About 610,000 Americans are dying from heart disease every year, which is 1 in every 4 deaths. The theory that cholesterol levels negatively affect your heart health has become all the rage, so, in order to fight this, people have started using cholesterol-lowering drugs to lower their risk of heart disease.
However, it turns out that statins, one of the most popular American cholesterol-lowering medications, are not as effective at lowering cholesterol as told to be. Moreover, they are linked to many side effects, including cancer.
What are Statins?
Statins, also known as HMG-CoA, are a commonly prescribed medication that is used to lower bad or LDL cholesterol, the main risk factor for heart disease. However, even though they are designed to lower cholesterol levels, many studies have shown that statins are actually ineffective at doing this.
According to a study published in the journal Vascular Health and Risk Management, statins were extremely ineffective at lowering cholesterol levels in patients with heart disease. In fact, it has been found that statins lowered cholesterol levels in only 18 percent of the patients that were given, which shows that they are ineffective over 80 percent of the time.
In addition to is ineffectiveness at lowering cholesterol levels, statins are associated with various side effects as well. Among them are:
- Memory loss
- High blood sugar
- Increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes
These drugs are also linked to more serious side effects, such as rhabdomyolysis and myositis, both of which cause inflammation of the muscles and lead to muscle damage. The first condition can even cause kidney damage, which is likely to result in kidney failure or even death over time.
Various studies have also linked statins to an elevated risk of cancer. According to a study published in the journal Current Oncology, statins increased the risk of cancer in people with prostate or breast cancer as well as in elderly individuals. Additionally, the team of researchers found that statins cause tumor progression people with bladder cancer.
What leads to statins` negative impact on your health and cancer is the way they affect the immune system. Given the fact that statins increase the body`s production of T-cells, it weakens the immune responses in the body and makes it more prone to developing cancer.
Cholesterol and the Body
As mentioned in the very beginning, people turned to statins and other drugs due to the theory that cholesterol negatively affects the human body. This theory suggests that cholesterol clogs the arteries and leads to heart disease. According to Dr. Beverly Teter, a lipid biochemist at the University of Maryland, this is a result of a mistake scientists did years ago. She believes that cholesterol was wrongly blamed for heart disease and that it was put in the damaged blood vessel on purpose, meaning to fix a problem caused by inflammation.
“It’s the inflammation in the vessels that start the lesion,” she said. “The body then sends the cholesterol like a scab to cover over it to protect the blood system and the vessel wall from further damage.”
To prevent heart disease, it is important to eat foods which are high in anti-inflammatory compounds, Teter suggests. The list of anti-inflammatory foods includes sources of natural saturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids. On the other hand, people should avoid sources of inflammation-causing trans fat.
FOODS WITH INFLAMMATION-BUSTING PROPERTIES
- Hickory nuts
- Flaxseed oil
- Wild salmon
FOODS WITH INFLAMMATION-CAUSING PROPERTIES
- Cake frosting
- Non-dairy creamer
- Deep-fried foods
- Pie crust
Make sure you avoid deep fried of heavily processed foods, in order to avoid the inflammation-causing trans fats. Besides causing inflammation, these foods increase cholesterol levels and create a combination which is likely to cause heart disease.