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Lipitor and other Statin Drugs, Side Effects, Neuromuscular Degeneration, and Recovery

Summary: You don't need to take Lipitor or other statin (cholesterol-lowering) drugs to prevent heart disease or lower cholesterol. If you do, you will probably regret it. This article presents a natural alternative. Please read on...

Numerous adverse side effect reports have implicated Lipitor and other statin drugs as a probable cause for severe neuromuscular degeneration. Thousands of people have become disabled. Some people who have been using Lipitor or other statin drugs for as little as two months report serious muscle weakness and pain. Many who have taken it longer report much more serious symptoms, similar to Muscular Dystrophy, Parkinson's Disease, Multiple Sclerosis or ALS - Lou Gehrig's Disease - in which they are losing neuromuscular control of their bodies or losing significant muscle mass. Others have reported serious liver and kidney damage. Still others have been told that they have nvCJD, the human equivalent of mad cow disease.

The danger of the statins has been known for years. For instance, in an article entitled "Life After Lipitor" that appeared in the newspaper Tahoe World on January 27, 2004, Tahoe City (California) resident Doug Peterson began having serious neuromuscular problems after taking Lipitor for two years. He began losing muscular coordination and slurring words when he spoke. Then he lost balance, followed by loss of fine motor skills - he had difficulty writing. He went from doctor to doctor, trying to figure out what could be happening. Finally one doctor suggested that he stop taking Lipitor, and the downward health spiral slowed, but the damage had been done. The drug had apparently caused cerebellar ataxia, a degenerative disease that causes deterioration of the cerebellum.

The adverse effects began appearing in peer-reviewed medical journals, and numerous people have reported similar symptoms at public adverse effect reporting websites such as medications.com. People have reported "trouble swallowing, trouble talking and enunciating words, feeling fatigued all the time, neck aches," "motor neuropathy which mimics ALS," "Blinding headaches, nausea, vertigo, disorientation, memory loss, extremely dry eyes, pain and stiffness in my neck and calf muscles, abominal pain," and "Muscle pain, weakness, spasms, buzzing in right leg. Can't hold arms or head up in vertical position for 2 minutes without extreme pain and weakness."

How could Lipitor and other statin drugs potentially cause this kind of harm to so many different parts of the body? Lipitor is a "statin" drug which inhibits the production of cholesterol in order to lower LDL cholesterol counts. By severely limiting the production of cholesterol, Lipitor causes membrane degeneration in neural and muscle tissue.

A new book published by a doctor-writer husband and wife duo - How Statin Drugs Really Lower Cholesterol: And Kill You One Cell at a Time by James B. Yoseph and Dr. Hannah Yoseph - documents the fraud and deception by which Lipitor and the other statin drugs were licensed, and the damage that it does to every person that takes them.

The problem is this: cholesterol is essential in your body for many functions. It forms part of what is called the cell membrane - the semi-permeable outer layer of every cell in your body. Without enough cholesterol there is an insufficient supply, and eventually nerve cells and neurons die. In addition, our tissues are constantly being repaired and replaced with new cells. As we age our body needs even more cholesterol for cellular repair. Without sufficient cholesterol this cellular repair and replacement cannot continue.

Our body produces several thousand milligrams of cholesterol per day and essential fatty acids in our liver to carry out these essential functions, and each day the excess of cholesterol is supposed to be naturally recycled. If your body doesn't have enough new cholesterol each day, you cannot repair and replace your cell membranes and they will eventually degenerate.

The continual recycling of cholesterol happens naturally when you have sufficient ascorbate, another name for vitamin C. Excess cholesterol is naturally converted to bile acid and then excreted. But if you don't consume enough vitamin C (about 2000-3000 milligrams per day for an adult), cholesterol builds up in your bloodstream. It is here that doctors make a critical error: instead of telling you to take more vitamin C to recycle cholesterol naturally, they prescribe Lipitor, which may create a deficiency of new cholesterol.

Lipitor and the other statin drugs act by disrupting one of the most important chemical cycles in the human body - the Krebs cycle. By doing this, Lipitor and other statin drugs also block the production of an essential micronutrient called Co-Q10, necessary to maintain heart muscle health, and Lipitor has no effect on lipoprotein(a), the actual sticky protein that constitutes heart disease "plaques." So instead of preventing heart disease, Lipitor may be increasing heart disease risk.

It appears that Lipitor and other statin drugs are in fact causing neural and muscular cell degeneration by over-restricting the production of cholesterol and Co-Q10. This is a very serious matter indeed. There are at least 40 million people - some say as many as 60 million -  who take Lipitor or other statin drugs (Zocor, Pravachol, Mevacor, Altocor, Lescol, Crestor, etc.). Many millions more are now having statin drugs recommended to them by their doctors. It is likely they are all going to become victims of cell membrane degeneration and nervous system problems.

