Statins to lower cholesterol benefits and harms

There are no statistics on the frequency of use of drugs that lower cholesterol in the blood in the Russian Federation. However, doctors in other countries use these drugs more often than any other. There are two opinions regarding the effect on cholesterol production processes.

One thing speaks of the unconditional use of statins as drugs that reduce the risk of vascular obstruction and the development of serious cardiovascular diseases (myocardial infarction, stroke, etc.).

Another opinion on this issue makes a statement about the harm caused by statin tablets. In no case do you need to get rid of cholesterol for the simple reason that this substance is simply necessary for every cell in the body to recover when cell membranes are damaged. Simply put, when for some reason the integrity of the walls of blood vessels and arteries is violated, the body uses cholesterol for “repair” work. By artificially reducing the content of this substance, we simply deprive our body of serious protection.

Of course, both of these opinions discussing cholesterol statins have a right to life. The benefits and harms of the use of these drugs (if you read the special literature on this issue) have a place to be.

With the word “cholesterol”, most residents associate something extremely harmful to health, which you need to immediately get rid of at any cost. Few people know that in fact this greasy substance is more likely a friend than an enemy to our body. The functions of cholesterol are vital for all systems and organs, and no other compounds can replace its work.

It is from cholesterol that the cells of the brain and spinal cord are built, or rather, the shells of their processes (axons), which serve as electrical insulating material and facilitate the transmission of nerve impulses. The lipid compound, which is cholesterol, is the building material of the membranes of all cells of the body, which determines their permeability to molecules of various substances and provides the possibility of cell division.

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It is part of sex hormones, as well as hormones produced by the adrenal glands (cortisol, corticosterone, aldosterone and others). Without cholesterol, the formation of vitamin D, many enzymes is impossible, as well as the metabolism of vitamins A, E and K.

It is needed for the production of bile acids – without them, fats cannot be absorbed in the body. A fat-like substance has antioxidant properties, prevents the development of cancer. It has also been proven that cholesterol effectively neutralizes dangerous toxins caused by the activity of microbes.

How it works

With statin therapy, LDL levels are reduced by 20-50%. Hypocholesterolemic effect depends on the dosage. Each doubling of the dose leads to an additional drop in level.

The mechanism of action of statins is based on their ability to inhibit the activity of HMG-CoA reductase. This process is reversible and dosage dependent. A decrease in the activity of HMG-CoA reductase leads to a decrease in the cholesterol pool within the cells. Because of this, the number of LDL receptors on the hepatocyte membrane increases and increases the uptake of LDL particles.

Statins also affect inflammation factors, hemostasis, endothelial function. Therefore, in most countries, these drugs are prescribed for hypercholesterolemia, if the diet has not yielded results. This reduces the likelihood of coronary heart disease.

sratiny - Statins to lower cholesterol benefits and harms

How do statins work? The body produces the lion’s share of cholesterol (about 80%) itself. This honorable duty is assigned mainly to liver cells. If necessary, their synthetic activity can increase by 400%, and the amount of cholesterol produced can reach 5 g.

What does a lipid compound “mold” from? Preparation for its manufacture is mevalonic acid. For it to begin to be accelerated to be produced, you need a special enzyme – HMG-CoA reductase, whose work is also suppressed by statins. Therefore, their correct name is HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors. When they are taken, the level of cholesterol in the blood can drop by 60%.

Does this mean that the mission of statins is completed, and atherosclerosis can no longer be afraid? Maybe. The constant intake of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, indeed, will not allow cholesterol to accumulate in the vessels, but the cause of the disease – damage to the wall of the bloodstream and its inflammation – will not eliminate. Moreover, a whole bunch of much more serious and life-threatening conditions will add to the existing problems with the vessels.

Cholesterol statins: benefits and possible harm

Statins – the benefits and harms of these drugs are the topic of our discussion – are designed to rid a person of cholesterol in blood vessels and prevent cardiovascular diseases. However, in reality they clear ALL the places of its accumulation from the lipid substance, including the brain.

But what does a fat-like compound do in atherosclerotic plaques, where scientists “caught” it? It’s hard to believe, but the substance serves as a means of preventing a vascular catastrophe. The fact is that for a number of reasons (for example, under the influence of nicotine), the inner delicate membrane of large blood channels is damaged, becomes inferior, inflamed.

statin - Statins to lower cholesterol benefits and harms

The body tries to patch the resulting gap with a patch of cholesterol. Often, this patch covers previously formed calcium deposits. So a plaque appears – a calcium-cholesterol obstruction in the way of blood movement. Only here the fatty compound in this story appears not at all as a destroyer, but rather as a savior.

It turns out that statins – the benefits and harms of these anti-atherosclerotic drugs are very controversial issues in modern medical science – they are struggling with the natural defense mechanisms developed over a long period of evolution.

It is impossible to take statins for a long time to lower cholesterol, as this will lead to complications. Therefore, in order to stabilize its performance, they first resort to a diet.

Cholesterol is present in large quantities in eggs and seafood. But the main culprits of cholesterol plaques are saturated fats. But they cannot be completely excluded, since they ensure the functioning of the thyroid gland, you just need not to overeat. If the diet consists of 2000 calories, then saturated fat in it should be no more than 15 g.

