Intended for healthcare professionals

CCBYNC Open access

Rapid response to:


Unintended effects of statins in men and women in England and Wales: population based cohort study using the QResearch database

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 20 May 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c2197

Rapid Response:

Cholesterol-Are we ghost hunting?

Dear Editor,

This study should at least warn those evangelical statin pushers that
from now on statin use in healthy people, especially children at the age
of eight (Pravachol, has already been approved by the Food and Drug
Administration for use in children) should stop!

Let us revisit how statins work by looking at this case history of a
child with mevalonic kinase hereditary defect.[1] The picture depicts all the
potential side effects of statins graphically. Ubiquinone is another end
product of the same cholesterol chain that statins block. This is a vital
nutrient for cellular function and so could damage any cell function,
cardiac cell being the leading sufferer!

“The child was mentally retarded, microcephalic, small for his age,
profoundly anemic, acidotic, and febrile. He also had cataracts.
Predictably, his cholesterol was consistently low—70 to 79 mg/dl. He died
at the age of 24 months.

The child represents an extreme example of cholesterol inhibition,
but his case illuminates the possible consequences of taking statins in
big doses or for a lengthy period of time—depression of mental acuity,
anemia, acidosis, frequent fevers, and cataracts.” This is an extreme
example but illustrates the altered physiology in statin treated persons.

To recap how they work one has to understand normal physiology., It
all starts with acetyl-CoA, sometimes referred to as the “building block
of life.” Three such molecules combine to form hydroxymethyl glutaric acid
(HMG). The step from HMG to mevalonate requires an enzyme, HMG-CoA
reductase. Statin drugs work by inhibiting this enzyme. Herein lies the
potential for numerous side effects, because statin drugs inhibit not just
the production of cholesterol, but a whole lot of other intermediaries
that have vital functions in humaN physiology.

Mevalonic acid is the enzyme that initiates the next step beyond HMG-
CoA reductase. The child described above is only the picture of what could
(would) happen inside every one that is on statins for a long time.
Another danger is the suppression of ubiquinone.

Very logic of cholesterol lowering is shaky. In a study done with
nearly 137,000 Americans hospitalized for heart attacks between 2000 and
2006, 72 percent had LDL levels below the recommended guidelines.( Ancel Keys full data of 22
countries did show no connection between fat and heart disease, in the
first place.

Yours ever,


1 Dangers of Statin Drugs
What you haven’t been told about popular cholesterol-lowering medicines.
Sally Falon & Mary G. Enig, Ph.D.
The Weston A. Price Foundation Created: Nov 16, 2009 Last Updated: Nov 16, 2009 medicine

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

10 June 2010
BM Hegde
Editor in Chief, J Science of Healing Outcomes
Mangalore 575004, India