There are few long-term studies that bear out the safety of these drugs. Pfizer, the manufacturer of Lipitor, has acknowledged on their public website that side effects such as "muscle pain or weakness" could be a "sign of serious side effects," and has even put a name on the condition - rhabdomyolysis - previously a rare disease usually only caused by traumatic injury - but these are classified as a reason for people to stop the medication rather than an indication that the drug should be withdrawn or banned.

Dr. Duane Graveline, scientist, family doctor, and former astronaut for NASA, wrote a book called "Lipitor, Thief of Memory" (available on Amazon.com) after suffering from transient amnesia as a result of taking Lipitor, and has published three subsequent books: "Statins - Side Effects and the Misguided War on Cholesterol", "Statin Damage Crisis", and "The Dark Side of Statins", available at his website at http://www.spacedoc.net.In these books he has documented hundreds of cases of neurological and neuromuscular degeneration.

Safe, natural regimens instead of Lipitor and other statins

What is most horrifying about this problem is that cholesterol balance can be achieved without drugs, simply and safely by taking 3000-6000 milligrams of vitamin C per day, 1000-2000 mg per meal, for an adult, or about 500 mg per meal for a 50-lb. child, with sufficient water intake, 2 quarts per day for an adult, 1 quart per day for a 50-lb. child. Unfortunately, vitamin C was misclassified as a micronutrient in the 1930s and 1940s, rather than an essential nutrient involved in dozens of body processes, including continual repair of our arteries. Our health authorities recommend that we take only 60 milligrams per day, barely enough to prevent scurvy. The pharmaceutical industry has used scare tactics to frighten people not to take vitamin C in the quantities necessary for health or to give it to their children.

By the time we reach age 20 we have accumulated enough plaques to be seen on an MRI or Ultrafast CT scan: we have the beginnings of cardiovascular disease. When most people reach middle age they have enough coronary artery blockage to be classified as cardiovascular disease. The doctor prescribes Lipitor, thinking it will help, but instead it may cause muscle degeneration in the heart and elsewhere and actually increase coronary artery plaques.

Recommendations

Please do not take Lipitor or any other statin drug. It is likely to ruin your health, and may cause you to become disabled.

If your doctor has prescribed Lipitor or another statin drug, or you are already taking one of these drugs, I strongly urge you to consider the following alternatives.

If you are under age 40 and have no significant detectable heart disease symptoms, I urge you to avoid Lipitor and other statin drugs, and instead click here for a free download of an effective health regimen that will safely prevent heart disease.

If you are over age 40 or have any significant symptoms of heart disease and have not yet taken Lipitor or other statin drugs, I urge you to read this article on its root causes and consider purchasing the Natural Therapy Guide for Cardiovascular Disease by clicking here.

If you have been taking one of these statin drugs, no matter how long, it is likely that they have done harm to your neuromuscular system. You may have one or more of the adverse symptoms described above (muscle weakness, pain, recent loss of memory). Please read on..

Recovery from Lipitor-induced damage

Considering the wide range of cellular degeneration that result from use of Lipitor and other statins, it is impossible to know which organ system should be the initial focus of recovery. The very first thing that you can do is to stop taking any of these drugs and begin taking large doses of vitamin C to maintain cholesterol balance. The so-called "side effects" of the statin drugs are simply too dangerous and numerous to contemplate continuing taking them.

I have developed a multi-faceted regimen to address the cellular damage that is caused by statin drugs and have written a health guide called Natural Strategies for Recovery from Lipitor and Other Statin drugs. You can click here to order this health guide.

References:

Ginter E. Ascorbic acid in cholesterol and bile metabolism. Annals of the New York Academy of Science. 258 (1975): 410-421

Graveline D. http://www.spacedoc.net

Lipitor.com. The official Lipitor website of Pfizer Corporation. http://www.lipitor.com. rev. February 2004.

Marieb E. Human Anatomy and Physiology, Sixth Edition. Pearson Benjamin Cummings, San Francisco, CA 94111 2004.

Medications.com. Lipitor Drug Information - Atorvastatin Calcium - Lipitor Side Effects. Medications.com - Your online medication discussion resource. http://www.medications.com. March 16, 2004.

Rath M, Pauling L. Solution to the Puzzle of Human Cardiovascular Disease: Its Primary Cause is Ascorbate Deficiency Leading to the Deposition of Lipoprotein(a) and Fibrinogen/Fibrin in the Vascular Wall. Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine 6 (1991): 125-134

Siig M. Life After Lipitor: Is Pfizer product a quick fix or dangerous drug? Residents experience adverse reactions. Tahoe World, http://www.tahoe-world.com January 29, 2004

Silverberg C. Atorvastatin-induced polyneuropathy. Ann Intern Med. 2003 Nov 4;139(9):792-3

Ziajka PE, Wehmeier T. Peripheral neuropathy and lipid-lowering therapy. South Med J. 1998 Jul; 91(7):667-8.


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