It’s been all over the news—new findings released by the University of Massachusetts Medical School showed that cholesterol-lowering statin drugs can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
For this study, researchers reviewed the records for more than 153,000 women in the Women’s Health Initiative. They found that 10% of the participants using statin drugs at the start of the study developed diabetes, compared to just 6.4% of the women who weren’t.
Already, the cardiology chairman at the Cleveland Clinic has chimed in to say that he hopes people won’t be “scared off of using the (statin) drugs because of reports like this.” And a diabetes specialist at the National Institutes of Health spoke out saying that statins’ benefits outweigh the potential side effect, and that newly developed diabetes won’t harm right away.
Statements like that are outrageous and irresponsible. Diabetes is a major contributor to heart disease—so why would you want to increase your heart risk by taking a drug that has the known potential to cause diabetes?
Folks, the fact that statins can contribute to diabetes isn’t news—it’s just news that no one wants to hear!
- Back in June of 2011, I reported that a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that using high-dose statin drugs (80 mg/day) can increase a patient’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- A few years ago, the large-scale JUPITER study published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that people taking the statin drug Crestor had a significantly greater incidence of diabetes than the placebo group. But that fact was lost in all the hoopla that called JUPITER “a breakthrough study” and “a blockbuster,” and even encouraged people without high cholesterol to start taking statin drugs.
Plus, news outlets aren’t even mentioning the other significant safety issues that come with statin drugs. They’re notorious for depleting the body of coenzyme Q10 and causing muscle pain and weakness, fatigue, memory problems, liver toxicity, and a host of other negative effects.
I can’t emphasize enough just how dangerous statin drugs are. When people arrive at the Whitaker Wellness Institute taking a statin such as Lipitor, Zocor, Pravachol, Lescol, Mevacor, or Crestor, we stop it on sight. If you must take these drugs, make sure you are also taking 200-300 mg of CoQ10 daily. That can help prevent some of statin drugs’ side-effects—but the jury’s still out on whether that could help to protect you from diabetes.
I also strongly encourage you to talk to your doctor about discontinuing these drugs and replacing them with a safe, natural program for lowering your cardiovascular risk factors.