8 Responses to “Statins with your burger? Better add a pregnancy test too”

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  1. avatar Kris says:

    I’m curious then. What are bad levels of cholesterol and how do you get them? I mean I know cholesterol levels can vary greatly in the body. My whole family are cheese lovers and a few people in my family had high cholesterol and the doctor told them to eat Less cheese knowing hoe they loved it. When they did, the cholesterol went back to normal levels.

    • avatar Zoë says:

      Hi Kris – I’m not sure any level of cholesterol is bad for us. There is even debate over familial hypercholesterolemia – which may be the one exception.
      Cheese will not affect blood cholesterol levels. As Ancel Keys admitted – cholesterol in food has no impact on cholesterol in the blood and we’ve known that all along.
      You may like this blog on cholesterol - I’d like mine higher on the basis of the evidence of every country in the world!
      Best wishes – Zoe

  2. avatar Sarah joss says:

    You really need to be careful when taking statins, it has horrible side effects, such as memory loss muscle pain etc. the side effects are pretty hard to manage your doctor has to prescribe another drug for you.

  3. avatar Jackie says:

    Having read the recent article on your work in the Daily Mail, I was intrigued and wanted to know more, so came on this website. However, I am now totally confused because, as a type two diabetic I was given Simvastatin as a matter of course and have been taking it religiously for over a year now. I experience extreme tiredness and forgetfulness but had put this down to stress. My surgery is very pro-statins but I am wondering whether I should think again about taking them.

    • avatar Zoë says:

      Hi there – I’m so sorry to hear this – I’m actually more than sorry – I’m horrified!

      Statins don’t work by lowering cholesterol per se. They stop the body from doing one of the most important jobs that it does – producing cholesterol. I am one of many people who believe that the limited effect that statins appear to have on men of a certain age with known heart disease is to do with anti inflammatory properties of statins and the cholesterol lowering is an unfortunate side effect. Cholesterol is one of the most vital substances in our bodies and I would never let anyone lower mine. The side effects of statins include tiredness, muscle fatigue, even muscle wasting when it gets worse (which can be irreversible), forgetfulness, memory loss etc – as you mentioned.

      Statins are also known as HMG-CoA Reductase Inhibitors. They stop the body producing cholesterol as they inhibit (effectively stop) a step in the process whereby the body makes cholesterol. The step they inhibit is where HMG-CoA should be processed into Mevalonate. You don’t need to know this detail – you just need to know that when this process is inhibited – the other parts of this process (downstream as it were) are also messed up. The key process that falls into this category is the body’s production of Co-Q10 – also known as the energy spark plug of the body. Many people take Co-Q10 as a supplement (Holland & Barrett kind of thing) because they value the feeling of energy that it can bring. Your body has had your level of CoQ10 dramatically impacted – no wonder you’re feeling tired. The reason you’re feeling forgetful is because cholesterol and CoQ10 are critical substances for the brain and you have lowered both.

      Unless you have familial hypercholesterolemia (a heredity condition that you would likely know about by now) I personally think your doc should be called to account for putting you on statins.

      I HIGHLY recommend The Great Cholesterol Con by Malcolm Kendrick – on free view at the moment but SO worth getting from Amazon. Kendrick particularly goes into the outrage of women being put on statins when there is no evidence of any benefit in mortality (that’s the bottom line, let’s face it) and there are high risks of side effects – as you have found.

      Kendrick’s book is all about cholesterol – mine is about obesity but it explains why I got drawn into the cholesterol debate and what I found out when I did. If I tell you Lipitor (one statin) is worth $12 billion (Kellogg’s has c. $13 billion turnover to show that this makes one drug almost the size of a global company) – you can see why your surgery may be pro statins. I go through the UK GP reward system (Quality Operating Framework – QOF points) to really spell out that you, as a diabetic, earn your surgery money if they can ‘do’ things with you!

      As a type 2, by the way – you may love The Obesity Epidemic for the complete evidence for why carbs make us fat and why carbs cause type 2 diabetes.
      Good luck with your return to health
      Very best wishes – Zoe

  4. avatar Robin Davies says:

    Good stuff. My wife had statins put on her blood pressure prescription without being asked or without discussion. She point blank refused to take them and it took a good while for them to be removed. Nothing to do with payments to GP practice for getting us all on the pills, I’m sure. Not. She’s also halved her BP medication. The last time I saw a GP at our practice, I opened the conversation with “don’t bother prescribing me statins: I’ve read the research”! He was somewhat taken aback.
    I have Kendrick’s book – an excellent and amusing read. It goes well with Prof Uffe Ravnskovs books on the same topic.
    Dr Barry Grove’s books I’ve found very helpful, especially Trick & Treat.
    My wife’s threatened to buy me your latest for Christmas!

    • avatar Zoë says:

      Hi again – Isn’t Dr Malcolm Kendrick’s book just the most brilliant, funny expose of statins ever?! We absolutely love him in our forums. I show the page about ‘statins should not be taken by women’ to every woman I know who talks about statins.

      A friend was over for dinner at the weekend and her mum has been on statins a few months and this only came out after our friend said that her mum had changed so much and was forgetful and “seemed to be losing her mind”. I don’t suppose she’s on statins I said and our friend was stunned to say yes! It’s really criminal. Lipitor, one statin alone, is worth $12 billion. That’s one drug about the size of Kellogg’s as an entire company. This is big business and the drug companies will have 4 mmol/L as the normal level if they could manage this and then almost every person in the UK would be on statins.
      Love Dr Barry too! Thank goodness for these brave people who are leading the way and challenging the supposed wisdom.
      Best wishes – Zoe

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