Cholesterol Meds and Diabetes

I consider the benefits of most medications used to lower cholesterol (called “statin medications”) to be modest at best in those without known heart disease (called “primary prevention”). These medications lower heart attack death risk by less than 2%. To put this in perspective, having optimal thyroid levels, even when normal, is associated with a 69% lower risk of heart attack death. Even owning a cat is associated with a 30% lower risk. Despite these minimal benefits, the relatively high expense (costing the health care system over $12 billion a year), and the aggravating pain and fatigue that accompanies their use in some patients, they are being heavily pushed — even being heavily marketed to pediatricians now.

I consider the benefits of most medications used to lower cholesterol (called “statin medications”) to be modest at best in those without known heart disease (called “primary prevention”). These medications lower heart attack death risk by less than 2%. To put this in perspective, having optimal thyroid levels, even when normal, is associated with a 69% lower risk of heart attack death.  Even owning a cat is associated with a 30% lower risk.  Despite these minimal benefits, the relatively high expense (costing the health care system over $12 billion a year), and the aggravating pain and fatigue that accompanies their use in some patients, they are being heavily pushed — even being heavily marketed to pediatricians now.



I suspect this would not be happening if the medications were not so profitable, as controlling high blood pressure, decreasing excess sugar intake, exercising, stopping smoking and even eating fish are likely more heart protective than the medications — but simply less profitable.

Now a major new meta analysis using data from 13 clinical trials with 91,140 participants shows these medications are associated with a 9% increased risk of developing diabetes.


It is a good idea, of course, to follow your doctor’s advice. But it’s also OK to recognize that they are being targeted with massive amounts of drug company promotion, including conferences described by some as “advertisements masquerading as scientific activities.”

If you have a known heart problem, the benefits of these medications go way up. If not, it is OK to ask your doctor if improving diet,  avoiding sugar, exercising, eating oily fish (tuna and salmon 3-4x week) and stopping smoking may be more beneficial.

Is This the Key to Ultimate Hydration?

See how electrolytes work in your body.

Is This the Key to Ultimate Hydration?

Whether you're trying to stay hydrated for your workout routine or rehabilitation, recovery and hydration is so important to keeping your body performing like it should. So how do you make sure that happens? You need electrolytes — the minerals that give electrical power to your body. What the video below to see how they get to work inside your body and how you seamlessly add them to your day.

Presented by USANA.