statines en cholestrol

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Statines - wondermiddel of hoax ?

New Book, "The Great Cholesterol Lie" Unravels Cholesterol Theory of Heart Disease

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Statin medications aren't solving soaring heart disease rates and internationally renowned thoracic surgeon Dr. Dwight Lundell reveals why - as well as the solution - in the new book, "The Great Cholesterol Lie".

With over 25% of the population taking statin medications - and with many being urged to do so preventatively - thoracic surgeon Dr. Dwight Lundell's new book, "The Great Cholesterol Lie" could not be released at a more important time. Most of the surgeries could have been easily prevented had the patients been given the right information about what causes heart disease.It is maddening that medicine has continued to chase and endorse the cholesterol theory while heart diseased continued to soar during my 25 years performing surgeries. I wanted to see heart disease cured rather than patched. By treating inflammation, the heart will heal. The need for this information is greater than ever as indicated by a recent on-line promotion of the book that brought sales throughout the USA and in 17 countries worldwide. Dr. Lundell's new book is based on his vast experience as a cardiac surgeon who performed over 5,000 open-heart surgeries spanning a quarter of a century. Says Dr. Lundell, "Most of the surgeries could have been easily prevented had the patients been given the right information about what causes heart disease." Much of the conventional wisdom in treating heart disease is based on a study that lacked scientific fact known as the "The Framingham Study" that began in 1948. This group of scientists and researches believed they stumbled on the cause of heart disease, cholesterol--a theory that has stuck and held throughout six decades despite overwhelming science to the contrary. As Dr. Lundell states, "It is maddening that medicine has continued to chase and endorse the cholesterol theory while heart diseased continued to soar during my 25 years performing surgeries. I wanted to see heart disease cured rather than patched. By treating inflammation, the heart will heal."

Dr. Lundell's book shows how inflammation is responsible for heart disease and numerous other illnesses such as diabetes. It also shows how simple dietary changes and supplements can replace ineffective cholesterol drugs, where to find them, and how to avoid buying so-called "supplements" which are little better than placebos. The book details how low-fat and no fat foods created from the cholesterol theory are the very foods that are the cause of an epidemic of inflammation and obesity. He explains foods that cause the greatest harm and foods that reduce inflammation giving heart disease sufferers a new lease on life with the ability to live healthy, energetic and disease-free lives. He even details an "eating out" guide showing how to eat in restaurants and fast food establishments safely without risking more inflammation. In a recent online-only promotion, "The Great Cholesterol Lie" sold throughout the USA and in 17 countries worldwide. At there are rave reviews from grateful readers, many of whom found his book to literally be a life-saver. Dr. Lundell is now releasing the book worldwide in downloadable form so that its lifesaving advice can be made available to anyone around the world who needs it instantly. For more information about Dr. Lundell and The Great Cholesterol Lie, please visit or visit book blog at

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Dubbele cholesterolverlaging (Becel + statines) mogelijk riskant

Vele duizenden Nederlanders maken tegelijkertijd gebruik van cholesterolverlagende medicijnen ťn cholesterolverlagende voedingsmiddelen die verrijkt zijn met plantensterolen. Wetenschappers maken zich zorgen over deze combinatie, zo meldt het tijdschrift Ortho. Unilever adviseert mensen die cholesterolverlagende medicijnen slikken hun arts te raadplegen alvorens Becel pro.activ-producten met plantensterolen te gebruiken. Dit advies is terug te vinden in de kleine lettertjes op de verpakkingen. Ook de Europese voedselautoriteit EFSA stelt zich op het standpunt dat patiŽnten die cholesterolverlagers ofwel statinen slikken voedingsmiddelen die verrijkt zijn met plantensterolen uitsluitend dienen te consumeren onder medische supervisie. In dit opzicht is het opmerkelijk dat de Nederlandse behandelrichtlijn voor huisartsen - de 'NHG-Standaard Cardiovasculair risicomanagement' - met geen woord rept over de begeleiding van patiŽnten die zowel statinen als plantensterolen gebruiken. Toch laat het Nederlands Huisartsen Genootschap (NHG) in een reactie weten de ontwikkelingen op dit gebied 'nauwlettend' te volgen. Hier lijkt alle reden toe, nu Amerikaanse en Italiaanse wetenschappers recent hun zorgen hebben uitgesproken over deze combinatie. Zij stellen dat bij mensen die plantensterolen hyperabsorberen statinetherapie het risico van coronaire hartziekten kan verhogen. Klinisch onderzoek hiernaar verdient volgens hen een 'hoge prioriteit'. Ook in ons land krijgt deze oproep bijval, zo blijkt uit het artikel in Ortho. Het is niet de eerste keer dat de veiligheid van plantensterolen ter discussie wordt gesteld. Sinds 1991 zijn negen wetenschappelijke studies gepubliceerd waaruit een mogelijk verband blijkt tussen verhoogde concentraties plantensterolen in het bloed en een verhoogd risico van hartaandoeningen.

Cholesterolremmers verminderen hersenfuncties

Research by an Iowa State University scientist suggests that cholesterol-reducing drugs known as statins may lessen brain function. Yeon-Kyun Shin, a biophysics professor in the department of biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology, says the results of his study show that drugs that inhibit the liver from making cholesterol may also keep the brain from making cholesterol, which is vital to efficient brain function. "If you deprive cholesterol from the brain, then you directly affect the machinery that triggers the release of neurotransmitters," said Shin. "Neurotransmitters affect the data-processing and memory functions. In other words -- how smart you are and how well you remember things." Shin's findings will be published in this month's edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Cholesterol is one of the building blocks of cells and is made in the liver. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) -- often referred to as bad cholesterol -- is cholesterol in the bloodstream from the liver on the way to cells in the body. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) -- so-called good cholesterol -- is cholesterol being removed from cells. Too much LDL going to cells and not enough being removed can lead to cholesterol deposits and hardening of the cells. "If you have too much cholesterol, your internal machinery is not going to be able to take away enough cholesterol from the cells," said Shin. "Then cells harden and you can get these deposits." Cholesterol-reducing statin drugs are helpful because they keep the liver from synthesizing cholesterol so less of the substance is carried to the cells. This lowers LDL cholesterol. It is the function of reducing the synthesis of cholesterol that Shin's study shows may also harm brain function   "If you try to lower the cholesterol by taking medicine that is attacking the machinery of cholesterol synthesis in the liver, that medicine goes to the brain too. And then it reduces the synthesis of cholesterol which is necessary in the brain," said Shin. In his experiments, Shin tested the activity of the neurotransmitter-release machinery from brain cells without cholesterol present and measured how well the machinery functioned. He then included cholesterol in the system and again measured the protein function. Cholesterol increased protein function by five times. "Our study shows there is a direct link between cholesterol and the neurotransmitter release," said Shin. "And we know exactly the molecular mechanics of what happens in the cells. Cholesterol changes the shape of the protein to stimulate thinking and memory." While reducing the cholesterol in the brain may make you have less memory and cognitive skills, more cholesterol in the blood does not make people smarter. Because cholesterol in the blood cannot get across the blood brain barrier, there is no connection to the amount of cholesterol a person eats and brain function. Shin says that for many people taking cholesterol-lower statins can be very healthful and they should listen to their doctor when taking medication.