There are also products that can lower bad blood cholesterol. Such properties are in:

  1. Carrots. Studies show that eating two carrots a month will lower LDL by 15%. Also, the vegetable helps to reduce exacerbations of hepatic and renal pathologies.
  2. Tomatoes. They contain a lot of lycopene. This pigment is considered an antidote to cholesterol, since 24 mg of it per day eliminates a tenth of LDL. To reduce its level, two glasses of tomato juice per day is enough. Also, tomatoes are rich in potassium, which allows you to keep the heart muscle in good shape.
  3. Garlic. Alliin is present in it. It provides the pungency and smell of garlic. Since alliin is not good for the body, when consumed, it turns into allicin, which removes cholesterol plaques.
  4. Nuts. The study found that eating 60 grams of nuts per day leads to a decrease in total cholesterol by 5%. At the same time, LDL becomes 7,5% less. Interestingly, the more pronounced hypercholesterolemia, the better the nuts act. The effect is also exerted by the body mass index, as overweight people feel a great benefit from nuts. In addition, all nuts have many vitamins A, groups B, E, as well as trace elements like potassium, calcium, phosphorus, and iron. Regular use of the product reduces the likelihood of developing dementia in old age and sudden heart attack.
  5. Peas. The use of the product in the amount of one and a half cups per day allows you to reduce cholesterol by 20% in a few weeks. Peas are saturated with a large number of B vitamins, which provide the nervous system, beautiful hair and good sleep.
  6. Oily fish. It has a lot of polyunsaturated fatty acids. They help remove cholesterol deposits.

Fish and meat saturate the body with animal proteins. But in fish products there are fewer connective fibers, so they are faster digested and easier to digest. Also, seafood has fewer calories, so they are suitable for those who are struggling with extra pounds. In fish proteins, tauric acid prevents pathologies of the heart and blood vessels, as well as nerve pathologies.

Therefore, if there is a problem of hypercholesterolemia, it is first recommended to establish nutrition, eat more wholesome food. If the rejection of saturated fats does not give results, then resort to statins.

Cholesterol is one of the most important and essential for normal human life organic compound present in all tissues, organs and blood plasma. But this assistant is insidious and can easily turn from a friend into an enemy.

The norm in the blood of total cholesterol is 3,6-5,2 mmol/L. If the indicators are exceeded, there is a likelihood of serious health consequences. Deviation from the norm to the greater side (hypercholesterolemia) is the cause of atherosclerotic plaques and the development of atherosclerosis.

Statins successfully help to cope with this ailment. What is it, what are their benefits and harms, whether there are contraindications and how to correctly approach treatment, we will analyze further.

Statins are potent drugs used to lower and normalize cholesterol in the body by inhibiting its synthesis and accelerating the withdrawal of low density lipoproteins (LDL). Also, these drugs inhibit the entry into the blood of cholesterol from the external environment.

Statins are mainly used in the treatment of hypercholesterolemia and the hereditary nature of the disease, in situations where non-medications and diet are ineffective.

Cardiovascular diseases or the risk of their occurrence, as well as the presence of additional factors, such as diabetes mellitus, age over 50 years, high blood pressure, weight or triglyceride level, is the basis for the mandatory appointment of statins.

When prescribing the drug, the doctor aims to help the patient. Based on this, he needs to consider both the benefits that the prescribed drug can bring, and the possible risks.

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Detonic for pressure normalization

The complex effect of plant components of the drug Detonic on the walls of blood vessels and the autonomic nervous system contribute to a rapid decrease in blood pressure. In addition, this drug prevents the development of atherosclerosis, thanks to the unique components that are involved in the synthesis of lecithin, an amino acid that regulates cholesterol metabolism and prevents the formation of atherosclerotic plaques.

Detonic not addictive and withdrawal syndrome, since all components of the product are natural.

Detailed information about Detonic is located on the manufacturer’s page

The benefits of statins

The action of statins is their effect on the liver enzyme, which contributes to the formation of cholesterol. Suppressing the production of the latter, drugs:

  • They can improve the state of the cardiovascular system and reduce the size of atherosclerotic plaques.
  • Reduce the risk of blood clots and aneurysms.
  • Reduce the possibility of developing a heart attack and stroke due to atherosclerosis.
  • They have a positive effect in the recovery of patients after suffering strokes and heart attacks.
  • Prevent the occurrence of pathology of blood vessels and heart.
  • They are the prevention of cirrhosis.
  • Prevent angina attacks.

Modern medicine indicates that the use of statins can increase the life expectancy of patients with atherosclerosis, ischemic heart disease, as well as those who have had a heart attack or stroke.

The benefits of these drugs are undeniable, but to avoid adverse effects, the use of statins should exclude uncontrolledness.

Possible harm

statiny polza i vred - Statins to lower cholesterol benefits and harms

The danger is that the probable harm does not have a quick manifestation, and therefore medications should be taken with regular monitoring of the patient’s condition and examinations.

What harm can be done?

