I read this article in the Daily Mail yesterday, and thought it was interesting. I haven't copied the whole article as it was too long, but these are the salient (IMO) points.
I am so glad that I have refused to take statins!
Daily Mail 10.03.09.
Statins are the new NHS wonder drug for cutting cholesterol. But do they have sinister side-effects?
Could statins, the cholesterol-lowering drugs taken by more than three million Britons, be doing more harm than good to many thousands of patients? This is the rather alarming suggestion to emerge from two new studies.
The research challenges the medical convention that lowering your cholesterol is always a good thing - indeed, they suggest statins may affect intelligence, cause depression and even raise the risk of suicide.
The studies add to a growing body of evidence that having low cholesterol levels may prove as dangerous as having high readings.
In patients vulnerable to heart attacks and strokes, the drugs reduce the risk of fatty deposits gathering in their bloodstream and causing life-threatening blood clots.
But cholesterol is also produced by the brain, where it is used to release vital chemicals called neurotransmitters that carry messages between brain cells. Now a study by Iowa State University suggests that statins inhibit this vital process.
When brain cells are deprived of cholesterol, they are five times less effective at releasing chemical messengers, says the research, published in the highly respected journal Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences.
'If you deprive cholesterol from the brain, then you directly affect how smart you are and how well you remember things,' says Yeon-Kyun Shin, the biophysics professor behind the study. 'This may lead to depression and irrational acts.' He believes this is directly caused by disruption in the neurotransmitter release in the brain.
The findings do not question the standard medical advice that people with high blood cholesterol should diet or take statins.
Current guidelines from the Department of Health say that the maximum healthy total
Even more worrying, studies of older people have found that those on low- cholesterol diets have a much higher rate of stroke, possibly because cholesterol has a protective effect in mature brain linings.
Going to my school was an education in itself. Which is not to be confused with actually getting an education (Schultz)