I thought it might be useful to share some recent experiences I had with 2 friends and 1 family member who are all taking a statin-lowering drug called Crestor. Whilst not treating any of them myself, I was in social settings where the topic of cholesterol came up because they know of my expertise. Their ages were 64 (taking 20mg Crestor), 67 (20mg) and 71 (10mg reduced recently from 20mg).
All 3 commented to me that they were having difficulty remembering things, which set off an alarm bell with me, because I have seen a number of cases of people permanently losing their ability to remember conversations and events. Often this cognitive decline affects the part of the brain that stores recent events, and the net effect is an Alzheimer’s like condition that is usually irreversible. Luckily these three were not that advanced, but the wife of one of them did express some concerns to me. To be fair, it is possible that all three of these people are losing their memorability due to other factors besides statins, although they did state that their memory problems coincided with them taking this particular drug.
This led me to think about what to suggest that might be a positive step. I did not want to suggest they go off statins, as they were not under my care.
I decided to provide each with some information that is really important to know. That is, what is the average cholesterol-lowering ability of Crestor as determined by the daily dose:
1mg = 34% reduction in cholesterol
5mg = 45% reduction in cholesterol
10mg = 52% reduction in cholesterol
20mg = 55% reduction in cholesterol
Hopefully the above is clear. That is - why would anyone take 20 times the amount of a drug to achieve such a small additional benefit? I would have thought 1mg of Crestor was adequate if you could reduce cholesterol by 34%, and not increase the dose 20X for a marginal gain. Unfortunately the manufacturer for unknown reasons have decided not to produce a 1mg tablet which is unfortunate for many patients.
I should mention that there are a number of patients where 20mg may be necessary. However, it is clear from the comments on this site, that there are a number of people with NO evidence of heart disease, who merely have elevated cholesterol, who are being prescribed (some members on this site are saying coerced) into very high doses of statins with little thought of the consequences to the patient.
When we deal with the topic of poisons and toxicity, we often explain that “the difference between Medicine and Poison in in the dose”. The above numbers should be a red flag for some people that a medicine can become toxic poison if the dose is too high. In addition, there appears to be a lack of knowledge by many medical practitioners that a person’s weight must be considered when we prescribe a strong medicine. As a case in point, if all things are equal, a small 50kg women may need to be on half the dosage of a drug compared to a 100kg large man, but this is rarely considered. Hence why I often see more side effects in people of lower weight.
In summary, I wanted to highlight to viewers taking statin prescriptions that they may like to do some research on the correct dosage, which can be readily found on the internet, and to question their physician if they feel they are being over medicated.
Nutritionist & Naturopath
Author of ‘’Cholesterol and The French Paradox’’