My regular reader may recall that I wrote a series of articles last year regarding my experiences with statins. My cholesterol was going up and the doctor convinced me I should be taking them to avoid the increased risk of heart problems.
The offshoot was that having tried three different types, I simply found that my system cannot tolerate them. Thankfully a different doctor accepted that and tried me on Bezafibrate. She didn’t expect it to work but thought it was worth a try. To everyone’s surprise, they worked! My cholesterol is down.
Now, according to the latest news to break about these popular government health sweeties, it seems I might have had a lucky escape. Researchers say that statins, which are taken by around 12 million patients in the UK, are more likely to cause calcium deposits in the arteries, which can lead to a heart attack. They might lower cholesterol, but they also block a molecule needed to produce vitamin K, which prevents calcification of the arteries.
Strangely, the side effects of statins – in my case the worst being muscle pain and weakness – include decalcification of the bones so it would appear that they suck the calcium out of where it is needed and dump it where it can kill you.
NICE do, of course, have a way of wriggling out of the catch-22 situation. They say ‘Patients should firstly think about stopping smoking, drinking less alcohol and changing their diet and exercise; then they should consider taking statins if they are appropriate.’
Funnily enough, that not what they were saying before this story broke. Then they were recommending that everyone over 40 should be taking the damned things!
Still, if you’re looking to reduce the burden on the NHS then I suppose killing your patients is one way of doing it…