Statins Inhibit Vitamin K2 and Stimulate Hardening Of The Arteries

August 2015, Xtend-Life Expert

Summary

For the past few years, doctors have been debating the benefits of statins, and wondering if the drugs used to help lower cholesterol levels might do more harm than good. It seems that recent research is now showing that statins may compound the very problems they are prescribed to help relieve.

For the past few years, doctors have been debating the benefits of statins, and wondering if the drugs used to help lower cholesterol levels might do more harm than good.

According to a new study from a team of researchers based in both Norway and New Jersey, statins may not only cause interactions that help deplete levels of coenzyme Q10 – a substance used by every cell of the body to help encourage growth that also acts as a protective antioxidant (Ref. 1) – but also has the potential to inhibit Vitamin K2, which protects the heart and arteries. (Ref. 2)

That’s not good news for the number of people prescribed statins. Currently, 1 in 4 middle-aged residents in the United States are dutifully taking doctor-prescribed statins, and that number is expected to grow as high as 1 in 2, according to the New England Journal of Medicine.

“The prevailing dogma has been that statins are almost harmless and that they’re wonderful drugs,” Dr. Tom Perry, a pharmacologist and internist in Vancouver, Canada, told Web MD.com. (Ref. 1)

However, some of the most common side effects, including muscle pain, weakness and memory loss, are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to statin risks.

According to the study from the Norwegian and New Jersey researchers, statins may compound the very problems they are prescribed to help relieve.

Statins and hardening of the arteries

Cholesterol is an important component to cell and body functions, but too much of the harmful forms of Cholesterol may put the heart at risk by causing plaque buildup along the walls of the arteries. Plaque buildup can slow the flow of blood, reducing the transport of oxygen to where it’s needed and elevating the risk of a heart attack or stroke due to reduced blood flow.

Statins are prescribed to help reduce cholesterol levels, and they are the most popular drugs in America. They work by blocking a chemical in the liver that makes cholesterol (Ref. 3), but according to numerous studies, the popular drugs come with side effects that can be as dangerous, or potentially even more dangerous, than the cholesterol itself.

In a study that appeared in March in the journal Expert Review Clinical Pharmacology, researchers found that statins might act as “mitochondrial toxins,” essentially reducing the energy and oxygen cells can transport throughout the body. 

Statins also may inhibit “the synthesis of vitamin K2, the cofactor for matrix Gla-protein (MGP) activation, which in turn protects arteries from calcification,” researchers said. (Ref. 2)

Matrix Gla-protein plays a role in both bone and artery health, and if vitamin K2 is not on hand to work with the essential protein MGP, both bone and artery health are in jeopardy.

If the body’s ability to use vitamin K2 is inhibited by statins, the risk of atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, is accelerated. Atherosclerosis – which is caused by high cholesterol - is the leading cause of heart attack and stroke. (Ref. 5)

So is it the worst of all Catch-22s, and are we essentially damned if we do take statins to control high cholesterol, and damned if we don’t?

Not according to researchers from the Netherlands, who found in a study of post-menopausal women that supplementing with vitamin K2 can help improve arterial sclerosis, restoring flexibility and blood flow to arteries. (Ref. 6)

That study is not the only one to suggest upping levels of vitamin K2 could support cardiovascular health.

Statin

Supporting healthy cholesterol levels

There are several natural options to help support a healthy cholesterol profile, including vitamin K2, which is found in all our Xtend-Life Total Balance formulas except the Children’s blend.

Good quality fish oil’s – such as Xtend-Life Omega3/DHA Fish Oil products – has also been shown to help support healthy cholesterol levels.

According to CNN, the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil have been shown to help lower triglyceride levels, one of the three components of your total cholesterol profile. (Ref. 7)

High triglycerides gave been closely associated with coronary heart disease, and the American Heart Association recommends fish oil as a way to help support heart health.

Statins linked to type 2 diabetes

Heart disease is not the only risk associated with statins.

According to a 2012 study that appeared in an American Heart Association journal, those who used statins had a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, a disease that also has an impact on arterial health because high blood sugar levels cause arterial walls to become sticky, slowing the flow of blood.

To reach their conclusions, researchers from Harvard Medical School and the Joslin Diabetes Center reviewed a series of studies to determine that statins did elevate the risk of type 2 diabetes.

