You ache, you creak, are energy less, worn-out, forgetful and only 45? Every time you have visited your doctor and complained of these symptoms, you have been tested for all likely causes.
The Good News? Nothing wrong with you! The Bad News? Nothing wrong with you! Join The Club. (decrepit)
Let me posit here that your health is being carefully taken care of, looked after by your GP Clinic. You go for annual or maybe even six monthly check ups where the standard fasting blood draws are done, checking on the lab levels of glucose and cholesterol in your body. At some point in the not too distant past, it was noted that your LDL cholesterol or your total cholesterol, or perhaps your cholesterol ratio’s were out of sync with the current government health guidelines, and you were given a Statin Drug to fix the problem. You may also have been told to eat less saturated fat and get some addition exercise. How am I doing so far?
If you were to think hard and remember back a bit, you may well discover that these ‘decrepit’ type symptoms only began after you started taking the medication to lower / bring into line with the government health mandates your so-called high cholesterol levels. You really do feel old and you don’t like it one little bit!
The reason I am addressing this issue today is because there was a new study just published that ‘blazes the good news’ that Statins May Slow Human Aging ( and suggests that they may extend life spans)… excuse me if I throw-up here, because other headlines (which I find far more credible) say precisely the opposite.
Most physicians now agree that statins can indeed cause muscle pain and weakness. Some acknowledge that there can be cognitive dysfunction for certain patients. There is even data to suggest that statins can cause fatigue, especially after exercise ( Archives of Internal Medicine, Aug. 13/27, 2012). LINK
Statins are known to deplete the human body of a nutrient that is VITAL for normal-healthy heart function, and yet it is prescribed to attempt to save you from having a CV event. That logic is totally backwards.
Coenzyme Q10 is a chemical which plays a key role in the production of energy in the body’s cells. Specifically, this substance participates in the processes within tiny powerhouses in cells known as ‘mitochondria’ (my-toe-con-dree-ah). Coenzyme Q10 is essential for the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), a basic currency for energy in the body.
All of us need could do with maintaining coenzyme Q10 levels, and this has particular relevance to individuals who take statins: these drugs impair the product of coenzyme Q10. There is plenty of evidence in animals and humans that statins can indeed deplete the body of Coenzyme Q10 .
The heart is a muscle, the cells of which contain mitochondria which depend on coenzyme Q10. LINK
Now this might sound like something very easy to fix. Simply get some of this magic CoQ10 from your local health food store, pop it in the mouth, Bob’s your Uncle and you will be as right as rain!
But you see Statins not only stop your body from making CoQ10, they also interfere with many other biochemical pathways….. in simple terms, they make you sick!
Statin drugs are also known as reductase inhibitors – an inhibitor is something that inhibits or stops something from happening, in this particular case it was the manufacturing of cholesterol in the liver. HOWEVER and most unfortunately for the human species, it also blocked many other biochemical pathways as well, leading to the serious illnesses we now know as caused by ‘statin toxicity’.
One of the foremost leaders in research on the dangers of Statin Drugs is former NASA Scientist Dr. Duane Graveline, himself permanently damaged by these drugs. In a question and answer session he tells us:
Twenty years ago on the eve of birth of the multi-billion dollar statin industry, the drug companies announced their new reductase inhibitors, known as Statins. All they did was block the reductase step of the cholesterol synthesis pathway and they worked marvellously well. Physicians were excited to finally get a drug that really lowered cholesterol. What they did not tell us was that these new wonder drugs also blocked completely the mevalonate pathway and, of course, none of us picked up our dusty biochemistry book to see for ourselves. If we had, the statin industry would never have survived birth.
The mevalonate pathway is shared by many extremely vital metabolic pathways for such things as Coenzyme Q10, dolichols, normal phosphorylation and selenoprotein synthesis and to inhibit cholesterol is to inhibit all of these. It is like girding a tree. You cannot limit your girding to get just one branch. Merck filed for and obtained two patents for CoQ10 supplementation back in May of 1990 because they knew what was coming but they never implemented the combination pill and decided to wait things out. CoQ10 inhibition now accounts for some 60% of statin associated side effects. The rest are just as disastrous in the consequences to our health and well-being. Link
So Doc Graveline tells us that the pharmaceutical company Merck knew of the problem concerning CoQ10, but did nothing about it – I would say that is criminal! But what about the other things the Doc mentions. dolichols, normal phosphorylation and selenoprotein synthesis… what does blocking these do to our body?
|Dolichols exist in the cells of all living creatures. Low dolichol levels can cause such health problems as:
|Factors causing dolichol deficiency can include medication, liver dysfunction or underlying illness, poor nutrition, trauma or stress. Medication such as statin drugs, used to reduce the body’s natural production of cholesterol, can inhibit the synthesis of dolichols, which are produced via the same pathways. LINK|
I needed to try and define what Doc Graveline was referring to by normal phosphorylation. I found what I believe he meant by way of explanation when he was writing about Statins and brain cell damage. I imagine most people have read about cognitive problems occurring in some people on statin drugs?
