Cholesterol-lowering statins: should I take them or not?

Elevated cholesterol levels are considered the main risk factor for the development of myocardial infarction and apoplexy. Doctors often prescribe statins to patients, but who they really help is still debated in medical circles.

Let's start by finding out what cholesterol is. So, cholesterol is a fat-base substance and a vital building material for all cells of the body. A large amount of cholesterol is produced in the liver, and only a small portion of it is absorbed with food. Not all cholesterol contained in the blood is the same. According to conventional wisdom, so-called "positive" HDL cholesterol either protects blood vessels or behaves neutrally, while "bad" cholesterol (LDL) provokes atherosclerosis and other diseases of the cardiovascular system.


The first signs of the onset of diseases of the cardiovascular system can be judged by blood tests.  If the total cholesterol index exceeds 200 mg per deciliter, it makes sense to specify exactly how much "bad" cholesterol is there, and how much" good" cholesterol is there.

However, when predicting the development of cardiovascular diseases, it is also important to take into account gender, age, blood PRESSURE, blood sugar, and genetic predisposition. In short, you need to consider all risk factors, not just cholesterol.

If the risk of heart disease is really high, then you should resort to medication. In fact, the higher this risk, the more likely drugs will help reduce cholesterol. But before you swallow the pills, you need to understand your food preferences and lifestyle.

At the German Institute of health, research has shown that limited consumption of fatty acids leads to a reduced risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. At the same time, you do not need to completely avoid fat.  The main thing is to replace saturated fats with unsaturated ones, that is, to eat vegetable food and fish, but to abstain from meat and dairy products more often. Smoking cessation and a physically active lifestyle are also good preventive measures.

If these measures do not apply, statins are applied. They have an effect on fat metabolism and prevent the production of cholesterol. The fact that they protect well patients who already have diseases of the cardiovascular system has been repeatedly proven empirically. For example, a meta-analysis carried out by an international network of scientists and doctors found that statins can be classified as reliable tools and that they are quite entitled to be used to improve the quality of life of patients.

But whether statins also serve healthy people as a good preventive measure to prevent heart attacks and apoplexy is a big question. On closer inspection, the first thing you notice are the side effects. First, many people complain of unpleasant sensations in the muscles, so the dosage has to be drastically reduced. Second, regular statin intake increases the risk of developing diabetes. Speaking of specific risks, they depend on the dosage and type of active substance. So, perhaps, statins if you should drink, it is only in very small doses!

Translated from German and processed by and. Yegorova (aka_silikus)