Statin Muscle Toxicity

Statin Muscle Toxicity
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Video updated 3/5/2012 to reflect new FDA warning labels citing risks of confusion, memory loss, new onset diabetes, and muscle injury. Even people who don’t experience pain or weakness on cholesterol-lowering statin drugs may be suffering muscle damage.

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

Last week, February 28, 2012, the FDA announced newly mandated safety labeling for cholesterol-lowering statin drugs—such as Lipitor, Mevacor, Crestor, Zocor, and Vytorin. The FDA issued new side effect warnings regarding the increased risk of brain-related side effects, such as memory loss and confusion, an increase in blood sugar levels, and risk of new onset diabetes associated with taking this class of drugs.  

One prominent cardiologist described the Faustian bargain to the Wall Street Journal. Apparently, “1 to 2 out of 100 patients at risk for a heart attack will avoid one” by taking statins. But research now suggests for every 200 people taking a statin, 1 will develop diabetes.  

Wouldn’t it be great if there were some way to lower the risk of heart attacks and diabetes at the same time?

First, let me address the third side effect newly addressed by the FDA: the risk of muscle injury. We’ve known that about 1% to 5% of patients suffer enough muscle damage to cause pain and overt weakness, but only about 1 in 6,000,000 or 7,000,000 actually suffers enough muscle damage to kill them. It’s called fatal rhabdomyolysis, where your muscles break down so rapidly your urine starts looking like this, as you literally start peeing your muscles down the toilet. Then your kidneys fail, and you die.

But that’s like winning the lottery chances. There’s a 1 in 2 chance we’ll die of heart disease—so, no surprise Lipitor is the #1 prescribed drug on the planet Earth. 

But then, this study was published. Normally, if you have muscle pain on a statin, you go to a doctor, and they take blood to see if you have elevated levels of muscle breakdown products in your bloodstream. Now if you don’t, they basically say, oh, it’s all in your head—go home, keep taking your medicine.

What these researchers did, though, was they instead took these people, and got muscle biopsies, and proved that even though their blood levels were normal, they were indeed suffering muscle damage. The damage just wasn’t leaking into their bloodstream. Well, if that’s the case, if you can’t pick it up with the test, maybe everyone taking statins is suffering muscle damage—whether they’re experiencing pain or not.

And that’s exactly what they found. Clear evidence of skeletal muscle damage in statin-treated patients—all statin-treated patients. This is what a muscle is supposed to look like under a microscope. This is your muscle; this is your muscle on statin drugs.

But, the degree of overall damage was slight. Most people don’t even feel any pain with statins, so what’s the big deal?

This is the big deal. New study on statin therapy, muscle function, and falls risk. Hundreds of older men and women followed for a few years, and those who were on statins suffered greater declines in muscle strength and muscle quality, and greater increases in falls risk.

So we don’t want to be taking this drug unless we really need it. The problem is, because heart disease remains our #1 killer, most everyone does need to take a statin drug like Lipitor every day for the rest of our lives—except for one group. This is from the editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Cardiology: “Only pure vegetarians for practical purposes do not need statins. Most of the rest of us do!” So, it’s our choice.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

Last week, February 28, 2012, the FDA announced newly mandated safety labeling for cholesterol-lowering statin drugs—such as Lipitor, Mevacor, Crestor, Zocor, and Vytorin. The FDA issued new side effect warnings regarding the increased risk of brain-related side effects, such as memory loss and confusion, an increase in blood sugar levels, and risk of new onset diabetes associated with taking this class of drugs.  

One prominent cardiologist described the Faustian bargain to the Wall Street Journal. Apparently, “1 to 2 out of 100 patients at risk for a heart attack will avoid one” by taking statins. But research now suggests for every 200 people taking a statin, 1 will develop diabetes.  

Wouldn’t it be great if there were some way to lower the risk of heart attacks and diabetes at the same time?

First, let me address the third side effect newly addressed by the FDA: the risk of muscle injury. We’ve known that about 1% to 5% of patients suffer enough muscle damage to cause pain and overt weakness, but only about 1 in 6,000,000 or 7,000,000 actually suffers enough muscle damage to kill them. It’s called fatal rhabdomyolysis, where your muscles break down so rapidly your urine starts looking like this, as you literally start peeing your muscles down the toilet. Then your kidneys fail, and you die.

But that’s like winning the lottery chances. There’s a 1 in 2 chance we’ll die of heart disease—so, no surprise Lipitor is the #1 prescribed drug on the planet Earth. 

But then, this study was published. Normally, if you have muscle pain on a statin, you go to a doctor, and they take blood to see if you have elevated levels of muscle breakdown products in your bloodstream. Now if you don’t, they basically say, oh, it’s all in your head—go home, keep taking your medicine.

What these researchers did, though, was they instead took these people, and got muscle biopsies, and proved that even though their blood levels were normal, they were indeed suffering muscle damage. The damage just wasn’t leaking into their bloodstream. Well, if that’s the case, if you can’t pick it up with the test, maybe everyone taking statins is suffering muscle damage—whether they’re experiencing pain or not.

And that’s exactly what they found. Clear evidence of skeletal muscle damage in statin-treated patients—all statin-treated patients. This is what a muscle is supposed to look like under a microscope. This is your muscle; this is your muscle on statin drugs.

But, the degree of overall damage was slight. Most people don’t even feel any pain with statins, so what’s the big deal?

This is the big deal. New study on statin therapy, muscle function, and falls risk. Hundreds of older men and women followed for a few years, and those who were on statins suffered greater declines in muscle strength and muscle quality, and greater increases in falls risk.

So we don’t want to be taking this drug unless we really need it. The problem is, because heart disease remains our #1 killer, most everyone does need to take a statin drug like Lipitor every day for the rest of our lives—except for one group. This is from the editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Cardiology: “Only pure vegetarians for practical purposes do not need statins. Most of the rest of us do!” So, it’s our choice.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Doctor's Note

Here are some more recent videos on statins:
Statin Cholesterol Drugs & Invasive Breast Cancer
The Actual Benefit of Diet vs. Drugs
Fast Food: Do You Want Fries With That Lipitor?

Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. And check out my other videos on cholesterol. Also, there are thousands of other topics covered in the rest of my videos–please feel free to explore them as well!

