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Pharmaceutical drugs are supposed to protect you from disease, not the opposite. Statin drugs, which are used to lower cholesterol, are prescribed to help lower your risk for cardiovascular disease, of which high cholesterol is a risk factor. But what if they were also significantly raising your chances for getting another disease, perhaps as equally dangerous and devastating? You’ve likely heard about the link between statin drugs and diabetes, but this new study provides shocking findings that make it more important than ever to turn to effective alternatives to statins instead.
Do Statins Cause Diabetes?
Over the past several years, there have been numerous reports linking statin use to diabetes risk. A new study, published in just March of 2015 online in the journal Diabetologia, provides alarming evidence that the connection between statins and diabetes is even stronger than we previously thought. The study followed 8,749 non-diabetic men over about six years. They found that men who were on statin treatment had a 46 percent increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes during the study. Additionally, statin therapy was associated with worsened hyperglycemia, a 24 percent reduction in insulin sensitivity, and a 12 percent reduction in insulin secretion. Just think about those numbers for a moment; taking statins could increase your risk for getting diabetes by almost 50 percent. Is that risk really worth it?
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Aside from raising your risk for diabetes to a dangerously high rate, statins can also cause excessive tiredness, block the benefits of exercise, damage your kidneys, cause psychiatric issues, and have other harmful effects.
Cholesterol is Not All Bad
Cholesterol has gotten a bad name for itself, but in reality, it is actually very important in the body. Cholesterol is not only essential for the digestion of fatty foods, but it is also required to make hormones, build new cells, produce vitamin D, and do a variety of other vital functions in the body. In other words, our bodies desperately need cholesterol to function properly.
Excessively High Cholesterol Should Be Treated By Lifestyle Changes, Not Drugs
While cholesterol is not entirely evil as it was once touted to be, excessively high levels of cholesterol, especially LDL-cholesterol, can be dangerous and bad for your heart. But the truth is you really don’t need statins to fix a cholesterol problem; the best alternatives to statins are a variety of lifestyle changes that can effectively and naturally lower your cholesterol to the healthy range. In fact, these changes should be your first line approach to high cholesterol, and the good news is, they really work and they don’t come with any dangerous side effects.
To effectively lower cholesterol naturally, you should combine a healthy diet, exercise, and supplements proven to help maintain optimal cholesterol levels. Specific strategies include increasing dietary fiber intake, eating more cruciferous vegetables, boosting your omega 3 fatty acid intake, and supplementing with niacin (vitamin B3).
Share Your Experience
Have you ever taken statin drugs? Did you experience any side effects or adverse events related to your medication? What natural alternatives to statins do you find to be effective? Share your tips in the comments section below.
This article was originally published in 2015. It is regularly updated.