Minder bekende bijwerkingen statines (cholesterolremmers)

Memory, Thinking and Concentration

Some people report changes in memory, attention, or concentration on statins. They may have trouble finding the right word; may forget tasks they started to do; and may have trouble following conversations. Some people describe "holes in their memory." Some people worry that they are developing Alzheimer's. Of course, since people on statin drugs are often older, and may be experiencing age-related loss of memory, it makes it difficult to know whether the drugs are responsible. Many people report improvement in memory and thinking when they stop the drug; or improvement if they go on a lower dose. These findings suggest that the drug is responsible.

As of now there there are two randomized controlled trials that have looked at thinking on these drugs. One was published in May 2000 in the journal called American Journal of Medicine. Dr. Matthew Muldoon, at the University of Pittsburgh, showed that statin drugs on average reduces “cognition,” that is to say, people who were on a statin drug did worse on tests of thinking and memory ability, even though they started out the same as those who were put on a placebo pill. These effects were “significant” statistically. On average the effects were considered to be small, but of course some people have no alteration, while others have bigger losses in memory and thinking. A second study by Dr. Muldoon shared similar findings. However, in another statin trial, no effect was seen on cognitive function. That study, in persons over 70, was not expressly designed to assess the effect of statins on thinking, but it did assess cognitive function.

Depression and Irritability

Some people report changes in mood on statins. These include loss of interest in activities and loss of interest in social involvement. Some people report frank depression, but it is not known if these effects are more common in people on statins than in people who are not. However, some people reliably become down when on the drugs, and better when off, so that for these people there appears to be a relationship. It is possible that some people may also get a boost to their mood with low cholesterol, although this is less commonly reported. In some cases violence, psychosis, and suicide have been reported. We have published a small case series describing several instances of severe irritability arising on statins, resolving when statins were stopped, and returning when statin use was resumed.


Although muscle pain is a well-recognized side effect of these drugs (and one that should be reported, so tests can be done), other pain effects have been reported by many people on statins, but have not been studied extensively include headaches, joint pains, and abdominal pain.

Peripheral Neuropathy

Studies have confirmed that peripheral neuropathy (tingling and numbness or burning pain) may occur with statins.

Other Side Effects

Sleep problems, sexual function problems, fatigue, dizziness and a sense of detachment are also reported with these drugs. Additionally, people have mentioned experiencing swelling, shortness of breath, vision changes, changes in temperature regulation, weight change, hunger, breast enlargement, blood sugar changes, dry skin, rashes, blood pressure changes, nausea, upset stomach, bleeding, and ringing in ears or other noises.

Lees verder

De rol van cholesterolremmers (statines)

Cholesterol komt van nature in een aantal varianten in het lichaam voor. Het is een grondstof voor vele andere producten die in het lichaam gevormd worden, waaronder hormonen, celmembraanbestanddelen etc. Bij onderzoek aan beschadigde bloedvaten is in het verleden opgemerkt dat in deze zogeheten plaques zeer vaak cholesterol voorkwam. Dit heeft tot de ietwat simplistische gedachte geleidt dat cholesterol dus van belang moet zijn bij vaatverstoppingen. Vanzelfsprekend zijn hieruit de farmaceutische cholesterolremmers ontwikkeld (statines), die in grote getale werden en worden voorgeschreven. Uit meerdere (en ook recente) studies is gebleken dat een 'verhoogd' cholesterol niet een echt belangrijke rol speelt bij het ontstaan van hart-en vaatziekten. Om bijvoorbeeld in 3 jaar tijd bij 1 patiŽnt een hartinfarct te voorkomen, moeten er in totaal 100 risicopatiŽnten behandeld worden (numbers to treat). In dat geval worden er dus 99 patiŽnten overbodig behandeld. Het grote nadeel is, dat van de 100 patiŽnten met 'risicofactoren' niet is vast te stellen wie die ene is die het hartinfarct uiteindelijk gaat ontwikkelen. In dat geval dus liever 99 teveel behandelen…

Lees verder

Uitgebreide publicatie over de bijwerkingen van statines

Provides evidence for reported side effects including muscle and cognitive problems

A paper co-authored by Beatrice Golomb, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and director of UC San Diego's Statin Study group cites nearly 900 studies on the adverse effects of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins), a class of drugs widely used to treat high cholesterol. The result is a review paper, currently published in the on-line edition of American Journal of Cardiovascular Drugs, that provides the most complete picture to date of reported side effects of statins, showing the state of evidence for each. The paper also helps explain why certain individuals have an increased risk for such adverse effects. "Muscle problems are the best known of statin drugs' adverse side effects," said Golomb. "But cognitive problems and peripheral neuropathy, or pain or numbness in the extremities like fingers and toes, are also widely reported." A spectrum of other problems, ranging from blood glucose elevations to tendon problems, can also occur as side effects from statins.

The paper cites clear evidence that higher statin doses or more powerful statins – those with a stronger ability to lower cholesterol – as well as certain genetic conditions, are linked to greater risk of developing side effects. "Physician awareness of such side effects is reportedly low," Golomb said. "Being vigilant for adverse effects in their patients is necessary in order for doctors to provide informed treatment decisions and improved patient care." The paper also summarizes powerful evidence that statin-induced injury to the function of the body's energy-producing cells, called mitochondria, underlies many of the adverse effects that occur to patients taking statin drugs. Mitochondria produce most of the oxygen free radicals in the body, harmful compounds that "antioxidants" seek to protect against. When mitochondrial function is impaired, the body produces less energy and more "free radicals" are produced. Coenzyme Q10 ("Q10") is a compound central to the process of making energy within mitochondria and quenching free radicals. However, statins lower Q10 levels because they work by blocking the pathway involved in cholesterol production – the same pathway by which Q10 is produced. Statins also reduce the blood cholesterol that transports Q10 and other fat-soluble antioxidants.

"The loss of Q10 leads to loss of cell energy and increased free radicals which, in turn, can further damage mitochondrial DNA," said Golomb, who explained that loss of Q10 may lead to a greater likelihood of symptoms arising from statins in patients with existing mitochondrial damage – since these people especially rely on ample Q10 to help bypass this damage. Because statins may cause more mitochondrial problems over time – and as these energy powerhouses tend to weaken with age—new adverse effects can also develop the longer a patient takes statin drugs. "The risk of adverse effects goes up as age goes up, and this helps explain why," said Golomb. "This also helps explain why statins' benefits have not been found to exceed their risks in those over 70 or 75 years old, even those with heart disease." High blood pressure and diabetes are linked to higher rates of mitochondrial problems, so these conditions are also clearly linked to a higher risk of statin complications, according to Golomb and co-author Marcella A. Evans, of UC San Diego and UC Irvine Schools of Medicine. The connection between statins' antioxidant properties and mitochondrial risk helps explain a complicated finding that statins can protect against the very same problems, in some people, to which they may predispose others – problems such as muscle and kidney function or heart arrhythmia.

Ook gezonde mensen aan de Crestor ?

Op 18 november een mooi ingezonden artikel van huisarts Hans van der Linde over cholesterol remmers. De fabrikant van Crestor wil dat ook gezonde mensen die een verhoogd CRP eiwit hebben aan de statines gaan. Volgens de fabrikant daalt dan de kans op hart- en vaatziekten met 50%. In werkelijkheid daalde dit risico met 0.75%. Het was nl eerst een kans van 1.5% en met Crestor en al haar bijwerkingen maar 0.75%. En daarvoor moet je dan wel dag in dag uit deze dure medicijnen slikken met alle bijwerkingen.

