Statins have become increasingly popular to help prevent heart disease in at risk individuals, but a new review of the drugs suggests that they may be doing more harm than good.

Many individuals with high cholesterol, but no history of heart disease, are prescribed statins to help prevent heart disease or stroke. However, a new review has found little evidence to suggest that statins should be prescribed as a preventative to healthy people with high cholesterol.

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Lead researcher of the review, Sherif Sultan, of University College Hospital in Galway, warned that the unnecessary prescription of statins can lead to a number of side effects. These can range from an increased risk of diabetes, cataracts and male impotence, to more serious conditions such as cancer and Parkinson’s disease in the elderly.

Dr Sultan didn’t deny that statins are certainly beneficial for certain patients already diagnosed with heart disease, or who have had a history of heart attack or stroke. However, he and his team called for a review of the drug's wider use in otherwise healthy people, who may benefit from simply losing weight, improving their diet, doing more exercise and stopping smoking.

Other preventative steps Dr. Sultan also recommends are; cutting out wheat from the diet, increasing the intake of green vegetables, drinking 3 litres of water a day and trying not to eat after dinner.

At OptiBac, we wouldn’t ever condone disregarding the advice of your GP, so if you’re thinking of coming off of your cholesterol medication it is vital that you consult your doctor before doing so.

We would certainly welcome further research into statins and their potential side effects, as well as more support to the natural health industry and its potential alternatives.

Read more about natural health and cholesterol here and here.

Reference: Sherif, S. & Hynes, N. (2013) The Ugly Side of Statins. Systemic Appraisal of the Contemporary Un-Known Unknowns. Open Journal of Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases. Vol 3, 3.

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