The Statin Storm
Lipitor and other statins are the most prolific medications on the market. They are designed to lower the body’s cholesterol in those who cannot lower it themselves, in the hopes of mitigating the risks of heart disease. However, we must ask ourselves, why has heart disease become so prevalent in the first place?
Several decades back, a health concern caught the eye of our medical community. Adults began suffering from heart attacks like never before. Upon autopsy, it was clear that a gooey fatty substance (aka cholesterol) was the clogging culprit.
Fat was labeled bad, and the anti-fat hysteria ensued. Low-fat yogurt, non-fat milk, and similar products began to pop up everywhere.
Fast forward to the present: Shouldn’t we be healthier? No. By removing fats from our diets, we replaced them with sugars, which are now seen as the major contributor to heart disease, high cholesterol, and diabetes. Look at any fat-free food in the supermarket. The nutritional content will invariably indicate low fats in the place of high sugars/carbohydrates.
Is this issue really so black and white? In retrospect, no. In the decades following World War II, people began smoking like chimneys, became more sedentary, and sugary foods were skyrocketing. It was the perfect environment for disease to flourish—smoking tobacco increases the odds of cancer and heart disease; sitting around decreases muscle mass and our metabolism; and sugary foods act as the cellular equivalent to jet fuel for cancers, bacteria, and more. In reality, it is lifestyles that have contributed to high cholesterol levels, not just diet.
What Are the Effects of Taking Statins?
Well, your cholesterol levels lower, but is this a bad thing? Cholesterol is a source of testosterone. When cholesterol is being inhibited, testosterone decreases. This tends to decrease libido and erectile function. (Enter the erectile dysfunction industry.)
Statin drugs also inhibit the metabolizing of Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), an extremely vital heart and internal organ compound found in red meats. Absence of CoQ10 is directly correlated to muscle weakness, as muscles are the key to our metabolisms. Think of athletes. They eat so much food to power their muscles, only gaining weight when they stop being so active. Now we are left with low testosterone, low muscle mass, and higher fat content. Our body has begun to age prematurely.
How Can Chiropractic Help?
Break the cycle. As Chiropractors, we pride ourselves on removing pain from the body. Our goal is to help our patients become more physically active to reclaim their lives. The more active we are, the stronger our muscles become; the stronger our muscles are, the more we can burn off the foods we eat.
- VA.gov. “Strong statin-diabetes link seen in large study of Tricare patients.” US Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Research and Development. May 7, 2015. Online article accessed August 30, 2016.
- Graedon, Joe and Teresa. SeattleTimes.com. “Statins may lower testosterone and libido. March 15, 2015. Online article accessed August 30, 2016.