Saturday, February 7, 2009

Adverse effects to statins and the Bios Life alternative

I'm back from a brief jaunt oversees. While I was traveling I checked out this review (h/t Futurepundit and to one of our Franchise Owners) on the adverse effects associated with HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins). Here are a few money quotes from one the authors of the review.

"Muscle problems are the best known of statin drugs' adverse side effects," said Golomb. "But cognitive problems and peripheral neuropathy, or pain or numbness in the extremities like fingers and toes, are also widely reported." A spectrum of other problems, ranging from blood glucose elevations to tendon problems, can also occur as side effects from statins.

My thoughts: HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors reduce the amount of Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). CoQ10 is an essential part of mitochondrial energy metabolism. It's widely thought that this is probably the cause for the muscle related adverse effects.

Some more money quotes:

"Mitochondria produce most of the oxygen free radicals in the body, harmful compounds that "antioxidants" seek to protect against. When mitochondrial function is impaired, the body produces less energy and more "free radicals" are produced. Coenzyme Q10 ("Q10") is a compound central to the process of making energy within mitochondria and quenching free radicals. However, statins lower Q10 levels because they work by blocking the pathway involved in cholesterol production – the same pathway by which Q10 is produced. Statins also reduce the blood cholesterol that transports Q10 and other fat-soluble antioxidants.

"The loss of Q10 leads to loss of cell energy and increased free radicals which, in turn, can further damage mitochondrial DNA," said Golomb, who explained that loss of Q10 may lead to a greater likelihood of symptoms arising from statins in patients with existing mitochondrial damage – since these people especially rely on ample Q10 to help bypass this damage. Because statins may cause more mitochondrial problems over time – and as these energy powerhouses tend to weaken with age—new adverse effects can also develop the longer a patient takes statin drugs.

The are clear benefits to taking a statin medication to manage your cholesterol. There is also a growing population who would perfer alternatives to taking medications to manage their cholesterol. Unicity offers demonstrated alternatives to statin medication. They are Bios Life Slim and Bios Life Complete. These fiber-based supplements have been shown to lower total cholesterol levels, lower LDL-cholesterol levels and to moderate glucose levels. For more information go to

Update: This article was forwarded to me by our Franchise Owner Kathy Fielding RD. Thanks Kathy and keep them coming!

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