Cholesterol and Statin Drugs
There have been trials done to prove that statins may protect against cancer, namely colorectal cancer.. However an article published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology sites errors in some of the trials. The cholesterol levels were measured in the patients 10 to over 30 years before the diagnoses of cancer. These patients might have had a lower risk of cancer mortality without having had taken the statins. Also in one trial, 75% of the patients had stopped taking the statin medication at the 2 year follow up. In contrast, statin use may increase the incidence of cancer.
In a study reported by Matsuzkai, 5 to 10mg of simvastatin was administered to over 47,000 patients. After 6 years, cancer mortality was higher in those patients who had cholesterol less than 160mg/dl compared to those patients who had normal to high cholesterol. Several cholesterol lowering drugs including statins have been found to be carcinogenic in rodents in doses that produce blood concentrations of the drugs similar to those achieved in treating patients.
Several studies have shown that patients treated with cancer have been treated with statins more frequently than the control group without cancer. Finally, a study done in 2013 showed that 10 years of statin use increased women’s risk of invasive ductal carcinoma by 83% and their risk of invasive lobular carcinoma by 97%.
Perhaps their adverse effect on cancer is not that statins are carcinogenic but that they lower LDL. Over a dozen research groups have documented that low density lipoproteins partake in the immune system by binding microorganisms. Because certain microorganisms have been implicated in the cause of cancer, especially colorectal, it is difficult to understand how lowering LDL could prevent cancer.
High cholesterol is easy to treat through much less invasive means. There are many supplements such as essential fatty acids and niacin that can help lower cholesterol along with a diet low in simple carbohydrates and animal protein. In the least, statins are hard on the liver so it’s better to try something that will not cause side effects or long term consequences.
1. Ravnskov M.D. Uffe (2015) Statins Do Not Protect Against Cancer, Quite The Opposite. Journal Of Clinical Oncology, Mar 1, 2015:812