Be sure to check out my associated blog posts for more context: Soymilk: shake it up!Stool Size and Breast Cancer RiskCholesterol Lowering in a Nut Shell, Generic Lipitor is not the answer to our heart disease epidemicWhat is the best way to get vitamin B12?, and  Vitamin B12: how much, how often?

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

74 responses to “Statin Muscle Toxicity

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    1. Postmarketing surveillance studies suggest that side-effects patients may by under-reporting adverse drug reactions to their physicians. For anyone on statins it’s critically important to let your doctor know immediately if you start experiencing muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness, lack of energy, fever, chest pain, nausea, extreme tiredness, unusual bleeding or bruising, loss of appetite, pain in the upper right part of the stomach, flu-like symptoms, yellowing of the skin or eyes, rash, hives, itching, difficulty breathing or swallowing, hoarseness, or swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs.

      1. It’s hard to report something when medical staff doesn’t believe in the condition. I had to fight and go to Urgent Care, ERs, and be a pain to my doctor-and I had black urine. My tendons went out 7 months after starting statin. I sat for over 3 hours in a room, when the UC doctor came in-he was screaming that he wouldn’t interfere with the meds my PCP gave me. I was in for back spasms-no falls, not hit, no bruising, no back problems-just statin toxicity. He took X-Rays and helped me in getting the diagnosis. When I was checking out. He ranted at the nurses for how they put me in that room and didn’t write down my complaint and let him judge if I had a side effect of statin, and they weren’t supposed to put patients in rooms and hope the patient left.  
        I really think that thousands of people aren’t diagnosed because of the hostility of the medical community.

        1. That doctor needs a doctor. He sounds like a wreck. “You can run— AND you can hide— from adverse drug side effects you and your colleagues prescribe!”

          1. Problem is, that the MAJORITY of doctors and medical staff are like this. You cannot run nor Hide from the entire medical community! For example, I had adverse effect of blood pressure lowing medicine after my stent procedure. It nearly landed me in the ER, but luckily I was in cardiac rehab at the time the incident happened when I passed out. My systolic was below 70. The next day, when the nurses asked why I wasn’t taking my blood pressure meds, I said,” you saw what happened to my blood pressure, I’m not going to take those pills anymore.” They derided me for not “asking” my doctor first etc. and said , it doesn’t matter what happened, I should NEVER just stop taking my prescribed meds. Ha! You couldn’t have paid me a million bucks to take that drug ever again. They didn’t care that my blood pressure wasn’t high, and that to take it would cause serious side effects. They hated me and used me as an example of what NOT to do when your a cardiac rehab patient!

        2. Experience was similar with my father in-laws cardiologist. My active father in-law began complaining of terrible muscle pain and weakness. He visited his family physician a number of times and they gave him pain meds and physical therapy (he also had extensive labs plus ultrasound). His quality of life was on a downward spiral. Finally it occurred to me to ask about his medications. On review I discovered that he had only started Lipitor six months prior. After reading the package side effects I called his cardiologist to see if we could take him off this statin. The nurse called back and said it is was very doubtful that the statin was causing the problems and they recommended switching to another statin. I persisted and stated we would like him off to rule this out. My father in-law was lucky as very quickly after ceasing Lipitor the muscle pain and other ailments he was happening all disappeared. I followed up with the cardiologist and asked that my father in-law be prescribed no statins. Fast forward two years later and my father in-law began having the muscle pain AGAIN. I asked to see his meds and his cardiologist had put him back on a statin! I told him to stop the medicine and called the cardiologist office. The nurse on the phone told me the statin was needed as it was a “life saving drug and would extend his life.” I told them to tell the doctor that at the age of 88 (still driving/gardening) a statin was not going to make one bit of difference in the years remaining for my father in-law but the statin was going to significantly reduce the quality of his life, and continue to run costs for the insurance company and in return me. The nurse said that the doctor told her to tell me that my father in-law was the only patient he has had that has a problem with a statin…right…

          1. LightUp: What a sad and frustrating story. I tend to agree that that doctor and/or nurse are lying through their teeth – or just brand new so that they haven’t seen reality yet???? Or seen the studies??? Good grief.
            .
            I came back to your post because I wanted to share what I recently learned from Dr. Klaper at a talk I went to. Dr. Klaper was talking about the travesty of statins. I think you will be very interested in my notes (which are not complete as Dr. Klaper is a fast talker and the slides fly by).
            .
            My notes: Statins work by blocking a primordial enzyme. This enzyme that gets blocked is one that makes cholesterol, an essential molecule. The result is a predictable set of very bad things for the humans taking it, because in a complex system, you can never do just one thing. [Here’s the part I want to you to see:] The final nail in the coffin for statins (for Dr. Klaper) is this study that recently came out:
            .
            March 2015 study: Statins Stimulate Atherosclorosis and Heart Failure: Pharmacological Mechanisms – from the Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology. (Hey, can anyone find a link to this study for us???)
            .
            Yes, you read that right. Ultimately, statins do the opposite of what they claim to do. At least according this one study. Me: All statins do is artificially lower cholesterol, but not in a way that promotes health. You are doing all you can to help your father-in-law. I hope you are able to make peace with that and not be too frustrated.

          2. My cardiologist told me flat out that “diet alone cannot lower cholesterol enough to make a significant difference.” They push statins like they are a panacea.

        1. My aunt had rhabdomyolysis. Oh, well– who needs kidneys, anyway? All they do is filter…..until the tubules get clogged— or the endothelial lining of the glomerulae gets buggered up by … you guessed it…. blood pressure drugs! “Kidneys can be fixed! But… a heart attack? Now, that’s important!” A bleed from aspirin and plavix? We can fix a bleed! But…. a heart attack? Now that’s important!” (says the cardiologist. Logic from Alice in Wonderland.)

      2. It is off their radar. I got adhesive shoulder capsulitis that required physical therapy and another doctor gave me a slow-releasing corticosteroid shot, which caused weight gain and a 16-point rise in triglycerides. Then I read of someone else who also had adhesive shoulder capsulitis after taking a statin.

      1. If it were just the companies, that would be better. But it’s not, it’s the whole entire medical community. Just try telling a doctor you won’t take a medicine due to side effect, etc. they will argue with you and accuse you of being non compliant or even not caring about your own health. They will curse you for going against their precious “protocol”. They don’t like patients who think for themselves. Luckily more doctors seem to be learning about diet and the dangers of some meds, but most are still brainwashed and embedded in the medical establishment and will refuse a patients input.

