Statins - a serious  matter of health

You only need to look at all the known side-effects of statins to realise that any possible benefit

from taking these drugs comes at a massive price to your health. Cholesterol-lowering drugs, so

called statins, may decrease the risk for heart disease somewhat. But they may also lead to side

effects, such as: muscle pain, muscle fatigue, disorientation, a lower IQ, fatigue, impotence

as well as increase the risk of developing diabetes.


When it comes to heart disease (angina, previous heart attack) the benefit of statin treatment

might, just might, be worth the risk. The need to treat figure is 1 in 300 benefit. But if you treat

your normal cholesterol number with statins you risk getting diabetes for no good reason.

Does this sound like a wise idea? I think not but challenging your doctor may be difficult and

their insistence on statins happens many times every day. I have countless relatives and friends

who have reported that as their experience


Statins may do what they claim to: lower cholesterol. But increasingly we know that the health

benefits  of lower cholesterol have been exaggerated. And the benefits of statins are being

exaggerated; we are basically being prescribed a lie.


75% of heart attack victims have normal cholesterol levels! So why the need for statins?


Even the British Medical Journal, in 2015 presented serious doubts. According to its report,

GP have put an extra three million people on statins in the UK over the past ten years yet

we have seen no obvious benefit in a reduction in diagnoses of heart disease. Although there

has been a 40 per cent reduction in the number of heart attack deaths, and statins may have

played a role, there have been no studies that prove this link.


Instead, studies have shown a connection between reduction in deaths and the now-routine

practice of undergoing emergency angioplasty as soon as someone suffers a heart attack

(as happened to me)  – unblocking the artery with a stent or balloon through keyhole surgery.

And far fewer people are smoking today than 30 years ago. It has also been consistently shown

in studies over the past few decades that aspirin taken at first indication of a heart attack reduces

deaths – as does a daily low dose after an attack.


So, why this insistence of the NHS to mass medicate people with statins, a drug with few known benefits but huge risks and side effects?


In March 2016 the former president of the Royal College of Physicians and personal doctor to the Queen for 21 years said: “The statin data needs to be urgently scrutinised. We are very worried about it and particularly side-effect data which seems to have been swept under the carpet.”


But to hear Big Pharma and my GP tell it, statin drugs are "miracle" medicines that have prevented  millions of heart attacks and strokes. In relation to what? When compared to what? What is the need to treat figure? It's around 300 at present.


Since I started on statins a few years back I experienced an increase in memory loss, pain and weakness in the limbs (especially the legs) which only reduces when I experiment by coming off the drugs. They have a long history of causing…

The justification for the prescription of statins is that they lower the level of cholesterol in the blood(TC). As a consequence it is argued there will be a reduction in the risk of developing heart disease. This argument does not stand up to rigorous examination. When investigations have been done which specifically consider the effect of statin therapy on the incidence of heart disease the results are by no means clear-cut. Essentially this is what has been discovered:

•In all women there is absolutely no reliable evidence to show that there is any improvement in life expectancy

•The same result has been obtained for men who have not already suffered from heart disease

•For men who have had heart disease there is a marginal improvement but this is very small. It is necessary to treat 50 men for 5 years in order that one will benefit!


On the other hand there are numerous reports of damaging side-effects which are related to the use of the statin medication.


Some known side -effects of statins


Calcification of the arteries




Digestive problems*

Elevated blood glucose*

Fatigue and shortness of breath*

Hair loss

Heart failure


Kidney failure

Liver damage

Muscle pain and weakness*

Pain and numbness in the extremities – fingers, toes, feet* Peripheral neuropathy*

Even the FederalDrug Agency in America on its website states that “"The reports about memory loss, forgetfulness and confusion span all statin products and all age groups," and concerning diabetes, the FDA writes that "raised blood sugar levels and the development of Type 2 diabetes have been reported with the use of statins."


