Statins Scrutinized: What You Need To Know

October 2014, Xtend-Life Expert


As many of you know, statins are the acclaimed LDL-Cholesterol-lowering drugs which are amongst the biggest-selling medicines in the world, generating billions ($27 billion in 2009) in revenue for pharmaceutical companies (ref. 1). But what you may not be so familiar with is the heated controversy surrounding their efficacy. This past month has seen that controversy come to a head in the UK.

As many of you know, statins are the acclaimed LDL-Cholesterol-lowering drugs which are amongst the biggest-selling medicines in the world, generating billions ($27 billion in 2009) in revenue for pharmaceutical companies (ref. 1).

But what you may not be so familiar with is the heated controversy surrounding their efficacy. This past month has seen that controversy come to a head in the UK.

This debate was caused by the outraged response of doctors and experts to the declaration on statins by the National Institute for Healthcare and Excellence (NICE)

NICE declared (ref. 2) that they would be relaxing the guidelines for statin use, so that more over-50s routinely take a statin as a ‘just-in-case’ remedy against heart disease. Consequently, statin prescriptions in the UK are expected to rise from the current seven million to 12 million.

Why did NICE take this action and why has it caused so much heated debate? This blog attempts to reflect on these questions and decipher the facts from the fiction.

The Rationale For Statins

According to Professor Mark Baker, Director of the Centre for Clinical Practice at NICE: "Cardiovascular disease maims and kills people through coronary heart disease, peripheral arterial disease and stroke. Together, these kill 1 in 3 of us. Our proposals (particularly for the over-50’s) are intended to prevent many lives being destroyed.”

Do you think this assumption is correct? Let’s see…

First, the assumption is based on the premise that statins reduce cholesterol levels – especially the ‘bad’ LDL - cholesterol in the blood, therefore lowering the risk of a heart attack or stroke.

Yes, there is evidence to support the contention that statins help to prevent the formation of cholesterol and reduce LDL cholesterol. This is especially the case in a tiny group of people with familial hypercholesterolemia, an uncommon genetic defect that causes very high cholesterol levels (ref 3)

However, it has NOT BEEN CLINUCLLY PROVEN that statins significantly lower the risk of dying overall from all causes. Statins have not been shown to treat the underlying causes of heart disease.

The Rationale Against Statins

Indeed, lack of clinical evidence is a just one of the key points summarised by the doctors’ and experts’ written response (ref. 4) to the NICE proposal. In essence this specifies that:

  1. The ‘medicalisation’ of five million healthy individuals is inappropriate and clinically unsubstantiated “Where is the evidence to prove that treatment of elevated cholesterol levels with statins in otherwise healthy persons decrease mortality or prevent other serious outcomes?”
  2. The assumption that statins have no negative side effects is clinically flawed: “Using statins might change what it says on your death certificate, but not the date is gets written…Statins have a lot more side-effects than opinion leaders state. To say they have no side-effects is complete and utter nonsense.”
  3. The extreme conflict of interests amongst those involved in the clinical studies referred to by NICE is wrong: “The data driving NICE guidance on statins comes almost entirely from pharmaceutical company funded studies. 8 members of NICE’s panel of 12 experts have direct financial ties to the pharmaceutical companies that manufacture statins. Furthermore, some members of the guideline panel are also involved in next generation, more expensive, cholesterol lowering drugs, which are not yet on the market.  Furthermore, these data are not available for review by independent researchers.”
  4. The overdependence on industry data raises concerns about possible biases: “Extensive evidence shows that industry funded trials systematically produce more favourable outcomes than non-industry sponsored ones.”
  5. The NICE recommendations have led to a loss of professional confidence: GPs feel that this guidance is a ‘step too far’. It is instructive to note that almost six out of ten GPs (57%) oppose the plan to lower the current 10 year risk threshold for primary prevention, while only 25% support it. Furthermore, 55% would not personally take a statin or recommend a family member does so based on a 10% 10 year risk score.”

The Evidence Against Increases

In addition to the above studies referenced by the experts which question the benefits of statins, we also have independent studies showing how:

  • the progression of coronary artery calcification, which is the hallmark of potentially lethal heart disease, is increased with statin drug use. (ref. 5)
  • statins increased the risk of type 2 diabetics in postmenopausal women by 48 % (ref. 6)
  • statins appear to come with many other potential side effects. In fact, as of 2009 there were well over 900 studies proving their adverse effects (ref. 7). One of the primary mechanisms of harm appears to be CoQ10 depletion. If you take statin drugs without supplementing with CoQ10 (or ideally, the reduced form, called ubiquinol, which is far more effective), your health may be seriously compromised.