  • Pain (discomfort) in the muscles and joints. It occurs mainly and is associated with the effect of the drug on skeletal muscle. Long-term use may lead to the development of rhabdomyolysis – a disease that destroys muscle tissue. It is accompanied by muscle pain, discomfort in the heart, dizziness. The disease leads to atrophy of muscle tissue, and therefore its development is life-threatening. Also, when taking statins, the production of vitamin D is reduced, which helps the body absorb a significant amount of calcium. As a result, pain (discomfort) in mice and increased bone fragility.
  • Impaired kidney function. Long-term use of the drug, as well as rhabdomyliosis, may lead to a risk of developing renal failure. This is due to the clogging of the narrow vascular lumens in the kidneys with the released protein molecules. The appearance of peripheral edema is also possible.
  • Violation of the liver. Suppression of cholesterol production affects normal liver function. In addition, prolonged use of statins increases the burden on the organ. In order to prevent the development of such negative consequences, it is recommended to systematically take tests for liver tests.
  • Early cell aging. It arises as a result of the lack of Q10, which provides protection and elasticity of the cell membrane. Reason: lowering cholesterol prevents Q10 from reaching the cells. As a result, membrane destruction, loss of elasticity and ability of the cell to quickly regenerate. Symptoms are increased dryness of the skin, the appearance of small wrinkles, and a decrease in immunity.
  • The risk of developing diabetes. The reason is a long intake and an increased load on the pancreas, which affects the production of insulin and reduces the organ’s susceptibility to the hormone.
  • Disorders of the digestive system. Side effects: nausea, vomiting, bloating, diarrhea, constipation. Usually they are symptoms of individual intolerance to the drug and do not pose a health hazard.
  • Side effects from the nervous system. Perhaps dizziness, drowsiness or insomnia, headache, tearfulness, irritability.
  • Harm to the heart and blood vessels. Rarely, statins can contribute to the development of side effects from the heart and blood vessels. Manifestations can be a sharp decrease in blood pressure, arrhythmia, a feeling of palpitations, increased manifestations of angina pectoris in the first days of admission with further normalization of the condition, heart palpitations, rarely hypertension.
  • Allergic reactions. Also rare. Usually manifested by skin rashes and itching. Possible swelling. Cases of fixing severe allergic reactions that are dangerous to the patient’s life are rare.


Statins are not allowed:

  • Women in position and nursing mothers.
  • During exacerbation of chronic liver and kidney diseases.
  • With lung disease.
  • With hypothyroidism
  • With the problems of the musculoskeletal system.
  • With diabetes.

With caution should be taken: children under 18 years of age and persons over 60, because they are at risk for which statins are dangerous.


There are different types of statins that are classified according to several features:

  1. By origin. There are natural preparations that are obtained with the help of lower fungi Aspergillusterreus, as well as half synthetic – are produced by chemical modification of natural compounds.
  2. According to the main active substance. Statins are produced with lovastatin, rosuvastatin, fluvastatin, atorvastatin, simvastatin.

Usually, preparations of synthetic origin are prescribed, since they are safer and more effective.

Statins are also secreted by generation. The first substances with lipid-lowering properties were obtained from natural products. Based on them, the means of the lovastin group were developed. All other options are made from synthetic ingredients. They are much less likely to cause adverse reactions.

The first generation of statins also include simvastatin and pravastatin. The third generation is represented by the fluvastatin group. These are safe products, even for treating children. Sodium salt is present in their composition, which provides a faster decrease in cholesterol.

Atorvastatin belongs to the last generation. Their peculiarity is a positive effect on the entire cardiovascular system. These drugs are considered the most effective and safest.


Statin therapy is not permitted in all cases. They are not recommended:

  1. If the kidneys do not perform their functions.
  2. Pregnant women and women who are breast-feeding a baby.
  3. If conception is planned. During treatment, women are advised to use reliable contraceptives.
  4. With individual intolerance to the individual components.
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krapivnitsa - Statins to lower cholesterol benefits and harmsAdverse reactions from taking statins are manifested in the form of skin rashes, such as urticaria.

  • insomnia;
  • skin itchy rashes, urticaria;
  • obesity;
  • impaired glucose balance (diabetes, hypoglycemia);
  • asthenia;
  • impotence;
  • violations of the liver and pancreas (secondary hepatitis, pancreatitis).

In medical practice, there are cases when a medicine helps from a major ailment, but gives impetus to the development of cataracts, introduces a patient into a depressed state with memory impairments, and activates chronic liver ailments. The best way to avoid such effects is to take breaks in taking the pills and supplement the therapy with neutralizing drugs that eliminate side effects.

Statins can not be prescribed for intolerance to any component included in their composition, including lactose.

There is a significant group of diseases and pathological conditions in which the use of statins is contraindicated:

  • active liver disease;
  • severe renal impairment;
  • muscle disease in the patient or the presence of myopathy in a family history;
  • hypothyroidism;
  • excessive drinking;
  • obtaining drug therapy with cyclosporine, fibrates, HIV protease inhibitors, macrolide antibiotics;
  • sepsis;
  • condition after trauma or extensive surgery;
  • convulsive syndrome;
  • prolonged increase in body temperature;
  • hypotension;
  • severe metabolic, water-electrolyte or endocrine disorders.

And there is also an age restriction – statins are contraindicated before 18 and after 65 years. They can not be used during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Drugs for women of childbearing age are contraindicated if they do not use contraceptives.

Statin-triggered adverse events

In most cases, statins are well tolerated by the body. According to doctors, it is better to take a pill as directed by a health care provider than aspirin for headaches on your own. After all, pain can be a consequence of developing atherosclerosis (narrowing of the lumen in the vessel due to blockage by atherosclerotic plaques).

