Statins May Increase Parkinson’s Disease Risk
Statin drugs are supposed to control your cholesterol levels. Manufacturers claim that statins reduce your risk of having stroke and heart attack, although actually that is questionable. Preventing myocardial infarction and cerebrovascular attack is the main reason millions of Americans take them. However, the findings of a recent study also revealed that this class of drugs may facilitate the onset of Parkinson's disease.
Researchers from Penn State College of Medicine studied data on the statin-Parkinson's disease association of 50 million people. An estimated 7-10 million persons worldwide are suffering from this brain disorder. Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative disease that results from loss of neurons in the brain that produces dopamine—a chemical that controls body movements. The rapid loss of dopamine-producing neurons results in symptoms of Parkinson's disease, such as tremor, rigidity, cognitive impairment, extreme slowness of movement, and impaired balance.
Statin drugs work by inhibiting an enzyme present in the liver required for the biosynthesis of cholesterol. This same enzyme also catalyzes the biochemical reactions involve in the production of ketones. In addition to being used as a source of energy by brain cells, ketones protect the neurons in the brain, including the dopamine-producing neurons, against age-related disorders, such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer disease. By inhibiting the production of ketones in the body, statin drugs promote the development of Parkinson's disease.
Millions of Americans may be at risk of Parkinson's disease due to the widespread use of statins in the United States. About 1 in 4 Americans above the age of 45 is taking a statin drug in a futile attempt to prevent an initial heart attack and stroke, even though statins have never been proven to prevent a first heart attack. On the other hand, plant-based diets have been proven to be beneficial in the prevention of heart attack and stroke. Oil-free low-fat diets of whole plant foods have helped many to transform unhealthy cholesterol numbers to healthy ones. Why not take the plant-based route to a healthy cholesterol number? Keep stroke and heart attack at bay with a vegan diet instead of popping statin pills that put you at high risk of having cataracts, musculoskeletal disorders, type 2 diabetes, and Parkinson's disease.
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