June 15, 2015

323 Statins & Vitamin K2 [15 June 2015]

Back in April 2012 I wrote about the effect of statin (cholesterol lowering) drugs on Co-enzyme Q10 and muscle pain [#159]. Later, in December 2014 [#299] I showed that vitamin D along with CoQ10 relieves statin-induced myalgia (SIM). In the conclusion I wrote “If I was taking a statin drug, in addition to supplementing with Q10, I would make sure my D levels were adequate”. New research indicates that statin users should add K2 to their list of supplements as well.

A recent discovery, discussed by Okuyama et al in the March 2015 Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology, is that statin drugs inhibit the synthesis of vitamin K2. I have previously discussed [#149] how K2 is essential for directing the calcium from your diet and supplements into your bones instead of your joints and arteries. A 2009 study from Utrecht, Netherlands, had shown that a high intake of K2 reduced the risk of coronary heart disease. It now appears that, ironically, statins, by inhibiting K2 synthesis, could be promoting atherosclerosis, the very condition they are supposed to prevent. The same study (Okuyama et al, 2015) added that statins also inhibit the synthesis of glutathione peroxidase, the essential antioxidant I discussed in two columns in May. Another study published in June 2011 in JAMA concluded that high dose statin therapy increases risk of diabetes compared to moderate dose therapy.

How could it be possible for drugs with side effects like these to be so popular (taken by 1 in 4 Americans age 45 and over)? Are the benefits really worth the risks? An investigation into this question was published by Diamond & Ravnskov in the same March 2015 issue of Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology. They conclude:
“…although statins are effective at reducing cholesterol levels, they failed to substantially improve cardiovascular outcomes… Statin advocates have … [deceptively amplified] the trivial beneficial effects of statins [and] succeeded in minimizing the significance of the numerous adverse effects of statin treatment.”
Please follow the links below, and read these articles for yourself. Then discuss them with your physician and pharmacist. If you decide that statin therapy is still indicated, then consider supplementing with CoQ10, and vitamins D and K2.


Okuyama, H et al Expert Rev Clin Pharmacol 2015 Mar:8(2):189-99 Statins stimulate atherosclerosis and heart failure: pharmacological mechanisms [abstract]

Gast, GC et al Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis 2009 Sep:19(7):504-10 A high menaquinone intake reduces the incidence of coronary heart disease [abstract]

Diamond DM, Ravnskov U. Expert Rev Clin Pharmacol 2015 Mar:8(2):201-10 How statistical deception created the appearance that statins are safe and effective in primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease.[abstract]

For more information on this or other natural health topics, stop in and talk to Stan; for medical advice consult your licensed health practitioner.

1 comment:

  1. Dr. Frank Lipman just published a review of statin use on MindBodyGreen www.mindbodygreen.com/0-20566/why-you-should-be-very-wary-of-statins.html. He compares their benefits with other effects and suggests who should appropriately be taking them.