Say No to Statins

I recently received a letter from Clara giving an account of how Vytorin, a combination drug that contains a statin, destroyed her husband.

Joe was in excellent health at the age of 77. He gardened every day, chopped and split wood for his fireplace, and was taking no prescription medications other than a low-dose thyroid drug.

During a routine checkup in April 2005, Joe’s physician prescribed Vytorin. There’s not a shred of scientific evidence that would warrant this prescription for a healthy, vigorous man in his late seventies, regardless of his cholesterol level. In fact, individuals of his age and health status would never even be allowed in clinical trials evaluating this drug. Doctors should just leave these people alone, but they don’t.

Statins Are Biological Poisons

Like slow-acting snake venom, this biological poison destroyed Joe’s health over the subsequent year. Poison is defined as “any substance, which introduced into an organism in relatively small amounts, acts chemically upon the tissues to produce serious injury or death.”

This precisely describes the actions of statin drugs. They block the HMG-CoA reductase pathway in all human cells. This is an essential pathway for the manufacture of cholesterol along with other vital elements. Among these is coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10).

CoQ10 is not only an antioxidant that quells the free radicals produced in the mitochondria during energy production, but also an electron carrier needed for energy extraction. If you eliminate CoQ10, life cannot exist because mitochondria cannot produce energy. Yet with statin drugs, the synthesis of both cholesterol and CoQ10 is halted.

A Nurse Speaks Out

Dear Dr. Gott,

As a nurse, I read your column faithfully. I feel compelled to write to you about the Lipitor (and other statin) columns. I started on lovastatin in September 2004.

About January of 2005 I began to have memory problems and a strange intermittent tremor of my lips… . The memory problems can be described as knowing in my mind what I wanted to say, but not recalling how to say it or form the sentence to express myself. I would have to change the subject to get back on track. Additionally, I had difficulty writing and left out letters of words. I was concerned that I was having small strokes or that I had a tumor. I read your column, and I took myself off the medication. All has returned to normal. My vocabulary has returned, and the lip tremor is about 95 percent gone… . I, too, am concerned about these drugs. I have informed my doctor, and am told by him and my pharmacist that I did the right thing. I hope someone is following up on some studies. This is a looming problem for the many on statins… .

Dr. Gott, a syndicated columnist, commented that problems with statin drugs are infrequent but “are a recognized complication of statin therapy,” and patients need to know about them. — JW

Letter reprinted with permission. © 2005 United Feature Syndicate

Joe Got Worse and Worse

Joe’s problems began during the first four weeks after he started taking the drug, when he became uncharacteristically confused about almost everything. Over the following months, his cognitive issues worsened, and he began losing strength in his left arm and leg to the point that they were nearly paralyzed.

In November 2006, he and his wife went to vote. After they returned home, he couldn’t remember a thing about it. He asked Clara why she hadn’t voted, and she explained that not only had she voted, she had driven the two of them to the polling place.

As Joe became increasingly forgetful and confused, Clara began to suspect the drug. When she read a letter in a newspaper column from a nurse who had developed cognitive problems while taking a statin drug (see sidebar above), her suspicions grew.

In January 2007, Joe took a dramatic turn for the worse. He woke up at 2 AM, looked outside, and said that his wife—who had awakened with him—was in the car. When she told him she was beside him, he said, “No, not you, my wife. She’s in the car.” That’s when Clara decided to stop Joe’s Vytorin on her own.

His Doctor Wouldn’t Listen

Clara complained to Joe’s doctor on numerous occasions about her husband’s symptoms, which began only after he started Vytorin. She actually showed him an issue of Health & Healing that discussed the dangers of statin drugs, including memory problems and global amnesia. He laughed at her, took the newsletter, crumpled it up, threw it in the trash, and said, “This is what I do with information like this.”

Today Joe is in hospice, incoherent, incontinent, and unable to walk. Only four years ago, this man was vigorous, healthy, gardening, and chopping wood—then he began taking Vytorin. Even though his doctors, and physicians nationwide, routinely see such disastrous complications, they ignore the statin connection. It’s truly unbelievable.

Also Toxic to the Muscles and Heart

Statins and the immediate drop in CoQ10 levels that they precipitate affect virtually every organ in the body. Hardest hit are those that require the most energy, which, in addition to the brain, include the muscles and the heart.

Patients taking statin drugs frequently report weakness and muscle aches. In some cases, the damage is so severe that muscle tissue simply dissolves. This condition, called rhabdomyolysis, floods the kidneys with cellular debris and shuts them down. One statin, Baycol, was taken off the market after it caused a series of deaths from rhabdomyolysis. What the FDA refused to acknowledge, however, is that Baycol’s mechanism of action—blocking the HMG-CoA reductase pathway that the body uses to produce CoQ10—is exactly the same as other statins.

The heart is the highest energy-consuming muscle in the body, and as CoQ10 levels drop, it begins to fail. So now, along with our epidemic of statin poisoning, we also have an epidemic of congestive heart failure. In one hospital in a medium-sized town in Texas, all cardiac surgery patients are prescribed these drugs upon discharge—and within 30 days, nearly a third of them are readmitted, most commonly in heart failure. Similar experiences have been reported in hospitals all over the country. Folks, considering statins’ effects on CoQ10 levels and the mitochondria, this is predictable!

Physicians Ignore Dangers and Cause Harm

Statins are the most successful class of drugs in history, generating more money in the United States every year than football, baseball, basketball, golf, hockey, and all other professional sports combined! The companies raking in these profits use their financial clout to set the marketplace rules, and the rule is aggressive promotion—regardless of the effects these drugs have on the millions of people who are taking them.

Duane Graveline, MD, has written three books, including Statin Damage Crisis, about the adverse effects of statins on the brain and other organs. John Abramson, MD, devoted a section of his compelling book Overdosed America to the false marketing claims made on behalf of these drugs. And most recently, Beatrice Golomb, MD, published a 45-page, painstakingly referenced review of the toxic nature of statin medications that includes 895 citations from the medical literature.

Think about this. Statins have been in use for less than 20 years. During that time, there have been more than 1,000 publications discussing their toxicity. That’s 50 medical articles a year, or more than four a month. Yet your doctor still says statins are safe!

No-Statin Zone

At my my clinic, Whitaker Wellness, it has been our policy for the past 20 years to stop statin drugs in every single patient we see, without exception. Let me be clear: I am not telling you personally to stop taking your medication. However, I am telling you that if I were participating in your medical care, there is no question that this would be my recommendation.

I urge you to discuss this matter with your physician. Give him a copy of Dr. Golomb’s article, which makes an exceptionally well-documented, science-based case against statins. But be prepared for him to react like Joe’s doctor did—by tearing it up and throwing it in the trash.

From: Health & Healing with permission from Healthy Directions, LLC. Photocopying, reproduction, or quotation strictly prohibited without permission from the publisher. To subscribe to Health & Healingclick here.