However, certain undesirable effects of statins on cholesterol can still provoke. Quite often you can hear about headaches, nausea, abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea. From the side of the central nervous system, dizziness, paresthesia, hypesthesia may appear. Also, often patients complain of joint pain, the appearance of myositis, muscle cramps, back pain.

Of the allergic manifestations, it is most often said about itching, skin rash, urticaria. Although in some cases there is a likelihood of developing anaphylaxis. Thrombocytopenia, obesity, impotence, and peripheral edema are sometimes possible.

Cholesterol statins: benefits and possible harm

For almost fifty years, after the start of the use of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, a search was made for the most advanced drug. Four statin generations were replaced before it was concluded that there were no significant differences between them. All drugs in this group inhibit HMG-CoA reductase, lowering blood cholesterol. They have a single mechanism of action and the associated negative consequences.

The differences between statins of different generations lies only in the severity of their hypolipidemic effect. It prevails with atorvastatin and rosuvastatin, which are now considered the key drugs for lowering blood cholesterol.

tablstat - Statins to lower cholesterol benefits and harms

The following list shows four clinically studied and actively used statins.

  1. “Lovastatin”, “Pravastatin”, “Simvastatin”.
  2. “Fluvastatin.”
  3. Atorvastatin, Cerivastatin.
  4. “Rosuvastatin.”

There are no new generation statins in this list – Glenvastatin and Pitavastatin, comparative studies of the clinical properties of which are still ongoing.

Statins are the malicious enemies of excess cholesterol, so it’s hard to imagine the treatment of atherosclerosis without them. But, despite the fact that these drugs have saved more than one thousand lives, treatment with their help inflicts a serious blow to the body. What are statins, harm from taking and do they have side effects?

What are statins

Before considering the dangers of drugs, you need to know them better. Statins are drugs that inhibit the synthesis of cholesterol in the liver, in addition, they accelerate the excretion of LDL (low density lipoproteins) from the body, which are harmful to the body, and increase the content of HDL in the blood (high density lipoproteins).

But statins act not only on organs, they also inhibit the absorption of cholesterol from the blood, which came there from food.

Side effects

Intervention in the work of the body of any drugs does not pass without a trace, sometimes the body signals this at the very beginning of treatment. Side effects from taking statins, the patient can notice after 3-4 days:

  • nausea;
  • muscle aches;
  • headache;
  • lack of appetite;
  • indigestion;
  • pain in the liver;
  • rash;
  • flatulence;
  • insomnia.

These side effects appear due to the excessive sensitivity of the body to a change in cholesterol metabolism, which increases significantly with prolonged excess of the content of this substance in the blood, because the body gets used to this condition.

The risk of the above side effects increases significantly if the patient:

  • along with statins takes antibiotics;
  • uses drugs based on nicotinic acid;
  • do not follow a cholesterol-free diet;
  • consumes alcohol;
  • tolerates colds.

Harm drugs

If at the beginning of treatment the patient did not notice side effects, this does not mean that taking the medicine passed without a trace to the body. With their prolonged use (the average duration of treatment with these drugs is 3-4 months), the harm “accumulates”.

In recent years, many doctors have pointed out that statins do more harm than good. These studies of American experts even argue that more than half of the people who were prescribed these drugs could do without them. What are the basis for negative statements towards statins, do they cause real harm?

Muscle damage

The main harm from taking statins is muscle. Often, rhabdomyolysis, the process of destruction of striated muscles, develops due to prolonged treatment.

  • muscle pains;
  • weight loss;
  • reduced pressure;
  • dizziness;
  • discomfort in the heart.

Despite the fact that statins are used to preserve heart health and not expose the effects of atherosclerosis, these drugs harm him, because it consists of striated muscles, so its tissues can also be destroyed.

A striking example of the action of statins destroying the heart is the death of Atkins, a cardiologist, from organ arrest due to atrophy of muscle tissue. The doctor took drugs to lower blood cholesterol, but his body could not tolerate the accumulated side effects.

This disease develops while taking statins for good reason, because these drugs for high cholesterol disrupt cellular processes in muscle tissue. This is due to their effect on the synthesis of CoQ10 in myocytes. This substance is responsible for the production of energy in the mitochondria of muscle cells, which is necessary for their contraction, “repair”, division, and other important processes.

When, due to the lack of CoQ10, the energy in the mitochondria of myocytes ceases to be produced, then they slowly begin to break down, become dangerous for the body, therefore, their degradation and excretion are accelerated.

Harm to the kidneys

Protein molecules are filtered in small and narrow vessels of the kidneys so as not to be excreted in the urine. When a person takes statins for a long time, then he develops renal failure, stones appear in paired organs-filters.

This happens due to the fact that during rhabdomyolysis of muscles, which was mentioned earlier, a huge number of protein molecules are released, which clog the narrow lumens of blood vessels in the kidneys.

In addition to the fact that the kidneys are “clogged” with proteins, the products of the breakdown of these substances, for example, ammonia, which are harmful to the body and harm all organ systems, accumulate in them.

Harm to the liver

Long-term side effects from taking statins are also reflected in liver health. By inhibiting the synthesis of enzymes responsible for the synthesis of cholesterol, these drugs disrupt the body. Often there is increased activity in the production of other active substances, for example, transamylases.

In addition to direct effects on the liver, there is an indirect effect. The course of treatment with statins lasts at least 3 months, all this time the liver should neutralize the auxiliary components of the drug daily, the load on it increases significantly.

