Wellness Blog

Cardiovascular Health: Statins

Posted on January 15, 2017 at 4:00 PM

Cardiovascular health.

Statins are they beneficial or harmful? With heart disease being the second leading cause of death, a lot of attention is given to cardiovascular health. Early research mistakenly identifies cholesterol as the culprit in major contribution to heart disease. It is believed cholesterol was wrongly blamed for heart disease when scientists noticed high levels of cholesterol in a damaged blood vessel. This misconception led to the development and use of statins. However, the drugs developed to lower cholesterol have fallen short of their goals. More importantly, we now know statins also cause a host of other health related issues.

Research now shows statin are ineffective 80% of the time in reducing cholesterol…not effective in doing what they were created to do. Statins are supposed to lower your LDL or “bad cholesterol.” Instead we are discovering they are not effective and increase risks for serious health disorders. Recently links to increased blood sugar and risks for development of diabetes have been noted. In addition, implications for increased memory loss have been recognized.

Statins are also associated with myositis and rhabdomyolysis, which are conditions that cause inflammation of the muscles and can lead to muscle damage. Rhabdomyolysis can also cause damage to the kidneys that can result in kidney failure or even death. Several studies have also associated taking statins with a higher risk of cancer.

Thanks in part to continuing research we now look at cholesterol placement in the vascular system in a different light. Over the years some researchers have come to recognize that cholesterol was put there to fix a problem that was actually caused by inflammation. Why? Inflammation in vessels start a lesion. The body then sends cholesterol like a scab to cover over it to protect the blood system and the vessel wall from further damage.

This offers a possible answer for the 80% of people statins do not work to reduce cholesterol. If inflammation is not reduced, the cycle is not broken. Lesions continue to form and the body continues to send a “cholesterol patch.”

So what is the best way to control inflammation in the body? Choose anti-inflammatory foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These would include nuts, fish, flax seeds, chia seeds, eggs, and tofu. In addition, other anti-inflammatory food options include leafy greens, beets, broccoli, blueberries, pineapple, turmeric and ginger.

Improving cardiovascular health from a healthy lifestyle approach that includes anti-inflammatory foods and reducing a sedentary lifestyle offers a safer and more effective result. This also includes reducing inflammation causing foods and stress. At the top of the list of foods to avoid are refined sugars. Next, are deep fried foods and processed foods. Finally, manage daily stress by finding relaxation time. As you practice stress reduction you will also reduce inflammation throughout the body.

Dianna Richardson, ND October 6, 2016

Categories: Wellness