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XC Hack
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Are any of you on one and if so, how does it affect your training and/or racing? How about holistic alternatives? Some background: I'm nearing 60 and I'm a very fit XC racer, even better than 2015 when I was in best racing form ever but got sidelined with a shoulder injury. My BP is great, HDL is a tad over its range, LDL is at top of its range but the ratio of good to bad is excellent, triglycerides are good, yet doctor is suggesting I get on a statin. I'm thinking it's Pharma-driven. Thanks in advance.
 

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I am Walt
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Are any of you on one and if so, how does it affect your training and/or racing? How about holistic alternatives? Some background: I'm nearing 60 and I'm a very fit XC racer, even better than 2015 when I was in best racing form ever but got sidelined with a shoulder injury. My BP is great, HDL is a tad over its range, LDL is at top of its range but the ratio of good to bad is excellent, triglycerides are good, yet doctor is suggesting I get on a statin. I'm thinking it's Pharma-driven. Thanks in advance.
I’m 55, am a very fit endurance XC racer (marathon+, 12/24-hour solo), and have been on Simvastatin 20mg for about 10 years now (along with CoQ10) with no ill effects that I’ve noticed. And I train hard (ride 5x per week) and lift 3x per week.

I get my blood tested 2x per year, and my cholesterol numbers are OK, but towards the upper part of each range (with the meds), so my doc is keeping me on it. That’s not pharma-driven, as he took me off Lisinopril for high blood pressure a year ago, after 9 years on it, because my BP numbers were low-ish (and they’ve stayed low). So his preference is to get off meds.

Hope that helps. It’s a non-issue as far as I’m concerned.


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How did your doctor sample your blood? Finger stick sampling and testing in the provider's office is far less accurate than an actual blood draw at a lab.
There are potential adverse events associated with statins that may be undesirable to active persons, or anyone for that matter. Rhabdomyolysis being the most concerning.
Have you discussed any other therapies with your doctor? Omega 3 Fish Oil with an adequate amount of EPA and DHA may be enough to bring your levels back into an acceptable range. Niacin is sometimes used in combination with Omega 3.
There are options that could/should be evaluated before jumping right into life-long statin treatment, especially for mild cases such as yours.
This should be discussed with your provider before taking any action on your own.
 

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What’s the benefit/reasoning behind CoQ10 when taking statin’s. I’m interested as I take Lipitor. Thanks
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases...erol/expert-answers/coenzyme-q10/faq-20058176

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMG-CoA_reductase#/media/File:Mevalonate_pathway.svg

When you inhibit HMG CoA Reductase, you block everything downstream, which includes not only cholesterol biosynthesis but also ubiquinone biosynthesis (CoQ10).
In theory the CoQ10 supplementation makes sense, but it sounds as if the clinical experience is mixed.

@fongster, if your HDL/LDL ratio is good, and you're a trained athlete, then I would suspect that the simple-minded "your LDL is too high" reaction could be wrong. I would do a lot of research before starting on a statin.
(note: I am not a health professional)
 

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Figures 3-5 are the most relevant. Statins work to reduce cardiovascular incidences. But on a population and not at the individual level - this is even true in those with familial hypercholesterolemia.

Statins do have other benefits but may be equal to healthy diet and exercise.

View attachment PIIS0140673618319421-2.pdf
 

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In layman's terms, CQ10 benefits the cell components known as mitochondria, which produce ATP, the energy supply for the cells. The more active the cell, (like a muscle cell when the muscle is in use) the more the mitochondria work.Cells contain these organelles in a concentration directly associate with how much energy the cell puts out. So, which muscles in the body have the most mitts'? The heart muscles of course, as long as our heart is beating.
When the heart does not beat as strongly due to fewer working mitt's in its' muscle, we get cardiac problems.

Statins work, but a side effect of them working is that in many cases the mito's in the heart muscle cells are impaired in their production of ATP. So, you can guess the effect on the heart.
That's why supplementation of CQ10 (also known as ubiquinol, the best , or ubiquinone, a cheaper form,) is a good idea when starting a statin regimen.

One of my former students is a cardiologist, a very popular one in the San Diego area. He has most if not all of his patients taking CQ10.

Some people also find other benefits from taking statins, and some people also feel multiple benefits from taking CQ10. But all statin- takers should supplement with CQ10.
I hope that makes sense in everyday-speak!
 

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I am Walt
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In layman's terms, CQ10 benefits the cell components known as mitochondria, which produce ATP, the energy supply for the cells. The more active the cell, (like a muscle cell when the muscle is in use) the more the mitochondria work.Cells contain these organelles in a concentration directly associate with how much energy the cell puts out. So, which muscles in the body have the most mitts'? The heart muscles of course, as long as our heart is beating.
When the heart does not beat as strongly due to fewer working mitt's in its' muscle, we get cardiac problems.