Boerenbedrog volgens Hans van der Linde,

Maar lezers van weten dit al lang....... angst regeert. Of het nu griep, baarmoederhalskanker, cholesterol is, aan goedgelovigheid is een goede boterham te verdienen en bijna alle medici spelen dit spelletje mee. Dr Rath noemde dit al de handel in ziekte.....


Cholesterolpil Crestor veroorzaakt diabetes-II

De cholesterolverlagende pil Crestor blijkt een ernstige, niet eerder aan het licht gekomen bijwerking te geven: het middel veroorzaakt diabetes type-II ('ouderdomssuiker') bij een aanzienlijk deel van de gebruikers. Dat zeggen Nederlandse geneesmiddelenexperts.

Lees verder

Vitamine C suppletie reduceert CRP beter dan statines

Vitamin C or statines ?

The researchers said that for people with elevated CRP levels, the amount of CRP reduction achieved by taking vitamin C supplements in this study is comparable to that in many other studies of cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins. They noted that several larger statin trials lowered CRP levels by about 0.2 milligrams per liter; in this latest study, vitamin C lowered CRP by 0.25 milligrams per liter. "This finding of an effect of vitamin C is important because it shows in a carefully conducted randomized, controlled trial that for people with moderately elevated levels of inflammation, vitamin C may be able to reduce CRP as much as statins have done in other studies," said Block. Evidence of the link between elevated CRP levels and a greater risk of heart disease has grown in recent years, but it had been unclear whether the beneficial effects of lowering CRP were independent of the effects of lowering cholesterol.

Lees artikel


Mbt CRP nog even dit

C-reactive protein actief betrokken bij hart- en vaatziekten.

Het C-reactive protein (CRP) speelt een belangrijke rol in het voorspellen van het verdere (klinische) beloop van patiŽnten met hart- en vaatziekten. CRP werd in het verleden gezien als indirect betrokken bij hart- en vaatziekten. Lagrand laat in zijn promotieonderzoek zien dat CRP een actieve rol speelt bij deze ziekten door de ontstekingsreacties in de hartspier te versterken via activatie van het complement systeem (een belangrijk onderdeel van ons natuurlijke afweersysteem). De associaties tussen CRP en het beloop bij hart- en vaat ziekten komen hierdoor in een ander perspectief te staan. Ondanks betere behandelings- en preventiemogelijkheden blijven hart- en vaatziekten de belangrijkste doodsoorzaak in een groot deel van de wereld. Het onderliggende proces bij deze ziekten is atherosclerose, oftewel aderverkalking, dat, afhankelijk van de ernst, de bloeddoorstroming belemmert en daardoor zuurstoftekort in de weefsels tot gevolg heeft. Zuurstoftekort in de hartspier zet een ontstekingsreactie in gang, waarbij naast door zuurstoftekort beschadigde hartspiercellen, ontstekingscellen en cytokines, ook acuut fase eiwitten (waaronder CRP) een rol spelen. Bron: VUMC

Statines maskeren belangrijke prostaatkanker indicator

Statines reduceren (bescheiden) het niveau van een proteine welke wordt gebruikt om prostaatkanker op te sporen. Het is nog onduidelijk of het risico op prostaatkanker daalt, of dat enkel het detectievermogen

Lees verder

Tip: Rob Greuter

Best verkochte geneesmiddel (statines) onjuist voorgeschreven aan vrouwen

Lipitor is het best verkochte geneesmiddel in de wereld en genereert meer dan $12 miljard in jaarlijkse verkoop. Het wordt zowel aan mannen als aan vrouwen voorgeschreven om cholesterol te verlagen en het risico op een hartaanval en een beroerte te verlagen bij patiŽnten met veelvoorkomende risicofactoren voor hartproblemen. Echter, een nieuwe studie die binnenkort verschijnt in de Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, kon geen sterke klinische aanwijzingen vinden die een verminderd risico aantonen op een hartaanval bij vrouwen in een vroeg stadium van preventie. Verder ontbreekt er op de advertentie belangrijke informatie van het etiket, die relevant is voor vrouwen.

Theodore Eisenberg van de Cornell Law School en Martin T. Well van de Cornell University hebben een aantal studies verzameld om een meta-analyse te doen van het effect van dit medicijn op de risico's van hartproblemen, daarmee alle relevante studies die rapporteren over de risico's voor zowel mannen als vrouwen in beschouwing nemend. Niet ťťn van de studies die zich toespitste op vrouwen met verscheidende risicofactoren voor een hartaanval, leverde statistisch sterke onderbouwing op, om Lipitor of andere middelen voor te schrijven als bescherming tegen hartproblemen. Pfizers claim dat er klinische bewijzen zijn voor het verminderde risico op een hartaanval bij patiŽnten met meerdere risicofactoren voor hartproblemen, blijkt niet wetenschappelijk onderbouwd te kunnen worden voor grote delen van de vrouwelijke bevolking.

Verder schiet Lipitor meermalen te kort in zijn advertenties te vermelden dat de klinische proeven statistisch veelbelovend waren voor mannen maar niet voor vrouwen. Onvolledige informatievoorziening in de advertenties met betrekking tot de bescherming tegen een hartaanval, kan daarom misleidend zijn. Ook ontbreken er belangrijke delen van het door de FDA goedgekeurde etiket, waarin vermeld staat dat er met betrekking tot de vrouwen, bewijs ontbreekt. "Onze bevindingen tonen aan dat elk jaar weer relatief gezonde vrouwen miljarden dollars uitgeven aan geneesmiddelen waarvan ze hopen dat het een hartaanval kan voorkomen, maar dat er geen wetenschappelijk bewijs bestaat om deze hoop te ondersteunen," zo concluderen de auteurs.

Deze studie is in gepubliceerd in een uitgave van de Journal of Empirical Legal Studies in september 2008. Journalisten die graag een PDF hiervan wensen te ontvangen kunnen naar dit e-mailadres schrijven:

Theodore Eisenberg is gelinkt met de Cornell Law School en is bereikbaar voor vragen via

Vertaling: Heleen Quantrill-Korf ( )

Als u de bron van dit artikel wilt zien, klik hier:

Weer waarschuwing voor effect statines op hersenen

Cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins have a profound effect on an elite group of cells important to brain health as we age, scientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center have found. The new findings shed light on a long-debated potential role for statins in the area of dementia. Neuroscientists found that statins, one of the most widely prescribed classes of medication ever used, have an unexpected effect on brain cells. Researchers looked at the effects of statins on glial progenitor cells, which help the brain stay healthy by serving as a crucial reservoir of cells that the brain can customize depending on its needs. The team found that the compounds spur the cells, which are very similar to stem cells, to shed their flexibility and become one particular type of cell. The new findings come at a time of increasing awareness among neurologists and cardiologists of the possible effects of statins on the brain. Several studies have set out to show that statins provide some protection against dementia, but the evidence has been inconclusive at best. Meanwhile, there is some debate among physicians about whether statins might actually boost the risk of dementia. The new research published in the July issue of the journal Glia by Steven Goldman, M.D., Ph.D., and first author Fraser Sim, Ph.D., provides direct evidence for an effect of statins on brain cells.

Geen statines, wat dan wel?

