In my professional role, I read a lot of medical research. A study I read about today opened with the statement that “Although it does appear that statins may increase the [chance] of diabetes in high-risk patients, this should not stop us from using these drugs, as this small risk is outweighed by the substantial reduction in cardiovascular events” (Statins: Diabetes risk outweighed by CV benefit November 16, 2012Sue Hughes, theheart.org).
As I read this it occurred to me that a great many research reviews open with a similar statement of benefit versus risk. In this case, you might develop diabetes if you use this drug, but you’re less likely to suffer a cardiovascular illness.
For me this seems a little ridiculous! One of the biggest risk factors for declining cardiovascular health is diabetes! And what makes this rediculous for me is the fact that many people could control cholesterol levels without medication!
Statins are drugs used to decrease cholesterol levels. High levels of the wrong kind of cholesterol are associated with cardiovascular disease. Lipitor is one of the most common statins being used today.
While it is true that there are some people who are cursed with a higher cholesterol level no matter what they do, for the majority of us, we can control our levels without medication.
Eating a balanced diet including vegetables, fish, legumes, whole grains, and fruits, and getting at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise at least 5 times a week can do for many people what statins can do – and more, all while avoiding side effects (risk of diabetes, muscle cramps, liver damage, digestive problems, etc…)
While you’re eating healthy and exercising, you not only lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol, but you will also be able to achieve and maintain a healthier weight, improve fitness and appearance. You will probably find your energy levels will increase as well.
Medications may seem like the quick and easy fix, but they rarely come without risk. Why not take the low risk – high benefit route of living simply well?
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