I had an opportunity to discuss statins with my doctor recently. I had been taking a statin substitute (red yeast rice) but stopped because of concerns about possible liver damage - he advised that that was extremely rare and I should not worry about it, although we will review my liver enzyme report at my next appointment. We discussed that statins are now being approved even for people w/o high cholesterol (see below.) He told me that he now takes a statin!
So I'm hoping he will prescribe one for me at my next appointment - and I will continue taking red yeast rice with co-enzyme Q-10 whiich should help avoid muscle problems.)
The evidence about all the good things statins do is overwhelming - as outlined below:
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT STATINS
Statins must be taken regularly to maintain lower cholesterol levels and can be expensive, even with insurance.
Statins have been shown to reduce heart attack and stroke in both genders.
Statins can lower LDL cholesterol by up to 50 percent. Lifestyle changes, at best, can lower LDL by up to 15 percent.
Muscle pain is reported in as many as seven percent of those who take statins but may ease with reduced dosage or another type of statin.
Statins for those w/o high cholesterol?
The Food and Drug Administration approved the new criteria last month for Crestor, which is made by AstraZeneca and is the nation’s second best-selling statin, behind Lipitor by Pfizer. AstraZeneca plans soon to begin a new marketing and advertising campaign for Crestor, based on the new F.D.A.-approved criteria.
Under those criteria, an estimated 6.5 million people in this country who have no cholesterol problems and no sign of heart problems will be deemed candidates for statins. That is in addition to the 80 million who already meet the current cholesterol-based guidelines — about half of whom now take statins.
The new Crestor label says it may be prescribed for apparently healthy people if they are older — men 50 and over and women 60 and over — and have one risk factor like smoking or high blood pressure, in addition to elevated inflammation in the body.
Statins decrease risk of clot-related diseases
Individuals at risk for heart attack and stroke may benefit from taking common cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins, according to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Connecticut.
Statins may slow progression of multiple sclerosis
A UCSF-led study examining the impact of statins on the progression of multiple sclerosis found a lower incidence of new brain lesions in patients taking the cholesterol-lowering drug in the early stages of the disease as compared to a placebo.
Statins may lower the risk of certain cancers, including colorectal and skin cancers
Statins may benefit men with prostate cancer
Statin drugs may have a protective effect in the prevention of liver cancer
Statins Cut Risk of Cataracts and Dying
Statins, a class of drugs used to lower cholesterol levels, have been successfully fighting heart disease for years. A new study has now found that the same drugs cut the risks of cataracts in men by almost 40%. One recent study, featured as part of a Time magazine cover story, showed that statins can reduce a person's chance of dying from all combined diseases and conditions by 40%, something in the medical community called "all-cause mortality."
Statins fight gallstones
Use of the cholesterol-lowering drugs statins for more than a year is associated with a reduced risk of having gallstones requiring surgery, according to a study in the November 11 issue of JAMA.
Statins fight cancer, diabetes and Parkinson's?
Millions of people around the world use medicines based on statins to lower their blood cholesterol, but new research from the University of Gothenburg, published in the prestigious journal PNAS, shows that statins may also be effective in the treatment of cancer.
Statins lower cholesterol by blocking certain enzymes involved in our metabolism. However, they have also been shown to affect other important lipids in the body, such as the lipids that help proteins to attach to the cell membrane (known as lipid modification). Because many of the proteins that are lipid-modified cause cancer, there are now hopes that it will be possible to use statins in the treatment of cancer.
"Our results support the idea that statins can be used in more ways than just to lower cholesterol," says Pilon. "Not least that they can prevent the growth of cancer cells caused by lipid-modified proteins, but also that they can be effective in the treatment of diabetes and neurological disorders such as Parkinson's.
More Evidence Statins Fight Parkinson's
Simvastatin, a commonly used, cholesterol-lowering drug, may prevent Parkinson's disease from progressing further. Neurological researchers at Rush University Medical Center conducted a study examining the use of the FDA-approved medication in mice with Parkinson's disease and found that the drug successfully reverses the biochemical, cellular and anatomical changes caused by the disease.
According to the most recent health research reports, statins, including (I hope) red yeast rice, which I now take, fight cancer, diabetes and Parkinson's and, specifically, by lowering cholesterol, some types of prostate cancer. There's even more evidence statins fight Parkinson's. Statins also fight gallstones. Earlier reports showed many other benefits of statins.
Statins may lower the risk of certain cancers, including colorectal and skin cancers.
Statin Use Benefits Multiple Areas of Urologic Health
Several new studies presented at the American Urological Association's (AUA) 104th Annual Scientific Meeting suggest that the use of statins--commonly prescribed to lower cholesterol--may benefit men with prostate cancer, erectile dysfunction or lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS). Several key research studies highlighting these benefits will be presented
Statins and Lung Fuction
Statins are known to be good for lowering cholesterol and maybe even fighting dementia, and now they have another reported benefit: they appear to slow decline in lung function in the elderly— even in those who smoke. According to researchers in Boston, it may be statins’ anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help achieve this effect.
Statins can protect against Alzheimer's disease
High cholesterol levels are considered to be a risk factor not only for cardiovascular disease including stroke, but also for the development of Alzheimer's disease.
Statins Reduce Risk of Liver Cancer
Statin use is associated with a significant reduction in the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), or liver cancer, among patients with diabetes, according to a new study in Gastroenterology.
Statins May Reduce Risk of Gallbladder Removal Surgery
The use of statins appears to reduce the risk of cholecystectomy, surgical removal of the gallbladder, in women, according to a new study in Gastroenterology.
Statins Help Protect Against Heart Attacks and Strokes In High Risk Population
High levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) leads to increased risk of cardiovascular disease. This risk decreases by up to 44% if the patients are treated with statin medications.