Is your cholesterol on the high side? Then, there is a great chance that your physician will want to place you on statins. “Statins”, known scientifically as HMG CoA inhibitors, are a class of drugs that reduce the concentration of cholesterol in the blood. Some examples of typical statins include Simvastatin (Zocor), Pitavastatin (Livalo), Rosuvastatin (Crestor), Atorvastatin (Lipitor), Fluvastatin (Lescol, Lescol XL), and Lovastatin (Mevacor, Altoprev).
Cholesterol is produced by the liver but can also be obtained from animal product food sources. Plants do not contain cholesterol. High blood levels of cholesterol is associated with increased risk of atherosclerosis, heart attack, and stroke. The mechanism of action of statins involves inhibiting the activity of the liver enzyme hydroxyl-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A (HMG CoA) reductase responsible for making cholesterol. When this enzyme is blocked, the liver can no longer manufacture cholesterol and serum concentrations of cholesterol will be drastically reduced. Statins have been shown to be effective in decreasing plasma concentrations of cholesterol. However like other drugs, they also come with potentially dangerous side effects, such as liver damage, memory loss, confusion, rashes, headache, and skeletal muscle damage.
In addition, the results of many clinical trials and scientific studies provide evidence that statins may elevate blood sugar levels and increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. The evidence against statins is so strong that the Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning on statin medication labels regarding the diabetes-promoting action of this cholesterol-lowering drug.
The findings of a 2015 study published in Diabetologia Journal reveal that Statin therapy increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 46%. In this study, the investigators also discovered that members of the study population taking statins had a 24% decrease in insulin sensitivity and a 12% reduction in insulin secretion. The team of researchers concluded that statins raise blood sugar and diabetes risk by decreasing insulin secretion and increasing insulin resistance.
Why should we take such a potentially dangerous class of drugs when statins have never been proven to prevent the first heart attack in either gender? And only one type of statin, Lipitor (Atorvastatin) has ever been proven to delay the 2nd heart attack in men, but not in women. If we could prevent cardiovascular disease with food choices and also lower cholesterol levels naturally via lifestyle change, wouldn’t that plan be safer and less expensive than taking statins?
Cut Down Choesterol Levels Without Taking Drugs
The natural way to lower cholesterol avoids all the side effects that plague people taking statins. Food choices, not genetics, controls most of the levels of cholesterol floating in our blood, as proven by the data amassed during the Engine 2 Immersions run by Rip Esselstyn for the employees of Whole Foods Market. Avoiding cholesterol-rich foods, such as eggs, fish, red meat, cheese, and pastries, is the first step in reducing the intake of saturated fat, which raises serum cholesterol levels even higher than does eating the cholesterol itself. By eating cholesterol-lowering plant-based foods low in fat, such as lentils, beans, vegetables, and whole grains like oats or barley, individuals have been shown to decrease cholesterol levels 100 points in just 5 days at the Engine 2 Immersion, all without statins. Why not eat your way to a lower and healthier cholesterol level?
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