If you drink statins for a long period, the risk of developing type 1 diabetes is significantly increased.

Due to the use of drugs that lower cholesterol in the blood, the load on the pancreas increases, it cannot work normally, producing vital insulin.

At the same time, immunity of the liver to this hormone, which lowers blood sugar, develops.

Insulin resistance (immunity) increases the duration of inflammatory reactions, so diabetes is often accompanied by gout, nephropathy, and infectious diseases.

Membranes are responsible for the elasticity and protection of cells. Every day they are “tested for strength” not only by external factors (temperature, pressure, physical effect), but also internal factors, for example, membrane phospholipids, can be destroyed by cellular enzymes. But this does not happen thanks to Q10, which blocks their activity.

Cholesterol molecules are not involved in the synthesis of Q10, how then do statins reduce the amount of this substance? The thing is that from the places of Q10 synthesis, LDL, and mainly triglycerides, are transported through the blood.

When the amount of cholesterol is significantly reduced, the protector of cell membranes simply does not reach the cells. Especially acute shortage of Q10 is experienced by cells of the immune, lymphatic system and platelets.

The consequences of Q10 deficiency are life-threatening cells – their membranes begin to break down under the influence of cellular enzymes, lose their elasticity and ability to quickly regenerate.

This is reflected in human health by excessive dryness, lethargy and grayish skin color, the appearance of fine wrinkles, worsening of blood coagulation, and a decrease in immunity.

These side effects of statins may appear after 5-6 months of treatment.

This is not a chronic or genetic disease, but the conditional name for another long-term side effect of taking statins. The harm from lowering cholesterol lies not only in the lack of Q10, but also in disruption of the endocrine cells.

Large quantities of cholesterol are used by the adrenal glands – endocrine organs that synthesize steroid hormones. When statins sharply block the synthesis of this LDL in the liver, the cells of these organs experience a shock, because they dramatically lose the substrate for the synthesis of active substances.

Their answer is dangerous for the body: in the adrenal glands, all the remaining intermediate “raw materials” for the production of various hormones – pregnenolone is used to create cortisol – the steroid stress hormone.

Such a “change of priorities” harms several body systems at once. First of all, cardiovascular, because cortisol has a vasoconstrictor effect and accelerates the heartbeat.

The nervous system also suffers no less, whose neurons are constantly in an excited stressful state. At the same time, a person becomes irritable, he experiences bouts of aggression and panic, insomnia appears, and his working capacity decreases.

Considering the harmful effects of cortisol shock caused by the use of statins, we must not forget about the endocrine system. The synthesis of the aforementioned hormone stops the production of the most important active substances: sex hormones (estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and others), glucocorticoids, mineral corticoids, aldosterone and others.

Taking steroids, a person independently harms his own bones. Due to a significant decrease in blood cholesterol, the production of vitamin D in the skin, which is produced from LDL under the influence of the sun, is reduced.

This substance contributes to the absorption of the lion’s share of calcium entering the body.

With prolonged use of statins, especially in winter, there is an increase in bone fragility, muscle aches (their work is impossible without calcium) and other unpleasant symptoms.

This is not the whole list of long-term negative effects of taking statins.

Some experts associate treatment with their help with the development of cataracts, Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease, memory impairment, with a decrease in thyroid function, chronic fatigue and others. Such data have not yet been confirmed, but they make you seriously think about whether statins can be used at all.

Basic rules for taking statins

When identifying a problem of increasing the level of cholesterol in values ​​up to 6,5 mmol/l, in the absence of other indications for the appointment of statins, doctors recommend changing or adjusting the lifestyle, namely:

  1. Following a low-carb diet.
  2. Refusal of addictions.
  3. Exercise appropriate to the condition of the patient and the cardiovascular system in particular.

In addition, the use of gifts of nature, which can lower it without harm to health, can help normalize cholesterol levels, namely:

  • Vitamin C (ascorbic acid). Its most significant amount can be found in rosehips, blackcurrants, sea buckthorn.
  • Niacin (nicotinic) acid. To obtain it, you should eat nuts, red fish, cereals, meat and dairy products. It is important not to forget that nutrition should be balanced.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids (red fish).
  • Garlic. The trace elements contained in it, vitamins of groups B and C, help fight high cholesterol. Garlic should be consumed with caution.
  • Turmeric The use of spices in cooking. drinking turmeric tea.
  • Resveratrol It is a powerful antioxidant that strengthens and dilates blood vessels, as well as regulates fat metabolism. It is obtained from dark grape varieties, peanuts. In addition, it is a component of the drug “Transverol”.
  • Polycanazole It is made from sugar cane. It allows you to lower cholesterol, and also prevents thrombosis, helps to normalize weight. The drug can be purchased at pharmacies.

If the doctor’s recommendations and natural remedies did not give the expected effect, you should consult your doctor.

Statin treatment

The use of statins should be carried out only as prescribed by the doctor with a preliminary and further regular full examination of the body. Self-medication is strictly prohibited!

After prescribing the drug, a second examination should be carried out after 1-2 months and, if necessary, to adjust the treatment regimen or to replace the drug.

When choosing a drug, it should be borne in mind that they all have a similar effect and differ only in the active substance.

The drugs of the latest generation allow, with a smaller volume of the drug and lower risks, to achieve good results. They include one of such active substances as Rosuvastatin, Atorvastatin, Cerivastatin or Pitavastatin.

