Statins cholesterol: benefits and harms

The level of cholesterol in the blood must not go beyond the 3.5-5.0 mmol/l. This indicator is very important in the diagnosis of diseases of the cardiovascular system. About the cholesterol in the blood are many rumors, so as only to detect elevated levels of this component, patients get scared and tend to start treatment. But in some cases it is necessary to begin therapy, and whether it is beneficial for the body?


So does the harmful cholesterol?

Cholesterol, in addition to negative effects on blood vessels, performs several important functions in the body:

  • Stabilizes biological membranes.
  • Involved in the synthesis of bile acids.
  • Is a precursor of sex hormones and vitamin D3.
  • Therefore, low levels of cholesterol in the blood should be increased.

    A much more common situation — a high level of cholesterol. The danger is that overuse of this substance in the body is a risk factor for atherosclerosis. On the blood vessels are formed plaques that impede blood flow. Over time, the plaque reaches a size that can clog the vessel. Acute poor circulation and ischemia of the dangerous possibility of development of myocardial infarction and stroke. To reduce high cholesterol or not — it is a doctor, but if increased too much, then drugs are prescribed immediately.

    Keep in mind that medications can also specify if:

  • You have elevated not only the level of cholesterol, but also a measure of LDL (low density lipoprotein) and lipoprotein very low density. These substances are involved in the development of cholesterol and promote its education. They increase the transport of cholesterol in the blood vessels. LDL cholesterol is called «bad.»
  • Lowered levels of HDL (high density lipoproteins). This indicator is called the anti-atherogenic because it promotes the return of excess cholesterol in the liver. HDL cholesterol — «good».
  • In addition, for all indicators it is possible to calculate the atherogenicity index. If it is high, higher than 3.2 units of treatment can not be avoided. Specialist considers the full picture of the analyses and selects a method of lowering cholesterol levels.

    How to lower your cholesterol with pills?

    Hypolipidemic funds are divided into several groups depending on the method of fight against cholesterol:

  • Preventing the absorption of cholesterol (Cholestyramine).
  • Inhibitors of the synthesis and transport of cholesterol — the statins (Lovastatin, Simvastatin, Atorvastatin, Fluvastatin, probucol).
  • Means stimulating the metabolism and excretion of cholesterol from the body (LIPOSTABIL, Essentiale).
  • Статины от холестерина: польза и вред

    For protection of vessels useful will be the course of treatment with antioxidants and angioprotectors.

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    Most often doctors prescribe statins. These are the most powerful drugs that are effective for cholesterol and reduce it. The decline is due to the suppression of the enzyme that promotes cholesterol synthesis. The precursor of cholesterol is mevalonate. That it is produced by the action of statins. But, in addition, impaired production of other substances beneficial to the body.

    In the end, the synthesis of total cholesterol is reduced by 30-40%, and harmful LDL 40-60%. In addition to direct action on the production of cholesterol, statins restore the vascular wall affected the initial stage of atherosclerosis, and reduce blood viscosity, and inhibits the formation of blood clots. I think the most effective drugs of the last generation:

  • Atorvastatin.
  • The cerivastatin.
  • Rosuvastatin.
  • Pitavastatin.
  • Based on these active substances drugs are sold under different trademarks, but they are sometimes combined with each other:

  • Lipitor.
  • Pravachol.
  • Crestor.
  • Zocor.
  • Vytorin.
  • The benefits and harms of a statin

    These drugs can cause a lot of debate about the appropriateness and benefits for the body. People are thinking over whether to take the drug. Put forward several arguments in favor of the statins:

  • Reduction of mortality from heart disease by 40%.
  • Effective reduction of cholesterol levels as a risk factor of atherosclerosis.
  • Affordable pricing of drugs.
  • Reduced the toxic effect of the drugs of last generation.
  • Developed studies about the positive effects of statins on the reduction of breast cancer in women after 50 years.
  • About the shortcomings of the use of statins suggest:

  • Infringement of processes of regeneration of the cells in the body, the risk of premature aging.
  • Possible development of cataract, type II diabetes due to prolonged medication, because it reduces the sensitivity of cells to insulin.
  • The liver and kidneys.
  • The mood swings, the development of depression.
  • Reduced work capacity, reduction in muscle mass especially in older people.
  • Polyneuropathy (statins penetrate into the blood vessels of the brain through the barrier).
  • All the risks of taking statins are studied, their benefit or harm is not proven by far even today. Drugs permitted in medical practice in all countries.