        1. Exactly. And what makes me see red is when a cardiologist tries to frighten a patient into taking drugs: “You will lose a leg if you don’t take aspirin, plavix, a statin… and by the way, did you know you have an arrhythmia?” (That would make four (4) drugs—- 3 of which caused were shown in the patient’s readily presented Medical History to have caused the patient a cerebral hemorrhage, intracranial nerve palsies, hearing loss, anaphylaxis, and arrhythmias, joint pain, abnormal kidney and pancreas labs—- Did I leave anything out?)—- Turns out that cardiologist had received about $12,000 from Merck for “speaking fees.” The fear factor frightens both men and women into taking harmful drugs but also undergoing radiological imaging that is not indicated—- Someone has got to rein in these doctors. They are traumatizing people and are a menace to public health…. Using fear tactics to turning healthy women into breast cancer patients and hysterectomy patients.

  1. In addition to muscle toxicity there is an increased risk of diabetes.

    Culver AL, Ockene IS, Balasubramanian R, et al. Statin use and risk of diabetes mellitus in postmenopausal women in the Women’s Health Initiative. Arch Intern Med 2012; DOI: 10.1001/archinternmed.2011.625. Available at: http://archinte.ama-assn.org/.
    Johansen KL. Increased diabetes mellitus risk with statin use. Arch Intern Med 2012; DOI: 10.1001/archinternmed.2011.625. Available at: http://archinte.ama-assn.org/.

  2. I have high cholesterol – or did. I also am a compulsive eater who hasn’t resolved my issues entirely. But I don’t eat much meat and a year ago I tried halving my statin dose. My chronic pain diminished some – not entirely, but when you have a lot of pain, a little regular reduction helps a lot. My cholesterol tests seem to be OK and I may try stopping the med altogether.

    I also emailed your video to my doctor and to many of my friends.

  3. I have been to a LOT of medical conferences, presentations, dietetics evenings, courses. I have never heard anyone mention of the vegan/pure vegetarian dietfor preventing anything!!!! Not a thing about it!!!In fact at a recent diabetes conference one doctor presented on how ALL diabetic or prediabetic patients should be on a statin despite their blood fat readings (even if normal).I wish I had this info at hand at the time, to question her!!!! This makes me more fuelled to change people’s attitudes to prevention. Thank you!

    1. We know three (3) people who have been barely able to drag themselves around, using walkers—- full of retained fluid— up to 30, 40 pounds of retained fluid—- On blood pressure drugs. Those blood pressure drugs seriously disrupt endothelial function…. There is no other explanation for this.

  4. I have been to a LOT of medical conferences, presentations, courses. I have never heard any mention of the vegan/pure vegetarian dietfor preventing anything!!!! Not a thing about it!!!In fact at a recent diabetes conference one doctor presented on how ALL diabetic or prediabetic patients should be on a statin despite their blood fat readings (even if normal).I wish I had this info at hand at the time, to question her!!!! This makes me more fuelled to change people’s attitudes to prevention in the medical amd health professional community. hank you!

    1. Walking and moving around is a large part of lowering lipids and maintaining health. I just can’t do that. Fatigue is one of the side-effects of statin toxicity. I try to mop or do something-anything to keep from going quite insane. I finally got myself built up enough where I can drag water hoses around so my trees don’t die. I like to do woodwork, I work about 30 minutes and rest, even if I don’t feel tired. Once I didn’t feel tired, but slept on the couch for over 16 hours. I woke up 2X, and decided that I was too tired and hurt too much to go to bed.  I’m getting where I can take my dogs for short walks-My doctor started getting after me for weight gain-I told him that maybe I’d be lucky and have CVA and die-what difference does it make? It hurts to drive, I can’t wander around salvage yards and lumber yards. I ice my legs before I go, and ice when I get back. I hired a dog walker to walk and jog the coonhounds 2-6 miles 3X/week. You don’t know how much I miss getting out and being with people. I used to be a democrat county delegate for my ward- I can’t do stairs, I can’t stand in lines, I can’t sit for hours without ice-and I’m allergic to aspirin-acetaphimines.  If I got a million dollars, I’d get my feet amputated and prosthetics so I could be like the military and get out and do something.

      1. I’m so sorry for you.  I have felt like I couldn’t get off the couch too in the past.  I was not on statins, but other drugs.  I started a fruit and veg diet (no animal products) a year ago and now love to walk the loop down at the port here.  If I could tell anyone anything to help, it would be that it’s what you don’t eat/ingest more than what you do that will change your life.  You don’t want to lose any body parts, I know that.  You just want to feel well.  We have done a lot of damage to our bodies and there is a way out.  No animal products, no grains, no cooked foods.  Start juicing all possible vegs/greens and watch Youtube for people on the Raw Food who juice.  It will be a new life for you.  Good luck.

      2. Meyati:

        I am very sorry to hear of your trouble with walking and everyday activities. I am; however, very excited to share something that I’m positive will make a huge difference in your life! Send me an email at nancyhelmold@gmail.com. I look forward to talking with you.

    1. Thanks, Doc!  Can’t seem to pull up those posts, but I use the B12 patches every day and don’t want to use anything soy, but understand trying to make sure everyone updates their intake of plant foods. I am now on mostly raw fruits and vegis.  Not perfect, but I definitely thrive on it.  I so love that you do all this research for us.  Thank you. Lynn

        1. Good question. It says that was a year ago. I have been on The McDougall Plan since then and feel great. Still don’t really eat soy. No place for it on my plan. I do eat beans, but all whole foods, so no soy products. No refined or processed foods. Thanks for asking.

  5. I’m assuming “Pure Vegetarians” means Vegan?  No animal products.  Why can’t they just say that if you stop eating animal products, you’ll get better?  Either they don’t believe it, or they are in the pockets of the animal product and pharma folks. The latter, I believe.  Maybe both. 

  6. Only pure vegetarians…do not need statins? This is confusing. Vegans can have high cholesterol due to the body’s production of it. Does this mean that vegans who have high cholesterol need not take statins?