Reception is carried out 1 time per day, mainly shortly before bedtime. If the reception is missed, the next day the dose should not be increased.

Before reception, carefully read the instructions. Do not take the drug with the medications listed in it. Otherwise, the manifestation of complications and side effects is possible.

An effective result and safe use can be expected only if the dosage prescribed by the doctor and the frequency of biochemical blood tests are correctly observed.

It should be remembered that statins are drugs for long-term use. Most patients drink them all their lives.

When taking statins, you can not eat grapefruits and juice from them, because this can cause an increase in the concentration of the drug in the body with the occurrence of consequences in the form of destruction of muscle fibers or the development of renal failure.

In the case of pathological changes in the liver, it is recommended to take preparations with the active ingredient Rosuvastatin in small doses, because it will cause minimal damage to the diseased organ. During therapy, you must carefully monitor the diet. Exclude alcohol and antibiotics.

In renal diseases, it is not recommended to drink drugs whose active substance is fluvastatin or atorvastatin. They can be most harmful to the kidneys.

If the price of the prescribed drug does not allow it to be purchased, the possibility of replacing the medicine must be discussed with the attending physician to prescribe the well-proven drug.

Taking statins for high cholesterol is everyone’s choice. But remember that the health and life of a person depends on its level. Most heart attacks and strokes are the result of the negative effects of high cholesterol on the body. A visit to a doctor and a correctly determined dosage of the drug will achieve a therapeutic effect with a minimal risk of adverse effects. Take care of yourself and be healthy!

In general, how to take statins for cholesterol should be indicated in the instructions for use. In addition, when making an appointment, the attention of the patient on the treatment regimen should be emphasized by the attending physician. In addition to these two important sources of information, people need to know that statins should not be washed down with grapefruit juice.

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The substances contained in this product prevent their destruction and excretion from the body, as a result of which the concentration of the latter in the blood increases. Such a situation can provoke destructive processes in muscle fibers, the development of liver failure (and this is a life-threatening condition).

In addition, it is advisable to take statins not in the morning, but in the evening one and a half to two hours before bedtime.

If we talk about the duration of the course of treatment with these drugs, there is no such thing at all. Cholesterol statins in most cases need to be taken for life. It is permissible only to vary the dosage.

Currently, any hypolipidemic drug (statins from cholesterol among them) undergoes an ambiguous attitude towards itself. As a result of some studies, it is postulated that regular cholesterol reduction through the use of such drugs reduces the risk of developing problems in the cardiovascular system. Other studies have led scientists to conclude that the number of adverse events is not comparable with the benefits of these medicines.

Today in Russia, statins are part of the standard treatment regimen for many cardiological pathologies. Their use reduces the mortality rate. However, this does not mean at all that these medicines should be prescribed to every patient with arterial hypertension or with coronary heart disease. Also, statins are not prescribed for people who have crossed the age of 45 years, and those who have slightly higher cholesterol in their blood.

At the same time, according to health workers, these drugs are simply necessary for those who have suffered a heart attack or stroke (for secondary prevention). They are also recommended for patients who are planning reconstructive operations on the heart and large vessels (coronary artery bypass grafting). The reason to start taking statins is the state of acute coronary syndrome, ischemia with high risks of developing a stroke or heart attack.

From the foregoing, it follows that for patients with severe vascular lesions, statin drugs are an opportunity to prolong life.

How to choose

All currently used drugs have a high level of effectiveness. However, statins for new generation cholesterol are most in demand. Most often, atorvastatin is isolated from a variety of medicines by medical workers.

The most significant plus of this tool is a large evidence base. The largest number of studies have been conducted on this drug. It is easiest and easiest to apply once a day. The dose-dependent effect, which some statins do not have at all, is pronounced. Also, Rosuvastatin is referred to a new generation of drugs. A feature of these two medicines is the ability to quickly and painlessly lower cholesterol in patients.

Medical workers have several principles for choosing a statin for each patient, depending on the medical history and state of health. Any drugs can be used to lower LDL. Those who suffer from chronic liver diseases, it is better to prescribe “Pravastatin” or “Rosuvastatin” in low doses.

Statins are sold by prescription, so you cannot prescribe them yourself. The doctor selects the medicine depending on the age and gender of the patient, medical history, bad habits and examination results.

If finances allow, then you can ask the doctor to prescribe the original drug, since generics are less effective and often cause adverse reactions.

The active substance should also be considered. For liver diseases, Pravastitin or Rosuvastatin is preferred. The first option is used if there is a tendency to muscle pain, since it does not harm the musculoskeletal system and muscles.

If there are chronic liver pathologies, do not prescribe Atorvastatin, since its properties exacerbate the ailment.

In what cases is the use of statins justified?

The use of statins, according to modern doctors, is mandatory in the following situations.

  1. Genetic disruption of the work of cholesterol receptors in the liver cells or their insufficient amount, which causes a stably high level of lipid compounds in the blood (8-10 mmol/l) and premature death (up to 50 years).
  2. Heart attack or stroke, to prevent their re-development.
  3. Preparation for surgery on the heart muscle and large vessels and the postoperative period.
  4. Deficiency or disruption of the blood supply to the heart (ischemia), coupled with excess weight, diabetes mellitus, arterial hypertension and other conditions conducive to the development of a heart attack or stroke.

