Statins beneficial for the heart, beyond just lowering cholesterol
In recent years, statins have come under fire with indications side-effects from these drugs could potentially outweigh any benefits in low-risk patients. While several follow up studies showed the negative side-effects of statins to be relatively minimal compared to their benefits, new research has revealed that the drugs may have positive effects, far beyond simply lowering cholesterol.
As a result of research published in 2013, an estimated 200,000 people in the UK stopped taking the medication, which the British Heart Foundation said could lead to 2,000 extra heart attacks within the next 10 years. But new research presented at EuroCMR 2017 might help convince people to stick with the drugs.
The study examined the relationship between statins and heart structure and function in 4,622 people, 17 percent of which were taking statins. The scientists used cardiac magnetic resonance imaging to study each participant's heart, and found patients taking statins had lower left and right ventricular volumes and a 2.4 percent lower left ventricular mass.
"People using statins were less likely to have a thickened heart muscle (left ventricular hypertrophy) and less likely to have a large heart chamber," explains lead author Dr Nay Aung. "Having a thick, large heart is a strong predictor of future heart attack, heart failure or stroke and taking statins appears to reverse the negative changes in the heart which, in turn, could lower the risk of adverse outcomes."
Dr Aung suggests this research should be conservatively applied and doesn't encourage broader prescriptions of the drug to be extended to lower risk groups just because of these findings.
"There is debate about whether we should lower the bar and the question is when do you stop," Dr Aung notes. "What we found is that for patients already taking statins, there are beneficial effects beyond cholesterol lowering and that's a good thing."
The debate over statins is far from over, but it is increasingly clear that the drug is an important tool in the battle against heart disease. This latest study affirms that, despite the potential side effects, the drug is valuable to those facing higher risk of heart attacks.
The study was recently presented at EuroCMR 2017, the annual Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance (CMR) conference of the European Association of Cardiovascular Imaging in Prague.
Source: European Society of Cardiology
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The most reliable evidence has long tied statin use with memory problems, muscle disorders, liver damage, cataracts, nerve damage, arterial calcification, pancreatitis, erectile dysfunction, brain dysfunction, diabetes, and with an increased risk of cancer and higher mortality (statins only somewhat reduce the risk of non-fatal heart attacks).
The physiological mechanisms of how statins do serious damage are also well understood, such as by their impairment of oxidative cell metabolism, the increase in inflammation and cell destruction, the lowering of cholesterol and sex hormone production, the promotion of pancreatic injury, etc. - rather thoroughly explained in this scholarly article on how statins, and a cholesterol-lowering popular diet pill, promote diabetes if you search online for the scholarly article "Do Garcinia Cambogia Side Effects Boost Diabetes?" by Rolf Hefti - look at Figure 7 to see how irrational it is to block the production of cholesterol!
Yet despite of the existence of that scientific knowledge, the medical business and the public health authorities keep ignoring it and, for example, continue to recommend statins to diabetics and make claims that they have a low risk profile despite that they are also significantly linked to cancer and higher mortality (just look at the propaganda put out by the Mayo clinic on statin drugs: "the risk of life-threatening side effects from statins is very low"). And because of such medical propaganda, few people are aware that the medical claims of benefits of statins are mostly based on junk studies conducted by people with vested interests. And, logically, it's mostly the corporate medical business and other people with similar vested interests tied to it (eg, mouthpieces, hacks) who promote the alleged value of these highly lucrative products.
So the real truth is that statins have almost no real benefit in the very vast majority of users. They do more harm than good (read Uffe Ravnskov's "The Cholesterol Myths" and Malcolm Kendrick's "The Great Cholesterol Con"). It's one of many "scientific" scams of the mainstream medical business.
Without those two important facts, this report is just big pharma propaganda. This is BIG money talking and selling there snake oil.
In all cases natural medicine trumps man-made synthetic medicine.
From Andrew Saul's site:
Results are all that matter to me. Alternative medicine works. The natural treatment of illness can be accomplished safely, inexpensively, and effectively. We've all been taught that anything that is safe and inexpensive cannot possibly be really effective against "real diseases." It is time to rethink that, and especially to see for yourself what works.
For every drug that benefits a patient, there is a natural substance that can achieve the same effect. Carl C. Pfeiffer, M.D., Ph.D.
Medicine doesn't get to the root of the trouble. It only conceals it. The result is a more highly poisoned condition which may become chronic disease. All drugs are harmful to the system. They are contrary to nature. . . . Mark my words. There is no way to health except the natural way. "M," to James Bond 007, in Ian Fleming’s Thunderball.
Take it with a ton of salt.