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Statins, A Cholesterol Drug, Are Slowly Killing You

Statins, A Cholesterol Drug, Are Slowly Killing You

We often hear about cholesterol but do we know the difference between the good and the bad and the factors that trigger it? According to the National Health and Nutrition Study (ENNS), 19.6% of French people between the ages of 18 and 74 have a high level of bad cholesterol (LDL).

Statins, A Cholesterol Drug, Are Slowly Killing You

As a reminder, cholesterol is a fatty substance and an important component of cell membranes. The liver produces a large part of it for the good functioning of our organism and the food brings the rest. Cholesterol is transferred to the blood through lipoproteins that fall into two categories:
  • LDL lipoproteins called bad cholesterol which deposit excess cholesterol on the walls of the arteries, the main cause of cardiovascular accidents.
  • HDL or good cholesterol lipoproteins that chase the cholesterol deposited on the walls of the arteries and destroys it.

The treatment of bad cholesterol is usually done through statins under brand names of drugs.

Treatment with statins and impacts

A study by the American Journal of Physiology states that the treatment of bad cholesterol by statins has a negative impact on health and affects the biological properties of stem cells that have an inability to repair and reproduce properly. In doing so, and in the long term, unwanted effects occur and affect the body, including:
  • triggering the aging process
  • the increased risk of diabetes
  • memory loss
  • nervous problems
  • liver problems
  • muscle pain

Biologist and Professor Reza Izadpanah corroborated this claim with a study he published warning users of statins about its harmful effects on the body.

However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is reluctant to categorically stop statins, despite the health complications they may cause. Although the FDA admits the problems associated with statins such as memory loss, confusion or the risk of type 2 diabetes, it maintains, however, its effectiveness. 

Thus, according to Mary Parks, director of the Metabolism and Endocrinology Products Division, the FDA: "These drugs still have a largely positive benefit-risk ratio." Similarly, Amy G. Egan, Assistant Director for Safety in the FDA's Division of Metabolism and Endocrinology, says that the benefits of statins are indisputable, however, patients need to be well informed about their side effects and to be alert to symptoms that may occur.

That being said, it is clear that this paradox has aroused the interest of researchers in the advantages and disadvantages of prescribed drugs in order to verify their risks and to improve them for the health of humanity.

Regulate cholesterol otherwise, is it possible?

It is possible to regulate cholesterol levels and prevent its increase by including healthy foods in our daily food. Fats are essential because they provide the energy needed to balance body temperature, absorb vitamins and synthesize hormones. We have unsaturated fat, saturated fat and trans fat.

Unsaturated fats consist of monounsaturated (omega 9) and polyunsaturated (omega 3 and omega 6) fatty acids, which are good fats, beneficial for the regulation of lipid levels and cardiovascular function.

Saturated fats, usually found in butter, cheese or palm oil, are bad for your health by increasing LDL levels.

The trans fat contained in margarines is unsaturated hydrogenated fatty acids, very bad because they increase the LDL and triglyceride levels.
Sources of unsaturated fatty acids

The sources of unsaturated fatty acids that are recommended to consume are:
  • Avocado, nuts and some oils like olive oil, rapeseed, peanut, sunflower oil.
  • Omega 3 found in fish such as salmon, white tuna, sardines or in linseed oil or rapeseed oil. The American Heart Association recommends regular consumption of fish twice a week and the ban on palm oil and butter.
  • Phytosterols, which are found mainly in almonds, cashews or hazelnuts, can reduce LDL cholesterol levels.
  • Soluble fiber that captures cholesterol and limits the absorption of carbohydrates, found in oats, lentils, bananas, pears, carrots, apples, cooked green beans.

Taking care of your health is a must. Thus, a balanced diet, low in saturated fat and rich in antioxidant, associated with regular physical activity will preserve the body from any eventual disease including an excess of cholesterol.