Don’t you just hate it when you forget things? You are having a conversation and right in the middle of it, you forget what you were talking about. Does that scenario sound familiar? Have you been taking a statin drug like Lipitor®, Zocor® or Mevacor® to lower your high cholesterol? A growing body of evidence has been piling up against the “cholesterol as bad guy” theory of heart disease since the 1960s when orthodox medicine fell hook, line and sinker for Ancel Keys’ Dietary theory of heart disease. Do you eat corn flakes topped with low fat yogurt, skim milk and dried fruit for breakfast and then wonder why you are starving for any quick snack at 10:30am? Add to that a statin drug like Lipitor® and you are in for a big surprise not only in the memory department, but also in the fatigue, aches/ pains, mental health and cancer departments too. Guess what those unfortunate souls who have naturally low cholesterol levels suffer from? If you guessed the above you would be correct. When statin drugs get into the brain, they will lower cholesterol there, which is particularly worrisome as without it, synapse formation (the junction between nerves that transmits signals) cannot occur. It is this process which is the most likely cause of memory deficit problems. If one thinks about it, memory is the core of who we are. All the people we have ever met, friends and family, good and bad experiences, are what add meaning to our lives. Without memory, there is no past. Statin drugs also lower B6, B12, folic acid and CoQ10 levels. How many people on these drugs are also told to take the above vitamins? When one enters an extended care facility for the elderly, how many of us see the memory problems that seniors have, then quickly pass them off as “just old age” instead of asking whether or not a statin drug might be partially responsible. Cholesterol is absolutely essential for the synthesis of many hormones, bile as well as the phospholipid bi-layer we commonly call the “cell wall”. Every cell in our body is capable of producing cholesterol when the need arises. When LDL cholesterol levels increase, it is a sign that there is increased inflammation in our bodies. That growing body of evidence against cholesterol that I mentioned earlier actually points towards elevated Homocysteine levels as the likely cause of heart disease. Homocysteine levels will decrease when adequate B12, B6 and folic acid are consumed, but actually go up when a statin is taken. Speaking in politico-historical metaphors, one could think of cholesterol as being Lee Harvey Oswald, the heart as President Kennedy and statins as the military-industrial complex. Of course if you are on a statin, you probably wouldn’t remember the 60’s anyway.
For further information:
Lipitor®, thief of memory by Duane Graveline MD ISBN: 1-4243-0162-9
The Cholesterol Myths by Uffe Ravnskov PhD ISBN: 0-9760186-0-8