    1. The specific studies have yet to be done to answer your question. That said the current recommendation based on the best studies (i.e. epidemiological and clinical) and our understanding of the biology is that your goal should be a Total Cholesterol < 150 or LDL Cholesterol < 90. There are folks who follow a whole food plant based diet who don't achieve these levels. There some other modifications lowering fruit intake and nut intake that can be tried beyond that before using medications. The best guidelines I have seen is an article written by Dr. McDougall available for free on his website. The article, Cleaning Out Your Arteries, is in his June 2003 newsletter. Many physicians are recommending lower levels but the best clinical long term results have been demonstrated by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn. His book, Preventing and Reversing Heart Disease, describes his approach. There are patients who even though they follow the best diet may need to take a medication to lower cholesterol. To avoid the problems with statins there are other alternatives so you need to work with your physicians to work out what is best for you. Of course you need to keep tuned as the science keeps changing.

    2. I think that if you read the Starch Solution by Dr. John McDougall it is a vegan diet but with no added oil. Adding oil to your diet is the thing that increases your fat on your body and when you don’t eat added fat you lose weight and when you lose weight your cholesterol goes down. That and your Trigylercides. When you see your labs change you won’t need the statins. Dr. McDougall says get off the statins. Well, my huband so far was able to quit by half. So we are on our way. Hope this helps.

  7. In 3 short months on statins, I watched my mom’s muscles waste away until her skin hung off of her body and she could no longer climb stairs / walk (she was only 73 and was a tough as nails woman). I now know that cholesterol can be lowered to healthy levels via a low fat, vegan diet. I wish I knew this then… :-(

    1. You’re a good daughter to feel that way, but we can only do what we can with what we know. My mother died of colon cancer at 76. I’m 75 now. I wish a lot of things. I wish I knew better and would have had enough influence to change things, but I do know that our mothers would want us to do better for ourselves now with the information that we have. After I posted here to not eat grains, I found the McDougall way of life. I believe it is a life saver, so I’m excited for my colon and every daughter who doesn’t have to take statins or eat fatty foods and can save themselves. I didn’t always do it when I was young so I thank my mom often, these days, for paving the way, and teaching me through her experiences.

      1. Thanks Lynn, I certainly changed my way of eating after my Mom died, and two years ago I took the T. Colin Campbell Foundation Plant Based Nutrition Program from eCornell. That information completely changed the way I look at food, and I’m so thankful I did it. I’m glad you discovered the McDougall info – he was one of the lecturers in the program and he makes some great points. Best of luck to you!

  8. I am a massage therapist. I have noticed that some of my clients on statins seem to have hardened bodies. I didn’t know if this was due to a dehydrating effect. The muscles and even the fat tissue feels thick. There muscles are usually hypertonic all over. I didn’t know if the medication or the high cholesterol itself did this.

  9. I was on Zocor for 3 months and couldn’t figure out why I was finding it harder and harder to do anything – then it hit me. I went off Zocor immediately but 4 years later, I am still unable to build up muscle properly. This drug ruined my life.

  10. Thank you for publishing this, Dr. Greger. It feels good to have confirmed what my body has always “known”.

    Diagnosed with Familial Hypercholesterolemia at age 22, my overall cholesterol level has been high since it was first checked almost 20 years ago. In October of 2011 it was in the 400 range. As a reference, my siblings’ cholesterol range is between 400-500, despite the fact that they are athletic and thin. Neither of them is taking statins, backed by the advice from a cardiologist at an internationally renowned research hospital. This MD believes that cholesterol, its effect on the arteries/body and whether it indeed needs to be regulated with medicine is not that straightforward at all.

    In my twenties I was prescribed statins, and took several brands for a total of about two years. After complaining of muscle pains that kept me up all night, as well as other ailments, my PCPs kept switching me from one pharma product to the next. Finally, despite being told repeatedly it was important to stay on the statins, I decided that they were probably the culprit for many of the ailments I started having, ailments very a-typical for a twenty-something year old, and I stopped taking them. I changed my diet moderately, and exercised, hoping it was going to be enough to battle cholesterol. Fast forward 14 years, when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Since then, I have spent much of my time doing research on “healthy living”, or what is known about it thus far. – In an effort to recover from “treatment” and avert possible recurrence, I have drastically altered my diet. With a homeopathic doctor’s guidance, these are some of the changes I implemented: Increased intake of vegetables, especially cruciferous vegetables, as well as fruit, nuts and seeds. I reduced my intake of meat and dairy products, as well as cut out coffee, and replaced it with organic green tea, or ginger “tea” (hot water with fresh pieces of ginger). One other change to my diet – I started taking Curcumin pills daily, which greatly seem to reduce the arthritis pain that began immediately following my chemotherapy “treatments”. Lastly, I use grapeseed oil for cooking, and on days I don’t use it, I take a grapeseed supplement.

    In less than a year after implementing these changes, my overall cholesterol level went down nearly 100 points, albeit allowing myself to “cheat” quite a bit (eating Pizza and/or processed foods, having Starbucks etc). In the past few months I have minimized those “cheats”, and therefore I am really curious to see what my cholesterol levels (HDL, LDL, tri-gyc) will be at my next blood draw in April. – Based on my personal experience, I will continue to do what I am doing, and would never agree to go back on statins. However, it would be gratifying – and beneficial to other people, if conventional medicine finally acknowledged the problems with statins, and scientists/researchers started looking into other options of solving the underlying condition.

    1. Great story! Given Dr. Greger’s videos on the downside of meat and dairy, have you thought of going totally plant-based for a month or two to see if things improve even more?

    1. My doctor ran a cat scan. They seem OK. He was really worried-it centered on my legs, which seems to happen to most people to varying degrees.

  11. I think i have had all the lowering cholesterol tablets in the book, after a year or so the problems start. My problem is the high trigs; i was taking Vytorin and now they have added Lopid. I hate these tablets but without them I’ll get embolism (lung and spleen)

  12. There’s lots of information out there on the problems with statins … So where does that leave those of us whose cholesterol is high without them? I have been vegan/no added fat or oil/whole foods for 2.5 years now (had a blockage) with very little straying (some dark vegan chocolate, white rice at restaurants, that sort of thing). I ride my horses, kayak and run on the treadmill (not every day). I’m 5’3 and 130 lbs. and when I go off my statin (generic Lipitor) my cholesterol goes to 220 ( in the 150s on it). So, yup, there’s places to improve, but… If I go off the statin am I putting myself at risk of the blockage (or heart attack or stroke) again? I haven’t been able to find a doctor who has much experience with this way of eating.