Another piece of news, from America, tells us that only one in three hundred people prescribed statins actually benefits! And for every 10,000 women being treated with statins in America, there were only 271 fewer cases of heart disease and yet 74 cases of liver damage, 23 cases of acute kidney failure, 39 cases of extreme muscle weakness and 307 cases of cataracts.


Statin drugs, in other words, harm far more people than they help.


A 2015 request to Forth Valley NHS under FOI, Freedom of Information, revealed only two answers out of eight – to the rest they simply said statin prescribing was under review.

Those above marked with an * are conditions I have had, mostly since taking statins yet my medical people will not entertain any discussion that lays any “blame” at the statin door!


But how do statins trigger the above?


  • They deplete your body of CoQ10     -   Statins also inhibit natural production of Co-enzyme Q10 (CoQ10), which is vital to good health, particularly muscle health. One of the most important roles CoQ10 plays is helping the body's cells produce energy, particularly muscle cells. As it so happens, the largest and most important muscle in the body is none other than the heart. If you take a statin, you MUST take supplemental CoQ10, or better, the reduced form called ubiquinol.

  • Increase insulin resistance          which promotes chronic inflammation in your body, and inflammation is the hallmark of most diseases. It can lead to heart disease, which, ironically, is the primary reason for taking a cholesterol-reducing drug in the first place. It can also promote belly fat, high blood pressure, heart attacks, chronic fatigue, thyroid disruption, and diseases such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and cancer.

  • Increase diabetes risk     - by raising your blood sugar, statins also increase your diabetes risk. When you eat a meal that contains starches and sugar, some of the excess sugar goes to your liver, which then stores it away as cholesterol and triglycerides. Statins work by preventing your liver from making cholesterol. As a result, your liver returns the sugar to your bloodstream, which raises your blood sugar levels.

  • Misdiagnosis  Drug-induced diabetes and genuine type 2 diabetes are not necessarily identical. If you're on a statin drug and find that your blood glucose is elevated, it's possible that what you have is just hyperglycemia — a side effect, and the result of your medication.  However, many doctors will at that point mistakenly diagnose you with "type 2 diabetes," and possibly prescribe another drug, when all you may need to do is simply discontinue the statin in order for your blood glucose levels to revert back to normal.

  • Statins inhibit synthesis of vitamin K2, essential in the processing of Vitamin D. Statins can raise your risk for atherosclerosis, heart failure, stroke, and other health problems. If you take a statin, a vitamin K2 supplement (MK7) is highly recommended.

  • They reduce squalene – which can raise your risk of immune system dysfunction.

  • Interfere with the mevalonate pathway - the pathway for the steroid management in your body.

  • They damage mitochondria - statins are toxic to the energy centers of your cells, called mitochondria. They impair heart muscle mitochondria function, disrupt ATP production (adenosine triphosphate, the energy molecules of your body), and alter intracellular signaling proteins.

  • And they interfere with selenium-containing proteins-  such as glutathione peroxidase, crucial for preventing oxidative damage in your muscle tissue. They block glutathione peroxidase unleashes free radicals and inflammation, which can damage muscle tissue, including your heart muscle.



Statin drugs, in other words, harm far more people than they help. Are you one of them?


Statins wreak havoc with the health of those who take them, causing damage that far outweighs any benefit they might offer.


So if you are on Statins, any kind, go back to your GP and ask for evidence that in your case these are necessary, helpful, and worth the risk. To repeat, ask necessity, benefits, risks!  And make your own decision. Get him or her to be specific, back up what they say with evidence, especially the risks versus any potential benefits.


When I challenged my GP he simply said, “All the evidence is they do more good than harm.” That is blatantly not true. ALL the evidence does not say that.  And we need a radically new paradigm whereby doctors don’t fob us off with such generalities.

To repeat: - If you take statin drugs, your odds of benefiting from them is less than 3 out of 100. But your odds of being harmed by them are more than 4 out of 100. For 96 out of 100 people, statin drugs are useless other than to make the drug companies rich and pollute the waterways every time you flush the toilet.

