Like most Americans, you are probably doing all you can to keep your cholesterol levels in a healthy range. Taking action is fundamental to preventing heart disease, the leading cause of death in the U.S. Just how deadly is heart disease? Well, most people are shocked to learn that it kills more per year than Alzheimer's, strokes, diabetes, influenza, respiratory diseases and accidental deaths – combined!
By some estimates, 1 in 3 people over the age of 50 are on a statin drug and prescriptions are being written at a rate of 20,000 per hour!
One of the most conventional prevention techniques prescribed by doctors is a class of cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins. Last year alone, an estimated 30 million Americans spent over $34 billion on statin drugs such as Vytorin®, Lipitor® and Crestor®. But are statins as safe and effective as we have been led to believe?
Statins Are A Miracle Drug…for Big Pharma Statins are called “the golden child” for pharmaceutical companies since they are prescribed to you at a young age, and since you may need to stay on them for the rest of your life. Big Pharma has created massive consumer demand for statins by plastering our TVs, magazines and newspapers with fancy “feel good” ads. They make statin drugs seem like wonder drugs with few, if any, side effects. In addition, they have employed legions of sales reps to reach out to doctors with the same message.
These efforts have paid off. By some estimates, 1 in 3 people over the age of 50 are on a statin drug and prescriptions are being written at a rate of 20,000 per hour. However, some experts believe that 99 out of 100 people do not even need statin drugs!
Statin Drugs Are Not As Effective As Once Thought Emerging research is showing that statins are not the wonder drugs they were once thought to be. Their effect wears off quickly if you stop taking them, they do little to raise good cholesterol and while they make your “numbers” look good, they actually do little to decrease cardiovascular related deaths. In fact, a recent study published in the British Medical Journal found that for every 10,000 people, there were only 271 fewer cases of heart disease, proving that statin drugs are less effective than once thought. At the same time, the study showed that there were many more side effects than expected, which has led to a growing number of people who are skeptical of statins.