In my repository of thousands of reports from statin damaged people, I have observed an unusual number of reported diagnoses of neurodegenerative diseases usually labelled as tauopathies, coming on shortly after the statin drug was first started.
In many the initial diagnosis was considered to be a curious amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) / Parkinson’s disease (PD) type of condition. Others report a frontal lobe dementia / Alzheimer’s type of condition, while still others have a final diagnosis of multiple system abnormalities (MSA) after going through stages of being first considered multiple sclerosis or ALS.
There is not the slightest doubt in my mind that the numbers of reports I am seeing are far more than usually expected in a group the size of my reporting population. One naturally wonders about this curious relationship with statin drugs and what the possible mechanism of action might be.
Meske and others (1) has reported a very relevant study on abnormal tau protein phosphorylation induced by a statin drug. The researchers established the presence of abnormal tau protein phosphorylation by statins as a consequence of statin inhibitory effect on the usual mevalonate pathways.
The role of this abnormal tau protein in the formation of the neurofibrillatory tangles (NFTs) and the association of these statin induced NFTs with many of the neurodegenerative diseases mentioned above is under active investigation at this time ( 2,3.)
NFTs, are well known to be found in Alzheimer’s disease, usually in association with deposits of beta amyloid and in some manner they appear to contribute to neuronal degeneration. What is much less well known is the presence of NFTs of tau protein origin in many other types of neurodegenerative diseases, sometimes accompanied by beta amyloid but more commonly not. This list of taupathies includes all those conditions mentioned above and many others, much less well known, at least to the public and most physicians. LINK
That leaves me with the selenoprotein synthesis the Doc talks about that is blocked when taking statin drugs. He tells us:
The clinical picture of statin induced myopathies include a non-uniform pattern of muscle aches and pains, weakness and tenderness with easy fatigability. It can vary from mild to very severe, even disabling. This pattern of signs and symptoms is very similar clinically and pathologically to those induced by severe selenium (selenoprotein) deficiency.
Myopathic syndromes caused by selenium deficiency are widespread wherever selenium intake is deficient. Myopathy is the leading indicator of selenium deficiency in animals. Among people residing in certain rural areas lacking selenium, an endemic cardiomyopathic syndrome result from insufficient intake of selenium. Long-term parental nutrition is also frequently associated with a form of myopathy due to relative selenium lack. And in vitro studies show that selenoprotein synthesis fails when lovastatin is added to cell cultures.
Statin induced myopathy shares with selenium induced myopathy a microscopic picture of myofibril disorganization, loss of mitochondrial function and the common observation that muscle pain follows muscle activity. CPK elevation is a common but variable reaction in both.
So yet another mechanism of action of the statin drugs and this one from a branch of the mevalonate tree just as large as the branches for dolichols and CoQ10 synthesis. This work does point out just how critical selenium is to vital metabolic pathways. link
So you see my Dear Readers, these so called wonder drugs, that are being touted as lifesaving, anti aging elixirs of life, are nothing short of popular drugs which induce in many patients symptoms of (I was going to say creeping) racing old age, both physically, mentally and in some cases possibly spiritually.
How they can get away with positing these drugs as life savers beats me. From personal experience I can write of the damage this class of drugs does to the human body. Stopping them and supplementing with CoQ10 has certainly not cured me, it may possibly have slowed down the rate at which bad things are happening within my body.
I exhort you to learn all you can about the various pathways that are damaged via statin drugs. Treat with contempt all headlines proclaiming new and improved lifesaving features professed by the pharmaceutical companies making and selling statins. These little pills are their Cash Cow, and until something new and possibly equally as devastating to the human body is on the pharmacy shelves, the super hype over statin drugs will continue.
If you, like me, object to being told there is nothing wrong with you ‘you are simply aging and not dealing with it’ – I was 46 at the time – then isn’t it time to do something about it? If it is too late for you and damage has been done – think about others around you who could benefit from being educated about the dangers of this class of drugs. Please don’t just sit on this information – share it widely.
One of the best resources available for yourself and your family and close circle of friends – on this topic – is the STATIN NATION DVD. You might even get your clinician to watch it too – well one can only hope!
Till next time, be well informed and a fighter for the cause against Statin Drugs.