Although studies have indicated that statin drugs can reduce the risk of heart disease for some high-risk patients, their effectiveness, actions and touted benefits have become increasingly questionable. For example, a 2010 study published in the British Medical Journal found that they helped lower the risk of heart disease, averting 271 cases for every 10,000 high-risk patients treated. The same study also found that statin drugs significantly increased a person's risk of cataracts, muscle weakness, liver dysfunction and kidney failure. The evidence in favour of statins just does not stack up! So why mass medicate an ageing population? It is unethical and immoral.

Statin drugs inhibit the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase, which plays a central role in the production of cholesterol in the liver. The theory is that lower cholesterol equates to better cardiovascular health, though there has been no proven cause and effect and the body needs a healthy amount of cholesterol. Arterial plaque and inflammation are much more likely culprits for heart disease.

A movie!


"Statin Nation II: What Really Causes Heart Disease?" is the sequel to the documentary "Statin Nation: The Great Cholesterol Cover-up." According to the film, the long held view that saturated fats and cholesterol caused heart disease came under closer scrutiny as far back as in the 1990s, (how the wheels of the NHS and policy makers in the Scottish Government grind slowly) when researchers like Kurt Ellison with the Boston University started taking notice of what became known as the French Paradox ie the French eat a lot more fat than many other nations, yet they don't have higher rates of heart disease.



In the UK, for many decades, the idea that saturated fats caused heart disease reigned supreme, and diets shifted sharply away from saturated animal fats such as butter and lard, toward partially hydrogenated vegetable oils and margarine. It is known that this advice is false. It simply is not true and people are returning to a Low Carbohydrate High Fat eating regimen.


As people abandoned saturated fats and replaced them with trans fats, rates of heart disease continued steadily to increase. And, the more aggressive the recommendations for low-fat diets, the worse this trend became.


The old myth claiming that saturated fat is bad for you is finally starting to crumble. But don’t expect your dietician or doctor to tell you this.


Cholesterol is not a major factor in heart disease


Like saturated fat, cholesterol has also been wrongly demonised despite the fact that 60 years' worth of research has utterly failed to demonstrate any convincing correlation between high cholesterol and heart disease. Failed. So why are you listening to GP nonsense on this front? Do your research. Your GP is more likely to to still cling to the idea that cholesterol raises your risk for heart disease, and that strategies that lower cholesterol (eg taking statins) also lower your heart disease risk.  The evidence is highly questionable and as reported above, the risks do not merit going down this road.


Cholesterol is actually one of the most important molecules in your body; indispensable for the building of cells and for producing stress and sex hormones, as well as vitamin D. It's also important for brain health, and helps with the formation of memory. Low levels of HDL cholesterol have been linked to memory loss and Alzheimer's disease, and may also increase your risk of depression, stroke, violent behaviour, and suicide.


Statins Are Prescribed Based on an unchallenged and incorrect hypothesis


Since the cholesterol hypothesis is false, this also means that the recommended therapies — low-fat, low-cholesterol diet, and cholesterol lowering medications — do not stack up.


The medical profession is obsessed with lowering your cholesterol because of misguided theories about cholesterol and heart disease. Why would we want to lower it when the research actually shows that three-quarters of people having a first heart attack, have normal cholesterol levels, and when data over 30 years from the well-known Framingham Heart Study showed that in most age groups, high cholesterol wasn't associated with more deaths?


In fact, for older people, deaths are more common with low cholesterol. The research is clear – statins are being prescribed based on an incorrect hypothesis that they are not harmless. They are.


What now?


Your General Practitioner


When in doubt, ASK. If you don’t understand what the doctor is telling you, ask him or her to explain in plain lay terms and to offer the research which backs up his or her recommendations!


If the doctor wants to order tests, ask what they are for and if they are absolutely necessary. Keep in mind that the doctor needs adequate information to make an accurate diagnosis and recommended course of treatment.