    Prescribing statins to lower cholesterol, the doctor needs to consider all the pros and cons, individual adjustment of the dose to the patient. The drug is assigned for the night, because at that time of day and produces cholesterol in humans. Direct indications for the medication:

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  • Prevention in patients who suffered a heart attack or stroke.
  • Coronary artery disease in anamnesis.
  • During operations on the heart or great vessels.
  • The taking statins to patients with coronary diseases is vital, but must be monitored by a specialist. Low cholesterol is much more dangerous than high. Every six months you need to donate blood biochemistry and to determine the activity of transaminases, to avoid problems with the liver.

    If the level of cholesterol in the blood does not exceed 6.5 mmol/l, taking statins is optional. You need to try to reduce the figure through diet or other ways. Statins may also be assigned:

  • In the case of obesity.
  • In stroke.
  • If you have diabetes (in some cases).
  • Atherosclerosis in the anamnesis from relatives.
  • The choice of a particular drug should be carried out by the following criteria:

  • Gender, age, weight of the patient.
  • Bad habits.
  • The reason for the appointment and comorbidities.
  • Rosuvastatin and pravastatin are prescribed for patients with liver disease. Pravastatin less toxic effect on muscle. As Fluvastatin and Atorvastatin suitable for people with kidney disease.

    Side effects and precautions

    Do not taking statins patients:

  • Suffering from hepatitis, cirrhosis of the liver.
  • Allergies, with allergies to these drugs.
  • Pregnant and lactating women.
  • It is dangerous to prescribe statins to patients in reproductive age women before menopause because they inhibit the production of sex hormones. Patients with diabetes taking statins undesirable, but is allowed if the decrease in level of cholesterol is vital.

    While taking medications may occur side effects:

  • Insomnia, headaches, dyspepsia (nausea, loss of appetite, constipation).
  • From the nervous system — paresthesia, short-term memory loss, neuropathy, dizziness.
  • Allergic reactions to the drug are apparent in the erythema, itching skin, and even anaphylactic shock.
  • In the blood picture: low platelet levels.
  • Muscle pain, weakness, destruction of muscle tissue (rhabdomyolysis — less than 1% of cases).
  • Статины от холестерина: польза и вред

    Rarely in patients on the background of taking the drug can develop diabetes type II diabetes, impotence, obesity.

    Take statins only in combination with drugs:

  • Beta-blockers (Bisoprolol, Carvedilol, Atenolol).
  • The antiplatelet agents — drugs that are used to prevent blood clots (Aspirin, Aspecard).
  • ACE inhibitors used to lower blood pressure and treatment of hypertension (enalapril, Captopril).
  • Do not drink alcohol while taking statins. Also the drugs are incompatible with certain antibiotics. Of the products must not consume grapefruit or juice from this fruit because it potentiates the action of tablets and may increase their toxic effect on the body.

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    Statins — drugs that need to be taken daily. The duration of treatment at least a year. Courses of therapy can be interrupted, as long-term therapy increases the risk of side effects. But after a while, you still have to go back to taking the drug, because the body got used to the violent suppression of the production of cholesterol and this is not can. To increase the effect of statins can be taken with fibrates, after consultation and approval of a physician.

    Substitutes tablets

    At first glance, the use of drugs doubtful. Therefore, before taking the pills ask for feedback on them and also try for six months to change your daily routine:

  • Adjust the diet. First and foremost, you need to replace the fried and fatty foods for fruit and vegetables. But remember, eating right does not mean the complete exclusion of any product. Everything should be in moderation. Try to eat less egg yolks, milk with high percentage of fat, butter replace vegetable counterparts.
  • Do not forget about physical training. Energy costs must match the incoming number. Do not linger at home, go for a walk or join a gym for aerobics or fitness.
  • Refrain from Smoking and drinking alcohol.
  • To fully replace statins natural components impossible. But you can in the diet to include substances that help to normalize lipid profile. Among them:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids, which in large quantities contained in fish oil.
  • Garlic.
  • Cereals and legumes.
  • Vitamins B6, B9, B12, B15.
  • Controlling the level of cholesterol in the blood can help prevent atherosclerosis. Correct mode of the day will reduce the risk of high cholesterol. But for the full confidence you need to undergo regular checks and blood tests. If necessary, the appointment of statins, the doctor weighs the pros and cons, assesses the benefits and harms of the drug specifically for your body.