Muscle damage

Once in the human body, statins with elevated cholesterol lower its level in the blood, thereby inhibiting the production of mevalonate (cholesterol precursor). Thus, the sequence is clear: less mevalonate – less cholesterol. At first glance, nothing wrong. However, mevalonate is a source not only for cholesterol, but also for a number of substances that carry important functions. The loss of these substances from the biological cycle can lead to a lot of health problems.

The use of cholesterol to repair damaged tissues and blood vessels has been discussed previously. And the fact that in case of crisis situations (“repair” of cell membranes, vessel walls, etc. is needed), the synthesis of cholesterol in the body increases, it looks natural. It meets the increased needs of the liver, its resources are enough to increase cholesterol production by 400%.

It is clear that a view of things from this point of view radically changes the opinion of people about the need to lower the level of this substance. So is it worth taking statins for cholesterol on an ongoing basis? According to doctors and most consumers, artificially lowering cholesterol levels with the help of synthetic drugs can trigger the development of a number of complex diseases.

Impaired adrenal function (the first link in the deviation chain) may well lead to an increase in glucose in the blood, brain damage, lack of minerals, asthma, and also weaken libido, infertility, inflammatory processes and edema, and deviations in the functioning of the reproductive system.

The benefits and harms of statins depend on adherence to the rules of admission. This should be guided by the following tips:

  1. Drink the medicine at night after the last meal.
  2. Consume 20 to 40 mg per day. The exact dose is selected taking into account the patient’s state of health.
  3. In the course of treatment, you need to carefully monitor your condition. If there is no effect, you should tell your doctor about this. He will prescribe a large dose or pick up another drug.

For the elderly, they choose the latest generation of medicines, since they have the least number of adverse reactions.

Compatibility with other drugs

If, after administration, side symptoms begin to occur, but no diseases that can cause it have been identified, we can talk about the incompatibility of drugs with other drugs and substances used by the patient. When indicated, when a remedy is needed to lower cholesterol, but statins cannot be taken, analogues of medications are used to help lower the substance without harm to the patient.

Statins can not be consumed with some drugs, since kidney and liver damage can occur. It concerns:

  • antibiotics like Erythromycin, Clarithromycin;
  • funds for the treatment of fungal diseases;
  • calcium channel blockers in the form of verapamil;
  • fibroic acid derivatives or fibrates;
  • protease inhibitors (these are drugs for treating AIDS).

Also, during therapy, it is not recommended to consume grapefruits and grapefruit juice, as this can provoke side effects.


With the help of statins, cholesterol deposits on the walls of blood vessels are removed, which helps to avoid circulatory disorders, thrombosis and all the ensuing consequences. During the use of drugs, the reserve of arteries expands, blood flow increases, arrhythmia passes, and the severity of symptoms of diabetes mellitus decreases.

Reviews about the drugs are mostly positive, because despite the risk of adverse reactions, they help eliminate inflammation of the walls of blood vessels, establish metabolic processes in the body, and reduce weight if a person is obese.

With the help of statins, they accelerate recovery after myocardial infarction, stroke, pulmonary embolism, surgical intervention to establish shunts, stents, and angioplasty of the heart.

Statins – a breakthrough in medicine or not?

Statiny ot holesterina - Statins to lower cholesterol benefits and harms

Proponents of evidence-based medicine can sleep peacefully. Clinical studies on the effectiveness of statin drugs have proven that these lipid-lowering drugs actually effectively lower blood cholesterol levels and, as a result, reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular pathologies.

However, one cannot be completely sure that statins are only beneficial. The body needs cholesterol for many biological processes. They are very important for the normal life of every person. A lot of negative consequences can be triggered by constantly taking statins for cholesterol. The benefits and harms almost go hand in hand.

The safety of the use of these medicines by patients of the age group from 50 to 60 is a big question. At first, the research results were so impressive that statins were issued 2 years ahead of schedule. This made it impossible to evaluate the side effects that occur with long-term use.

There are situations when statin drugs are vital for patients. And it so happens that you can get by with a balanced diet and exercise.

The right to decide whether to take lipid-lowering drugs or not belongs to the attending doctor, who can assess the health status of his patient as a whole and take into account all the nuances and associated problems.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

A person who is first prescribed statins usually does not have confidence in the correct understanding of the instructions and recommendations of the doctor. Questions arise that need clarification. Usually they relate to the rules for taking medications, ways to reduce their side effects, duration of treatment and the possibility of drug withdrawal. We will try to answer the most popular of them.

