Written by: Catie Maylath
Many people are put on cholesterol medications each year but do they really understand the risk involved? The answer is not exactly. Most patients are sent home with the medications told that they will lower their LDL and increase their HDL cholesterol but never told the risk involved with the medications. Or better yet, they are told that the benefits outweigh the risk involved…in fact we’ve all heard that if we have been prescribed medications in our lifetime.
An article by Goldstein et. al. explains that “statins actually increase cancer in certain segments of the population”.1 It does this by increasing the number of regulatory T cells within the body (called Tregs). Though this increase can help stabilize atherosclerotic plaques by reducing the effector T cell response within the atheroma, there is an immune response from the body due to the fact that this response was not created within the body but rather due to the medication. This immune response lowers the host’s immune system and creates the potential for cancers. So far Treg increase has been linked to both breast and prostate cancers. Also when regulatory T cells are found within a tumor, the less likely the patient is to survive.
Is the benefit worth this risk? Well through the sixty day challenge we were able to see that through diet we can control a lot of the body’s healing mechanisms. High cholesterol is a product of diet and lifestyle and THAT is a choice we make daily. Our bodies have an amazing ability to heal when fueled by the right mindset, when we have a healthy nervous system, engage in daily exercise, eat properly and minimize the toxins in our environments.