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Statin Drugs Vs. Inflamation

Several clients coming to me for nutritional advice/help recently have been told by their doctors that they should go on a statin drug. (Lipotor, Crestor, etc)  Their reasoning is this:  Cholesterol is above 200, HDL is too low and LDL is too high.  This is determined by a ratio.  The ratio of total Chol/HDL should be under 5 and a much better number is under 3.  (total cholesterol divided by LDL)  Desirable HDL is above 60 and desirable LDL is below 130.
Pull out your most recent lab test and see how your numbers match up.  If these numbers are off by even a small amount, many MDs recommend statins "just to be safe."  Well, safe from what?  From inflammation. Yes, that's right.  We now know that inflammation of the arterial lining is responsible for heart disease and heart attacks much more than any other factor.
But does your total cholesterol and HDL and LDL and the ratio really tell you if you're arterial lining is inflammed?  No.  It's a "best guess" scenario employed by "standard of care" medicine because it takes your doctor out of the threat of a lawsuit should you have a heart issue down the line.  They feel safer prescribing it than just doing nothing because they have no experience with nutritional approaches.
But why not find out if you are truly a candidate for statin drugs?
The reason you might want to dig a little deeper before making the decision to use these drugs is that there are some very negative side effects that go along with the use of statin drugs, namely muscle wasting, a higher risk of cancer, fatigue, confusion, depression & hostility, sexual dysfunction, heart failure and, very importantly, depletion of Co-enzymeQ10.
So, before you go on statin drugs, do one more series of tests.  And you can request these from your doctor and he/she will write out an Rx to have these tests done:
HS-C Reactive Protein, homocysteine, Vit D 25 hydroxy, Cholesterol VAP test and lipoprotein(a).  If you have very low HS CRP, low homocysteine, and high Vit D levels, you very likely do not have inflammed arteries. Even if your cholesterol and LDL are high, if those other tests come back in a really healthy range, your cholesterol and LDL are not likely to be oxidized.  It's oxidized  LDL and Chol that cause inflammation, not the total number. The VAP test helps to find out which kind of cholesterol factors you have - oxidized or not oxidized.
There are nutritional ways to raise the HDL and lower the LDL and protect your lipids from oxidation, through diet, using JuicePlus+ (now shown through double-blind testing to reduce homocysteine and inflammation), omega 3 oils, and several other factors having to do with diet.  (more produce = better!)   Cutting out consumption of vegetable oils used in fast food, packaged food, baked goods, restaurant food is the place to start. (soy, corn, canola, safflower, etc)  These are highly inflammatory oils and also promote cancer development.
There is a huge push by the pharmaceutical industry to get more and more people on statins to reduce this inflammatory effect, along with the suggestion to take an aspirin every day. But you should actually know whether you have arterial inflammation or not before using this class of drugs.  And for heaven's sake, if you must use statins, at least take 100 - 200mg of the highest grade of COQ10 each day, along with fish oils, not flaxseed oil.  If you develop muscle weakness, impotence, or cognitive issues after a few weeks/months, rethink your doctor and get a second opinion from an MD who works with Functional Medicine.  (making the body work efficiently, not masking the symptoms)
It's good to know that there are other options to help you lower inflammation that will build your health, not give you side effects you don't want.
Mary Anne
PS  Red rice yeast is used by some, but it works on the same enzyme that statin drugs do, with the side effect of lowering COQ10 as well.  But at least the RR Yeast doesn't cause the muscle wasting.  If you've opted for this, be sure to take COQ10 along with it. But the other options I mentioned are better and have a more global nutritional effect rather than just lowering LDL.