Statins, Cholesterol and Alcohol

Statins, Cholesterol and Alcohol

In Australian news it is reported that the nation currently spends an amazing $1.2 billion per year of tax payers money on providing statins, prescription drugs that lower levels of harmful cholesterol in the blood. Elevated levels of harmful cholesterol are a direct result of excessive consumption of trans and saturated fats, which include animal fats such as lard, most table margarines, and endocrine imbalance. Around 22 million prescriptions were issued for lipid reducing statins to a total population of around 22 and a half million people

Since early 2010, researchers in the United Kingdom have been warning medical professionals about the dangers of “unintended” side effects of statins such as Lipitor, namely liver damage and kidney failure. Statins are already known to produce side effects of dizziness, neuropathy, rhabdomyolysis, and memory loss. The toxic potential appears to be disregarded in view of a campaign intended to bring millions of new users into the statin market as a preventative “health” measure against heart disease over the next few years.

People concerned that they are not being fully informed about statin side effects can take heart that use of CoQ10, in conjunction with statins can reduce known side effects. This co-enzyme is actually produced naturally in the body, but depleted by statin use, so you need to take it as a supplement, when being prescribed statins. CoQ10 taken as a supplement is found to cause rashes, itching, lowering of blood sugar, is dangerous to diabetics, causes stomach disorders, flu like symptoms and can interfere with other medications.

As if this toxic cocktail is not bad enough – given that eliminating fats from the diet other than monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil would resolve the issue of lipids in the diet virtually overnight, it has been known since 2004 that drinking alcohol potentiates the toxic effects of statins on the liver. One alcoholic drink per day can increase the risk of liver failure and hepatitis.

A recent Australian survey has ascertained that what drives people to drink alcohol to excess are financial problems, work place issues and depression, with around 20% of people in regional areas drinking more than 15 drinks a week. Most drinkers at least tripled their alcohol intake during the Christmas period. Many of these drinkers could be on statins without perhaps being fully aware of the risks which do not appear to be widely reported.

The nation’s answer to alcohol addiction is not, as one might expect, to reduce the burden of unnecessary taxation, and help ease workplace pressures, but to create a new government funded organization aimed at encouraging people to find more ways to keep themselves mentally healthy. Alcohol is reported as causing road traffic accidents, creating violence, injury and death, a contributory cause of heart disease and strokes. The survey concludes that very likely, the average Australian is consuming too much alcohol.

Interestingly, holistic journals report that natural products such as hazelnuts, have a better capacity than statins to lower triglyceride and LDL (bad) cholesterol in the blood, with no adverse side effects.

Our real problem seems to be dietary insufficiency and the effects of toxic stress – something that no amount of drugs and manufactured supplements can be expected to address. Could it be that a bowlful of hazelnuts and salad, dressed with olive oil, and a can of low alcohol beer could both satisfy and resolve most of the health issues that involve statins, cholesterol and alcohol – or would that be too simple.

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