Every time another study comes out showing additional – and even more harmful – side effect from a drug, there's a collective effort by Big Pharma, scientists, and doctors to downplay its significance.
Take muscle pain, for example. Statins have been tied to muscle pain for years. Studies show that between 10 and 15 percent of patients on statins experience this side effect (called myalgia).
But as long as it's not causing muscle damage (a condition called myopathy), doctors will tell you it's nothing to worry about.
So here's a typical scenari If a patient experiences muscle pain, he'll go to the doctor to get a test to determine if there's muscle damage. The vast majority of patients are told that their muscles are perfectly fine and that they should continue taking the statin.
Only, here's the kicker… the tests themselves are a big fat failure.
The test measures your levels of creatine phosphokinase (CPK), an enzyme that's associated with muscle damage. If your CPK levels are normal, you don't have muscle damage… at least, that's what they used to think.
In the recent study, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, the researchers found that even patients with normal CPK levels can have microscopic damage to their muscles.
Researchers from Boston's Tuft's University and Switzerland's University of Bern looked at 44 patients who were having statin-related muscle pain and found that 25 of those 44 patients had microscopic evidence of muscle pain. That's 57 percent!
Yet out of the 25 who had muscle damage, only 2 percent had elevated CPK levels. And, just as bad, even after they stopped taking the statins the patients continued to show signs of muscle damage.
Lead researcher, Richard H. Karas, MD, PhD, was quick to point out that most patients on statins won't experience any kind of muscle damage. I want to know how could he possibly make such a statement – especially since his OWN STUDY found the standard test to be inaccurate?
The former president of the American Heart Association, Sidney C. Smith, Jr., MD, admitted that several smaller studies over the years have come to the same conclusion. Still, even he downplayed the seriousness by saying that, "It is important to point out that we are talking about a minority of a minority of patients taking statins."
I still don't know how they could claim that with any degree of certainty – especially considering that statins don't have the best track record when it comes to muscle pain and damage.
Last September, a study presented at the American Physiological Society meeting showed that taking statins limits your muscle cells' ability to multiply – which hinders your ability to repair damaged muscles.
One particular statin was withdrawn from the market in 2001 because of a high incidence of rhabdomyolysis, a breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue.
Here's the real kicker: You shouldn't be taking statins to begin with because cholesterol is good for you. In fact, I'd panic if my cholesterol dropped below 300! Click here, and I'll tell you why…