Ron’s memory was slipping and he knew why. It wasn’t his health. At 62, he was the picture of health. He was slim, active, and had a healthy diet and lifestyle. So when he started forgetting things he normally remembered, he knew something was wrong.
A few months prior to noticing his memory loss, Ron had a physical. His doctor told him his cholesterol was a little high and he should take a statin to lower it. Trusting his doctor, Ron started the drug and quickly noticed the problem.
But he’s not alone. Dr. Orli Etingin, vice chairman of medicine at New York Presbyterian Hospital — Weill Cornell Medical Center has seen the same thing in her patients. She recently wrote in the February 2008 Wall Street Journal that the statin drug Lipitor “makes women stupid.”
Dr. Etingin was talking about her clinical experience working with her female patients. In several cases she has personally seen her patients lose their memory. Many of them complained of an inability to concentrate and remember words. Some, like Ron, noticed a definite cognitive deficit. What’s more, says Dr. Etingin, the deficits went away when they stopped the statin.
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But, as you can see with Ron’s case, they affect more than women. Men are susceptible too. And recently, the FDA confirmed what Ron noticed in his own life — statins are a major cause of memory loss. Amazingly, the FDA didn’t have a study in front of it when it made statin manufacturers put memory loss on its list of side effects.
Instead, the FDA had anecdotal reports from its own database of adverse event reporting system. The agency said it didn’t have proof of the problem, but it wanted users to be aware of the possibilities. Most of the studies regarding statins and memory loss are inconclusive. But here’s what’s not inconclusive: We know statins cause diabetes. We also know diabetes causes Alzheimer’s. So at the very least, we can connect these dots.
But Ron doesn’t have diabetes. He’s perfectly healthy. And the drugs caused his memory problems straight out. When he stopped taking the drugs, the memory problems stopped. So this is more than just statins causing diabetes and then memory loss. They are directly contributing to the problem in many cases.
Some doctors say this side effect is rare. But others, like Dr. Etingin, are seeing the truth. And apparently, so are statin users. If enough of them complained that it made the FDA stand up and take notice, then you know it’s not that rare.
Your brain is the largest producer of cholesterol in your body. Yes, it produces even more than your liver. It also produces CoQ10, which statins also prevent. Your brain needs ample amounts of both cholesterol and CoQ10. If it doesn’t get enough, your memory could be the first to feel it.
So if your cholesterol is high, don’t take a statin if you value your memory. Instead, take nutrients that correct the underlying cause of the high levels. The nutrients in Advanced Cholesterol Formula will balance your cholesterol without interfering with your brain’s production of it or CoQ10.
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.