Plus we also have evidence showing why the Jupiter study (ref. 8) was so flawed. The Jupiter study is one of the largest ever trials for statins. It concluded that: “men and women with elevated hsCRP (high-sensitivity C-reactive protein) and low LDLC are at substantial vascular risk... statin therapy can cut that risk by half.”.

Revision : “Plus we have evidence showing why the Jupiter study (ref. 8) was so flawed. The Jupiter study is one of the largest ever trials for statins. It concluded that statin therapy can reduce unbalanced cholesterol levels. 

But Independent studies clearly illustrate how flawed Jupiter was (ref. 9). These independent studies concluded that “The trial was flawed. It was discontinued after fewer than 2 years of follow-up, with no differences between the two groups on the most objective criteria.  The results of the trial do not support the use of statin treatment for primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases and raise troubling questions concerning the role of commercial sponsors. In addition, the meta-analysis of 11 randomized controlled trials, found no evidence to back up the JUPITER trial claim that statins can reduce your risk of death when used as primary prevention against heart disease.”

Given all the above evidence questioning the health benefits of statins, perhaps NICE simply misunderstands the nature of cholesterol, heart disease and statins?

Has NICE Mis-Understood Cholesterol, Heart Disease and Statins?

One cannot help but wonder if the attitude of NICE reflects a very common mis-understanding about basic human biology and the function of cholesterol.

It is too simplistic to simply say that there is "good" or "bad" cholesterol. Both HDL and LDL cholesterol perform vital functions in your body.

HDL (high density lipoprotein) and LDL (low density lipoprotein) are proteins which transport the cholesterol to and from your tissues. Cholesterol in turn is a precursor to your steroid hormones, bile acids, cell membrane walls and vitamin D. Even more importantly, your cells cannot regenerate their membranes without it.

This is why it may be dangerous to bring your LDL levels down too low, as we pointed out in another blog (ref. 10).

Really the main way cholesterol can be viewed as very ‘bad’ is when it is oxidized or damaged. This happens when you eat something cooked in vegetable oils like canola, corn, or soy oil. As soon as the oil is heated and mixes with oxygen, it goes rancid.

Perhaps by now, in the light of all the above concerns with statins, you may be wondering what can you do if you are concerned about unbalanced cholesterol levels?

How Can You Control and Balance Cholesterol?

First we suggest you view cholesterol as performing vital positive functions in your body, which work in concert with other necessary functions. Indeed, when considering your cholesterol levels, it is a vital see those levels holistically in relation to many other indicators like homocystine, triglycerides, blood pressure, apolipoprotein and CRP, as well as the more usual blood and urine results. If you have low or high cholesterol, but healthy results in most of these areas, this must be taken into account.

Then, do your best to lead a balanced lifestyle which includes:

  1. Normalizing your insulin levels by eliminating sugar (particularly fructose) and grains.
  2. Eating a good portion of your food raw (ideally organic to avoid agricultural chemicals) especially raw fats like virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, raw organic nuts and seeds, organic eggs, organic, grass-fed meats
  3. Regular exercise to increase your circulation and the blood flow throughout your body.
  4. Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol excessively.

As mentioned above, statins deplete the vital nutrient CoQ10. If you take statin drugs without supplementing with CoQ10 (ideally, the active form, called ubiquinol),  your health, especially cardio-vascular well-being -  may be seriously compromised.

To help prevent this, if you do take statins, please consider supplementing with our Omega 3 QH/Ultra for optimum cardiovascular support. This includes 50mg/day Kaneka QH® Ubiquinol.

As always, it is important to seek medical advice in regard to your own situation.

However, we hope that this blog has helped to dispel some of the confusion and fiction about Statins.

If however, you still have unanswered questions or concerns about statins, please do express them. Please also share your personal experiences of using statins.

We look forward to hearing your thoughts!


  1. Value of Statin Global Market
  2. The NICE Declaration  and Response to Criticisms
  3. A long term cohort study showing the efficacy of statins in familial hypercholesterolaemia:
  4. The doctors’ and experts’ written response to the NICE proposal:
  5. Study showing how the progression of coronary artery calcification, is increased with statin drug use
  6. Study showing how statins increased the risk of type 2 diabetics in postmenopausal women by 48 %
  7. The American Journal of Cardiovascular Drugs cites nearly 900 studies on the adverse effects of statins.,+devices,+and+other+interventions%22[Jour]+AND+Golomb[author]
  8. The Jupiter study
  9. Why the Jupiter study was so flawed,%20cardiovasc%20diseases,%20and%20the%20rosuvastatin-JUPITER%20controversy_Arch%20Int%20Med%202010.pdf
  10. Why Low Cholesterol May be Bad for You


