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Statin Use and Possible Connection to Diabetes and Alzheimer's
Serenoa
Posted: Thursday, August 20, 2015 5:42 AM
Joined: 4/24/2012
Posts: 484


Statin treatment and new-onset diabetes: A review of proposed mechanisms

Abstract

New-onset diabetes has been observed in clinical trials and meta-analyses involving statin therapy. To explain this association, three major mechanisms have been proposed and discussed in the literature. First, certain statins affect insulin secretion through direct, indirect or combined effects on calcium channels in pancreatic β-cells. Second, reduced translocation of glucose transporter 4 in response to treatment results in hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia. Third, statin therapy decreases other important downstream products, such as coenzyme Q10, farnesyl pyrophosphate, geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate, and dolichol; their depletion leads to reduced intracellular signaling. Other possible mechanisms implicated in the effect of statins on new-onset diabetes are: statin interference with intracellular insulin signal transduction pathways via inhibition of necessary phosphorylation events and reduction of small GTPase action; inhibition of adipocyte differentiation leading to decreased peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma and CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein which are important pathways for glucose homeostasis; decreased leptin causing inhibition of β-cells proliferation and insulin secretion; and diminished adiponectin levels. Given that the magnitude of the risk of new-onset diabetes following statin use remains to be fully clarified and the well-established beneficial effect of statins in reducing cardiovascular risk, statins remain the first-choice treatment for prevention of CVD. Elucidation of the mechanisms underlying the development of diabetes in association with statin use may help identify novel preventative or therapeutic approaches to this problem and/or help design a new generation statin without such side-effects.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0026049514000535


This article focuses on diabetes, but it has Alzheimer's writen all over it. Lots of connections to the mechanisms that lead to Alzheimer's.


Serenoa
Posted: Friday, August 21, 2015 5:53 AM
Joined: 4/24/2012
Posts: 484


Sorry for all the technical language. What seems relevant here is that statins may be negatively affecting blood sugar, insulin and antioxidant levels. Although, the lowering of blood pressure seems to be just as important for Alz prevention. Therefore, precautions can be taken to counter these side effects of statins or alternative ways of lowering blood pressure should be employed. Coenzyme Q10 is also involved here because it has been shown to help with blood sugar, insulin and, of course, antioxidant levels. Statins are known to lower CoQ10. So, the good news is that there are well known healthy ways to address high blood pressure, high blood sugar, insulin resistance and CoQ10 deficiency.

I am very thankful for all of the great medical research being done to reveal the causes of disease. Of course much of it is done in hopes of finding a miracle drug, but I strongly feel it has given us the power to find and employ preventative measures and beneficial treatments through self-education and by taking personal responsibility for our health.


Lane Simonian
Posted: Friday, August 21, 2015 8:57 AM
Joined: 12/12/2011
Posts: 4986


Thanks, Serenoa, for your post. I gave it a day to mull over in my head, but you have really covered it in a very clear and compelling way in your second post.

The role of statins in depleting Coenzyme Q10 is an important aspect of it. That in part explains how statins can contribute to diabetes, memory loss, and mitochondrial dysfunction.

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/05/06/fda-warning-on-statins.aspx

Iris L.
Posted: Tuesday, August 25, 2015 12:20 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 17452


This is good to know. Thanks for sharing. My cardiologist prescribed a statin but I did not take it. The neurologist said it was okay for me to take it, in fact, he said statins may help memory loss. I suppose he did not see this study.

Iris L.

Marta
Posted: Thursday, August 27, 2015 11:59 AM
Joined: 6/3/2013
Posts: 1118


To clarify, statins are used to lower LDL cholesterol and to raise HDL levels. The effect on blood pressure is not clinically significant. There as yet are no good alternatives to the statins that will lower the LDL levels to where they need to be for primary or secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease.

New guidelines recommend that everyone with type 2 diabetes over the age of 40 take a statin, regardless of what their LDL levels are, as the benefits of statins in diabetes far outweigh any negative effects on blood sugar homeostasis.

It is scientifically a stretch to conclude from the article referenced that statins cause Alzheimer's. It may even be irresponsible to post such an opinion, as some readers may decide to stop their statin in order to avoid ALZ, based on what they read here, and then die prematurely of heart attack or stroke. This board is titled Clinical Trials. Those who post here must be certain to first do no harm.

Lane Simonian
Posted: Thursday, August 27, 2015 1:40 PM
Joined: 12/12/2011
Posts: 4986


It is the FDA that required the warnings regarding statins, diabetes, and memory loss.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/29/us-fda-statins-idUSTRE81R1O220120229

The FDA considers these to be rare occurrences and that the memory loss stops after the person stops taking statins. More studies are needed to determine the degree of risk.

As far as statins and heart disease, it may only help those with a previous history of heart disease.

http://www.thennt.com/nnt/statins-for-heart-disease-prevention-without-prior-heart-disease/

If you take the medication, in some cases you may be doing some harm; if you don't take the medication in some cases you may also be doing harm. The era though in which statins were considered a wonder drug without any significant risks is over.

Marta
Posted: Thursday, August 27, 2015 2:39 PM
Joined: 6/3/2013
Posts: 1118


Iris: it would be helpful if you stated your rationale for not taking a statin. I just do not want those who trust your judgment and follow your advice to blindly stop taking their statin, when that statin drug could save their life. Your words have oomph on these boards, dear Iris.
Mimi S.
Posted: Thursday, August 27, 2015 4:05 PM
Joined: 11/29/2011
Posts: 7027


FYI I have been taking statins for year.,prescribed by an internist who works closely with my neurologist.
As an old lady I have lots of medical issues and really liked that the two of the worked so closely on my behalf.
Where I am health wise at age 87 is a testament to their skill and my persistence in taking meds and following Best Practices.

Iris L.
Posted: Thursday, August 27, 2015 7:12 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 17452


Thank you, Marta, for bringing this point to my attention.

AT NO TIME SHOULD ANYONE DISCONTINUE A MEDICATION WITHOUT CONSULTATION WITH THE PRESCRIBING DOCTOR!

These boards are for information only, and not advice. Only a professional who knows you and your particular medical history should give medical advice.

In my case, my total cholesterol was 205 mg. After two months of dietary changes, my total cholesterol was 172 mg. I don't remember the other numbers. For me, personally, I do not see a need to begin a statin at this point.

Iris L.

Eden Desjardins
Posted: Monday, August 31, 2015 10:51 AM
Joined: 5/25/2015
Posts: 48


Mimi S. wrote:
FYI I have been taking statins for year.,prescribed by an internist who works closely with my neurologist.
As an old lady I have lots of medical issues and really liked that the two of the worked so closely on my behalf.
Where I am health wise at age 87 is a testament to their skill and my persistence in taking meds and following Best Practices.

Hi Mimi,

Can you please comment on the side effects of statins, given you regular use of them? I have heard a lot of bad things in that regard about statins.