Stroke,Statins and Stupidity

I was talking to a recent stroke survivor just the other day and I was alarmed by their response to a question I posed about their diet.  They mentioned they weren’t concerned about what they were eating because their doctor “has me on a statin to take care of that”.

My immediate response was you better go back and ask your doctor why you are on a statin because you clearly don’t understand what role that little pill has or doesn’t have on your diet, your cardiac risk profile or possible future stroke risk.  I think they thought I was going to give them the green light too to swing by Mickey D’s on their way home and instead I said something like “take care of what?”  “Do you even know why you agreed to swallow a pill you know nothing about?”   What I should have said to finish my thought,  I am  saying now instead so someone might get it.

Go and eat more cholesterol because it really has no effect on you now that your meds are covering for your diet blunders right.  Well, consider this…

What if cholesterol isn’t the villain it’s been made out to be after all?  So why then take a statin?

Turns out the latest research finds that millions of people are taking cholesterol-lowering statin meds possibly for no good reason, because the real problem isn’t in those cholesterol levels in the first place.

It’s in artery-hardening calcium deposits.  Consider that in a five-year study of 950 men and women, researchers from Johns Hopkins University found that 95 percent of all heart attacks, strokes, heart-related deaths and other heart problems occurred in the patients with high levels of arterial calcification.

The researchers concluded that statins may be of some use after all… but only for patients with those calcium deposits, (not high cholesterol) so perhaps not everyone who walks in the office over 40 needs a statin script.

Sorry big pharma, but could it be that statins might not help ALL patients. If calcification is the problem, the easy answer might be right on our plates in the form of vitamin K2 — scientifically proven to remove calcium deposits right out of the arteries.  If you’d like to learn more on K2 and where to get food sources of it go here.
But don’t stop there — because calcium isn’t the only marker of hardened arteries. It’s not even the most significant one, because homocysteine levels have proven time and again to be the best indicator yet.  Has your doctor every ordered your homocyteine levels* be checked?

And the best way to lower those levels and give your arteries a fighting chance is to make sure you have three key B vitamins: folic acid, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12.

Guess what? The B vitamins found in foods (and not in a prescribed pill) will also lift your mood, lower your risk for dementia and may even help you to hear better.  Hearing better may be of use so you understand all the risks you might be putting yourself up to by blindly popping a pill to correct a dietary problem. You can also possibly more quickly respond with a “WHY?” when your doc offers you a statin.

That’s all for now.

*Homocysteine is an amino acid in the blood. Epidemiological studies have shown that too much homocysteine in the blood (plasma) is related to a higher risk of coronary heart disease, stroke and peripheral vascular disease.  Learn more…

More statin articles here

Published by David Dansereau

Licensed Physical Therapist, Nutritionist and Author in private consulting practice at PTC Physical Therapy Consulting and SmartMovesPT. is my blog and members resource to raise stroke awareness and educate the public about reducing stroke risk as well as provide tips, tools and review new technologies for stroke recovery. Learn about my book, Body in Balance sold on Amazon at

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