  • “Well, thats half the story, and I applaud your points, Caramia. The other half is the fraudulent science (well-documented), deceit, and total abandonment of medical ethics behind the marketing of the so-called cholesterol-lowering drugs. I would dispute any notion of side effects… the hundreds of adverse health conditions resulting from Lipitor alone ARE the direct effects of the drug  -  there is nothing subsidiary about them. What a sad comment on the state of the human race, that most now blindly accept medicalisation of one kind or another from cradle to grave. We were not born to be force-fed chemicals, either from our current food toxicity, or drugs. Dr. David Healys book, PHARMAGEDDON, is both instructive and illuminating regarding data based medicine.  Adverse drug events now being the fourth leading cause of death in hospitals. I would also recommend the Statin documentary ‘Statin Nation’:”

    Moyra Peralta - October 18 2014

  • “A clarifying word, if I may. Perhaps everyone else is brighter than I am, but it has taken a lifetime and the late acquisition of a computer to realise [as Scott says] that official advice may not be in our best interests. Government health directives, echoed loudly by all media Press resources  –  on vaccines and cholesterol, dental amalgam and chemo in particular spring to mind. Not in our best interests , translated, simply means that we are being lied to. Most people, surely, do not realise that everything they are being told needs to be checked. Misinformation is governed by diverse reasons, not least the reaping of financial reward. My husband, for example, who has now lost his mind from Lipitor-damage, did not casually delegate his health to someone else; he was in fact browbeaten, scare-mongered, and told forcefully that our opinions had no validity and our reluctance to take drugs wd cause us great harm … a standard response technique by so many doctors in the UK from where I write, to ensure their ‘difficult’ patients are unquestioningly compliant. We were fit and well before the ramped up government cholesterol campaigns which led to fraudulent and poisonous medication/s which, I should add, most of the population are now ingesting. It is now the norm for citizens, especially the elderly, to be prescribed between 4 and 8 or more medications the escalating numbers to combat each harm the original prescription/s do… AND to provide doctors with a third of their income.  And I see no outcry against this abomination which is ruining countless lives.”

    Moyra P. - October 22 2014

  • “Thank you all very much for your comments. Heres my response:   Moyra: Sadly you are absolutely right that for many Medicalization has become the norm. The references are great in this context thanks.   I think its fair to say that this situation is not only because of the abandonment of medical ethics and deceit of Big pharma. Its also because we dont want to take responsibility for our own health and well-being. After all, it seems so much easier to delegate it to someone else!   Scott says exactly this in his response     Scott: Your honest words are very refreshing thank you   However, because one may be encouraged to continue with the bad diet and lack of exercise  that does not mean that one needs to agree with it! The fact that many of us realise such advice may not be in our best interests, suggests we can go our own way IF we chose.   I appreciate that often its the fear of not knowing what the best choice is of making the wrong decision – that holds many back from going against Conventional advice. If so, I encourage you to always do your own research about what youre being told, and trust your intuition. Ultimately you are your best doctor because no one knows you as well as you do.     M. Aragon: Yes, cholesterol plays a vital role in the body as described above under How Can You Control and Balance Cholesterol? I also explain that when considering your cholesterol levels, it is a vital see those levels holistically in relation to many other indicators like homocystine, triglycerides, blood pressure, apolipoprotein and CRP, as well as the more usual blood and urine results.   Accordingly, you are correct that the HDL to LDL ratio is very important. Let me clarify what this means:   The ratio of HDL/LDL looks at the ratio of good cholesterol (HDL) to bad cholesterol (LDL). The ratio is determined by dividing the LDL cholesterol into the HDL cholesterol. For example, if a person has an HDL cholesterol of 50 mg/dL and an LDL cholesterol of 150 mg/dL, the HDL/LDL ratio would be 0.33. The goal is to keep the ratio above 0.3, with the ideal HDL/LDL ratio being above 0.4.   Regarding your question Also is there any proof that lowering cholesterol also lowers your tostesterone?   There is no clear answer because there are no scientifically robust studies proving this. There have been studies in 2010 (  ) suggesting that statins may lower testosterone. But then there is a recent study in 2014 (  ) which suggests that statins may help to improve erectile dysfunction.   So the jury is out on the role of statins effect on testosterone   What we do know is that high cholesterol, pre-diabetes or high blood pressure has a tendency to cause hardening of the arteries. This may decrease blood flow to the testicles, damage them and so lower testosterone.   Leo: I understand that All Bran is a good source of fibre. But please be aware that as a processed cereal, it has unhealthy ingredients such as sugar and high fructose corns syrup. Please check the label.   Oatmeal can be OK depending on the way the oats are processed. The least processed the better. Steel cut oats are whole groats chopped up. These take longer to cook, contain more of their original nutrients, and taste nuttier than regular oats. In contrast, instant oats are rolled, steamed, and precooked oats. These will often have sweet flavorings added, and are the least healthy option.   For a good list of high fibre foods, please see     Thanks again for all your comments Kindly, Caramia Hartley R&D”

