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Can it Get Much Worse? Drug Company Now Claims Statins Recommended for Swine Flu

drug company swine flu statinDrug companies are now claiming that cholesterol-lowering statin drugs like Lipitor and Zocor can be used as a treatment for swine flu.

A large study found that people who were taking these drugs when they caught seasonal flu and had to be hospitalized were twice as likely to survive than those who were not on such medicines.

The study involved 2,800 people hospitalized with lab-confirmed seasonal flu in 10 states in 2007-2008.

Medical records show that 801 received statins in the hospital. They probably were just continuing the cholesterol treatment they had been taking before catching the flu, though researchers don't know this for sure.

More than 3 percent of those not taking statins died in the hospital or in the following month. The rate was half that among statin users, even though they were more likely to have underlying health problems like heart disease.

This doesn't prove that statins can cure flu, or that starting on them after catching the flu would help. A federal study is under way now to test that. Doctors are optimistic, because previous studies also found that statins may improve survival from infectious diseases.
Dr. Mercola's Comments:
This is just the icing on the cake for the government’s swine flu propaganda campaign. It’s not enough to try and persuade the entire U.S. population to line up for an experimental swine flu vaccine for an illness that is mild in most cases and way over-hyped… now we should all give thanks that we can take the all-mighty statin drug to“cure” us of the flu!
The study found that people taking statins when they caught the seasonal flu and then where hospitalized were more likely to survive than those not taking the drugs. That does not, of course, mean that statins can cure flu, or that starting on them after catching the flu is of any help whatsoever.
But that isn’t stopping the corporate marketing machine.
Worse still, the government -- the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) -- is now sponsoring a large study to look further into the use of statin drugs to treat the flu. Apparently the CDC would rather throw money at a potential cash cow for the drug makers then promote the real natural alternatives that can stop the flu in its tracks without any side effects. Where is the CDC-sponsored study on vitamin D and the flu, for instance? If you were to maintain your vitamin D levels within the optimal range of 50-65 ng/ml, you would likely avoid being affected during the cold and flu season entirely.

And if you are coming down with flu-like symptoms and have not been on vitamin D you can take doses of 50,000 units a day for three days to treat the acute infection. But the CDC apparently isn’t interested in that.

Meanwhile, the “experts” are arguing that statins have few downsides, so why not try them for the flu, just in case?

Of course, those “few downsides” can include muscle pain and weakness, peripheral neuropathy, and heart failure. Not to mention the 900 studies that show statin drugs are dangerous.

Hundreds of Studies Prove Statins are Not Safe

Taking statin drugs to treat the flu is a perfect example of a “cure” far worse than the disease.

A paper published earlier this year in the American Journal of Cardiovascular Drugs cites nearly 900 studies on the adverse effects of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, also called statins, which,for those who aren’t familiar, are a class of drugs widely used to treat high cholesterol.

Muscle problems are the best known of statin drugs' adverse side effects, but cognitive problems and pain or numbness in the extremities are also widely reported. A spectrum of other problems, ranging from blood glucose elevations to tendon problems, can also occur as side effects.

The problem, however, is the fact that statin drugs often times do not have any immediate side effects, and they are quite effective, capable of lowering cholesterol levels by 50 points or more. This makes it appear as though they’re benefiting your health, and health problems that appear down the line are frequently not interpreted as a side effect of the drug, but rather as brand new, separate health problems.

For starters, some of the possible consequences of taking statins in strong doses, or for a lengthy period of time, include:

  • Cognitive loss
  • Neuropathy
  • Anemia
  • Acidosis
  • Frequent fevers
  • Cataracts
  • Sexual dysfunction

Other serious and potentially life threatening side effects include, but are not limited to:

And according to the review published in the American Journal of Cardiovascular Drugs, adverse effects are dose dependent, and your health risks are also amplified by a number of factors, such as:

  • Drug interactions that increase statin potency
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Thyroid disease
  • Other genetic mutations linked to mitochondrial dysfunction (high blood pressure and diabetes are linked to higher rates of mitochondrial problems, so if you have either of these conditions your risk of statin complications increases)
Why Aren’t Doctors Warning You About CoQ10 Depletion?
Statin drugs also deplete your body of CoQ10, an antioxidant compound that is central to the process of energy production within your mitochondria, and in the quenching of free radicals.

Statins lower your CoQ10 levels by blocking the pathway involved in cholesterol production -- the same pathway by which Q10 is produced. Statins also reduce the blood cholesterol that transports CoQ10 and other fat-soluble antioxidants.

The loss of CoQ10 leads to loss of cell energy and increased free radicals which, in turn, can further damage your mitochondrial DNA, effectively setting into motion an evil circle of increasing free radicals and mitochondrial damage.

There are no official warnings in the U.S. regarding CoQ10 depletion from taking statin drugs, and many physicians fail to inform you about this problem as well. Labeling in Canada, however, clearly warns of CoQ10 depletion and even notes that this nutrient deficiency “could lead to impaired cardiac function in patients with borderline congestive heart failure.”
There are Far Better, and Safer, Options to Fight the Flu Than Statin Drugs
When it comes to the flu, to avoiding becoming a statistic you need to be aware that your vitamin D levels play a direct role in your risk of getting the flu!

The vitamin D levels in your blood fall to their lowest point during flu season, which generally coincide with low-sunlight seasons. Less than optimal vitamin D levels will significantly impair your immune response and make you far more susceptible to contracting colds, influenza, and other respiratory infections.

Dr. John Cannell and colleagues introduced the hypothesis that influenza is a symptom of vitamin Ddeficiency in their paper Epidemic Influenza and Vitamin D, published in the journal Epidemiology and Infection two years ago, and published additional research on this topic in a recent issue of the Virology Journal. Remarkably,they found that 2,000 IU of vitamin D per day abolished the seasonality of influenza!

Unfortunately, conventional medicine’s answer to preventing the flu is not to increase vitamin D levels,but rather to encourage, or even mandate, flu shots or offer statin drugs. What they don’t tell you is that flu shots and statins at best don’t work and, at worst, can make your health worse.

If you maintain your vitamin D levels in the optimal range, the odds of you getting the flu are very remote. However, as I said earlier you can also use vitamin D therapeutically to TREAT the flu.

To find out all the details I strongly recommend you watch my one-hour free vitamin D lecture along with my video on vitamin D’s role in flu prevention.

Yet another powerful supplement to keep in your home arsenal is olive leaf extract, which you can find in most any health food store. Olive leaf extract has been found to be a potent broad-spectrum antiviral agent, active against all viruses tested, including numerous strains of influenza and para-influenza viruses.

Of course, your best option is prevention as always, and you can read natural tips to lower your risk of getting the flu in the first place in this past article.

+ Sources and References
  • WTOP October 29, 2009
  • Infectious Diseases Society of America, Philadelphia, PA, October 29-November 1, 2009