So are statins a savior or a scam? Life does not always provide nice clean answers to such simple dichotomies - Steven Novella


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The simple cholesterol test that says if you need statins...

Heart disease stubbornly remains one of the biggest killers... During the past 60 years, the management of cholesterol has become an important weapon in the fight against this – and drugs called statins are often used in treatment.

But as a new review highlights, statins can often cause crippling side-effects – and may actually result in more harm than good. Writing in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, Australian science reporter Maryanne Demasi claims that doctors and patients are being misled about the true benefits and harms of these drugs. She also suggests that raw data on their efficacy and safety are being kept secret and have not been subjected to scrutiny by other scientists.


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 The simple cholesterol test that says if you need statins...

Attached to each LDL particle is a single molecule of a protein called apolipoprotein B100 (ApoB). And by determining how much ApoB is in the blood we can “count” exactly how many LDL particles are present. Determining LDL in this way is better than measuring the cholesterol stored inside, because ApoB has been shown to be a superior predictor of cardiovascular disease than measuring both LDL cholesterol and non-HDL cholesterol.

4 myths about statins

More than one in four adults ages 45 and older in the United States take a cholesterol-lowering statin. But these popular medications are often misunderstood. Here's what you need to know to take them safely.

5 Reasons to Stop or Switch Statins

Statins—a class of drug that includes atorvastatin (Lipitor), simvastatin (Zocor), and others—are among the most effective drugs for lowering cholesterol. They are also among the most widely prescribed drugs of all time. Like other drugs, however, statins have potentially serious side effects, and there are instances in which they should not be taken. Here is a rundown of things you should look out for if you are taking a statin, and times when you should steer clear of the drugs altogether.


NEXLETOL and NEXLIZET are indicated as adjuncts to diet and maximally tolerated statin therapy for the treatment of adults with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia or established atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease who require additional lowering of LDL-C.


CRESTOR (rosuvastatin calcium) is a prescription drug belonging to a group of medicines called statins that are used to treat high cholesterol. Along with diet, CRESTOR lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol and raises HDL (good) cholesterol. It's also been proven to slow the progression of atherosclerosis, the buildup of plaque in your arteries over time, as part of a treatment plan to lower cholesterol to goal.


LIPITOR (atorvastatin calcium) tablets are a prescription medicine that is used along with a low-fat diet. It lowers the LDL ("bad") cholesterol and triglycerides in your blood. It can raise your HDL ("good") cholesterol as well.


ZETIA, along with a healthy diet, can help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol when diet and exercise alone are not enough. Unlike some statins, ZETIA has not been shown to prevent heart disease or heart attacks.


Zocor (simvastatin) belongs to a group of drugs called HMG CoA reductase inhibitors, or "statins." Simvastatin reduces levels of "bad" cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein, or LDL) and triglycerides in the blood, while increasing levels of "good" cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein, or HDL).

Statins, also known as HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, inhibit HMG-CoA reductase (3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase) an enzyme involved in the synthesis of cholesterol especially in the liver. Decreased cholesterol production leads to an increase in the number of LDL (low density lipoprotein) membrane receptors, which increases clearance of LDL cholesterol from circulation.


By reducing the production of cholesterol, statins are able to slow the formation of new plaques and occasionally can reduce the size of plaques that already exist. In addition, through mechanisms that are not well understood, statins may also stabilize plaques and make them less prone to rupturing and develop clots.

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