The pharmaceutical industry threw caution to the wind 15 years ago when the national priority to lower cholesterol so fogged our minds that they focused just on the cholesterol branch of the mevalonate pathway and completely disregarded the important consequences of collateral damage to the other main branches of the tree from statin drugs. The predictable result of all this has been our bizarre spectrum of statin associated side effects ranging from cognitive, to myotoxic, neurotoxic, neurodegenerative and even behavioral.
And what about another major branch of the mevalonate tree, that of dolichol? I have been talking of the consequences of statin associated dolichol inhibition for years now, calling attention to the importance of this substance in neuropeptide formation and our feelings of thought, sensation and emotion. More recently, I have pointed at dolichol inhibition as a possible cause of statin associated behavioral side effects, such as irritability, hostility and depression, while wondering how, with so few proteins, such amazing subtlety of emotion could be created.
Now, however, I have learned that along with peptide assembly within the endoplasmic reticulum of every cell is the process of sacharride attachment. It is here in the heart of every cell that sacharrides (sugars) are attached to proteins to give a far broader range of diversity and information transfer than protein alone. This process is called glycosylation and it demands a ready supply of dolichol.
Dolichols may well be fully as important as CoQ10 in this unfortunate game of statin roulette that Big Pharma has placed us in. Statin damage is often additive to pre-existing impairment of glycolysis from aging, disease and poor nutrition. Glyconutrients, now increasingly available as a source of these vital sugars, may offer hope to thousands of statin damaged victims to help the body repair the effects of impaired glycolysis. It is much too early to talk of proof of effect for studies are only now in the planning stage. However, based upon my six years of research, I anxiously look forward to the results.
Duane Graveline MD MPH
Former USAF Flight Surgeon
Former NASA Astronaut
Retired Family Doctor