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Alzheimer’s Genetically Linked

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola

A gene involved in cholesterol and lipid metabolism, and connected to cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, has been found to also be connected to Alzheimer’s disease, according to researchers at Washington University School of Medicine. Researchers said the genetic link suggests that the same pharmaceutical management of cholesterol and triglycerides for CVD may also work for Alzheimer’s.

“These findings represent an opportunity to consider repurposing drugs that target pathways involved in lipid metabolism,” said Celeste M. Karch, PhD, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine. “Armed with these findings, we can begin to think about whether some of those drugs might be useful in preventing or delaying Alzheimer’s disease.”

They may call it “repurposing,” but if this isn’t a way of railroading statins and their cousins, PCSK9 inhibitors, into a roundhouse of nonstop reasons to keep the statin market train going, I don’t know what is. You see, experts have been warning for a while that statin drugs are putting lives at risk.

Alzheimer’s connection aside, the truth is the number of people suffering from heart disease and stroke continues to rise, despite pharmaceutical interventions, including statin medications recommended for reducing or preventing high cholesterol levels, and especially triglycerides. So, the train of thought here is, with so many people taking statins, why are there so many people with Alzheimer’s?

Another problem with extending the use of statins is that, while they focus on reducing cholesterol your body produces naturally, at the same time they also deplete your body of CoQ10 — which could be the trigger behind many of the side effects associated with these drugs.

If it makes a difference, coenzyme Q10 — aka CoQ10 — and the reduced version, ubiquinol, are among the most popular supplements for mitochondrial health, and the No.1 supplement recommended by cardiologists to their patients. The reason for this is that CoQ10 is used by every cell in your body, but especially your heart cells. Cardiac muscle cells have up to 200 times more mitochondria and hence 200 times higher CoQ10 requirements than skeletal muscle.

The thing is, statin benefits are weak at best. Moreover, the potential benefit of statins must also be weighed against their drawbacks, and many cardiologists and even professional organizations have warned that statins seem to do more harm than good.

According to an analysis from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, to prevent a single person from dying of any cause, 250 people would need to take statin medications for six years; 100 people need to take a statin as a primary preventive for five years in order for one or two people to avoid a heart attack, but none will actually live longer.

Other studies have also failed to find any kind of mortality benefit from statin medications, even in at-risk groups. The problem with using statin drugs is they address only the surface issue of total cholesterol levels in a simple manner inside a complex organism.

And whether you’re trying to address CVD or possibly prevent Alzheimer’s, the fact still remains that, by altering just one aspect of your cholesterol production, statin medications have a significantly negative effect on your total body health.

Rarely mentioned is the link between cardiovascular death and statin medications. It's important to realize that the medication you're using to prevent heart disease has a common side effect of cardiovascular death, occurring in up to 10 percent of patients.

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