Most people don't think of drugs causing brain injury, but they do. In fact, one of the most commonly prescribed drugs - statins - can cause serious injury to your brain. The FDA warned of this back on February 27, 2012, when it posted the following warning: "Cognitive (brain-related) impairment, such as memory loss, forgetfulness and confusion, has been reported by some statin users.... The reports about memory loss, forgetfulness, and confusion span all statin products and all age groups."
Of course, the FDA downplayed the severity of the damage. But one study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed that the damage can be quite severe. Yeon-Kyun Shin, a biophysics professor in the department of biochemistry, biophysics, and molecular biology at Iowa State University, showed they can destroy the brain.
You probably know that statins stop the liver from producing cholesterol. You also probably know that these drugs stop the brain from making cholesterol (your brain produces almost as much cholesterol as your liver). And you may even know that your brain needs cholesterol to function properly. But Shin proved that the damage goes far beyond simple memory loss.
"If you deprive cholesterol from the brain, then you directly affect the machinery that triggers the release of neurotransmitters," said Shin. "Neurotransmitters affect the data-processing and memory functions. In other words - how smart you are and how well you remember things."
Shin wanted to know how well this machinery functioned without cholesterol. So he tested the brain's neurotransmitter-release activity without cholesterol present. He then measured how well the machinery functioned. Then he added cholesterol into the system and again measured the function. What he found was shocking!
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Cholesterol increases the neurotransmitter-release activity by five times. That's huge! As you can see, statins can significantly cut your brain's ability to function properly. And this damage can become permanent. The FDA says your brain function will return once you stop taking the statins. But for a lot of people, that hasn't happened. Fortunately, there's something you can do.
You may remember an article I wrote a few weeks ago. I told you how CoQ10 is one of the only nutrients proven to reverse the effects of stroke. As you may know, a stroke is a brain attack. It causes massive injury to the cells in the brain. So it would make sense that any type of injury to the brain might benefit from CoQ10.
Well, the damage statins cause is another form of injury. In effect, statins cause brain damage. The damage can be so severe some people taking statins have developed Alzheimer's. But one study found that CoQ10 can reverse this damage done to your brain. It also can reverse other side effects from statins, including myalgia (muscle pain), fatigue, trouble breathing or shortness of breath, and peripheral neuropathy.
In this study, researchers looked at a group of people who had serious side effects from taking statins. The side effects were so bad in these cases that they had all stopped using the statins. The researchers had them take supplemental CoQ10. They took an average dose of 240 mg each day. The researchers followed the patients for an average of 22 months. They saw a decrease in fatigue from 84% to 16%; myalgia decreased from 64% to 6%; dyspnea went from 58% to 12%; peripheral neuropathy fell from 10% to 2%; and memory loss dropped from 8% to 4%.
Notice it took nearly two years to cut the brain damage caused by statins in half. And they were taking a fairly large dose of CoQ10. That's serious! All of this means you need to avoid statins. If you've never taken them, take 50 mg a day of Ubiquinol CoQ10. Ubiquinol is twice as effective as normal CoQ10, so you don't have to take as much to see the same results. If you have taken statins, you can take up to 150 mg daily for at least six months (maybe longer) to help restore your brain to full function.
Your insider for better health,
Steve Kroening is the editor of Nutrient Insider, a twice-a-week email newsletter that brings you the latest healing breakthroughs from the world of nutrition and dietary supplements. For over 20 years, Steve has worked hand-in-hand with some of the nation's top doctors, including Drs. Robert Rowen, Frank Shallenberger, Nan Fuchs, William Campbell Douglass, and best-selling author James Balch. Steve is the author of the book Practical Guide to Home Remedies. As a health journalist, Steve's articles have appeared in countless magazines, blogs, and websites.