Veel mensen die statines gebruiken ondervinden daarvan last. Zij zouden graag - zonder de bijwerkingen van statines - iets willen doen om het cholesterolgehalte in het bloed te doen dalen. Statines zijn krachtige cholesterolverlagers. Er bestaat op dit moment niet ťťn alternatief middel om de zelfde resultaten te bereiken. Wel is het mogelijk om met een combinatie van voedings- en leefmaatregelen het cholesterolgehalte in het bloed aanzienlijk te verlagen.

Rob van Hees

Statines - de waarheid komt langzaam naar boven

De cholesterol oorlog is nu pas echt begonnen. Tros Radar kwam gisteren opnieuw met een volledige uitzending over statines. Was de eerste uitzending nog voor velen niet overtuigend genoeg nu blijkt toch dat van de 1.2 brave statine slikkers er 700.000 dit onnodig doen. Men slikt tientallen jaren een medicijn dat niet alleen de bescherming geeft die men denkt maar ook nog eens bijwerkingen veroorzaakt die op termijn een garantie zijn voor de volgende kwalen.

Ik kan het niet vaak genoeg zeggen, ga nu gewoon gezonder leven en flikker die chemische gifbelt het huis uit. Instanties en bedrijven spelen altijd in op de angst voor de dood maar angst is nog altijd de slechtste raadgever. Zo is het terrorisme uitgemolken en ook de angst voor kanker/hartziekten.   De echte cholesterol problemen ontstaan door voeding, met numero uno de geharde vetten afkomstig van die fijne andere ziekmakende industrie.

1.2 miljoen mensen aan de statines? wat is de volgende stap? Een medicijn voor geheugenverlies, spiermassa verlies etc want die hebben dan de toekomst voor deze groep brave slikkers....

Wakker worden, tijd om logisch na te gaan denken en niet blind te vertrouwen in die medicijnmannen



Bekijk de uitzending:

Een quote:

Volgens Wright is het volgende bewezen voor statinegebruik van mensen die nog geen hartpatient zijn:  Als u man bent boven de 70 dan hebben statines geen effect. Bent u een vrouw van welke leeftijd dan ook dan hebben stanines geen effect. Bent u een man onder de 70 dan zouden de statines u kunnen helpen om eventueel een kans op een hartaanval te verlagen. Als je deze indeling naar onze populatie vertaalt dan kom je volgens Crok op de volgende percentages uit: "Van de anderhalf miljoen gebruikers in Nederland is 46% vrouw en dus 54% mannen als je kijkt tussen de verdeling jong en oud is de helft boven de 65."

Einde van statines in zicht ?

University of Alberta researchers report breakthrough in lowering bad cholesterol, fatty acid levels Discovery could lead to new treatments for heart disease, diabetes There is “heartening” news out of the University of Alberta for those who may have overindulged during the recent holidays. U of A medical researchers have found a way to reduce the amount of bad cholesterol and fatty acids that end up in the blood from food the body metabolizes, a key discovery that could lead to new drugs to treat and reverse the effects of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease related to obesity. In a series of recently published articles,* Dr. Richard Lehner and his colleagues report they successfully decreased the level of LDL (low-density lipids) – the so-called bad cholesterol – in the blood of mice and hamsters by manipulating a particular enzyme.

It’s well-known that eating too much fat and sugar and too little exercise will make you fat, and that obesity often leads to diabetes and heart disease. Lehner’s group studied the mechanisms behind this. “We established the proof of principle of how these metabolic pathways work,” he says. “We discovered the activity of an enzyme that releases fatty acids from fat cells and the liver into the blood and how to inhibit this from happening.”   Drugs called statins are used to lower LDL levels in patients, but do not treat obesity. What makes the U of A researchers’ findings noteworthy is their discovery of how to inhibit LDL and triglycerides, which are another form of fat in the blood and a leading risk in obesity-related Type 2 diabetes as well as heart disease. Lehner is director of the Group on Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids in the U of A’s Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry. The research is being supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

Lehner is also a senior scholar for the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research.

“There is a substantial pharmacological interest in the enzymes that control TG (triglycerides – fatty acids) and cholesterol metabolism in tissues,” he says.

This unique discovery is an important scientific breakthrough, but one that requires further testing, he notes.

He also notes that a pill would not be “a magic bullet.” People still need to make the right lifestyle choices by exercising and eating properly, he says.

Terwijl onze Gezondsraad zegt dat statines een veilig middel zijn bij een te hoge cholestrol zie ik over de hele wereld kritische artikelen verschijnen. Lopen we weer eens achter de feiten aan ? Aan de ene kant zie ik veel waarschuwingen voor fatale spierafbraak en aan de andere kant zie je bij bepaalde vormen van kanker een afname in diverse studies.

De keuze is aan u maar het is maar dat u het weet, de andere kant van dit succesverhaal is heel wat minder positief.....

Maar nu even een hele andere draai aan het statine verhaal:

Ik zie dat huisartsen vrij snel statines voorschrijven, ook bij mensen
met een kleiner risico op hart en vaatziektes.

Dan zie ik Canadese onderzoekers protesteren tegen dit voorschrijven :

These calculations have implications for patients, clinicians, funding
agencies and those interested in population health. Fully informed
patients are often less aggressive about therapy than their
clinicians. As well, low-risk patients will paradoxically sometimes
receive more aggressive treatment than high-risk patients. The very
small absolute benefits associated with statin therapy in low-risk
patients highlights the importance of informing these patients about the
absolute benefits and risks of statins. Our analysis reinforces the
importance of ensuring that clinicians offer statin therapy to high-risk
patients, since they are the patients with the most to gain. Even
high-risk patients whose low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels are
below the target given in the 2003 guidelines should be considered for
statin therapy.

Een Canadese cardioloog noemt verder het feit dat bij een onderzoek naar statines bij 70 jarige mannen er minder mensen dood gingen aan hart en vaatziekten maar bijna net zoveel weer dood gingen aan kanker.

Likewise, evidence in patients over 70 years old shows no mortality
benefit of statin therapy: in the PROSPER trial there were 28 fewer
deaths from coronary artery disease in patients who received pravastatin
versus placebo, offset by 24 more cancer deaths

Het Torcetrapib/Lipitor debacle


Cholesterolremmers (statines) en geboorteafwijkingen !!

Onderzoekers van de U.S. National Institutes of Health in de VS hebben ontdekt dat er een relatie is tussen het gebruik van statines en geboorteafwijkingen. Bij een studie op 52 kinderen die blootgesteld waren aan statines waren er 20 met geboorteafwijkingen !!!

Pfizer met Lipitor voor de rechter in Amerika

Pfizer komt in Amerika voor de rechter ivm de cholesterol remmer Lipitor.
Er zijn twee aanklachten:

  • Geheugen verlies
  • Schade aan spieren

De rechtzaken zijn ingediend door een oud verzekeringsmedewerken en een advocaat die Pfizer voor de rechter hebben gedaagd vanwege diverse gezondheidsklanten zoals geheugen verlies, zenuwgestel schade en spierkracht verlies in armen en benen.

De klagers vinden dat de fabrikant patiŽnten en medische professionals te weinig heeft verteld over de serieuze bijwerkingen van Lipitor.

Statines - wondermiddel of tragedie ?

