The FDA is adding safety labeling to statin drugs in the US, including Lipitor, one of the top selling prescription drugs in the world.
Statins are used to reduce LDL or “bad” cholesterol, in order to reduce or prevent atherosclerosis, and in turn decrease heart attack and stroke.
The new warnings include that statin drugs can cause hyperglycemia (too much sugar in the blood) and increase the risk of developing Type II diabetes.
That’s great. Except for the fact that everyone with type 2 diabetes is already prescribed a statin drug to help manage, “heart risk”.
If you’re asking yourself why it’s standard procedure to prescribe something to every diabetic that can increase blood sugar, you’re not alone. And while that standard may change, it’s not the only confusing thing about statins.
The Truth About Statins
Beyond side-effects, here are three things you should know about statins, taken from Chris Kresser. His writing an excellent resource for laypersons wishing to understand the issue:
- Statin drugs do not reduce the risk of death in 95% of the population, including healthy men with no pre-existing heart disease, women of any age, and the elderly.
- Statin drugs do reduce mortality for young and middle-aged men with pre-existing heart disease, but the benefit is small and not without significant adverse effects, risks and costs.
- Aspirin works just as well as statins do for preventing heart disease, and is 20 times more cost effective.
But that, still is only part of the story. Why, even for the tiny slice of the population for which statins have a small benefit, do we use them at all, when we know that heart disease is a lifestyle problem?
Over 90% of heart disease is preventable by diet and lifestyle change. (source) Taking statins, unfortunately, is not a lifestyle change.
That high cholesterol you’re worried about is a sign that something in your body is out of balance. Imbalanced hormones, imbalanced diet and exercise, or smoking that caused heavy metal toxicity. This is the problem to deal with. Balance your hormones, change your lifestyle, stop smoking and detox heavy metals from your body through chelation.
Lifestyle change doesn’t need much of a warning label. It just works.