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Statin Drugs Cause Even More Nerve Damage Than We Thought

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Have the nerve-damaging properties of now been confirmed? There are over 300 adverse health effects associated with the use of this chemical class of -lowering medications known as , with myotoxicity (muscle-damaging) and neurotoxicity (nerve-damaging) top on the list. When will the FDA step in and warn the public, as proof of the problem in the biomedical literature reaches an alarming level of clarity?

The neurotoxicity of statin drugs are back in the news. Following on the heels of the FDA decision earlier this year to require statin drugs manufacturers to add “memory loss” as a side effect of this chemical class, a new study in published in the Journal of Diabetes reveals a clear association between statin use and peripheral neuropathy in a US population 40 years of age and older.

The study found “The prevalence of peripheral neuropathy was significantly higher among those who used statins compared to those who did not (23.5% vs. 13.5%; p < 0.01),” which is a 75% increase in relative risk.

Case reports of statin-induced peripheral neuropathy have existed in the medical literature for over 15 years. Now, larger human studies are confirming that statin drugs do damage to the peripheral nerves. Moreover, much of the damage is occurring below the threshold of clinical surveillance, silently causing harm in unsuspecting patients.

For example, in 2011, the results of a 36-month prospective clinical and neurophysiological follow-up of patients treated with statins over 3 years was published in the journal Neuro Endocrinology Letters, revealed in forty-two patients that despite the fact that they did not report subjective symptoms typical for peripheral neuropathy, damage was occurring.  They concluded: “The study confirmed that long-term treatment with statins caused a clinically silent but still definite damage to peripheral nerves when the treatment lasts longer than 2 years.” Click the hyperlink to view all 9 studies on statin-induced peripheral neuropathy on Greenmedinfo.com. Or, view an even more sizeable dataset (54 studies) on statin-associated neurotoxicity.

While this research is adding to a growing awareness of the nerve-damaging properties of statins, this side effect is just the tip of a massive iceberg of under reported deleterious effects. For example, our project has identified 314 possible adverse effects of statins thus far.  Conversely, we have identified a wide range of health benefits of cholesterol, running diametrically opposed to the over-simplification inherent in the cholesterol hypothesis (some say “cholesterol myth“) of heart disease causation.

For those who are interested in learning more about natural cholesterol modulating substances, or, better yet, the wider array of research relevant to cardiovascular health, visit this Health Guide: Heart Health.

Sources:

[1] Pavel Otruba, Petr Kanovsky, Petr Hlustik. Treatment with statins and peripheral neuropathy: results of 36-months a prospective clinical and neurophysiological follow-up. Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2011 Sep 3 ;32(5):688-690. Epub 2011 Sep 3. PMID: 22167150

[2] T Phan, J G McLeod, J D Pollard, O Peiris, A Rohan, J P Halpern. Peripheral neuropathy associated with simvastatin. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 1995 May ;58(5):625-8. PMID: 7745415


This article is republished with permission from Green Med Info, November 15, 2012. Go straight to the source.


Sayer Ji is the founder of GreenMedInfo.com, an author, researcher, lecturer, and an advisory board member of the National Health Federation. Google Plus Profile. His writings have been published and referenced widely in print and online, including, Truthout, Mercola.com, New York Times online, The Journal of Gluten Sensitivity, New York Times and The Well Being Journal.

He founded Greenmedinfo.com in 2008 in order to provide the world an open access, evidence-based resource supporting natural and integrative modalities. It is widely recognized as the most widely referenced health resource of its kind.



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Article updated on: September 12th, 2013

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24 Responses to “ Statin Drugs Cause Even More Nerve Damage Than We Thought ”

  1. David Mackay on November 28, 2012 at 6:55 AM

    It seems to me that it is hard to know what to believe anymore !!! Earlier this year i suffered a heart attack which was closely associated with my lifetime of being a diabetic ( i am now 52)
    It was revealed in the Daily Express today , that Statins are the key to long life along with a healthy exercise lifestyle.
    I find myself confused and concerned about just which article to believe.
    Should i be consulting my doctor to establish what the facts truly are as i am going to be on this medication for the rest of my life, and if it is detrimental to my well being then should i just stop taking them or continue and hope for the best ? Who knows and if anyone does please comment.

