Statins: Ineffective & Side Effect-LadenMany studies have found statins to be ineffective at reducing cholesterol. One study found that they only reduced cholesterol levels in 18% of patients that were put on them. That means that more than 80% of the time, statins just didn't work the way they should've. That's especially concerning when you consider some of the side effects associated with statins. These include rashes, constipation, diarrhea, memory loss, high blood sugar and an increased risk for type 2 diabetes. And then there's the increased risk of cancer which was observed in the elderly as well as people with prostate or breast cancer.
How Did They Become So Popular?Dr. Beverly Teter, lipid biochemist at the University of Maryland, says the popularity of statins is largely due to a misconception scientists have about cholesterol's role in heart disease. Many people believe cholesterol alone is to blame for the clogging of arteries, but actually, Dr. Teter points the finger at inflammation. "It's the inflammation in the vessels that start the lesion," she says. "The body then sends the cholesterol like a scab to cover over it to protect the blood system and the vessel wall from further damage." Scientists made the mistake of seeing this excess cholesterol and assuming it was the root cause for the heart disease, and the misconception has stuck.
So What Should You Use To Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease?So if statins are a no-no, what's the good stuff you should be putting into your body? Dr. Teter suggests that you choose foods not based on their low fat content but rather on their high anti-inflammatory properties. These foods include:
- Flaxseed oil
- Wild salmon
- Hickory nuts
- Deep-fried foods
- Pie crust