Statins work, but a side effect of them working is that in many cases the mito's in the heart muscle cells are impaired in their production of ATP. So, you can guess the effect on the heart.
That's why supplementation of CQ10 (also known as ubiquinol, the best , or ubiquinone, a cheaper form,) is a good idea when starting a statin regimen.

One of my former students is a cardiologist, a very popular one in the San Diego area. He has most if not all of his patients taking CQ10.

Some people also find other benefits from taking statins, and some people also feel multiple benefits from taking CQ10. But all statin- takers should supplement with CQ10.
I hope that makes sense in everyday-speak!
Great, informative post, Radium. Thank you!

See, MTBR can be positive and helpful!!


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In layman's terms, CQ10 benefits the cell components known as mitochondria, which produce ATP, the energy supply for the cells. The more active the cell, (like a muscle cell when the muscle is in use) the more the mitochondria work.Cells contain these organelles in a concentration directly associate with how much energy the cell puts out. So, which muscles in the body have the most mitts'? The heart muscles of course, as long as our heart is beating.
When the heart does not beat as strongly due to fewer working mitt's in its' muscle, we get cardiac problems.

Statins work, but a side effect of them working is that in many cases the mito's in the heart muscle cells are impaired in their production of ATP. So, you can guess the effect on the heart.
That's why supplementation of CQ10 (also known as ubiquinol, the best , or ubiquinone, a cheaper form,) is a good idea when starting a statin regimen.

One of my former students is a cardiologist, a very popular one in the San Diego area. He has most if not all of his patients taking CQ10.

Some people also find other benefits from taking statins, and some people also feel multiple benefits from taking CQ10. But all statin- takers should supplement with CQ10.

I hope that makes sense in everyday-speak!
The data with CQ10 is mixed. Most docs recommend it as it appears to have no side effects but it may not actually be doing anything. Lots of people get myotoxicity with statins even when on CQ10.
 

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Something that is not widely known is that there are actually two types of blockages in coronary arteries, though cholesterol is a significant component of each. The first type is a hard calcified plaque that shows up on coronary calcium scoring. These calcified lesions cause the arterial walls to lose elasticity and contribute to elevated blood pressure. Think of these as hard water deposits inside a pipe that gradually decrease the inner diameter and eventually impair flow. These lesions can grow to the point where the vessel becomes totally occluded and are the type of blockages that are generally found on stress tests (if they're large enough) and often cause anginal symptoms.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4712374/

The other type of blockage is referred to as a vulnerable, liquid, lipid rich plaque. In these, the center of the lesion never really solidifies and is covered by a fibrous cap. Think of these as a bit like having a pimple or zit inside the arterial wall. If the fibrous cap ruptures, all the crap inside is ejected into the coronary artery and the body's natural response is to form a clot (thrombus) at the site of the plaque rupture. A vessel can go from being minimally occluded (<50%), to completely blocked in minutes. Plaque rupture and thrombus formation is the major cause of most heart attacks.

https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.114.302721

What statins do, besides lowering serum cholesterol and preventing the formation of both types of lesions, is strengthen the fibrous cap on the vulnerable, liquid, lipid rich plaques making them less likely to rupture.

https://bmcmedicine.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12916-015-0459-4

I've got a strong family history for premature coronary artery disease having lost my mom to a massive heart attack when she was just 54. Because of that, I have 2 to 3 times the risk for CAD right off the bat. My cholesterol numbers are OK - high 30's for the HDL (would prefer it over 45) and LDL under a 100. As someone else said, my low HDL is concerning, but my HDL/LDL ratio is pretty favorable. Still, I've been on low dose (10 mg) atorvastatin for 8 or 9 years solely for the effect it has on stabilizing the most dangerous plaques.

If anyone is interested, you can actually use an online risk calculator from the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association to determine your 10 year risk of heart attack or stroke. We don't really treat to "goal" cholesterol numbers anymore, so this tool is what your physician should be using to determine if you would benefit from being on statin therapy, and at what dose.

ACC/AHA ASCVD Risk Calculator
 

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I take 20mg Crestor after having a heart attack at 41. Picked up a stint in the process. Not a big fan of the statins for several personal reasons. I bleed easier, skin just literally went from being tuff to old and easily torn in what felt like overnight. Skin infection now are a thing and I can bleed through the skin from simple carting a heavy bag on the shoulder. Bruise easier too. Also I get a bit of odd physical vibe from it. Can’t explain it.

If you can control it via diet, by all means do so. I’m working towards reducing this mg to something less damning.
 

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Meatbomb
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My Doctor told me to never take Statins.... Eat right and control your weight and you'll be better off. Cholesterol kills very few people. Don't listen to big pharma.....
 

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My Doctor told me to never take Statins.... Eat right and control your weight and you'll be better off. Cholesterol kills very few people. Don't listen to big pharma.....
Personally, I'd have a problem with almost anyone who makes an absolute pronouncement. Most any expert in a field, when asked a question, will respond with, "It depends," because they know enough that what they're dealing with isn't just black or white.

I might not disagree with what your doctor is telling you to do, but I'd still be very skeptical about anything else they're similarly 100% confident about.
 