    • mothman777 on November 28, 2012 at 4:05 PM

      To treat your heart problem download the free book “Why Animals Don’t Get Heart Attacks But Humans Do” by Dr Matthias Rath.

      He explains how to remove 50% of atherosclerotic plaque in 3 years just using 500mg minimum vitamin C a day and some other really inexpensive common dietary supplements.

      Avoid hydrogenated fats, as they are like candle wax and cause systemic ischaemia, like mini stroke all over your body through constant oxygen deprivation.

      Don’t bother with statins as the health problems they cause as documented in numerous studies in articles by Dr Mercola and Mike Adams (Healthranger) mean that overall they do much more harm than good.

      Take a capsule or two of Krill oil every day, get plenty of Vit D, like 5,000 to 8,000 iu a day, which will reduce several major diseases by over 70%, take 300mg magnesium a day, shown to reduce death from all causes by 40%. Use cold hemp oil sprinkled on your food (this is pressed from the seeds and not intoxicating).

      Use coconut oil to clean out your arteries also and increase your oxygen supply all over your body, especially to heart, eyes, ears and brain.

      Try EDTA to strip your arteries clean as well, and look up the benefits of DMSO too, as people who use that experience many years longer life. The DMSO from Jacob Laboratories is the real deal and not weak or industrial or contaminated stuff.

      Just a few ideas to get you started anyway.

      • Mary Nanninga on December 20, 2013 at 7:19 AM

        It’s not true that animals don’t have heart attacks or that they don’t have heart disease. Absolutely untrue. I’ve had two animals with heart disease; one died of a heart attack.

    • David on October 5, 2013 at 6:53 AM

      Everyone’s looking for the right pill or combination of pills. Nature never intended this. Heart disease, as are most chronic diseases, is a paper tiger. Eliminate all foods known to damage the endothelial cells. Eat those foods known to feed the endothelial cells. Your body heals. Nature has a way of simplifying all the confusion. Meats, fish, poultry, dairy, eggs, ALL added oils all lead to plaque and degeneration of health. Whole grains, beans, vegetables, fruits all feed the body and do no harm. Eating lots of raw and steamed green leafy vegetables every day, throughout the day, will stop any further progression of heart disease, will dilate the arteries so there is well-being and nutrition throughout the heart and body. Once you leave behind everyone’s agendas and biases, nutritional science has confirmed plant-based nutrition to be the only healthy diet. You will become heart-attack proof, even if you already have advanced stages of coronary artery disease. Watch glucose stabilize. No more high blood pressure. Stroke and erectile disfunction avoided. The list goes on and on. Most cancers will not be in your future and will only improve if you already have it adopting this lifestyle change. The pills, the suggestions for supplements, exercise, all these suggestions pale in comparison to the effectiveness of the body chemistry balancing effects of a do-no-harm diet.

      • RM on October 10, 2013 at 6:15 AM

        Exceptional advice for people. Thanks.

      • Rich on November 30, 2013 at 7:29 AM

        You must be a vegan, and wouldn’t your opinion be a biased one with an agenda of getting people to believe in what you believe in. Sorry to break this to you, but our make up is really for eating meats. Our teeth are for chewing and tearing meat. Enzymes in meat is required for our bodies to function. A very high percentage of vegans and vegetarians are anemic. But this is just me pushing my agendas and biases.

      • BH on March 24, 2014 at 6:51 AM

        I agree. Eat better, feel better. It’s simple.

