It used to be that you could learn about the side effects of statins and the reasons ‘why not’ to take this toxic medication by doing a simple online search. Well, that ship has sailed. The “misinformation” about statins being bad for you has been scrubbed from the search engines and replaced with dubious pseudofacts about their so-called benefits. Statins have been prescribed for almost 40 years, since 1987, they are a double-digit billion dollar industry and the many attempts to warn the public about their dangers has missed its mark.

Fortunately, you can still find anti-statin rants, videos, and even documentaries on YouTube. Prominent is Statin Nation, which:

“…reveals the medical corruption that has led to the mass overprescription of cholesterol medications (statins). The film explains how the facts about cholesterol and heart disease have, for decades, been distorted by pharmaceutical companies keen to increase their profits. Cholesterol-lowering has become a huge global industry, generating at least $29 billion each year.”

Even though it was made in 2015, this film still presents an enlightening view of the topic. You can view Statin Nation on[i]

I’ll give a short list of statin’s dangers, but watch Statin Nation for more information.

  1. It’s linked with type 2 diabetes. The FDA put out a black box warning in 2012 about the increased risks of high blood glucose and glycosylated hemoglobin (A1c) levels.
  2. Muscle pain and damage
  3. Reduced cholesterol incorporation into the myelin sheath affects brain function with blackouts, memory loss, and mental confusion.
  4. Neuropathy
  5. Loss of CoQ10 and all its functions.
  6. Kidney and liver damage
  7. Brain bleed

Benefits of Cholesterol

And why don’t we want to destroy it? When cholesterol is too low, the following 8 functions are impeded.

  1. Forms and maintains all cell membranes.
  2. Creates fluidity in membranes.
  3. Helps cells adjust to changes in temperature.
  4. It is essential for making the critical stress hormone cortisol.
  5. Makes the sex hormones testosterone, progesterone, and estrogen.
  6. It helps make bile in the liver, which is vital in the processing and digestion of fats.
  7. Used by nerve cells for insulation.
  8. In the presence of sunlight, cholesterol is converted into vitamin D.

Nutrients That Keep Cholesterol Balanced, an organization dedicated to promoting clinical research on vitamin D, produced a paper called “Could Cholesterol Levels Improve with Vitamin D, Magnesium and Omega-3s?”[ii] They analyzed the data from members who submitted blood for analysis of these nutrients. I was especially interested since we do know that magnesium is a natural statin. I’d like to highlight some of that paper, but you can access the whole article in the reference section.

Cholesterol and Vitamin D

According to a GrassRootsHealth survey, “There is a significant decrease in total cholesterol, LDL, and triglyceride levels among those whose vitamin D level had increased by 10 ng/ml or more. They also found a significant increase in TC, LDL, and TG levels among those whose vitamin D level had decreased by 10 ng/ml or more.

Cholesterol and Magnesium

Magnesium works through the same HMG CoA Reductase pathway as statins to lower LDL and triglycerides and raises HDL. Magnesium has similar effects to statins on clotting, plaque formation, and inflammation without the adverse effects and costs associated with statin drugs.

While statins block (i.e., kill) this enzyme to stop the body from making cholesterol, magnesium simply inactivates this same enzyme through natural control mechanisms when there is sufficient cholesterol for its many necessary functions. Magnesium works with another enzyme to lower LDL and triglyceride levels and raise HDL. Being a multitasking mineral, magnesium activates other enzymes involved in lipid production, helping the conversion of omega-3 and omega-6 into prostaglandins, which are important for cardiovascular and general health.

While performing all these miracles, magnesium has no side effects, whereas statins can raise liver enzymes and cause myopathy, a muscle disease resulting in muscular weakness. Magnesium can actually protect against myopathy.

Omega-3s Can Lower High Triglyceride Levels

The GrassRootsHealth survey compared the effects of omega-3 fatty acids among patients with high triglyceride levels and found that doses of 4 grams per day of omega-3 fatty acid formulations were shown to significantly reduce triglyceride levels compared to placebo.

Omega-3s are definitely part of the picture, but I only recommend 1,000mg of a combined DHA and EPA Omega-3 Algae because if you are also taking 5,000 iu of Vitamin D and 600mg of Magnesium, you are covering several bases and not depending on one nutrient to do all the heavy lifting.

I think you will agree that cholesterol is your friend, not your foe!

Carolyn Dean MD ND

The Doctor of the Future