Statines, medicijnen die het cholesterolgehalte verlagen, worden ook in Nederland uitgeschreven alsof het aspirientjes zijn. Dit jaar slikken we voor 320 miljoen euro en de trend wijst – met dank aan de vergrijzing – steil omhoog. Het gouden kalf van de farmaceutische industrie redt levens. Zegt die industrie. Zeggen ook de meeste artsen. Maar een groeiende groep dwarsliggers speurt onraad. ‘Statines voorkomen misschien een enkel hartinfarct, maar ze werken chronisch hartfalen in de hand,’ aldus een cardioloog. Een collega: ‘Ik denk dat mensen die deze pillen slikken zich heel ongerust moeten maken.

Rol Q10 / kanker

Je ziet dus bij het laatste geval meer kanker doden. En bij oude mannen
speelt vaak de prostaat op. Dan moet je dit eens bekijken. Amerikaanse wetenschappers zeggen het coenzym Q10 het eiwit BcL-2 kan remmen en zo ook tumoren kan verkleinen bij bijv prostaatkankercellen.

Narain and Persaud examined that relationship and found that when they
administered more CoQ10 to melanoma and prostate tumors in the lab the
level of Bcl-2 dropped, and the tumors got smaller. This is the first
time researchers have established a correlation between the Bcl-2
protein family and Coenzyme Q10.

En laat nu juist die statines niet alleen de cholesterol te verlagen maar ook oa de Q10 produktie te kunnen verlagen. Dit Q10 is heel belangrijk voor de hartspier maar ook bij remming van kankertumoren.

Als je verder cholesterol remt dan rem je ook de aanmaak van vitamine D die ook weer een remmende werkende op kanker kan hebben. Amerikaanse wetenschappers pleitten juist voor verhoogde dosis van vitamine D ivm remming op colon-, borst- en eierstokkanker (Garland, C.F. American Journal of Public Health, February 2006, vol 96: pp 9-18)

Verder kwamen Nederlandse onderzoekers (Leiden University Medical Centre) al tot de conclusie dat bij mannen met een hoger cholesterol minder kans op overlijden hadden door kanker en infecties:

Mortality from cancer and infection was significantly lower among the participants in the highest total cholesterol category than in the other categories, which largely explained the lower all-cause mortality in this category.

In Amerika wilde een arts zelfs dat de FDA statine producenten zou verplichten dat er op het label van deze medicijnen een advies zou worden opgenomen om bij statine gebruik dagelijks 100-200mg Co-Enzyme Q10
te gebruiken

HMG CoA reductase inhibitors block the endogenous biosynthesis of an essential co-factor, coenzyme Qlo, required for energy production. A deficiency of coenzyme QlO is associated with impairment of myocardial fbnction, with liver dysfunction and with myopathies (including cardiomyopathy and congestive heart failure). All patients taking HMG CoA
reductase inhibitors should therefore be advised to take 100 to 200 mg per day of supplemental coenzyme Qlo.

For years I've been voicing my concerns about the dangers of the popular cholesterol-lowering drugs Lipitor, Mevacor, Zocor, Pravachol, Lescol, and Baycol (which was recently taken off the market). These drugs block the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase in the liver, which shuts down the liver's capacity to manufacture cholesterol, and as a result, cholesterol levels drop. Yet the liver also manufactures coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) via the same enzyme pathway. Therefore, these drugs also block CoQ10 production, with disastrous consequences to health. CoQ10 is absolutely essential. Without it, your cells are unable to produce energy. Early complications of CoQ10 deficiencies are liver damage (marked by increases in liver enzymes) and myopathy (muscle weakness and soreness, which may progress to complete muscle breakdown, or rhabdomyolysis). Guess what? Liver damage and myopathy are precisely the side effects of the statin drugs!


Vrouwen en statines

Ook is het de vraag of statines voor vrouwen wel zoveel voordelen hebben. Volgens de cardio afdeling van de universiteit van Alabama wordt er bij klinische studies te weinig gekeken naar effecten op vrouwen.

For women without cardiovascular disease, lipid lowering does not affect total or CHD mortality. Lipid lowering may reduce CHD events, but current evidence is insufficient to determine this conclusively. For women with known cardiovascular disease, treatment of hyperlipidemia is effective in reducing CHD events, CHD mortality, nonfatal myocardial infarction, and revascularization, but it does not affect total mortality.

To date, no randomized trials testing the impact of lifestyle changes on lipoprotein levels and subsequent CHD events in non-institutionalized women have been performed, and women have not been well represented in clinical end point trials of pharmacologic lipid-lowering therapy. Available evidence suggests that lipid-lowering therapy with statins does provide benefit in reducing the risk of coronary events in women; however, women remain undertreated, and more data are needed to determine optimal cardiovascular prevention and treatment in this population.


65-70 jarigen

Amerikaanse onderzoekers waarschuwden artsen voor cholesterol verlaging bij mensen tussen de 65-70 jaar:

Physicians should be cautious about initiating cholesterol-lowering treatment in men and women above 65 to 70 years of age


Je lost dus het ene probleem op en zorgt voor een mogelijk ander dodelijk probleem. Leuke handel voor de pharma business maar weinig winst voor de patiŽnt en verzekeraars denk ik dan.


Cholesterolverlaging met statines - niet zonder gevaar

Cholesterolverlaging met statines - hartfalen, kanker, geheugenverlies
Statines, de lucratieve cholesterverlagers die inmiddels door bijna een miljoen Nederlanders worden geslikt, liggen opnieuw onder vuur. Zag Bayer zich in augustus 2001 gedwongen Baycol/Lipobay van de markt te halen wegens een oplopend aantal gevallen van rhabdomyolyse (potentieel fatale spierafbraak), AstraZeneca's onlangs gelanceerde Crestor wacht mogelijk eenzelfde lot. En een groeiende groep wetenschappers waarschuwt dat Šlle statines slachtoffers maken.

Bron: Ortho nr.2, 2004

Casus Jaap Verhoeven - Ernstig zieke poiltieman stopte met
Zocor en genas

Statines als Zocor en Lipitor kennen een ongekende populariteit bij artsen en apothekers. Kritiekloos worden deze middelen voorgeschreven. Het verhaal van Jaap Verhoeven laat echter een ander beeld zien van deze 'onschuldige' middelen. Door zijn eigen ervaring ziet hij collega's op de statines psychisch achteruitgaan. Deskundigen geven advies wat te doen als alternatief voor een statinerecept.

Meijer M. Geen statines, maar wat wel?

Bron: Ortho 2004; 3:122-126

Ongewenste effecten van de statines

De statines, inhibitoren van het HMG-CoA-reductase, zijn hypolipemiŽrende middelen. In BelgiŽ zijn momenteel vijf statines gecommercialiseerd: atorvastatine (LIPITOR), cerivastatine (CHOLSTAT, LIPOBAY), fluvastatine (LESCOL), pravastatine (PRAVASINE) et simvastatine (ZOCOR).

De meest frequente ongewenste effecten van de statines zijn myalgieŽn en stijging van de transaminasen. Verhoging van het creatinekinase, met mogelijk rhabdomyolyse, kan eveneens optreden; dit risico is verhoogd bij gelijktijdig gebruik van ciclosporine, fibraten of nicotinezuur. Voor atorvastatine, cerivastatine en simvastatine is het risico van myopathie ook verhoogd bij gelijktijdige toediening van bepaalde macroliden (vooral erythromycine en clarithromycine), azoolderivaten (vooral ketoconazol en itraconazol) en protease-inhibitoren.