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Statins are cheap, mostly safe and effective. A relatively small percentage of people don’t tolerate them, and if you’re not monitoring your blood you can get serious complications, as a few posters have observed. I am one of those people, and I went into rabdo. For everyone else, statins are extremely effective. If you’re trying to lower your too high lab numbers by diet and excercise alone be prepared for a radical change in diet and lifestyle. I had to quit all dairy, only eat one serving of red meat a month, quit wheat and most sugar, and lose 20 pounds to get my numbers back to normal. I don’t know how something so cheap can be a “big pharmacy” thing. A lot of doctors who don’t even have high lab numbers take statins, as a shield against plaque that causes Alzheimer’s.
 

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“Pharma driven”

Do you think your provider gets a kickback for prescribing a generic statin?

The reason your provider is suggesting a statin is because you have already done everything you can do lifestyle wise by being fit and eating right.

If I were you, I’d think less about how the statin will affect your performance and more about how a cardiac event will affect your life.

Get a second opinion, see a cardiologist and get a full work up with stress test.

There ain’t nothing holistic that’s gonna drop that LDL as much as it needs to drop.

Are any of you on one and if so, how does it affect your training and/or racing? How about holistic alternatives? Some background: I'm nearing 60 and I'm a very fit XC racer, even better than 2015 when I was in best racing form ever but got sidelined with a shoulder injury. My BP is great, HDL is a tad over its range, LDL is at top of its range but the ratio of good to bad is excellent, triglycerides are good, yet doctor is suggesting I get on a statin. I'm thinking it's Pharma-driven. Thanks in advance.
 

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I went on a very low dose of Lipitor back in the early 2000s. It worked, at least as far as reducing the numbers. That was the good part, well maybe.

After about ten years things weren't so swell.

First problem: High blood sugar. My family has a strong history of diabetes. It comes on gradually in the late 40s to late 50s, even in those who have a good lifestyle. Due to this I have checked my blood sugar regularly since my mid 30s. Fasting glucose levels on good quality glucometers were in the 70-95 range when I started taking the Lipitor. After being on it about 10 years I noticed a troubling trend of my sugars heading towards the 100 range. Then I started to see a lot >100. Not good.

Second problem: My family also seems to have a genetic predisposition to depression. It's never really held me back because I don't let it. Until it started to become very persistent and deep seated.

Third problem: Concentration. I was finding it very difficult to concentrate like I used to. While I've always had a touch of ADD, this was far worse.

Fourth problem: Falling athletic performance. That seemed to hit me rather fast and I just accepted it. At the time I was mostly trail running and had to start walking a lot on hills. Just age, right??? Well maybe not.

I started doing some studying and found that Statins are well known to cause, or hasten, the onset of diabetes. Also, because our cells all have cholesterol and need cholesterol to function it has been implicated in things such as depression and cognitive decline.

I went off the Statins without telling my Doctor. It's my body, not his. Within about 3 months my blood sugars were in the 70-85 range. My depression was starting to lift. That took about 6+ months to get back to a tolerable state. My concentration was a lot better.

The thing that I had not anticipated was the gains that I made in my running. I was about 51-52 at the time and after about 6 months I found that I was running up the hills again. Before on the Lipitor my problem wasn't the cardio side but rather it was as if the legs just were dead and didn't have the power. I gained a lot of strength in my legs.

I'm a Paramedic. Since I went off the Lipitor I have made it a point to delve into the history of my patients who are on Statins and also have known coronary artery disease. Guess what????? Almost all of them were on Statins BEFORE, their first cardiac event!!!!!!!

There are two numbers that I look at when I take a medication. The Number Needed to Treat (NNT) and the Number Needed to Harm (NNH). Depending on the source Statins have a NNT in the 250-300 range. Some have placed it much higher. This means that only 1 person out of 250 will avoid a cardiac event by taking Statins. I've seen the NNH all over the place because it all depends on how the studies define "harm". I have read many comments from Cardiologists stating that about 20% of people will have life altering side effects from taking Statins. Muscle breakdown/myalgia is the most common. Liver problems are another one as is the diabetes component.

There is a huge debate in the medical field over Statins. Whenever data is presented that shows problems with them, the presenters of such information are basically shouted down. But then it's that way with all medications. Sadly the only thing most prescribing providers are taught these days is now to write a prescription for another pill.


That's my experience and opinion, Do with it what you wish.
 

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My Doctor told me to never take Statins.... Eat right and control your weight and you'll be better off. Cholesterol kills very few people. Don't listen to big pharma.....
"big pharma" is not making significant $ off statins. The patents have long run out. They are CHEAP.

Eating right + exercise should control weight and certainly is beneficial, but for those of us with high cholesterol and a strong family history of heart disease, a statin, CoQ10 and baby aspirin cannot hurt.

BTW, my dad's doctor told him at 54 his chest pains were heartburn. 5 days later he was dead. Sometimes doctors are too confident in their "intelligence".
 
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