“Careful review of findings from many trials combined does show that statins can modestly raise blood sugars, and more patients who are on statin therapy are diagnosed with diabetes mellitus compared with those not on statin,” researchers said. (Ref. 8)

A Canadian study had previously found that high-potency statins boosted the risk of type 2 diabetes by 15 percent for those who were prescribed statins after a heart attack or a stroke compared to those taking lower-potency statins.

“Doctors need to consider the possibility that high doses of statins will increase the risk of diabetes in these patients,” said Dr. Colin Dormuth, the lead author of the study which appeared in the British Medical Journal. (Ref. 8).

REFERENCES:

  1. http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/heart-failure/tc/coenzyme-q10-topic-overview
  2. http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/05/26/idUSnMKWV9kwma+1e0+MKW20150526
  3. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/8274.php
  4. http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/what-is-atherosclerosis
  5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25694037
  6. http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/08/20/cholesterol.lowering.supplements/index.html?eref=rss_health
  7. http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/126/18/e282.full
  8. http://www.bmj.com/content/348/bmj.g3244

11 Comments

  • “Would Red Yeast Rice also inhibit absorption of K2?”

    val wolf - August 07 2018

  • “Hi YOTi, We appreciate your concern about this. We do think that the statins may undo the benefits of the vitamin K2, however we cannot comment on the impact this might have on you, and we cannot offer medical advice, so we would encourage you to discuss this matter with your doctor.”

    Xtend-Life Expert - March 01 2016

  • “I’ve been taking statins since1992 i am 76 & my chol. is 4.8  i started Q10 10 yrs.ago Not sure about latest on Vit K but good Multi Sups. contain K”

    P Ross - September 04 2015

  • “I have been taken pravastatin for about 10 years and I want to if it is the same as statin. if this is the same medicine, what else is available for high cholesterol .”

    L. Lawson - September 07 2015

  • “Hi Ed,   Thank you for your contribution. Cholesterol is an essential substance, without which the human body cannot function properly. We welcome the ongoing research and the spotlight that is being focused on the use of statins.”

    Xtend-Life Expert - September 14 2015

  • “Nobody ever needs to be on a statin drug.  If you have high cholesterol be thankful….new studies are showing that high cholesterol is very protective.  There never have been any studies linking high cholesterol to atherosclerosis or heart attacks.  Just google "The Great Cholesterol Con" and learn….there is so much information available from good science.  To learn more about the extreme dangers of Statins check out Dr. David Brownstein’s website <a href= http://www.drbrownstein.com >http://www.drbrownstein.com and his book "The Statin Disaster".”

    Ed - September 08 2015

  • “Hi L.   Yes, pravastatin is a statin drug.”

    Xtend-Life Expert - September 14 2015

  • “Hi Irmgard It is great to hear that you are being proactive and looking to optimize your health. Eating a healthy diet is a great start and I commend you on doing so. We cannot advise you on the use of the statin. This is a matter that you must discuss with your doctor.   However, I would recommend that you discuss our Omega 3 QH/Ultra Fish Oil and Lipi-Rite with your doctor. The Omega 3 /QH Ultra contains our unique base blend of Hoki and Tuna oils, along with two powerful antioxidants, Lycopene and Astaxanthin. But more importantly it also includes genuine Kaneka QH Ubiquinol. This is the active form of CoQ10. CoQ10 occurs naturally in the body, but begins to decline after the age of forty, therefore boosting the levels is very useful.  This is especially relevant when using statin medication, as statins can block the production of essential CoQ10. Lipi-Rite includes a range of ingredients, including plant sterols, chromium, policosanol and other ingredients that may help you maintain the healthy cholesterol profile that you are looking for.”

    Xtend-Life Expert - September 09 2015

  • “Thank you for this information about statins! I am on statins one a day and have Type 2 Diabetes and high blood pressure.   What could I take instead of the statin, I wonder? I seem to be on the borderline and try to beat it with my careful diet and one instead of three Metformins, the Metformin I try to replace with Chromium and Alpha Lipoic Acid. I do succeed  with that! But what could replace the Statins? i would be happy and thankful about an answer!”

    Irmgard Teubert - September 04 2015

  • “I had statin and I am taking v.k2 ! what is the Risk?”

    YOTI - February 28 2016

  • “Death or near-death by prescribing doctor.  Can’t be said often enough. I’ve almost lost my husband  -  as probably have millions of others  -  due to brainwashed doctors following governmental mis-information on statins: http://wp.rxisk.org/nearly-invisible-drug-traffic-accidents/ ”

    moy peralta - September 04 2015

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