Statinegebruik en gevaren bij mitochondriale myopathie

MitochondriŽn zijn zoals je ongetwijfeld weet de energiefabriekjes van onze cellen. Bij mensen met mitochondriale myopathie - die zich in grofweg zeven vormen kan voordoen - werken die energiefabriekjes niet optimaal. Spierafbraak is slechts ťťn van de gevolgen daarvan. Statines blokkeren de aanmaak van een aantal stofjes die noodzakelijk zijn voor een goede werking van de mitochondriŽn (zoals Co enzym Q10, squalenen, dolicholen en, jawel, cholesterol). Veel mensen met gezonde mitochondriŽn ondervinden daardoor al invalidiserende klachten van een statine. Een dokter die een statine voorschrijft aan iemand met een mitochondriaal probleem (of een genetische aanleg daarvoor, bijvoorbeeld blijkend uit de familiegeschiedenis), snapt niet hoe statines werken. Hij zet de rem op een toch matig werkend (vitaal) mechanisme. Het middel is in dat geval veel erger dan de kwaal, al is je cholesterol 20.

Statines effect study

We are seeking to get information from people who have had adverse responses to statins or to other cholesterol-lowering drugs, and also from people who have done well on these drugs. We can learn from this information, perhaps gaining a better understanding of who may be at risk and who will do well with statins; and what to expect in people who develop adverse effects (e.g. how quick or long recovery may take; what factors predict or facilitate recovery).

Women and statines

As of this writing, no study has shown statins or any other cholesterol drugs to lower overall mortality in women; and epidemiologically, cholesterol in women does not have the same relation to mortality as in men. Although higher cholesterol is linked to a higher rate of heart attacks per se, it is not linked to overall cardiovascular death or to overall death; indeed, lower cholesterol is linked to a slightly higher risk in some studies. Consistent with this, there is a decided reduction in heart attacks in women with statins, but the death rate overall -- or even cardiovascular death rate - has not been shown to be reduced. It is possible that there are subgroups of women for whom statins confer benefit exceeding risk, but this has never been demonstrated.

Doctors warn of risk from statins

Doctors have warned patients prescribed heart drugs by their chemist could be risking their health and wasting their money.

Personal Injury Lawsuits Filed Against Pfizer Over Undisclosed Risks of
Blockbuster Cholesterol Drug Lipitor

Suits Allege Pfizer's Deceptive Marketing Practices and Failure to Warn
Physicians and Patients About Serious Health Problems Tied to Lipitor Use;

Mother of a Teenage Suicide Points to Statin Usage; Patients and Family
Members to Meet With U.S. Senate Finance Committee to Ask for More Stringent Warnings on Statins

A pair of personal injury lawsuits has been  filed against Pfizer Inc. charging
the giant drug company with concealing serious health risks associated with
its blockbuster anti-cholesterol medication Lipitor.

The suits accuse Pfizer of deceptive marketing practices and allege that the
company promoted Lipitor as a safe drug with minimal health risks while
knowingly failing to warn physicians and patients of Lipitor's more
dangerous side effects, including nerve damage, memory loss and other
cognitive impairment.

Aggressive marketing of Lipitor -- supported by physician "education" groups
funded by Pfizer -- has helped secure its status as the best-selling drug in
the world, with sales exceeding $12 billion in 2005.

The two new lawsuits were filed in New York State Supreme Court on behalf of Charles M. Wilson, a 60-year-old former insurance executive from Atlanta and Michael Mazzariello, a 47-year old attorney from New York.

Mr. Wilson has suffered a series of irreversible health problems, which he
asserts were caused by taking Lipitor during a 17 month period in 2002 and
2003. Among the damages he alleges were provoked by Lipitor are peripheral
nervous system damage (peripheral neuropathy), inflammatory demyelinating
polyneuropathy, and memory loss. Nearly three years after discontinuing the
medication, he continues to suffer from loss of balance, burning in the
hands and feet, and bouts of fatigue. He was forced to leave his job as a
result of his injuries.

Mr. Mazzariello, who practiced criminal trial law throughout New York State,
suffered debilitating injuries to various muscles forcing him to walk with a
cane and endure repeated hospitalizations. He also suffered extensive memory loss, which he attributes to his statin usage.

The two men announced their lawsuit at a news conference in New York City, during which they were joined by individuals from other parts of the country describing their own personal health problems associated with Lipitor. Included in the group was Susan Nelson of Bainbridge Island, Washington. Mrs. Nelson claims that her teenage son Jacob, a gifted gymnast, began experiencing severe bouts of depression and violent nightmares after he began a course of Lipitor to reduce his cholesterol in 2001. He committed suicide in 2003.

"It is very clear to me that the culprit of the depressions ... and suicide
of my son is due to the side effects of the cholesterol-lowering drugs
Mevacor and Lipitor," Mrs. Nelson wrote in a letter. "Had I known that the
nightmares, lack of concentration, and depression... could have been warning signs for side effects of these medications, the doctors, my husband, son and I could have taken another course and gotten (him) off these supposed wonder drugs! There is no doubt my son Jake would be alive today had I been warned... "

"Pfizer has aggressively promoted Lipitor to consumers as a safe drug with
manageable and limited side effects despite apparently knowing and
fraudulently concealing the serious health risks associated with statins,"
said attorney Mark Jay Krum, who represents Mr. Wilson and Mr. Mazzariello.
"The complaints allege that the company has negligently misled both
physicians and patients and is apparently more concerned with driving sales
of Lipitor than with the safety of its users."

The complaints note that despite receiving two letters since 2001 from the
Food & Drug Administration expressing concerns that Lipitor's marketing
material did not reflect the heath risks the drug poses, Pfizer promoted the
drug as virtually symptom free, stating on its Web site: "In fact, in some
clinical studies, Lipitor has been proven to be as safe as taking a sugar

Statins work by blocking certain cholesterol-producing enzymes, but a number of physicians have warned that the process to curtail cholesterol inhibits other metabolic functions that can lead to a host of medical issues. One doctor who has written extensively on the risks of statin usage declared
recently, "The inevitability of significant, serious and even lethal side
effects has been knowingly accepted by the manufacturer."

That Pfizer was well aware of the cognitive risks associated with its statin
drug is evident in a letter by a Pfizer physician dated October 2003. "A
search of our postmarketing safety surveillance datatbase for Lipitor
revealed that we have received spontaneous reports of amnesia and thinking
abnormal since the market introduction of Lipitor," the doctor wrote. Pfizer
conducted its own controlled studies of cognitive function and found a .3%
incidence of amnesia from Lipitor and a .2% rate of what the company called
"abnormal thinking." Together, those two outcomes would translate into more than 100,000 cases of mental impairment given the current population of Lipitor users.

This past March, Pfizer was sued by a group of union and employee insurance  plans who charged the company with fraudulently marketing Lipitor for off-label uses not approved by FDA protocols for cholesterol treatment. The employee and third-party health plans allege that Pfizer's off-label
promotion of Lipitor has resulted in billions of dollars in unnecessary
prescriptions for the drug. The health plans challenged Pfizer's creation
and funding of "educational" organizations offering physicians continuing
medical education courses and publication of articles extolling the
off-label usage. There is also a class action pending against Pfizer for its
marketing of Lipitor to women.

