diversity and information transfer than protein alone. This process is called glycosylation and it demands a ready supply of dolichol.
No longer do we consider sugars as just simple fuel. The effects of these eight vital sugars on the resulting peptide structure being created in the endoplasmic reticulum and companion piece, the Golgi apparatus, is just short of miraculous. And this attachment of sugars, this glycosylation, is completely dependent on dolichol’s orchestration. Throw in a statin and what do you have? An inevitable inhibition of dolichol (roughly comparable to the degree of cholesterol inhibition.) The resulting effect upon our body of this dolichol theft is completely unpredictable for this is at the very center of cell communication and immunodefense.
Dolichols may well be fully as important as CoQ10 in this unfortunate game of statin roulette that Big Pharma has placed us in. Statin damage is often additive to pre-existing impairment of glycolysis from aging, disease and poor nutrition. Glyconutrients, now increasingly available as a source of these vital sugars, may offer hope to thousands of statin damaged victims to help the body repair the effects of impaired glycolysis.
It is also important to note that DG believes: A possible means to compensate for dolichol inhibition has recently been identified. Study of the effect of statins on dolichol inhibition and the process of glycosylation has revealed the possibility that glyconutrient supplementation may help restore normal operation of damaged glycolytic pathways. Studies designed to evaluate possible benefits of this are just getting under way. Once validated, glyconutrient supplementation may become an effective treatment for statin damage unresponsive to other measures. No other specific therapies are in sight at this time.
What really draws your attention to this dolichol issue is the persistent mention of mood swings, depression and even suicide as possible effects of statin use.
Long-term administration of statins, the anti-cholesterol drugs, could lead to anxiety and major depression in patients and also develop suicidal tendencies, scientists at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in Hyderabad have established.
When you read some of the literature you discover that during the early statin trials, memory problems did show up, and memory loss did occur.
The risk of experiencing memory problems while taking statins did show up in the first clinical trials of statins but memory loss occurred in less than half of one percent of the people in the clinical trials. Meanwhile, about 2 percent of the cases of side effects of statins reported to the FDA at the time these cases were studied concerned cognitive problems including memory loss.
There are two other points to consider. One is that amnesia used to be a rare phenomenon, especially transient global amnesia (TGA) where individuals can forget major details of their lives for hours only to return to normal until the next episode. Yet TGA is occurring with increased frequency. At the other end of the spectrum, it may be impossible to measure how many people who are taking statins simply ignore smaller lapses of memory or lack of attention. At this point in time, current research does not have an estimate of the incidence of memory loss associated with statin use in the general population.
I was interested in the above facts that so ‘few’ (only 2 percent) were reported to the FDA – including cognitive issues – memory loss. It seems such a small and inconsequential number.
In reality, when you look at the actual (estimated) number of people to whom these drugs are currently prescribed, you get a very different picture.
There are at least 40 million people – some say as many as 60 million – who take Lipitor or other statin drugs (Zocor, Pravachol, Mevacor, Altocor, Lescol, Crestor, etc.). Many millions more are now having statin drugs recommended to them by their doctors. It is likely they are all going to become victims of cell membrane degeneration and nervous system problems.
2% of forty million = 800 000
2% of sixty million = 1 200 000
That folks is NO small number of people prone to mental/cognitive problems due to the side effects one of class of over prescribed unnecessary drugs.
And some further disturbing news from the UK:
Drug used by around one million Britons to lower cholesterol is linked to “significant” sleep problems, according to research.
In the biggest study of its kind, U.S. scientists found simvastatin disrupts the sleep patterns of some patients, which they claim could lead to aggression and weight gain.
The drug is the cheapest statin available and has been promoted by the Government as part of its cost-cutting drive.
It is also the only statin which can be bought over the counter in pharmacies, where it is sold as Zocor Heart Pro.
The latest findings come from a study of 1,000 healthy men and women who were taking either simvastatin, pravastatin (another cholesterol-lowering drug) or a “dummy” pill.
Experts claim sleep disturbances may be triggered by simvastatin crossing into the brain, unlike some other statins.
Dr Beatrice Golomb, of the University of California at San Diego School of Medicine, said: “The findings are significant because sleep problems can affect quality of life and may have adverse health consequences, such as promoting weight gain and insulin resistance.
“The results showed that simvastatin use was associated with significantly worse sleep quality.”
At present, 3.4million people take statins to cut the risk of heart attack and stroke and the cost is close to £1billion a year.
Looking at the side effects of sleep deprivation can be very frightening:
In the short term:
- Decreased Performance and Alertness: Sleep deprivation induces significant reductions in performance and alertness. Reducing your nighttime sleep by as little as one and a half hours for just one night could result in a reduction of daytime alertness by as much as 32%.
- Memory and Cognitive Impairment: Decreased alertness and excessive daytime sleepiness impair your memory and your cognitive ability — your ability to think and process information.
- Stress Relationships: Disruption of a bed partner’s sleep due to a sleep disorder may cause significant problems for the relationship (for example, separate bedrooms, conflicts, moodiness, etc.).
- Poor Quality of Life: You might, for example, be unable to participate in certain activities that require sustained attention, like going to the movies, seeing your child in a school play, or watching a favorite TV show.
- Occupational Injury: Excessive sleepiness also contributes to a greater than twofold higher risk of sustaining an occupational injury.
- Automobile Injury: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates conservatively that each year drowsy driving is responsible for at least 100,000 automobile crashes, 71,000 injuries, and 1,550 fatalities.
In the long term, the clinical consequences of untreated sleep disorders are large indeed. They are associated with numerous, serious medical illnesses, including:
- High blood pressure
- Heart attack
- Heart failure
- Psychiatric problems, including depression and other mood disorders
- Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
- Mental impairment
- Fetal and childhood growth retardation
- Injury from accidents
- Disruption of bed partner’s sleep quality
- Poor quality of life
Statins are acclaimed as “life savers” by the Big Pharmaceutical giants who make millions of dollars from their sales. In fact I think they are probably one of the biggest sellers of all times. But they are not the cure all they are made out to be. Even the few paragraphs above should show you the dangers of these drugs, and more and more problems are being found as scientist’s research the other biochemical pathways that are damaged through taking this drug.
Is it any wonder there has been a worldwide mega increase in the number of cases of dementia, Alzheimer’s ALS, and other related illnesses? Look at the evening news any day of the week and try to figure out, why it might be that there are so many reported cases of abuse, killings, bashings, and suicides. To my own recollection the number of these has been steadily growing year after year. Could there be a connection?
This one class of drugs STATINS have wrecked terrible havoc on our bodies at the cellular level. It involves so many biological pathways – many of which have not as yet been identified – but all of which have an effect, somewhat like a house of cards – and all will coming tumbling down.
It is NOT simply the depletion of enzyme COQ10 you need to be wary of. Learn all you can and pass the information onto your doctors and family members. The life you save could be someone very important to you.