  2. Mac on March 19, 2013 at 7:02 AM

    Took statins for about 15 years & continually reported joint/muscular pain to my Dr who would discontinue particular med & try another…
    Upon retirement & relocation, found the need for a cardiologist who apparently heard me & following the heart cath/stent put me on Zetia… no more pain.
    Thank You Dr Lance LaMotte,
    Baton Rouge, La

    • James May on October 14, 2013 at 5:48 AM

      I was put on Zetia and had more pain in my legs than ever. Also it effected my memory. I was put in the hospital for 4 days and the doctors could find a reason for the memory loss. I found out – it was caused by the Zetia. No more statins for me – and now my cholestoral is droping as time goes by.

  3. Bryan on April 3, 2013 at 7:23 AM

    Isn’t peripheral neuropathy one of the inidcators or signs and symptoms of diabeties? In which case this study doesn’t make a lot of sense.

  4. yiddishlion on September 24, 2013 at 6:22 AM

    Does anyone besides the doctors know that cholesterol has no link to heart disease what so ever? There are virtually ZERO studies linking the two. However every time they come out with a new cholesterol lowering drug, the acceptable level gets set lower. Wake up people.

  5. Marcus Sasiadek on September 27, 2013 at 6:43 AM

    Bottomline, it comes down to benefit vs risk for the patient. The patient with the doctor has to make informed decisions. Your article focuses on 1 risk and mentions no benefit. The data regarding the benefits are quite impressive compared to any other drug class out on the market today. One wonders what the motivation for your article is? I suspect to cause fear, thus getting more ad-clicks. Are you working for the patient or for $?

  6. Matthew Bram on October 2, 2013 at 6:15 AM

    Did you read the so-called supporting studies? The sample sizes were minuscule. On had a few dozen patients and the other one had only 4 patients! This is recklessly irresponsible reporting, and I question the motives behind it. To sell your book?

  7. Ken Roberts on December 26, 2013 at 8:38 AM

    years ago my wife and I both were prescribed statin drugs to fight the fats in our blood I became like I had arthritis all over my body and so did my wife, she stopped taking them and did later when I found out her symptoms stopped . I am on Niacin now and still have high cholesterol. so I am doomed to have it and I am on a very low fat diet .

  8. william harden on January 10, 2014 at 6:58 AM

    I started to get memory loss and kicked my lipitor.
    I now avoid trans-fats, take fish oil and CQ10.
    The FDA does not want people to use natural cures like fish oil as they can’t patent them and make the obsene profits they make on lipitor.

  9. mary collins finn on January 25, 2014 at 6:57 AM

    I have a congenital hypercholesterolemia inherited from my dad who died at 41 of an MI. I have been on max doses of statins since 1987 ( now on 40 mg of Crestor daily0 along with Zetia. Have never had a single side effect. I run marathons so nothing wrong with my muscles thank you.
    The article above is a scare-mongering piece of crap written by an advocate of holistic therapies. The studies on diabetes is skewed. Diabetes is THE most common cause of peripheral neuropathy and its increased incidence in those who took statins probably means the patients are living with their diabetes longer BECAUSE of the statins. I’m sure that there are some side effects associated with statins but I know without them I would not be alive. Consider the source of this article before condemning the medication. BTW I am a retired MD.

  10. Tim Macik on January 27, 2014 at 7:26 AM

    I had been taking a Statin drug for 4 years to lower cholesterol. After losing weight and drinking less this past year the muscle pain in my wrists was getting unbearable. The doctor had no help. After quiting the Statin a month ago my wrists are much better. Am able to play racquetball without pain again. I believe there is something to this story.

  11. BH on March 24, 2014 at 6:48 AM

    It’s a simple answer for every and anyone. Don’t eat crap food. But, the majority of people just don’t live that way.

  12. Lori Taylor on April 21, 2014 at 6:50 AM

    I am on Pravastatin for my high cholesterol. What is that doing to my body right now?

  13. Judi on May 4, 2014 at 7:08 AM

    I knew this and I told my Dr. and he said it could not be causing that. Well, I listen to what my body was saying and refused to take statin drugs and that has been over 15 yrs. now.
    I took them one time that if I would of stayed on them, I would of been in a wheel chair. Some people just can not take them without serious side effects.

