Watch the previous videos in this series about statin drugs:
In the last couple of videos I explained my rationale why I was not prepared to go on a statin drug. My Doctor and Cardiologist were pushing for it…until they accepted that they would never change my mind.
How statins work
Today I am going to try and explain in a simple way how the statins work to lower your cholesterol levels.
Although statins are now off patent, they are still the most popular drug of all time with sales expecting to top $1 trillion this year. There are about six different versions of the statin drug such as
- Lipitor, which is called atorvastatin
- Zocor, which is called Simvastatin
and many more, all ending with ‘statin’ in their name.
Although the mechanism of action is similar for each drug there are subtle differences between them. This why a Doctor sometimes has to try several different ones in order to find one that their patient can tolerate reasonably well.
To understand how these drugs work it is important to be aware of what creates elevated levels of cholesterol in your body.
What are elevated cholestrol levels?
I won’t get into a discussion about what defines truly elevated cholesterol levels.
Several decades ago only about 8% of the population had elevated cholesterol but today it is more like 80%.
Does that mean that levels have raised significantly?
What is considered now to be elevated cholesterol used to be normal. The goal posts keep progressively changing with ever reducing levels as a result of recommendations from an expert panel.
Did I mention that 9 of the 11 members of the expert panel have financial connections to the manufacturers of statin drugs? Better not say that eh!
If you try to lower cholesterol through diet
It is very difficult to lower cholesterol by way of diet. This is because only 20% of our cholesterol come from the foods we eat.
If you reduce your dietary intake of cholesterol then your liver will produce more to make up for it.
You also have to slow down the liver
So, the most effective way to lower cholesterol levels is to slow down the production of it in the liver and that is where statin drugs excel – no question about that.
This is how they work: They reduce the cholesterol biosynthesis mainly in the liver. They do this by blocking an enzyme which is a critical component of this biosynthesis.
Which creates another problem
That certainly does the job of knocking back the production of cholesterol…but, it creates another problem.
Disrupting that particular metabolic pathway not only knocks back the production of cholesterol but also other components that your body needs such as CoQ10.
This is why many Doctors who understand this pathway recommend supplementation with CoQ10.
Do your research on statins
If you are on a statin or it has been recommended that you go on it I would urge you to do some further research.
A good starting point would be to look up Dr Malcolm Hendrick on Amazon and select one of his recent books on statin. He thoroughly researches the subject and he writes in an entertaining and informative way.
Talk again soon.