    Xtend-Life Expert - October 21 2014

  • “My cholesterol is under control and I have been taking Vit D, omega 3 and CoQ10 for some time with Vit B+.  I also take fiber each day too. KYPOYH & KYPD cul jlg”

    John L Galbreath - October 17 2014

  • “Judi Hughes  i recently had a heart attack and have two stents in an of the medications I am taking are statins, I am now having considerable pain in my lower legs, shoulders and arms. Is this Connected to taking statins? ”

    Judi Hughes - March 05 2017

  • “Good article. But I thought that the ratio of HDL to LDL (about 4 to 1) is more important and that we also need cholesterol in our body. Also, is there any proof that lowering cholesterol also lowers your tostesterone? ”

    M Aragon - October 18 2014

  • “Moyra, Thank you for your continued valuable comments. I totally empathise with you regarding your husband’s treatment. I have a similar situation with my sick mother, and indeed one of the reasons I left the UK after my own diagnosis of Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis was because I was afraid of being trapped in the medical establishment’s clutches. I decided to trust my own medical knowledge and body’s messages. My point is: I recognized there may be issues staying in the UK, so despite many sacrifices, I decided to move before being trapped. But I accept many can’t do that for whatever reason. So what can be done? You say, " I see no outcry against this abomination which is ruining countless lives. " There are people, including doctors and medical experts who are very aware of what is really going on, and who express their concerns. Now you have a computer, I suggest you research on line using Google. You will discover a wealth of information on this subject. Thank you again for your courage in speaking out. I wish you strength and faith in dealing with your very challenging situation. Please let me know if I can assist further. Kindly, Caramia, R&D”

    Xtend-Life Expert - October 23 2014

  • “Caramia,                  Grains I have had a cholesterol  level of 5.8 (NZ) for years. It has been as high as 6.2.  However, for some reason I started to eat a lot of raw oats with a couple of wheetbix for breakfast. By chance I came across an article that said oats could lower cholesterol, and low and behold the next time I had my ch. tested it had fallen to 5.3. Although I had been eating more ice cream and sugary foods than I normally do, it was my lowest level ever.  Basil Hall”

    Basil Hugh Hall - October 16 2016

  • “I have been taking simvastatin since1992 with none of the side effects that are being highlighted The discussions shd take into account that a lot of people wd rather take drugs than change their unhealthy way of life. Indeed I know of instances where in the case of simvastatin one is encouraged to continue with the bad diet and lack of exercise because of belief the drug releives one of any personal effort or responsibility   The NHS system actually encourages this lazy & self defeating course of action. Another explanation it is impossible to raise enough tax to pay for NHS.  Of course no potitician cd explain this,for obvious reasons”

    Scott - October 18 2014

  • “Hi Lynn, Thanks for your comment. We are not at all suggesting you ignore your doctor’s advice. What we do suggest is to investigate natural alternatives prior to starting medication, as once on medication it can be very hard to come off it. We always recommend discussing our supplement protocols with your health practitioner prior to starting, or if you are planning on taking it in conjunction with your medication.  In good health, Madelynn”

    Xtend-Life Expert - October 17 2016

  • “Caramia, Thank you for sharing. It is much appreciated… and the PPMS factor places your comments into a wider framework. I hope your work with Warren and his enterprising team renews and sustains you.”

    moyra peralta - October 23 2014

  • “Hi Judi, We are sorry to hear about your recent health concerns. As we are not medical professionals we are unable to advise you about the medication you are taking and the symptoms this may cause. We strongly recommend discussing this with your doctor, as they will best be able to advise you about this. If you have any questions in regards to any of our products including our Omega 3/ QH Ultra Fish Oil, which can be beneficial for cardiovascular health, please do not hesitate to contact us. Kind regards, Customer Relations”

    Customer Relations - May 17 2017

  • “Excellent article, well done and thank you.”

    Judith M Tomes - October 17 2014

  • “Are you then suggesting we should ignore what the doctors say and medicate ourselves according to this article I am 76 years old and would like to see 80i have been on simvastaten for as long as I can remember I have had one TIA about 8 years ago They performed  an endarterectomy at that time and I have had no problem since then. ”

    Lynn Huntley - October 06 2016

  • “Your suggusting not to eat grains which increases glucose. Does that include bran such as All Bran. What about oatmeal? What foods are good to eat to increase fiber?”

    Leo Hinkel - October 17 2014

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