    1. If you have had a blockage and are tolerating the statins it sounds like you will need to stay on them. You can fine tune the diet a bit and need to work with your physicians of course. I realize it is difficult to find a physician knowledgeable and experienced in this area. There is Dr. Esselstyn in the Cleveland area and Dr. Baxter Montgomery in the Houston area. Dr. McDougall wrote an excellent newsletter on how he uses statins and one on cleaning out your arteries… see his newsletters May 2007 and June 2003. I don’t view rice as going off the “diet”. Composed of mainly starches and with no cholesterol which are long chains of glucose molecules it is not associated with inflammation… at least I have seen no good studies on that. It is true that if you are fat from eating calorie dense foods your adipocytes aka fat cells will put out inflammatory compounds so it is important to maintain ideal body fat content for women about 18%. Of course I would recommend going with brown rice as the extra fiber will help lower your cholesterol. We do need more studies on the various populations with and without arterial disease as far as primary and secondary prevention goes. Dr. Esselstyn will have a paper published this year on the success of patients he has treated. His book on preventing and reversing heart disease is an excellent resource. You need to stay tuned to NutritionFacts.org and other commercial free reliable websites such as John McDougall’s to keep up with the important developments.

  13. Every day I tell folks about Dr Gregor’s presentations and changing to a plant based diet, about 1 person out of 40 has any interest in it. Amazing, folks seems to think they have to suffer and only surgery and medicine can keep them alive – suckers!

  14. I saw an article in a health newsletter some time ago about British doctors not being concerned about older people with cholesterol at 220 or even higher. They felt that it was safe, that older people normally had higher cholesterol and that American doctors were making a big fuss over it. Sounds like pressure from Big Pharma to sell more statin drugs? It would be interesting to see what doctors and medical people in Japan, Scandinavia, Germany and France say about cholesterol numbers and what numbers they would consider starting treatment to lower (and what drugs and supplements they would recommend).

    1. Leanne: Have you read the book, “Dr. Neal Barnard’s Program for Reversing Diabetes: The scientifically proven system for reversing diabetes without drugs”. Many of the people in the clinical trial were able to get off most or all of their diabetes drugs. And their cholesterol levels went down, so that they didn’t have to worry about statins. The diet in the book is generally in line with Dr. Greger’s diet here on NutritionFacts.org. If you are intererested, here is the book, with recipes in the back!:
      http://www.amazon.com/Neal-Barnards-Program-Reversing-Diabetes/dp/1594868107/ref=sr_1_1_twi_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1420244493&sr=1-1&keywords=dr.+neal+barnard%27s+program+for+reversing+diabetes

      It’s very affordable and I suspect that many libraries carry it. Good luck!

  15. I used to be vegan and never had cholesterol problems, but had very high good cholesterol. When I suddenly became diabetic I was put on statins because my high good cholesterol made my total numbers look higher than normal. Now my good cholesterol numbers are much lower than they used to be and after being on statins for about 4-5 yrs. I’ve had major muscle cramping for a long time. Acupuncture helps along with Gatorade, but now I want to just stop taking the statins and all my doctors say I should stay on them because of the diabetes. But if you now say it’s some type of risk for post menopausal women, like me, I want to know more. Doctors aren’t giving good reasons other than it’s scientifically proven to be a helpful drug. I tried krill oil one month without the statin drug and had no cramping and my cholesterol was great. My doctors freaked and said to stop doing that.

    1. Nancy: Have you read the book, “Dr. Neal Barnard’s Program for Reversing Diabetes: The scientifically proven system for reversing diabetes without drugs”. Many of the people in the clinical trial were able to get off most or all of their diabetes drugs. And their cholesterol levels went down, so that they didn’t have to worry about statins. The diet in the book is generally in line with Dr. Greger’s diet here on NutritionFacts.org. If you are interested, here is the book, with recipes in the back!:
      http://www.amazon.com/Neal-Bar

      It’s very affordable and I suspect that many libraries carry it. Good luck!

  16. I have known for a long time that statins news were a scam, a reliable scientist friend warned me, their ethos on research is invent a drug then invent a scam disease to make money.
    I had to have a major arterial op to share my arm 4 years ago, my specialist asked me to take statins ,I refused and asked him had he done thorough research re side effects??? I rest my case .

  17. Are there recommendations for someone who has Heterozygous Familial Hypercholesterolemia? I have been plant based for many years, but my levels are still extremely high and this year at age 48 I finally agreed to take the generic lipitor. I do have muscle pain, but cardiologist (who also has fh and taking that and Zetia) has told me to try to “work through it”. What can someone like myself do?

  18. I’ve been a vegetarian or vegan for about 15 years this last time. Actually, you can be very healthy on a vegetarian or vegan diet, if you eat a proper balance of nutrients. I wasn’t doing that. I was a junk food vegan who supplemented chips and salsa with occasional pbj sandwiches and frozen dinners. Not surprisingly, I was under nurished. I’ve learned being undernurished is commonplace in America; actually, most people are overfed and undernurished. I’ve learned that the drugs we complain about are a consequence of or an incorrect answer to the underlying problem. The underlying problem is our diets. We are eating genetically modified organisms, artificial ingredients our bodies don’t recognize as food, drinking altered water and breathing poluted air. Our bodies are designed to heal themselves, but we stack the cards against ourselves with our dietary choices and environmental pressures. This time last year, my dietary choices caught up with me. I’ve been osteoporotic for a couple of years and have osteoarthritis. The pain increased to the point where sitting on a padded chair felt like I was sitting on the concrete with my pelvic bones, no fat to pad them. It seemed everything hurt.

    I was introduced to the concept of customized nutrition. Since no two people are exactly alike, it makes sense that their nutritional needs might also be unique. Some drugs deplete the body of nutrients and not everyone is taking the same doses of the same drugs. Not everyone eats meat or eats vegetables, so their deficiencies might not be the same. I had my needs evaluated and started taking pharmaceutical grade, organically and naturally derived vitamins, minerals, pro-biotics, and etc. Two weeks after I started taking the right things at the right time of day, my pain virutally disappeared. I was able to wear shoes with a heel, again. I was able to dance, again. I took the chair out of my shower; I could stand, again. I took a trip and went kayaking, again. I even participated in a gym BOOT CAMP. This is the first tme I’ve seen this website, but I invite the doctor who provides this forum and all who contribute to investigate this new approach to nutritional evaluations; it’s a HIPAA-compliant online assessment that took about 18 years to design; it’s database is built on over 7500 independent peer-reviewed scientific studies, continually updated, and about 4000 algorithms. I’ve tried several of the ancillary products made by the same company for sleep, energy, and fitness and am equally impressed, but IDNutrition is the line of pharmaceuitical grade nutrients that gave me back my life. http://forhealthandwealth.idlifeoffice.com

    1. Kevin: Can you clarify?: Are you saying that a study shown in the video is not linked to in the ‘Sourced Cited’ area? Or are you suggesting that it would be helpful to add another study to the video content?