Reserve the right to make your own informed decisions. It is YOUR body!  The doctor has no legal power to force any treatment on you. Insist on getting the facts about your options, and make your own decision whether or not to accept the treatment. Understand the consequences if you decline the treatment.


Be sure medical professionals know about any special conditions you have. Don’t assume in the NHS that  a doctor has read your notes and that therefore “they should have known!”  Before anybody gives you a pill, injection, ointment or other medical application, ask what it is and tell doctors, nurses, and technicians about any allergies or other adverse medical reactions you have.


For major decisions, get a second opinion. If you’re diagnosed with a condition requiring serious major medical treatment or daily medication, get another doctor to take a look and make sure, either to confirm the need for such treatment or to propose alternatives. One doctor may possibly make a mistake, but it’s much less likely that two qualified doctors will make the same mistake at the same time.




So what can you do knowing that saturated fat and cholesterol have nothing to do with heart disease and that statins are not the way forward? The advice list here is long: -



  • Reduce sugar intake

  • Stop eating processed foods

  • Avoid trans fats  - manufactured, chemical, synthetic fatty acids - which prevent the synthesis of prostacyclin, which is necessary to keep your blood flowing. When your arteries cannot produce prostacyclin, blood clots form, and you may succumb to sudden death.

  • Eat only natural fats – yes, butter, cream, dairy etc

  • Avoid polyunsaturated vegetable oils (such as soybean, corn, and sunflower oils) which cause increased thromboxane formation — forget the big word, it is a factor that clots your blood.

  • Replace with coconut and coconut oil, avocados, butter, animal fats like lard, and raw nuts.Get plenty exercise – no not just the gym, but try walking, swimming, dancing, tennis, anything that gets you moving etc exercise normalises your insulin and leptin levels, ideal for good health

  • Get some sun - Vitamin D (from the sun – or in darker countries ie Scotland where we often don’t see the sun in winter, use a supplement but take with Vitamin K3)

  • Connect to the earth – go barefoot when possible – it alleviates inflammation because it thins your blood and infuses you with negatively charged ions through the soles of your feet. It also helps thin your blood by improving its zeta potential, which means it improves the energy between your red blood cells. Very technical – just go barefoot! Since heart disease is primarily caused by inflammation, regularly grounding yourself to the earth is a simple way to combat inflammation without spending a penny.


The evidence shows that for those who have suffered a heart attack, consuming olive oil, nuts, oily fish, plenty of fruit and vegetables and a moderate amount of red wine is almost three times more powerful a lifesaving tool than statins.


Ultimately, we all have to decide how we treat our own bodies. People cannot trust their doctor’s advice, when consultations are quick, advice based on outdated myths, and drugs known to have such poor results. You cannot trust a culture of over-prescribing – probably why the BMJ has run a campaign, Too Much Medicine, which aims to reduce over-diagnosis and over-treatment.


Interventions that focus on lifestyle – stopping smoking, losing weight, eating an informed diet and exercising regularly – will have the greatest impact on your health.


Shall we dig deeper?

The following is an Abstract from Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology Vol. 8 , Iss. 2,2015

Statins stimulate atherosclerosis and heart failure: pharmacological mechanisms

Harumi Okuyama, Peter H Langsjoen, Tomohito Hamazaki, Yoichi Ogushi, Rokuro Hama, Tetsuyuki Kobayashi, and Hajime Uchino



In contrast to the current belief that cholesterol reduction with statins decreases atherosclerosis, we present a perspective that statins may be causative in coronary artery calcification and can function as mitochondrial toxins that impair muscle function in the heart and blood vessels through the depletion of coenzyme Q10 and ‘heme A’, and thereby ATP generation. Statins inhibit the synthesis of vitamin K2, the cofactor for matrix Gla-protein activation, which in turn protects arteries from calcification. Statins inhibit the biosynthesis of selenium containing proteins, one of which is glutathione peroxidase serving to suppress peroxidative stress. An impairment of selenoprotein biosynthesis may be a factor in congestive heart failure, reminiscent of the dilated cardiomyopathies seen with selenium deficiency. Thus, the epidemic of heart failure and atherosclerosis that plagues the modern world may paradoxically be aggravated by the pervasive use of statin drugs. We propose that current statin treatment guidelines be critically reevaluated.

