Do Statins Work by Raising Vitamin D Levels?

By on February 8, 2009
statins increase vitamin d levels

Here’s an interesting little fact about the connection between vitamin d and statins. A study entitled Effects of Atorvastatin on vitamin D levels in patients with acute ischemic heart disease show that statins, the class of drugs widely prescribed to lower cholesterol levels, have the effect of INCREASING Vitamin D Levels.

Now, there is plenty of evidence that Vitamin D seems to decreases risk of heart problems and that the vast majority of people- including heart patients- are Vitamin D deficient. So, there are some researchers speculating that the small reduction in heart attack risk that has been shown with statins, could very well be from statins raising vitamin d levels! In fact, the study Are Statins Vitamin D Analogues? gives this exact proposition in their statement, “Here, I propose that rather than being
cholesterol-lowering drugs per se, statins act as vitamin D analogues.” Wow, so one of the most prescribed drugs in the United States might not be beneficial for it’s own sake, but because it raises the level of a ubiquitously deficient vitamin?

This is not idle speculation either. An interesting parallel between Vitamin D and statins is that both of them reduce C- reactive protein (CRP) levels in the blood. C reactive protein is a marker for inflammation in the body. While it is a ‘general’ marker and not specific to heart disease, the vast majority of heart patients have elevated CRP levels and it is considered a risk factor for it. In fact there are some doctors who believe that inflammation is the REAL boogey man and that Cholesterol Problems are All Just a Big Lie! Seems as though the United States could save billions of health care dollars simply ensuring adequate vitamin d levels, instead of prescribing potentially dangerous statin drugs.

However, researchers STILL don’t know WHERE the inflammation is coming from in patients with heart disease. Some experts speculate that one source could be periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is a well known risk factor for heart disease, and there is a strong link between Vitamin D deficiency and Periodontal Disease as well. But wherever this inflammation is coming from, it’s undeniable that this inflammation is contributing to heart disease, and that Vitamin D can reduce this inflammation.

The Connection Between Vitamin D and Statins

In reality, it may be much cheaper and safer to prevent heart disease by taking Vitamin D and getting good dental care than taking statins. Yet doctors are still not recommending EITHER of these simple approaches to prevent heart disease, instead they immediately recommend a statin drug, of which the Statin Drug Side Effects of their own- diabetes, liver failure, memory loss, muscle pain, and even a dangerous muscle wasting condition called Rhabdomyolosis, among some of the more commonly recognized side effects of statin drugs.

Do your due diligence if your doctor asks that you take a statin drug, you might want to consider the connection between Vitamin D and Statins first. There ARE measures that you can take to reduce your risk of heart disease that don’t require taking pharmaceuticals, and, as was alluded to in one of the above studies, cholesterol may not even contribute to heart disease, and so reducing it may be worthless. Some studies even suggest that lowering cholesterol levels increases rates of disease! So, lowering cholesterol levels with statins may be worse than worthless, since that may even be harmful! So, before you get on Statin Drugs for the rest of your life, you really owe it to yourself to read What Dr. Lundell Has To Say About Cholesterol Reducing Drugs. And certainly, in the meantime, getting adequate amounts of vitamin D is vital for good health and reduction of disease incidence, so make sure you have Optimal Vitamin D Levels for good health.

About Kerri Knox, RN

The author is a Registered Nurse and Functional Medicine Practitioner. With 20 years of experience in health care, she has the unique perspective of being solidly grounded in both Conventional Medicine and Alternative Medicine. She can help you to to find and repair the underlying causes of chronic illness, while empowering you to take charge of your own health. She is the owner and author of this blog and website.

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