      1. Towards the end of the video Dr. Greger talked about only vegans not needing statins for practical purposes. I wanted to see it for myself, but it wasn’t there in the citations. Upon searching for it I found that which has the same title. Also I created an account so I might show up as a different person.

        1. Tehstool: Ah! Thank you for doing that work and sharing it with us. I really appreciate it. Also thanks for the clarification. I’m a volunteer, but I’m going to pass this information onto the NutritionFacts staff to see what can be done. Thanks!

      2. Instead of replying to Tehstool please reply back to me. I’d rather have my disqus account for posting purposes since everything is in one place.

        1. Kevin: Oh sorry. I had already replied back to Tehstool before I saw this note. Here’s what I just posted: Thank you for doing the research and for the clarification! I am just a volunteer, but I am forwarding all the info to the NutritionFacts staff to see what can be done. Thanks!

  19. Statin Intolerance is now a public fact and breaking news!
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2016/04/03/statin-intolerance-is-real-researchers-find-but-another-more-expensive-drug-may-help/
    JAMA advertisement for “statin on steroids” …
    http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2511043
    … only five years after I first went to a “let’s do everything” heart doc (a world authority on fixing hearts in really rich guys) whose first order of business was to order up more business (high resolution imagery of my ticker, all kinds of tests and clinical visits racking up mind-blowing fees that went into the insurance racket … MRI-this, x-ray that … irradiate first, medicate second, waivers and indemnification releases holus bolus … then check for cancer later …) I consider myself an “informed” plant-chomper, with years of experience with gerson.org (not to suggest it’s 100% correct or flawless) so I was quick to decide … I’m going with a plate of broccoli and cauliflower, steamed, with some rice and a vegan curry sauce … more than six years later with a “five years max” prognosis, I’m just back from the beach and I’m typing this post without aid of a blow-pipe or blink-detecting camera to press the keys on the keyboard, so I guess I’m doing a bit better than the prescribed cramped pine box subterranean accommodation with no view of the ocean … : )

    Anyway, as for public information … five years is not bad I guess … quicker than bPA (http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/03/tritan-certichem-eastman-bpa-free-plastic-safe Bisphenol A) which we read about as a restricted product in some countries in 2000 (!) in anticipation of our first child, we went into full “pensive parent” mode and were shocked to see the number of “oh yeah, this is a synthetic hormone, but it’s also a really handy plastic, see?!” products … glass was “banned” at our first pre-kindergarten till we insisted stainless steel was marginal and plastic was verboten. Crazy world … “might get a cut if there’s broken glass” is more dangerous (to their insurers) than “will permanently harm your child’s vital organs” … sheesh!

    Forks over knives!

  20. Glad to see this article and hope someone will respond to what I write.

    Please read what I write carefully because so many people assume I took more than one, or that I need them.

    I took one simvastin 40 mg that was not prescribed as I was having panic attacks, and it goes to show how ignorant people are mainly the doctor though as my grandad clearly was not told. I was given this by my Grandad as I was having panic attacks and started worrying about cholesterol, after being reassured by an A&E doctor this wasnt enough as I was getting some muscle skeletal chest pain prior to taking the statin but I had been to the gymn not too long ago, Anyway.

    My Grandad gave me the pill as I asked for one after he had suggested one he clearly was not told of any side effects, by his doctor nor had any knowledge of just how risky these drugs are. I would have never even known what they were but something got in my head about cholesterol as my diet was unhealthy even though i wasnt unfit, or really overweight only slightly if we want to be picky but always in the gymn lifting and even running anyway.

    An hour later I got cramp in my finger, my muscles began involunarily spasming, I had sensations as If I was on a boat, and my heart rate was constantly rapid, this never changed, in a year, now I went to doctors to be dismissed, had a stress test done that I struggled to get through 15 minutes walking Im only 25 and previously was a young fit man, my hr got up 200 bpm, I finally had to go private, oh yeh and ectopic beats, and short term memroy issues, now aswell. I went private and was diagnosed with possible Inappropriate sinus tachycardia, and possible auto dysfunction I cannot believe this has happened to me, Im still coming to terms with it. Exercise sends my heart rate into the mid-late 100’s just walking or upstairs. Recently I have come across the healing of Veganism, and I have been doing a vegan diet for a week or so and I already feel better, but not cured., i am seeing my heart rate lessen my exercise tolerance improve and my thinking become clearer, aswell as memory and less spasms less ectopics less issues al round and i am only a couple weeks in, and some advocate completely raw and i ahvent done that yet, tery wahls says the less cooked veg the better and the darker and more running through the colour of the berries/fruit/veg, the better more nutrients and i havent necessarily followed that a hundred precent so i feel theres a lot of hope here.

    I also have a suspcion that im having artery spasms as I am/was feeling angina at rest, and can see fasisculations in my skin and i have other spasms, since starting a vegan diet these have lessened, and the chest pain is hardly there, but I could not even get the private doctor to think this was the statin, he said it was a one in a billion chance, but my gp had said ontop fo the way im feeling its possible the statin affected me because my kidneys were functioning hard and my white t cell count was raised, unfortunately he couldnt see just how i was feeling, and all these strange things going on in my body, he put it do unexplained medical phenonomena and offered some vertigo pills and some beta blockers. Still when i brought this up to the private cardio he refused to acknowledge the statin heres the thing though, why is it inconcievable that i am that one in a billion? if thats what he thinks anyway i dont suppose it matters now.

    The harder part is that this is invisible and people think its all good

    I dont know if you are familiar with dr gravelines work or dr terry wahls, but they seem to advocate fats, and animal product given the coq10 and the essential acidds or what have u, and ketosis healing the body because our brain needs to repair using the fats they are recommending like eggs, and meat, grass fed and fish.

