Question: My cardiologist put me on pravastatin (40 mg), but it appears I’ve have to discontinue it because of side effects. I have tried unsuccessfully to find a local doctor to help me. Can you offer any guidance? I’m desperate as I have two partially clogged arteries.
Dr. Brownstein's Answer:
Pravastatin (Pravachol) belongs to a class of drugs known as statins. Statins work by poisoning an enzyme necessary to produce cholesterol. There are no studies that show that using statin drugs will clear your clogged arteries or improve longevity for women. For younger men, there is a slight improvement in prevention of non-fatal heart attacks — perhaps one percent at best. Yet statin drugs are associated with a host of serious side effects. More information on statin drugs can be found in my newest book, Drugs That Don’t Work and Natural Therapies That Do, 2nd Edition.
If you are going to take a statin, you should take CoQ10 (at least 100 mg/day) to help prevent muscle damage. There are better ways to deal with elevated cholesterol levels. Niacin is an inexpensive, safe supplement that has been shown to lower cholesterol levels effectively. Eating a healthy diet, free from refined foods, also can be helpful. Finally, getting your hormones balanced properly, including DHEA, testosterone, progesterone, and pregnenolone, has proved worthwhile in my practice.