Statins and muscle painMarch 31, 2014 March 31, 2014
At the Magaziner Center for Wellness we have always been critical of the use of high dose and, often, low dose, statin use especially in light of the numerous alternative treatments that are extremely effective. Please see this article on the Saturated Fat, Cholesterol, and Statin Controversy.
Statins and muscle pain
Up to 75 per cent of patients who take statins to treat elevated cholesterol levels may suffer from muscle pain. Recently scientists at the Center for Healthy Aging at the University of Copenhagen identified a possible mechanism underlying this side-effect.
Statin is a class of drugs which are used to treat high levels of blood cholesterol by way of inhibiting the liver’s ability to produce cholesterol. Statins are the most potent drugs on the market for lowering low-density cholesterol (LDL).
“A well-known side effect of statin therapy is muscle pain. Up to 75 per cent of the physically active patients undergoing treatment for high cholesterol experience pain. This may keep people away from either taking their medicine or from taking exercise – both of which are bad choices,” says Professor Flemming Dela from the Center for Healthy Aging at the University of Copenhagen. He continues:
“We have now shown that statin treatment affects the energy production in muscles. We are working on the assumption that this can be the direct cause of muscle weakness and pain in thepatients.”
Scientists also showed that the patients examined who were being treated with statins had low levels of the key protein Q10. Q10 depletion and ensuing lower energy production in the muscles could be the biological cause of the muscle pain that is a problem for many patients. (1,2)
Do all people with high cholesterol levels require cholesterol-lowering medications?
Do all people with high cholesterol levels require cholesterol-lowering medications? Of course not. Drew, a 48 year old male, consulted with our clinic when struggling with seasonal allergies and a long history of sinus problems. After a thorough evaluation, his cholesterol level was found to be high at 255 (with a normal range of 120-199) and the “bad” LDL cholesterol was also elevated at 184 (normal <99).
Rather than starting him on a statin to lower his cholesterol, he was placed on an anti-inflammatory diet and we recommended the use of natural supplements including red yeast rice, plant sterols and omega-3 fatty acids.
Within three short months, Drew’s lipid profile was greatly improved. His latest total cholesterol had declined to a normal level of 177, while the LDL also fell to 101. Best of all, perhaps, Drew’s energy was better than ever, he felt his immune system was far stronger, he had not been sick at all and his allergy symptoms were completely gone…and all of this without any statin medications or any other prescription medicines!
Drew is one of hundreds of patients who have been successfully treated at the Magaziner Center for Wellness for high cholesterol without the use of statins or other medications.
In our opinion, statins should not be taken as first line therapy and should be used only as a last resort. We have plenty of effective options…let’s use them.
For more information about lowering your cholesterol level or other cardiac risk factors, contact the Magaziner Center for Wellness at 856-324-6033.
2. Cicero AF, Ferroni A, Ertek S. Tolerability and safety of commonly used dietary supplements and nutraceuticals with lipid-lowering effects. Expert Opin Drug Saf. 2012 Jul 13. [Epub ahead of print]