    So im a bit conflicted i know that they advocate in particular dr wahls dark greens probbaly more than if not equal in excessive amounts and berries etc, and a very healthy diet but they still advocate meat, and i believe graveline advocates dairy also, which I know ive read that this might not be best but was hoping i could get some info on this.

    And i do think this could be related to mitochondria and systems in the brain that can be repaired as terry wahls has said, she has practically done it with her M.S. so i do believe i can reverse this, i just want to make sure im giving myself the best shot.

    I realy would appreciate a reply, because this topic is covered so lttle and there doesnt seem to be much hope out there at all in literature.

    Thank you.

    1. Josh Randall New: That’s an amazing story. I can just imagine your frustration. One mistake and you have been paying for it for a long time. I’m hoping things will turn around for you.
      .
      From everything I have seen, Dr Wahls is not a good source of information about nutrition. Well researched commenter Tom Goff once wrote: “I think that if Dr Wahl had any significant data or other evidence published in a reputable scientific journal, it might be worth considering her ideas. Instead what we appear to have is yet another person selling books, pills and potions based on a theory largely founded on personal testimony and a shaky study or two reported in an “alternative” journal.” You can see the rest of Tom’s post along with some good links/references here: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/what-are-the-healthiest-foods/#comment-2459472639 (If the link does not take you to Tom’s actual post, let me know.)
      .
      Another wonderful poster named b00mer had some really great points to make about the lack of scientific support for Dr. Wahls. Check out: http://nutritionfacts.org/2014/07/22/how-to-treat-multiple-sclerosis-with-diet/#comment-1554501016
      .
      So, if Dr. Wahls is not the answer, what is? I would encourage you to continue to explore this site and learn about the incredibly healing power of eating a whole plant food diet. It is easier to prevent a problem than to reverse one. I say that, because I can’t promise that a diet change will fix your problem. There are no magic pills. At the same time, there are a bazillion reports on this site from people who have been pleasantly surprised at how many of their health problems disappeared after going to a whole plant food based diet. Even if a healthy diet did not fix the symptoms you are discussing, eating a healthy diet would help prevent other problems from cropping up to make your life even more complicated. If you want to get an overview of the power of a whole plant food diet, check out the following longer summary video from NutritionFacts: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/uprooting-the-leading-causes-of-death/ You can find the other three summary videos on the home page.
      .
      Do you know what it means to eat a Whole Plant Food Based diet? Would you like some practical tips on how to implement the diet?

      1. I see Im eating what I can as far as veganism goes atm, today I managed some bannanas dates and beans on toast on brown bread, and coconut water, peppermint tea, etc oh and left over veg curry, the thing im not sure of is am i getting enough of the omega 3’s etc, and im supplementing b12, Im not hundred percent sure what my intake needs to be of fats etc, Id appreciate the help, and yes I can see that from reading those links that, boomer has basically took away any real reasoning for eating meat, im familiar with the basics of the vegan diet, but maybe you could elaborate yes pracitical tips would be nice, and i sure hope so I dont want this, i just dont know whats went wrong, when i spoke with dr graveline he cited coq10 and that the pathways in our body can be affected such as diolichols etc, and that he doesnt know the answer really –

        Now in my opinion i think its possibly due to mitochondrial mutations because, if peripheral neuropathy is also a statin side effect, and that relates to small vessel disease, but obviously it is not the inflammatory meat because how can it trigger it, id love to know, somehow id love for the dr to weigh in here, because ive seen this happen with myself and obviously somehow muscle spasms are occuring ectopic beats, and i just think what could be accountable for all these functions? but if u can correct well what wahls says are dmaged mitochondria responsible for all disease it makes sense that, this could be of a similar vain, its just hard to really find out and know what you need to be fueling in particular

        thanks for the response thea i really appreciate it.

        1. Josh Randall New: I noticed that you said, “id love for the dr to weigh in here” I’m not a doctor and can’t comment on those thoughts. Hopefully one of the doctors will see your post and be able to share some information.

          But as requested, I can give you some tips for converting to a whole plant food diet. First, I highly recommend checking out a free program called the 21 Day Kickstart. (Dr. Greger also recommends this program.) The program will “hold your hand” for 21 days, including meal plans, recipes, videos, inspirational messages, and a forum (moderated by a very respected RD) where you can ask questions.
          http://www.pcrm.org/kickstartHome/
          (Click the green “Register Now” button.)
          At the end of the program, you will have a very good practical knowledge about how to eat healthy.

          If that program does not interest you, you might consider reading Dr. Greger’s book, How Not To Die. https://www.amazon.com/How-Not-Die-Discover-Scientifically/dp/1250066115/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8 The entire second part of the book includes details and great ideas for implementing the Daily Dozen. Or if you want to skip the book, you can start immediately by downloading the free phone app for the Daily Dozen.

          Here is a graphic from PCRM (the same people who do the 21 Day Kickstart program). It’s called the Power Plate. It is the easiest concept for implementing a whole plant food diet. While I personally needed a little more detail to make the transition myself, I found the graphic comforting. It shows that eating healthy just does not have to be that complicated. I can tweak my diet to get ever healthier if I want. But I can also stick the basics/the Power Plate and be just fine. http://www.pcrm.org/sites/default/files/images/health/pplate/PowerPlategraphichirez.JPG

          I hope these ideas prove helpful to you. And I hope you get some relief.

          Don’t forget to take a B12 supplement. Check out this page for some overall recommendations/supplement information from Dr. Greger: http://nutritionfacts.org/2011/09/12/dr-gregers-2011-optimum-nutrition-recommendations/

          1. The development of statin drugs was a terrible mistake. The mistake was to think that you could get away with blocking the mevalonate
            pathway to lower cholesterol. The mevalonate pathway is common to the
            synthesis of not only cholesterol but also other biochemicals of extreme
            importance to cellular activity. Big Pharmas scientists had found this
            one reductase step in the pathway to cholesterol synthesis known as the
            mevalonate pathway and being scientists they knew reductase steps are
            quite easy to block, biochemically speaking, and in so doing they
            inevitably blocked the synthesis of extremely important substances such
            as CoQ10 and dolichols at the same time. Since they were trained
            scientists I have to ask how did they expect to get away with this? This
            cannot be stupidity for this potential collateral damage is too
            obvious. This must be the vision of immense billion-dollar profits to
            come that distorted management’s ability to tell right from wrong. They
            went ahead and blocked the synthesis of cholesterol, simply ignoring the
            inevitable problems to come from inhibition of CoQ10 and dolichols and
            completely ignorant of cholesterol’s vital role in the memory function
            of our brains. This was a purely management decision. The FDA report for
            Medwatch from 1997-2012 includes thousands of cases of memory loss,
            amnesia, rhabdomyolysis, kidney failure, diabetes, myopathy and
            peripheral neuropathy and 40,000cases of heart attacks 15,000 of strokes
            despite being on statins.

