Statin drugs have become the darling of the pharmaceutical industry over the last few decades, continually with the support of most physicians, governmental bodies and educational institutions, while patients are waking up to the fact that they may not be all they are cracked up to be.
We know that statin drugs deplete Co Enzyme Q10 in your body, a powerful antioxidant and nutrient which is critical in aiding the mitochondria of the body to create energy.
Talking to patients I hear the stories every day; how they ache, they have pains, they just feel like crap. Research has shown us that side-effects include memory loss, muscle pain, diabetes, cataracts, liver dysfunction, diabetes, and fatigue.
But first, let’s take a quick look at what stem cells do for us.
As reported on the National Institute of Health website,
“Stem cells have the remarkable potential to develop into many different cell types in the body during early life and growth. In addition, in many tissues they serve as a sort of internal repair system, dividing essentially without limit to replenish other cells as long as the person or animal is still alive. When a stem cell divides, each new cell has the potential either to remain a stem cell or become another type of cell with a more specialized function, such as a muscle cell, a red blood cell, or a brain cell.”
So as you can see, stem cells are a pretty big deal. They repair, replenish, and transform into other types of cells when needed…kind of a cellular fountain of youth.
The study examined the impact of clinical doses of two popular statins on blood and tissue samples from adult donors in different age groups. Researchers extracted stem cells within the samples to see how the drugs affected their development into macrophages, immune cells that play a critical role in the formation and breakdown of artery-clogging plaque that is a hallmark of heart disease.
Researchers found that statins prevented stem cells from turning into macrophages, which can decrease inflammation and improve plaque stability in patients with cardiovascular disease. However, statins also prevented the stem cells from becoming beneficial bone and cartilage cells. Statins also increased stem cell aging and death rates, reducing their DNA repair abilities. The effect was more pronounced in the samples from older donors, the age group most likely to use statins.
“Statins significantly diminish the ability of stem cells to grow and differentiate into new adult body cells,” Alt said. “For example, in the brain, the lack of new nerve cells could result in memory loss and forgetfulness; in joints, the lack of cartilage renewal could lead to the clinical symptoms of osteoarthritis.”
Patients should carefully evaluate the benefits and risks associated with statins as they discuss heart disease prevention with their doctors, Alt said.
Keep in mind…proper assessment, prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease optimally will go beyond lipids. And when measures to lower cholesterol levels need to be taking, there are plenty of alternative options that don’t have the draw backs of statin drugs- one of our favorites is what we refer to as the metabolic wonder supplement, berberine.