Statin Drugs and Memory Loss

Dementia and memory loss are the biggest fear people have regarding their health. This is my observation after seeing 10’s of thousands of patients. A 2013 report found that dementia was the 2nd biggest health concern for people, just behind cancer. 

Without our brain, according to most, what good am I? How will I take care of others? How will I take care of myself? After all, many people with dementia live for years in that state with a healthy heart and body. 

So, it makes sense that millions of people who take statin drugs may be at risk for dementia from the drug. In fact, the FDA put a black box warning on statin drugs regarding dementia risk back in 2012. 

How statins can damage your brain

Statins lower cholesterol and your brain is full of cholesterol. In fact, 25% of body cholesterol is located in the brain. 

Cholesterol is an essential component of the membranes that surround all human cells. More than simply holding cells together, these membranes have a crucial role in regulating cell function and allowing chemicals to pass into and out of cells. 

The brain and body make cholesterol for many reasons as it is the building block of steroid hormones, including the stress hormone cortisol and the male and female sex hormones, including testosterone and the estrogens. Cholesterol becomes vitamin D when struck by sunshine. High levels of vitamin D appear to protect against dementia. How can we make vitamin D when cholesterol levels are lowered with drugs? 

A 2018 study found that lipophilic (fat soluble) statins like atorvastatin and simvastatin increased dementia risk by up to 268%. Presumably, these drugs get into the brain more easily compared to other statins. 

But there are some conflicting reports. Some studies have found that statins do not increase dementia risk and others show statins may possibly lower dementia risk. 

Why are you on statins? 

The ultimate purpose of statins is to lower cholesterol and therefore supposedly lower heart attack risk risk. Studies find that statins do both. But several studies in primary prevention have found that while heart attack risk is lowered, overall death rate is not. Click here for AFCAPS and PROSPER trials. 

Could statins increase your risk of dying? In 2017, researchers found an 18% increased risk of death in people older than 65 on statins, and a 34% increased risk of death from statins in those older than 75. This was according to JAMA,  the biggest medical journal in the world.

Other risk factors for dementia

Let’s face it. We are not born to develop dementia. Dementia and memory decline happen for the same reasons as every other health condition from cancer to strokes to heart attacks. 

Poor nutrition, a toxic lifestyle and a toxic environment lead to dementia. Read this blog post for more ways to prevent dementia naturally

Scarily, one of the most prescribed drug classes in the world was found to increase dementia risk. Yes, the acid blocking PPI use increases dementia risk by 44%. 

When it comes to your brain, we suggest you get tested. I think several tests can be helpful so check out my cardiovascular test recommendation page but strongly consider intracellular micronutrients and urine assessment for mold mycotoxins. MOLD damages your brain. 

A better cholesterol fix

There are better ways to lower your heart attack risk than statin drugs. I discuss this extensively in my book, The Paleo Cardiologist. Additionally, we suggest you find Your Perfect Cholesterol. Watch my 75 minute webinar by clicking here

The 6 plant compounds found in my OptiLipid are perfect for your cholesterol and ALL have research linking to better brain function. 

If you are looking to prevent heart disease and dementia, I suggest you check out my OptiLipid

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