By: Kennedy Shelley
Lipitor is the most commonly prescribed statin drug in the world. Why? It’s good at lowering LDL.
But as we have discussed at Freedom Health News, cholesterol before there is no real evidence that cholesterol causes heart attacks. Harvard Health said, “about half of all heart attacks occur in people with “normal” cholesterol levels.”
So, taking a drug with known serious side effects to lower cholesterol seems like a bad idea.
Except when you take a statin for another effect…reducing cardiac inflammation.
The JUPITER Trial that was reported on by the New England Journal of Medicine nearly a decade ago showed that Crestor reduced the heart attack risk in people with “normal” cholesterol. Freedom Health News reported on the implications of this study.
But another study shows why you might want to use a statin with anti-inflammatory properties.
Lipitor is not one of those statins.
METEOR was a study in 2010 that showed that Crestor reduced inflammation in the arteries and reduced heart attack risk in people with low risk for heart attack.
As expected, it reduced cholesterol, but it did much more than that. This study showed that it reduces inflammation in the arteries.
The most likely cause of heart attack is cardiovascular inflammation, and the METEOR study showed just how effective Crestor is at reducing the inflammation around the heart and arteries, even at low doses (2.5-5 mg every other day).
There are known side effects with statins. Around 15% of those taking statins experience serious muscle pain. But these effects are much less with lower doses.
But if you are getting the anti-inflammation in your heart it may be worth the risk.
The METEOR study was also interesting because it used CIMT to check on the anti-inflammation effects of Crestor.
The carotid arteries that run from the heart to the brain often thicken as we get older and are a great check of our biological as opposed to our chronological age.
As we get older the arteries thicken and get less elastic which shows how well we are aging.
METEOR saw those getting Crestor were getting younger arteries when they were on the drug. Basically, proof of the anti-inflammatory effect of the drug.
When they updated the data and looked at it again, they found that effect on inflammation was not dependent on the LDL reduction.
In other words, even if your cholesterol level doesn’t drop doesn’t mean you are not getting an inflammation benefit.
So, this means that not all statins are created equal.
Crestor is off patent and is now much cheaper than the most prescribed and expensive statins like Lipitor. The cheaper drug is a much better anti-inflammatory.
These drugs were used on people who were considered low risk for heart attacks. They didn’t smoke and had normal cholesterol, but they did have high inflammation in their hearts.
Reducing the inflammation had great benefit at reducing cardiovascular events in this group of normal people.
But we know that Lipitor doesn’t work as well with people with diabetes and insulin resistance which are major drivers of cardiac inflammation and heart disease.
This may require some serious study on the part of your doctor to quit focusing on cholesterol and get attention on inflammation, but in the meantime, if you are doing a statin ask your doctor about Crestor for the anti-inflammatory effect.
The data has been there for the last ten years. Hopefully, more people will take it seriously.