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No such thing as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ cholesterol

Statins are the go-to drug of choice for treating high cholesterol and preventing stroke and heart attacks in the U.S., but did you know that statins come with many potential side effects, including possibly developing Type 2 diabetes?

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A new study at The Ohio State University has revealed that those who were prescribed cholesterol-lowering statins had at least double the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

More than 78 million Americans are either eligible for the statin drugs or already taking them, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A staggering number are "eligible" for cholesterol-lowering drugs, which are recommended for anyone who has already had a heart attack or stroke, been diagnosed with peripheral arterial disease or has high cholesterol.

Statins provoke diabetes by raising your blood sugar and insulin levels, and by robbing your body of certain valuable nutrients, such as vitamin D and CoQ10, which are both needed to maintain ideal blood glucose levels. In addition to the possibility of developing Type 2 diabetes, side effects of statin drugs include an increase in your likelihood of suffering exercise-related injury, and that harmful effect increases with age. And, like thalidomide, statin drugs are a class X drug with regard to pregnancy, meaning they are contraindicated and should NOT be taken by pregnant women.

Statins reduce CoQ10 by 40% to 50%, and drug companies have known that from the start. However, they never required statins to be prescribed with CoQ10 since this might alert you to the fact that statins might not be so beneficial after all. So, be aware: If you’re on a statin drug, you must take CoQ10 to alleviate some of the most dangerous side effects, including fatigue, nausea, joint and muscle pain and increases in blood sugar. 

So why – with all of the known side effects — are statins so prevalent in the U.S.? It might have something to do with the fact that statins are the most profitable drugs ever created, grossing more than $1 trillion (that’s $1,000 billion). Lipitor alone has grossed up to $35 billion a year. 

The notion that there is good and bad cholesterol is simply not true. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) are not even actually cholesterol; they're carriers and transporters of cholesterol, triglycerides (fat), phospholipids and proteins. Simply put, LDL is the carrier of fresh cholesterol and HDL is the carrier of recycled cholesterol.

Cholesterol is found in every cell in your body. It helps to produce cell membranes, hormones (including the sex hormones testosterone, progesterone and estrogen) and bile acids that help you digest fat. Important for the production of vitamin D, cholesterol is vital for optimal health.

Don’t think of cholesterol as an evil culprit lurking in your body, waiting to cause damage but, rather, as a crucial molecule necessary for optimal health.

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