  1. How to take statins for cholesterol – morning or evening? – Once a day, in the evening, usually an hour before bedtime.
  2. At what level of cholesterol are statins prescribed? The norm is 3,2–5,6 mmol/L. If it is exceeded, one should try to lower cholesterol by changing the diet, increasing physical activity, and quitting smoking. Statins are usually prescribed for levels reaching or exceeding 7,0 mmol/L. But this figure can be lower if a person has suffered a stroke or myocardial infarction.
  3. How to take statins – before meals or after? Since food does not affect the absorption of drugs, you can take them both before and after meals. Only a combination with citrus fruits and drinks based on them is contraindicated.
  4. Can I drink statins every other day? No, this cannot be done. These medicines are effective for 24 hours. Irregular receipt of drugs will make their intake ineffective.
  5. How to protect the liver while taking statins? It is required to avoid the use of other drugs that negatively affect it. If the patient is prescribed a new drug, it is necessary to inform the doctor about the constant use of statins. No need to break the diet. We must not forget that statins and alcohol are incompatible. It is also dangerous to overeat and eat fatty foods.
  6. Do statins increase blood sugar? Yes, these drugs have this property. But this applies only to patients with hyperglycemia. Blood sugar rises when prescribing high doses of drugs and appears in 0,01-0,1% of cases.
  7. Do statins thin the blood or not? They reduce its viscosity and reduce the possibility of blood clots.
  8. Is it possible to lose weight by taking statins? Weight loss in obese patients helps to lower blood cholesterol. However, it should not be forced, but gradual – due to an increase in physical activity and a transition to a balanced diet. Rapid weight loss can lead to metabolic and water-electrolyte disturbances, which are especially dangerous in combination with taking lipid-lowering drugs.
  9. Can I take statins all the time? Depending on the indications for the appointment of these drugs, they are taken either in long courses, or for life. In this case, periodic laboratory monitoring of blood cholesterol and lipidograms is necessary.
  10. Can I stop drinking statins? If a lifelong intake of the drug is indicated, then, perhaps, only a short-term cessation of their use – in case of infection, after surgery or with an exacerbation of certain concomitant diseases. With the course of treatment with statins, the reception is stopped after the normalization of the lipid profile. But diet and periodic monitoring of blood cholesterol are required.
  11. Can I stop drinking statins without consequences? It depends on the disease in connection with which the drug was prescribed, on the level of cholesterol at the time of its cancellation, on the person’s lifestyle and the characteristics of his diet. And, finally, on whether the patient is going to periodically monitor the level of blood cholesterol and visit a family or local therapist. There was a good reason for prescribing statins, so it is unlikely that it would be prudent to leave the dangerous problem without control.
  12. How to stop taking statins without harm to health? There are situations when this is unrealistic, for example, with the consequences of a heart attack or stroke. But there is a prophylactic prescription of statins, when a person has no cardiovascular disease, but there is hypercholesterolemia. If, after a course of treatment, blood cholesterol decreases, then it is possible to stop taking the drugs. Provided that a healthy lifestyle is maintained and lipid profile parameters are monitored, which remain within normal limits.

To summarize. Statins are a group of drugs that lower blood cholesterol. They are effective in the treatment of hyperlipidemia and in the prevention of cardiovascular disease. However, they have many side effects, among which there is a negative effect on the nervous system, muscles and liver. Physical activity, a diet rich in plant foods and giving up bad habits reduce blood cholesterol.

1854a3dc52b729b8713de36a7551f72b - Statins to lower cholesterol benefits and harms

Therefore, a healthy lifestyle can be an alternative to prescribing statins. But with the consequences of heart attacks and strokes, these drugs are included in the mandatory treatment regimen. The future lies in the introduction into clinical practice of lipid-lowering drugs of other groups, which will reduce the dose of statins used. Combination therapy will make it possible to lower blood cholesterol without harm to the human body.

What is cholesterol, how to determine and lower it in the blood

  1. At what age do statins be taken? Typically, such drugs are prescribed to people aged 50-60 years. It is at this age that people begin to show atherosclerosis, a high risk of heart attacks and strokes, although this can happen at a younger age.
  2. What cholesterol is prescribed for statins? Statins cannot be dispensed with if low-density lipoproteins reach 8,5 mmol/L or higher.
  3. Are there statins for cholesterol prevention? Typically, drugs are used to eliminate the problem of hypercholesterolemia. Periodically, in the process of treatment, the dosage is changed, if the indicators return to normal, then the medicine is consumed in a smaller amount to prevent an increase.
  4. What statins are best taken in old age? Elderly people are treated with atorvastatin, rosuvastatin, simvastatin. Sometimes they use lovastatin, but this is a weaker drug, so it is not used so often. Any of these drugs helps lower cholesterol, prevents heart attack, stroke and reduces overall mortality. Choose a specific tool for an elderly person, depending on the frequency of adverse reactions.
  5. How long do I take statins? The course of treatment with drugs is long. Sometimes they are consumed for several years, but not longer than 5 years, since longer use causes damage to the kidneys and liver.


If the blood content of low density lipoproteins increases, this leads to the development of atherosclerosis. To cope with hypercholesterolemia, they first prescribe a diet, if they do not help, use statins. There are natural and synthetic products. The second option is considered safer, since adverse reactions develop less frequently.

If you take statins correctly, you can reduce the risk of developing coronary disease, stroke, heart attack. But a violation of the dosage and dosage regimen causes dangerous phenomena like rhabdomyolysis. In order not to increase the load on the liver and kidneys, you can not combine them with antibiotics, antifungal agents, and AIDS drugs.

Svetlana Borszavich

General practitioner, cardiologist, with active work in therapy, gastroenterology, cardiology, rheumatology, immunology with allergology.
Fluent in general clinical methods for the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease, as well as electrocardiography, echocardiography, monitoring of cholera on an ECG and daily monitoring of blood pressure.
The treatment complex developed by the author significantly helps with cerebrovascular injuries and metabolic disorders in the brain and vascular diseases: hypertension and complications caused by diabetes.
The author is a member of the European Society of Therapists, a regular participant in scientific conferences and congresses in the field of cardiology and general medicine. She has repeatedly participated in a research program at a private university in Japan in the field of reconstructive medicine.