July 8, 2002
INTRODUCTION TO THE CITIZENS PETITION ON STATINS
By Peter H. Langsjoen, MD
The medical profession has, after more than 30 years of excellent
propaganda, successfully created the wholly iatrogenic - "pseudo-disease"
dubbed "hypercholesterolemia" and the associated malady
"cholesterol neurosis". After decades of dismal failure
to cure this "disease" of numbers with low fat diets and
a host of cholesterol lowering drugs, the medical profession stumbled
upon the magic bullet, the cure for this dreaded artificial disease
- statins (HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors). First released on the
US market in 1987, statins have rapidly grown into one of the most
widely prescribed class of drugs in history. Statins do three things:
1. They block the body's ability to make cholesterol, thus lowering
the blood level of cholesterol, thereby curing cholesterol neurosis.
Doctors and patients equally neurotic have immediate gratification.
The "evil" high cholesterol has been dramatically lowered
and the future is bright and promising. So far...so good.
2. Unrelated to their cholesterol lowering, statins have been found
to have anti-inflammatory, plaque-stabilizing properties which have
a slight benefit in coronary heart disease.
3. Statins kill people - lots of people - and they wound many,
many more. All patients taking statins become depleted in Coenzyme
Q10 (CoQ10), eventually - those patients who start with a relatively
low CoQ10 levels (the elderly and patients with heart failure) begin
to manifest signs/symptoms of CoQ10 deficiency relatively rapidly
- in 6 to 12 months. Younger, healthier people who's only "illness"
is the non-illness "hypercholesterolemia" can tolerate
statins for several years before getting into trouble with fatigue,
muscle weakness and soreness (usually with normal muscle enzyme
CPK tests) and most ominously - heart failure.
In my practice of 17 years in Tyler, Texas, I have seen a frightening
increase in heart failure secondary to statin usage, "statin
cardiomyopathy". Over the past five years, statins have become
more potent, are being prescribed in higher doses, and are being
used with reckless abandon in the elderly and in patients with "normal"
cholesterol levels. We are in the midst of a CHF epidemic in the
US with a dramatic increase over the past decade. Are we causing
this epidemic through our zealous use of statins? In large part
I think the answer is yes. We are now in a position to witness the
unfolding of the greatest medical tragedy of all time - never before
in history has the medical establishment knowingly (Merck &
Co., Inc. has two 1990 patents combining CoQ10 with statins to prevent
CoQ10 depletion and attendant side effects) created a life threatening
nutrient deficiency in millions of otherwise healthy people, only
to then sit back with arrogance and horrific irresponsibility and
watch to see what happens - as I see two to three new statin cardiomyopathies
per week in my practice, I cannot help but view my once great profession
with a mixture of sorrow and contempt.
Statin-induced CoQ10 depletion is the topic of a recent petition
to the FDA requesting that this drug/nutrient interaction be identified
in a black box warning as part of statin package insert information.
A comprehensive review of animal and human trials addressing this
issue has been submitted to the FDA as a supporting document. We,
of course, do not expect any response from the FDA, but 10 years
from now when the full extent of statin toxicity becomes painfully
evident, at least we can, in good conscience, know that we tried
and who knows, sometimes small sparks may spread in dry grass.
Drugs And The Depletion Of Coenzyme Q10: A Review Of Human And Animal
By Peter H. Langsjoen, MD