  14. George Bailey on May 16, 2014 at 7:04 AM

    I recently started taking a statin, I have begun having numbness in my left hand. I had nerve surgery years ago and have not had any problems until I started taking statins. Makes sense to me now why all of a sudden this returned. I will speak with my Dr. and will stop taking statin to see if symptom clears. Thanks for the article…….

  15. 49erkat on May 29, 2014 at 7:14 AM

    I plan to keep my life and health in my hands and not rely on statins but on FOOD as Dr. Bernard Jensen said…”Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food.” If anyone believes that drug manufacturers are interested in having everyone healthy, then I’ve got some ocean front property to sell you!

    A 5 year comprehensive study was just completed through the NIH on using EDTA chelation therapy for heart disease. The results surprised them as they were quite positive for using this therapy to combat heart disease by cleaning the plaque out of arteries in a very NON INVASIVE manor. Those benefitting the most from this treatment were diabetic patients. Of course, it would put a lot of heart surgeons out of business, but they could always become plastic surgeons as many have here. But it will be years before it’s utilized in main stream medicine although it would save hundreds of thousands in medical costs to use chelation therapy over angioplasty or bypass surgery.

    I personally do happen to believe that heredity plays a HUGE role in the amount of plaque and cholesterol in our bodies. Many years ago, my ex husband and I had our cholesterol checked. His life style and nutrition were much better than mine with him exercising regularly and not eating greasy fried foods, while I didn’t hardly exercise and ate lots of greasy fried foods as a single working mom when I met this guy. My cholesterol was so good the doc said my blood must run through my veins like oil. However, my ex was put on the “fatboy” program in the military due to his cholesterol being so high. High blood pressure ran strongly in his family. One thing that might contribute also is that I am white- Irish Scottish English ancestry and he was hispanic and Italian equally. Many reports show that Latinos have a much higher incidence of heart disease than other ethnic cultures, so I believe it’s a factor as well.

    Last but not least, the way we manage our stress in our lives is probably more signficant than other high risk factors combined. People with high stress levels generally carry much of that stress in their bodies, not releasing and letting go properly. I used to be one of those and now I just teach people where they hold onto things in their bodies and give them tips on letting go.

  16. Eric on June 17, 2014 at 6:30 AM

    IM 46 Had Major Bypass in 12 I have been on Lipitor 80mg For 3 years. I Can tell Their Must be some Nerve Problems with this class of drug. I Get the shakes easily now and My Extremities Tingle alot. Im Not A Diabetic and I Try and follow a Heart Healthy diet. i mUst Also say that For Myself Theirs also been Some E.D. Problems since I Started this class of Drug.

    • Ed M. on July 11, 2014 at 7:31 AM

      I normally don’t respond to articles of any nature, but I think my symptoms mimic what I’ve been reading in the main stream press and other magazines and articles on health matters. My cholesterol has always been high (350+) and when I was advised to use statins by my part time doctor ( I usually only go to a doctor when serious matters persist) I immediately noted that my fingers, toes and neck started to cramp. These complications remained for about two weeks and then gradually disappeared, only to re-surface on occasion. My cholesterol dropped dramatically to 160 or thereabouts. Then, the ‘drama’ started. My left foot went numb while walking (I exercise regularly) one day and the pain that followed was UNBEARABLE. I was switched to Crestor from Lipitor, but nothing changed. I recently was put back on a low every other day dosage of Crestor and sure enough, the symptoms started again. I took myself off them and while I have permanent damage from them, my fingers immediately benefitted from the removal. I haven’t reported this to my doctor, but I will eventually. Another of the symptoms is tingling in the feet (maybe neuropathy?). My blood pressure etc., is very good and my health is good overall(age 76). My point is this: I feel the many articles I have read on this subject seem to indicate the problem(s) I and others described are under reported. In fact, if this write up helps someone decide pro or con on statins, then I may have accomplished a good deed.