Statins side effects: Low cholesterol dangers

Statins side effects can lead to serious health problems, especially concerning muscle damage. As you may know, heart is also a muscle which can be affected too but this is very rare.

Besides muscle damage, cholesterol lowering drugs such as statins can lead to numerous other side effects.

So, although they can be very effective in lowering cholesterol and with it, the risk of heart attack, atherosclerosis and the risk of death from heart disease, you should think twice before taking them. Statins side effects can lead to serious health problems.


This cholesterol lowering medications inhibit cholesterol production in the liver. Since the liver produces 80 % of cholesterol, by inhibiting its production, the body will grab cholesterol from the blood which causes rapid and significant decrease in blood cholesterol levels, especially in total and LDL cholesterol.

Although this effect can be lifesaving in people with high cholesterol, some people may experience side effects of statins.


Don't look at LDL cholesterol as something to eradicate from your body because you need little bit of it, if you want your body to function optimally. After all, it is produced naturally by our body, in small amounts.

Beware of cholesterol lowering drugs such as statins as well as herbs and supplements such as red yeast rice, since they can cause muscle damage by lowering cholesterol too much. There use is justified only if your cholesterol and triglycerides are very high and only for a limited amount of time.

Cholesterol, especially LDL cholesterol plays important role in maintaining muscle fibers, besides other functions. Decreasing it too much, can cause muscle pain, tiredness, weakness and even lead to muscle damage know as rhabdomyolysis. These are all statins side effects on which you should look out for.

Cholesterol works in two ways in maintaining muscle fibers. First one includes hormones, as all hormones are made from cholesterol, including anabolic muscle-building hormones, such as testosterone. The other one is the fact that cholesterol is a protein, a lipoprotein, and proteins are building blocks of muscle fibers.

The point is, not all cholesterol or lipoproteins are made equal, the lower the density of lipoproteins the bigger its role in building and maintaining mucle fibers, such as LDL cholesterol. Your heart is also a muscle and as every muscle in your body, it requires proteins. Although, heart is very complex and unique collection of muscle fibers like no other.

Very low LDL cholesterol levels can also be bad for you, almost as high LDL values, especially if you are a man because of increased muscle mass compared to women. However, both men and women can experience side effects of statins, especially older individuals and those with some kind of kidney and liver problems or people with diabetes.


Side effect of statins are not limited to muscles. They can cause liver and kidney damage, increase the risk of diabetes and cause neurological and memory problems. The drugs affect liver function which can lead to a change in liver enzymes.

This can lead to serious health problems. If you experience pain in your abdomen, yellowing of the skin or your eyes, dark-colored urine, fatigue or loss of appetite, notify your doctor.

If your muscles are damaged, then you can have too much proteins in the blood. Now, it is on the kidneys to filter all that protein in the blood which can lead to kidney damage. Statins and low cholesterol levels were also associated with the increased risk of mental problems, especially memory loss and confusion.

Besides these problems, statins side effects may also include digestion problems such as cramps, abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, gas as well as skin rash, nausea, vomiting, sleeping problems and flushing.


It seems that statins, by inhibiting several enzymes in the liver, decrease the amount of Coenzyme Q10 in the mitochondria by affecting its biosynthesis. Because of this, it is recommended to take CoQ10 with cholesterol lowering drugs such as statins to decrease the risk of statins side effects.

However, CoQ10 can also be taken in combination with other cholesterol lowering medications as well as with similar herbs and supplements such as fish oil and red yeast rice for the same purpose.


In my opinion, it is better to stay away from any kind of cholesterol lowering medications, including statins, unless they are absolutely necessary. Instead, improve your diet and exercise regulary.

Don't forget to add garlic, cayenne pepper and some other spices to your diet, besides fruits, vegetables and whole grains rich in fiber, that will help your lower cholesterol.

This way you avoid any possible statins side effects. However, some people won't have that option since they will just have take them, due to severity of their condition and extremly high cholesterol levels. In the end, your doctor will determine whether you really need them or not.

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