UC San Diego statin study complete

A forum to discuss personal experiences of Muscle Pain associated with statin drug use.

UC San Diego statin study complete

Postby pops » Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:43 pm

The adverse events statin study in UC San Diego is completed. See link below. They concluded that it's not the type of statin used that determines the rate of adverse events, but the efficacy. In other words, the more the statin lowers cholesterol, the more likely adverse events are to occur.

Which leads me to a hypothesis: since cholesterol is used for cellular repair, coenzyme q10, dolichol, and other blocked antioxidants, while important, are not the primary reason statins cause side effects. Rather, the primary reason statins cause side effects is that cholesterol *itself* is necessary for cellular repair, and depriving the body of adequate cholesterol is what causes adverse events. Double blind studies are called for. All you medical researchers out there, please feel free to confirm or refute my theory.

http://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/pressrelease/p ... de_effects

pOps
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Postby lars999 » Sat Sep 08, 2012 1:59 pm

pOps,

Thanks for that link!

My total cholesterol was lowered from high 200s to 300 down to 150 over course of several years. Dose was 10 mg daily. By time I finally quit Lipitor, I had plenty of the commonly talked about muscle pains, as well as some nasty dermatological issues (that departed shortly after I quit Lipitor), but, it was a huge (roughly 90+%) decrease in energy/stamina that was worst. It was this huge decrease in energy/stamina that lead directly to my quitting Lipitor. In only two weeks after stopping Lipitor, my stamina had increased at least 5-fold (more like 6-7-fold actually), although still quite low. This huge decrease in energy/stamina seems most directly attributed to a similarly large decrease in CoQ10, etc..

I did have muscle, ligament and nerve damage issues that took me at least 2 years to return to a lesser capable version of my pre-Lipitor capabilities. And I am still enjoying ongoing recovery from this damage. These adverse effects I would attribute heavily to damage resulting from low cholesterol. Also, I am only now, almost 3 years later, seeing my skin return to its pre-Lipitor condition, instead of being dry and prone to incessant determatological problems.

Suspect that one needs to think about different classes of people, some that will suffer extremely adverse effects in the first weeks or months after starting a statin drug, others of us, like me, that took years for adverse side effects to become so severe that we went looking for why. Othes, seem, we are told, have only few and mild adverse side effects. This begs for a genetic cause to these different responses. I am about to be genotyped via 23andMe's program -- this is the first step in my personal attempts to learn what genetic factors may have contributed to my current condition, thanks to a wide variety of potential causes.

The most delayed adverse response to a statin drug that I am familier with is a man that had heart issues in mid 50s and tolerated statins very well until in his mid 80s, when they just about ruined his life by turning a very active old man into almost an invalid. Weaned of of Lipitor, he was back to his old, active self in a few months. This makes me wonder what to expect as we get older and many essential biochemicals are produced in lesser amounts by of bodies, simply by natural aging, and this natural aging interacts with statin adverse effects (even years after quitting statins).

I look forward to what others have to contribute to this topic. We have posters here with a wide range of bad experiences from statin drugs.

Regards,
Lars
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Postby pops » Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:57 pm

Lars,
I'm glad you are mostly recovered. I do think coq10 does play a role in adverse events from statins, but in my humble opinion coq10 might not play as much of a role as previously believed. I base this on the following:

- the adverse events study completed by UC San Diego seemed to derive a direct correlation between the amount of cholesterol lowering and the damage done by statins.

- it's known by the medical community - and stated in their literature - that combining a statin with other cholesterol lowering medication increases the risk of adverse events. Since other cholesterol lowering medications do not affect coq10 or dolichol, it's logical to surmise that it's the lowering of cholesterol itself that causes at least some of these adverse events.

- anecdotally - that is, based on people I've talked with, including my own case - it seems that the lower the person's cholesterol at the start of taking statins, the higher the risk of adverse events. For example, I was put on statins when my total cholesterol was 170. Others I've talked to were put on statins when their total cholesterol was 160. All had severe side effects.

