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High cholesterol refers to higher than acceptable levels of what is known as bad cholesterol in the body. LDL cholesterol – or low-density lipoprotein cholesterol – at too high a level has been linked to cardiovascular disease and a narrowing and hardening of the arteries, which can lead to heart attacks, angina, coronary heart disease and strokes. You can find some statistics for these conditions in patients in the United States in the infographic attachment to this post. 

People who have been diagnosed with any form of CVD, or those whose medical history leaves them at risk of developing a CVD, may be prescribed statins. The embedded short video explains what statins are. 

Dr. Carolyn Dean argues that statins do not increase the lifespan of users and can be dangerous, with many patients experiencing side effects. Dr. Dean recommends a dietary and supplement protocol that includes taking magnesium instead of statins to help prevent the risk of CVD. Magnesium has been called a natural statin because it works with the enzyme that produces cholesterol to keep it in balance instead of damaging that enzyme with statins. 

American Heart Association Statin Safety Report 

The American Heart Association released a report on statin safety in December 2018. This report concluded that, although there are risks associated with taking statins, the benefits of the treatment outweigh these risks. In the majority of patients who are recommended statins, the reduced cardiovascular risk overrides concern for safety. With exceptions where side effects include autoimmune necrotizing myositis, newly-diagnosed diabetes mellitus and hemorrhagic stroke, all side effects of statins can be quickly and easily reversed by discontinuing treatment. On the flip side, CVD can cause ischemic strokes, which can lead to irreversible damage to the brain or heart and even to death, according to the report. 

Many researchers do not agree with this report, which seems to accept all the side effects of statins without looking at safe alternatives. The ongoing work of Dr. Malcolm Kendrick proves to many that statins are dangerous: 


The aim of treatment with statins is to reduce the levels of LDL cholesterol in patients with or at risk from CVD. Dr. Carolyn Dean argues that there remains a dearth of scientific information confirming cholesterol as the leading cause of heart disease or other cardiovascular conditions. Cholesterol is necessary to make hormones and protect brain cells with a lipid layer and damaging the enzyme that makes cholesterol can lead to loss of libido and dementia.  More information about cholesterol can be found in the embedded PDF.  

There are currently an estimated 200 million people or more taking statins worldwide. A minimum of 10% of these 200 million experience side effects. Some sources estimate that the figure could actually be closer to 30%. Dr. Dean talks about the potential unreliability of the report from the AHA, citing the fact that two of the four authors have strong links to the pharmaceutical industry. 


One of the key recommendations of Dr. Carolyn Dean is that patients who are deemed at risk from CVD take magnesium supplements to lower their cholesterol and then wean off statins. Magnesium is a natural statin that has many health benefits, including helping to maintain healthy levels of cholesterol. Cholesterol is necessary at certain levels for hormones and for the brain. Various different types of magnesium supplements can be taken to control cholesterol, helping the body to create and maintain cholesterol at optimum levels for health. Magnesium supplements can treat high cholesterol by ensuring the body utilizes cholesterol properly. 

Statin Alternatives 

Along with magnesium supplements, there are various alternatives to taking statins that can be tried in order to help prevent a build-up of bad cholesterol. These include making changes towards a healthier diet, maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly. Stopping or limiting alcohol intake and quitting smoking can also help reduce levels of LDL cholesterol. 

Statin Side Effects 

A review of scientific studies into statins and their effectiveness found that approximately one in 50 people taking this form of medication for five years or more will avoid experiencing strokes or heart attacks. This is balanced against side effects from the medication in up to 30% of patients that can include nausea, headaches or diarrhea.  Statins have also been linked with transient global amnesia.