The latest personal injury suits contend that Lipitor is defectively
designed and inadequately tested, and lacks the proper patient warnings as
to its dangers. At the news conference, Mr. Wilson and Mr. Mazzariello were
joined by several other patients who described experiencing similar serious
health problems from Lipitor use, including a former airline pilot from
Washington, D.C. who believes his loss of motor function and severe chronic
pain were caused by statin usage; and a former Army helicopter engineer from
Corpus Christi, Texas, who believes that his memory loss and disorientation
are the result of taking Lipitor.

Also participating to discuss the effects of statin drugs was Dr. Paul
Rosch, president of the American Institute of Stress and a clinical
professor of Medicine and Psychiatry at New York Medical College.

"Statin drugs make enormous amounts of money for the pharmaceutical
industry, the power and influence of which should not be underestimated,"
said Dr. Peter Langsjoen, a noted cardiologist from Texas who attended the
news conference. "By lowering cholesterol they give doctors and their
patients a false sense of security by treating 'cholesterol neurosis,' but
statin adverse effects are insidious and are often delayed for several

The group will meet with members of the Senate Finance Committee in
Washington, D.C. on Friday to discuss their concerns over potential harmful
effects of Lipitor and to call for stricter federal health warnings on
statin usage.

Side effects statines

The new cholesterol-lowering drugs, the statins, do prevent cardio-vascular disease, but this is due to other mechanisms than cholesterol-lowering. Unfortunately, they also stimulate cancer in rodents, disturb the functions of the muscles, the heart and the brain and pregnant women taking statins may give birth to children with malformations more severe than those seen after thalidomide.

Statin Drugs Side Effects and The Misguided War on Cholesterol

In his search of the medical and scientific literature for an explanation for his own statin associated transient global amnesia this former astronaut and retired family doctor reveals to his readers the critical importance of cholesterol for proper brain function and memory and the reasons for the damage statin drugs do to our muscles, nerves and heart and even our personalities.

From his participation in the San Diego College of Medicine statin study to his review of FDA's Medwatch files of adverse drug reports and his email correspondence with thousands of distraught patients the world over, Dr. Graveline is uniquely qualified to discuss the magnitude of the statin side effect problem, the complex and wide ranging role of cholesterol in our bodies and the range of serious and unintended consequences of the misguided war on this vital substance.

Grapefruit juice and some statins do not mix, say British regulators

The UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) says that certain cholesterol lowering drugs (statins), when taken with grapefruit juice can raise the patient's risk of muscle toxicity.

The MHRA said this was especially so with Zocor (simvastatin), of Merck & Co and Lipitor, of Pfizer.

There is a liver enzyme which is crucial for drug metabolism. Grapefruit juice suppresses the activity of this enzyme. If you drink grapefruit juice regularly, there is a risk that you will have raised levels of the statin in your bloodstream.

Statin Drug Treatment Carries Great Risk, Few Benefits

Recently revised cholesterol-lowering guidelines constitute a major risk to public health according to The International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics, (THINCS), a non-profit organization of doctors, scientists and researchers. 

The new guidelines, aimed at even more aggressive cholesterol lowering will result in millions more people being placed on statins. The evidence for a more aggressive treatment comes from two related trials which have been heralded as demonstrating that greater cholesterol lowering resulted in greater protection against heart disease. 

These studies, PROVE-IT1 and REVERSE,2 were hugely flawed, and cannot be said to have proven anything. Two different drug types were given and the benefits were directly related to the drug type, and not to the degree of cholesterol lowering.3,4 

THINCSī members are deeply disturbed by the ever-increasing pressure to lower blood cholesterol levels, and the underlying commercial interests that have distorted scientific research in this area. THINCS warns that statins have been excessively ‘hyped’ by the pharmaceutical industry and medical opinion leaders who have, unfortunately, become little more than paid advertorials.

"These drugs have been shown to produce an alarming array of side effects," states Uffe Ravnskov, MD, PhD, THINCS Chairman. "Furthermore, the public and medical profession do not realize that statins only benefit a small and select portion of the population."

Ravnskov and his colleagues worldwide point out that in the elderly, in women of all ages and in men without heart disease, cholesterol-lowering measures have not prevented a single death in any trial.

For instance, in the recent trial PROSPER,5 the only statin trial that included old people exclusively, and the results of which were used as an argument for including old people for statin treatment, total mortality was unchanged, because 22 fewer deaths from heart disease and stroke was outweighed by 24 more cancer deaths. This significant increase of cancer mortality was belittled by referring to the previous trials, where according to the trial directors no increase of cancer mortality was seen. What the directors did not mention was that the mean age in these trials was about 25 years lower than in PROSPER, a crucial piece of information because cancer is mainly a disease of old age.6 

It has also been ignored that in the first statin trial EXCEL, mortality was already higher among those taking statins after one year compared with the non-treated control individuals.7 This trial is never mentioned in the many reviews published by those who proselytize for statin treatment and the higher mortality in the statin group was not even mentioned in the abstract of the paper.

In a recent review of cholesterol lowering drug treatment in women published in the Journal of the American Medical Association the authors concluded that “for women without cardiovascular disease, lipid lowering does not affect total or CHD mortality” and for women with known cardiovascular disease “treatment of hyperlipidemia ….does not affect total mortality”,8 meaning of course that any decrease of heart mortality is balanced  by an increased mortality from other causes.

Even in the highest male risk groups for heart disease, statin treatment resulted in 0.5 % fewer deaths per year, and this small benefit was found in the most positive of all trials. Other major statin trials, e.g. ALLHAT showed no benefit at all, a fact that has been effectively buried.

Most people probably may protest here because we have all been told that statin treatment may reduce heart mortality by between 20% and 50%. This apparent discrepancy is easily explained. For instance, the Committee mentioned that in the ASCOT trial fatal and nonfatal stroke was reduced by 27 %.9 The truth is that these events were seen in about 1.7 % of the statin-treated and in about 2.4 % in the non-treated patients, an absolute difference of 0.7 percentage points. But as this small difference of 0.7 is equivalent with 27 % of   2.4 percentage points, the misleading number 27 % was used, as is usual in the trial reports wanting to potentiate the apparent benefit of treatment.

Even a small effect would of course be worthwhile provided that the treatment was free from side effects. This point is particularly important considering that aggressive cholesterol lowering may demand statin doses up to  eight times higher than those used hitherto. But possible side effects are belittled by the Committee.  They may have been calmed down by the trial directors, according to whom side effects of statin treatment are rare and mild. 

Obviously the Committee is unfamiliar with the scientific literature because a large number of serious side effects from statin treatment have already been published in international medical journals and/or have been reported to the American Food and Drug Administration. 

Data gathered by the THINCS group show that statin drugs cause cancer both in animals and in human beings.6,10 Other side effects include liver damage, nerve damage,11,12 short temper,13 cognitive decline14 and memory loss,15  and statin use during pregnancy may lead to more serious malformations than were seen after exposure to thalidomide.16,17

Best known is muscle damage. In severe cases this causes kidney failure which has claimed the lives of several hundred people thus far, and resulted in one of the worst offending statins (cerivastatin) being withdrawn from the market. 

Cardiologist Peter Langsjoen notes that statin treatment may lead to heart muscle weakening and heart failure.18,19 "It occurs because statin drugs block the production of coenzyme Q10, vital for the production of cell energy" says Langsjoen. "Evidence sent to the FDA shows marked reduction of coQ10 in patients on statin drugs."20

Most of the mentioned side effects were unknown when the reports from the statin trials were published, partly because in many trials a large number of people, originally selected for these trials, were excluded after a short treatment period due to non-compliance. This way of conducting a trial may result in a gross underestimation of the number and the seriousness of side effects as the reason why these patients were not compliant may have been intolerance to the drug.

