The Emperor’s New Statins

When statins were first introduced the pitch was to ‘put them in the water supply’. GPs were, and are, financially rewarded for testing and lowering cholesterol. Millions took them.  Cardio deaths have gone down since the 1980’s, although they flattened out over the last decade. Much of the decrease is attributed to reduction in smoking (30%), more people exercising (30%), plus better medical resuscitation (32%).[1] The risk reduction attributed to lowering cholesterol was 4%, while statin use attributed 2% to the reduction. A study published in 2015 concludes: “Among the Western European countries studied, the large increase in statin utilisation between 2000 and 2012 was not associated with CHD mortality, nor with its rate of change over the years.”[2] Taking statins daily for up to 6 years, according to a British Medical Journal report[3], adds 3 days to expected lifespan.

Now cardio deaths have gone up a lot, while statin prescriptions went down a little during the pandemic, but there were many other things going on. Of course, those deaths skew to older people with less cardio resilience. Of course, both covid infection and mRNA vaccination introduces spike proteins, clotting and increased risk of heart problems (for example, peri and myocarditis). Also, lockdowns decreased physical activity and smoking increased. So is it any surprise that cardio deaths are up? But what has this to do with cholesterol? Nothing. Why would cholesterol lowering statins have any effect? They probably won’t.

Apart from lowering cholesterol, which is a red herring[4] except in the one in a hundred who have familial hypercholesterolemia, statins have a mild anti-inflammatory effect. There is effectively no benefit for statins in those with no pre-existing cardiovascular disease but a moderately raised cholesterol level below 6mmol/l and for those who have heart disease around a hundred would need to take them for one or two people to not have a fatal heart attack. According to Dr Malcolm Kendrick’s analysis of the major Heart Protection Study (HPS)[5] “If you treat one hundred people at very high risk of heart disease (secondary prevention) with statins 2 will live, on average, an extra 6 months and 98 will gain no benefit.”

These are very bad odds. Do statins help the heart to work? Quite the opposite. One of the most common side-effects, fatigue and muscle aches, can be mitigated by co-enzyme Q10, which does help the heart to work, along with carnitine. So, if I have carditis, tiredness on exertion or shortness of breath following covid or vaccination, that’s what I would take combined – like COQ Plus Carnitine.

What about clotting, which could result in a stroke or a heart attack? Well, there are many ways to reduce clotting and statins isn’t one of them. Vitamin C, omega-3 and quercetin are three obvious candidates. But let’s not forget sugar and refined carbs which ‘damage’ cholesterol creating glycosolated lipoproteins, and also homocysteine lowering B vitamins. Raised homocysteine, not cholesterol accounts for 2/3rds of cardio deaths in older people. Exercise also helps.

If only two in a hundred of those with pre-existing heart disease could benefit from statins what happens to the other 98? Will then get the fatigue, muscle aches or brain fog which are the most common side-effects of statins? Some studies say a third do. If cholesterol is driven too low, below 4mmol/l, that is strongly linked to increasing dementia risk[6].

UK government want pharmacists to prescribe more. It almost sounds like ‘prevention’ but really it is just a smokescreen to continue to fail to address real health issues.

Further Information

How to Prevent Heart Disease – Watch this film.

Because COQ10 and carnitine support the heart naturally, I formulated them into the Body Supplement range which is available at HOLFORDirect – see NoBlush Niacin and COQ Plus Carnitine

Also see my book ‘Say No to Heart Disease‘.



[2]; also read