  21. Are there studies or research done for how one might combat rhabdomyolysis with a plant based diet and is it possible? Someone I know is in the pre stages of this and his kidneys are shutting down. Not sure the cause of the condition — don’t know if it was statins, lifestyle, or an injury — but he has hypertension as well. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

    1. Hi rmarci- Without knowing the cause of the rhabdomyolysis (which is when muscle fiber death releases toxic substances into the blood stream, often resulting in kidney damage) it’s hard to answer your question precisely. If the rhabdo is due to statins, then a plant based diet can definitely help! A plant based diet lowers cholesterol, making statin use unnecessary. If the rhabdo is due to muscle injury, however, I think healing of the injury would be the primary solution. That said a plant based diet is very good for the kidneys, the organs damaged in this situation, so would likely be supportive. See this video for more info on the kidney benefits of a PB diet: kidney disease

  22. My partner was taking red rice yeast after having a small stroke that seemed to affect only his higher cognitive function and some short term memory. An internist wanted him to go on several prescript. meds, including a statin, but he is adamant about not using drugs. After quite a bit of reading, he began using NOW brand Red Rice Yeast. That began the real trouble. He never had the dark urine, and his blood tests reveal no kidney damage, but he has severe muscle and joint pain in his neck, shoulders, and especially lower back. He is someone who was hiking for miles in the mountains, and now he can barely go up and down a steep hill. He is in almost constant pain and in despair about how he can recover. We are both mostly vegan, occasionally eating a piece of salmon (concerned about the omega fats for his brain recovery). He is otherwise very healthy, with tests to confirm it. No one seems to have real advice about how to recover from these symptoms, or what can be done to repair this muscle damage with is most likely due to rhabdo (his current doctor agrees that this is most likely what happened). He is exercising more, which does seem to help some, but there are many days of extreme pain. Can anyone suggest anything? Any referrals to a doctor in the Los Angeles area who might be familiar with recovering from this?

  23. I too took Lipitor for a short period of time — a couple of months. About six months later I began having muscle weakness, especially around my eyes, causing double vision and drooping eyelids. The next symptoms were muscle weakness in my neck, arms and legs and severe fatigue. After a couple of months of various doctors and tests and scans, I was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis, a neuromuscular disease. After some deep digging on the internet I was able to find a detailed list of side effects reported during Lipitor trials. Myasthenia Gravis was reported by some participants during the trial. Stopping Lipitor helped one participant, but stopping Lipitor did not help anyone else. Since my diagnosis I have discovered other people with MG who believe it was caused by statins. MG is a fairly rare disease and effected such a small number of participants in the Lipitor trials, that it wasn’t classified as a serious side effect. However it is very serious for those of us effected by it. MG has changed my life. I can no longer do ordinary things like grocery shopping, laundry, actively playing with my grandchildren, cooking, cleaning, etc. My legs are so weak, I need assistance walking a lot of the time. I don’t drive because of vision problems. I participated in a group who were challenged to try a completely animal free diet for two weeks. If it ever had eyes, don’t eat it and don’t eat anything derived from it. About 40 adults participated. We had blood tests before and after the two weeks. All of us had lower cholesterol at the end of the two weeks. Can a change in diet significantly lower cholesterol? YES. Do you need statins, NO. Don’t just start taking a drug because your doctor says so. Do your research, weigh your options, decide if the benefits outweigh the risks before you pop that pill into your mouth. Most doctors don’t like to be questioned, do it anyway.

  24. Hi,
    I have tried some statins but stop taking them almost immediately due to muscle spasms.
    I am transitioning into plant based diet for a couple of months and had labs done. My cholesterol was still significantly high as well as my bad cholesterol. The dr suggested I take an non statin pill called fenofibrate. No muscle aches but I do feel very sluggish and tired most of the time. I told the doctor I would try it, but the side effects I have aren’t listed. I am going to stop taking the medication.

  25. I want to quit taking statins. (On statins: total cholesterol 132, LDL 73) I asked a Kaiser doctor what she thought, and she told me that within the last 5 years researchers have discovered that quitting statins causes a rebound effect. Namely, when you are taking statins, statins suppress the activity or number of “cholesterol” receptors on the artery walls. When you stop taking statins, these receptors rebound and radically increase their number and/or activity and lead to an increase in cardiovascular and stroke events. So once you start taking statins, you are locked in for life! Is this truth or fiction? I

    1. Hi, Cataniaross! Statins work by ceasing cholesterol production in the body and by helping the body reabsorb cholesterol that has built plaques in the artery walls. As with most medications, when coming off of statins it will be necessary for the body to heal and re-adjust. It’s important to go about this with guidance from a medical professional. He or she may recommend gradually reducing the medication, and/or implementing lifestyle changes before stopping the statins completely. Adhering to a whole food plant-based diet is very effective in achieving and maintaining healthy cholesterol levels (for more info., see here: https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/cholesterol/). Many people who have switched to a whole food plant-based diet have been able to successfully come off of their statins. It is definitely doable!

      More specifically, in regard to your question, I found this video (https://nutritionfacts.org/video/how-to-regenerate-coenzyme-q10-coq10-naturally/) that you may find helpful. There is an antioxidant called Coenzyme Q10 that our body makes by using the same enzyme that our body uses to make cholesterol – that enzyme is of course blocked by statin drugs. However, light-activated chlorophyll in our body may help regenerate CoQ10. This translates to consuming whole plant foods, particularly chlorophyll-rich dark green leafy vegetables, and getting some sunlight exposure. Along the same lines, following a whole food plant-based diet can not only help lower cholesterol in and of itself, it can help the body heal in many other ways and ease the transition of decreasing/eliminating statin drugs.

      I hope this information covers your question! Best of luck to you!

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