All of these side-effects have been seen at relatively low doses. New recommendations are to use increasingly high doses, and THINCS warn that this will result in even more complications of treatment up to, and including, death. Yet “to lower cholesterol even more is like chasing windmills”, says Ravnskov, “because any alleged benefits from statins has nothing to do with lowering LDL or cholesterol.” 

This is evidently clear from two types of observations. First, the statins may provide benefit whether cholesterol is lowered a lot or only a little, or said in another way, there is no dose-response. It is because statin drugs have a number of effects that are beneficial to the vascular system, but their cholesterol lowering effect is not one of them.

Second, high cholesterol is not a risk factor for old people; on the contrary, many studies have shown that old people with low cholesterol run a greater risk of dying whereas those with high cholesterol live the longest.21 This fact is also deemphasized by protagonists of cholesterol lowering, if it is mentioned at all, although about 90 per cent of all cardiovascular deaths occur in people above age 60. Why should cholesterol be lowered in old people if high cholesterol is associated with longevity? 

The reason why high cholesterol seems to be beneficial is most probably because LDL and other lipids protect us against bacterial and viral infections.21

The Committeeīs ignorance of the available literature, in particular that part which contradicts its recommendations, and their misleading way of referring to the part they are familiar with and which appears to support their stand, do not surprise us. In a rebuttal to Gary Taubesī article The Soft Science of Dietary Fat, published three years ago in Science Magazine, the first author of the new guidelines, Professor Scott Grundy claimed that saturated fats are the main dietary cause of coronary heart disease and referred to a large number of studies. But, as we pointed out in the February 22, 2002 issue of the same journal, these studies were either not supportive, or they dealt with something else.22 Unfortunately, this way of referring to the scientific literature has also been used extensively in many   previous reviews from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and the American Heart Association.23

"Statin drugs have been aggressively promoted by the pharmaceutical industry and medical opinion leaders," says THINCS member Paul Rosch, MD, President of the American Institute of Stress. "The new guidelines were not written by disinterested scientists, but by members of the medical community who have received major grants from the pharmaceutical industry.24 The recommendations are based on distorted statistical analysis of relative risk reduction that mislead doctors and the public. They are designed to turn healthy people into patients."


1.    Cannon CP et al. Intensive versus moderate lipid lowering with statins after acute coronary syndromes. N Engl J Med. 2004 Apr 8;350(15):1495-504.

2.   Nissen SE et al. Effect of intensive compared with moderate lipid-lowering therapy on progression of coronary atherosclerosis: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 2004 Mar 3;291(9):1071-80.  

3.    Ravnskov U, Sutter MC. Aggressive lipid-lowering therapy and regression of coronary atheroma. JAMA 2004;292:38.

4.   Rosch PJ. Aggressive lipid-lowering therapy and regression of coronary atheroma. JAMA 2004;292:38.

5.   Shepherd J et al. Pravastatin in elderly individuals at risk of vascular disease (PROSPER): a randomised controlled trial. Lancet 2002;360:1623-1630.

6.   Ravnskov U, Rosch PJ, Langsjoen PH, Kauffman JM, McCully KS. Evidence from the simvastatin trials that cancer is a probable long-term side effect. Unpublished letter to The Lancet

7.   Bradford RH et al. Expanded clinical evaluation of lovastatin (EXCEL) study results. Arch Intern Med 1991; 151: 43-9

8.    Walsh JME, Pignone M. Drug treatment of hyperlipidemia in women. JAMA 2004;291:2243-2252.

9.    Sever et al. Prevention of coronary and stroke events with atorvastatin in hypertensive patients who have average or lower-than-average cholesterol concentrations, in the Anglo-Scandinavian Cardiac Outcomes Trial—Lipid Lowering Arm (ASCOT-LLA): a multicentre randomised controlled trial. Lancet 2003;361:1149-58.

10.  Ravnskov U. Evidence that statin treatment causes cancer. Unpublished letter to The Lancet.  

11.  Backes JM, Howard PA. Association of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors with neuropathy. Pharmacother. 2003 Feb;37(2):274-8.  

12.  Rosch PJ. Statin Associated Peripheral Neuropathy. Lancet, in press.

13.  Golomb BA, Kane T, Dimsdale JE. Severe irritability associated with statin cholesterol-lowering drugs. Quart J M 2004;97:229-235.

14.  Golomb BA. Statin adverse effects. Geriatric Times 2004;5:

15.  Wagstaff LR, Mitton MW, Arvik BM, Doraiswamy PM. Statin-associated memory loss: analysis of 60 case reports and review of the literature. Pharmacotherapy. 2003 Jul;23(7):871-80.

16.  Edison RJ, Muenke. Central nervous system and limb anomalies in case reports of first-trimester statin exposure. N Engl J Med 2004;350:1579-1582

17.  Kendrick M. We are sleep-walking into what could become a major medical disaster because statin drugs will soon be sold over-the-counter. RedFlagsDaily June 17, 2004

18.  Langsjoen PH, Langsjoen AM. The clinical use of HMG CoA-reductase inhibitors and the associated depletion of coenzyme Q10. A review of animal and human publications. Biofactors 2003;18:101-11.

19.  Rundek T, Naini A, Sacco R, Coates K, DiMauro S. Atorvastatin decreases the coenzyme Q10 level in the blood of patients at risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke. Arch Neurol. 2004;61:889-92.

20.  Whitaker JM. Citizen Petition, 2002.

21.  Ravnskov U. High cholesterol may protect against infections and atherosclerosis. Q J Med 2003;96:927-34. 

22.  Ravnskov U, Allan C, Atrens D, Enig MG, Groves B, Kauffman J, Kroneld R, Rosch PJ, Rosenman R, WerkŲ L, Vesti-Nielsen J, Wilske J, Worm N. Studies of dietary fat and heart disease. Science 2002; 295:1464-1465.

23.  Ravnskov U. Quotation bias in reviews of the diet-heart idea. J Clin Epidemiol 1995;48:713-719.  





Cholesterol-lowering drugs and memory loss

During the past several years we have heard from hundreds of readers about memory or muscle problems. Many reported that their backs or legs hurt so much they could barely walk, even though their blood tests were normal. Others complained of joint problems or unrelenting nerve pain. Lipitor isn't alone. Many readers have experienced difficulties while taking other statin medications including Zocor, Crestor and Pravachol.

Are Cholesterol Drugs Linked to Memory Loss?

Recently we heard of another disturbing experience. Michael Kirk-Duggan was a retired professor of business law and computer science. He was diagnosed with probable Alzheimer’s disease that was progressing very rapidly. He went to his 50th college reunion with a sign around his neck that said, “I’m Mike. I have Alzheimer’s disease.” At his youngest daughter’s wedding, he did not recognize people he had known more than 20 years.

His decline made it clear that he would need long-term nursing care. But then he read our column about statins and memory problems. With his doctor’s awareness, he discontinued the Zocor he had been taking. Although it took many months, he gradually regained his memory and cognitive ability. He is back to reading three newspapers a day and is sharp as a tack. A complete neurological workup showed no signs of Alzheimer’s disease.

Meer links

Cholesterol Drugs Actually Cause Heart Disease

The Truth About Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs (Statins),
Cholesterol and Health






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