These things lead me to suspect that while coq10 and dolichol lowering are important, the thing that most likely predicts adverse events seems to be the degree of cholesterol lowering itself. As an example, your cholesterol went down to 150. That's 10 points lower than realage.com claims is the lowest safe level of cholesterol.

If what I am suggesting here is true, then doctors need to take it into consideration, especially when prescribing statins in "primary prevention." In other words, do not take the patient's cholesterol down below the 160 threshold. Obviously studies are required to validate this theory, and I hope someone will do those studies.

Since the medical community as a whole does not seem interested in learning the facts in the near future, the best we can hope for is that people will read these posts and think for themselves.

I'm sorry you took three years to become nearly normal. It seems it's taking me about the same amount of time. And that was just because of taking statins for one month. I'd hate to think what would have happened if I'd taken the whole 90 day supply.

Thanks for your reply. Always good to hear from you.
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Postby lars999 » Sun Sep 09, 2012 5:13 pm

pOps,

As a scientific experiment, testing one variable at a time, I screwed up badly in sense that I started taking CoQ10 only days after quitting Lipitor. SO, I will never know how much or how fast I might have recovered purely as function of how much my total cholesterol returned towards normal. As a scientific experiment, I made an even bigger mess of it because I did not have my total cholesterol measured until well over a year later, when it was back to "normal" for me (and deadly according to doctors!!!). And, I still have never had my total CoQ10 in blood plasma measured, much less ratio of ubiquinon/ubiquinol. SO, what do I really know?

I do find the UCSD reported correlation of degree of muscle pain, etc. and degree of statin potency compelling. However, as far as I know, they present no data re CoQ10 levels and degree of muscle pain, etc., so, absent those data, I would not support any statement of relative effects of cholesterol reduction vs benefit of supplementing with CoQ10. However, on assumption that amount of cholesterol reduction by statin drug is well correlated with statin caused reduction of CoQ10, it might be difficult to isolate the effects of each.

I have seen the statement that you quote about such low total cholesterol as 150 puts one well into danger region. I did not see that until well after I had quit Lipitor. I also find that ALL doctors I have visited after quitting Lipitor consider that the lower total cholesterol is, the better -- they also refuse to discuss it, simply attempting to bludgeon me with vague statements about "ALL" the testing and research done. I do manage to look as skeptical as possible and have not yet let a derisive horse laugh rip.

Regards,
Lars
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Postby pops » Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:35 am

Lars,
It would be interesting if they tried to break down - by the use of double blind studies - the negative side-effects of statins between "too low a total cholesterol level" and "too low a coq10 level." But you and I know they won't. It costs too much money. And they get more mileage - and remuneration - from telling all their patients that no level of cholesterol is too low. Like back in the "old days" when they said you can never be too thin or too rich. Ironically, Bernie Madoff found out you can be too rich, and many people found out you can be too thin. Eventually these medical experts will discover that cholesterol levels can be too low. Realage.com already understands that.

The masses are asleep. If you try to wake them up they will call you names.

Or, as Spock of Star Trek fame once said, "In an insane society, the sane will seem as insane."

We'll never get doctors to stop over-prescribing statins, or any other medication. It's what they learn, continuously. Unfortunately, the health food industry may be just as corrupt. It's about money. Money is power. You and I have none.

But it's okay; at least now, we have a degree of wisdom. Wisdom is very valuable. Wisdom plus a dollar-fifty will get you a cup of coffee at 7-Eleven.

Oh well. Don't let 'em get you down. Enjoy life. Living well is the best revenge. Have a great day!
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Postby lars999 » Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:03 am

Information For Record

In process of gathering info for comparison with newest blood test data, I checked to see how long my total cholesterol had been at or below 150 mg/DL. Answer is at minumum from June 2010 back to Oct 2007, perhaps back even to 2005. Lowest reading I still have documentation for is 143 mg/DL. No wonder my old bod was "going to pot"!!

For a quick summary of adverse effects that can result from total cholesterol below 160 mg/DL go to http://www.greenhealthwatch.com/newssto ... terol.html This webbpage has several references that many posters and readers here will recognize, including to Dr. Uffe Ravenskov's Cholesterol Skeptics.

Regards,
Lars
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