Almost  daily on social media I read posts of the many doctors I now follow

who write of their concerns at the current tendency to over-prescribe statins.

But still, many doctors throughout the world are unwittingly killing their

patients thanks to a reliance on bad information from profit-hungry

pharmaceutical companies. There is such a strong incentive for corporate

interests to dictate what is best for patient health, for pharma companies to

grossly exaggerate their side effects under reported in studies in so-called

scientific research.


In other words, Big Pharma is spending massive amounts of money to fund

and promote “research” about their products that is little more than

marketing material which gets passed on to doctors.


Unfortunately, many well-meaning doctors haven’t made the distinction and

are constantly bombarded by “studies” showing they can prescribe a miracle

pill for every ailment.


Institutions such as universities, medical journals and doctors collude wittingly

or unwittingly with the medical / pharma industry for financial gain.

Radically, we need a cultural shift towards de-prescribing – and full access to

the raw data from clinical trials for independent scrutiny, as this will encourage

pharma sponsored research to be conducted at a higher ethical level, and be

totally transparent. The public are currently being deceived and deliberately

lied to!


As an elder citizen of this world,  I am concerned that the lack of global scrutiny

over the pharmaceutical industry’s marketing tactics is especially damaging to

older patients who are most likely to be prescribed multiple medications.


Prescription drugs are prolific killers. In fact, some research experts have even

suggested that prescriptions are the third biggest killer on the planet,

superceded only by cancer and heart disease.





Are you taking prescribed statins?


For what purpose?

On what evidence?

Have you noticed new symptoms since taking them eg pains,

muscle pains, elevated glucose levels, breathlessness, heart

problems etc?

Have you done your statin research?

Are you aware of side-effects?

Is it time to come off statins? Time to consult with your GP

bearing in mind that currently most GPs are likely to be biased

in favour of statins? Have a second opinion if necessary?

Could you achieve better results with a change in lifestyle, better

nutrition, regular exercise?


The justification for the prescription of statins is that they lower the level of cholesterol in the blood(TC). As a consequence it is argued there will be a reduction in the risk of developing heart disease. This argument does not stand up to rigorous examination. When investigations have been done which specifically consider the effect of statin therapy on the incidence of heart disease the results are by no means clear-cut. Essentially this is what has been discovered:

•In all women there is absolutely no reliable evidence to show that there is any improvement in life expectancy

•The same result has been obtained for men who have not already suffered from heart disease

•For men who have had heart disease there is a marginal improvement but this is very small. It is necessary to treat 50 men for 5 years in order that one will benefit!


On the other hand there are numerous reports of damaging side-effects which are related to the use of the statin medication.

Statistical evidence

NNT is an abbreviation of the term “NUMBER NEEDED TO TREAT”. These show the results prepared by a group of physicians using a framework and rating system to evaluate various drugs in terms of the benefits and harms to the patients being treated.

The conclusions with respect to statins used as a heart disease prevention measure are as follows:

1.     Of those with existing heart disease who took statins for 5 years

·        96% saw no benefit

·        1.2% were helped by being saved from death

·        2.6% were helped by preventing a repeat heart attack

·        0.8% were helped by preventing a stroke.


On the other hand, 0.6% were harmed by developing diabetes and 10% were harmed by muscle damage.

2. Those without prior heart disease who took statins for 5 years

·        98% saw no benefit

·        0% were helped by being saved from death

·        1.6% were helped by preventing a heart attack

·        0.4% were helped by preventing a stroke


The incidence of harm was the same as in those with known heart disease as shown above.


Inform yourself

Why not statins Dr V Wheelock

Been prescribed statins - read this.

Dr Aseem Malhotra