This Is Your Prostate on Statin Drugs

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

November 10, 2014

  • Statin drugs are linked to prostate cancer
  • Natural ways to improve LDL cholesterol
  • … and protect your prostate

Today I want to zero in on a class of commonly prescribed drugs that has me very concerned.

I’m talking about statins.

As of the last official count by the CDC – which was in 2008 – about half of all men over the age of 64 were taking these drugs. This is about double the number of men who were taking them in 2002. I can only guess at how many more men are taking them today, including those who are much younger.

I’ll be honest. I don’t like these drugs.

They can damage your heart muscle. And, they increase your odds of hardening of the arteries by more than half. They’re also linked to diabetes, cataracts, dementia and kidney failure. To top it off, there’s no concrete evidence that they prevent heart attacks, stroke and other cardiovascular problems.

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There’s another major problem with statins that all of you men should be aware of. It’s the potential role they play when it comes to promoting prostate cancer.

Let me fill you in…

There have been all sorts of studies on statin drugs and prostate cancer over the years. And the results are all over the map. Some suggest there’s a very big risk between prostate cancer and statin use. Others report statins might be protective. Even others say they’re neither.

But when I see scientific evidence that shows up to an 86% higher risk of prostate cancer in men taking statin drugs… when results find that aggressive tumors are almost twice as common in men taking statins… and when these risks increase the longer a man takes the drug…

…Well, I that grabs my attention.

To top it off, it turns out prostate tumors are more likely to develop in statin-users with low testosterone levels. And, guess what? Statins can zap the testosterone right out of you.

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At the same time, those statin drugs don’t really do anything to improve your cholesterol profile. Sure, they lower LDL cholesterol. But LDL in itself isn’t the enemy. Your body actually needs LDL.

And, to clear up some confusion, LDL stands for low-density lipoprotein… it’s not a form of cholesterol. It’s one of the transport mechanisms for moving cholesterol around the bloodstream.

The real enemy is the size and number of your low-density lipoproteins. When they’re small, numerous, and dense, they tend to slip cholesterol into the lining of your blood vessels where they can do the most damage. They become oxidized. Inflammation sets in. Plaque starts accumulating, and blockages begin to develop.

So, instead of decreasing LDL levels with dangerous statin drugs, you’ll be much better off making changes that will give you big, fluffy, bouncy LDL that won’t cause damage to your blood vessels.

You’ll be glad to know there are a few very simple things you can do to help with that. And not a single one of them will harm your prostate…

  1. Avoid trans fatty acids: These fats are associated with a harmful increase in small, dense LDL particles. So, all that margarine and vegetable oil that’s supposed to be good for you is really working against you. (If you see the words “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” on the ingredient list, it contains trans fats.)
  2. Lower carbohydrate intake: Increased carbohydrate intake leads to an increase in triglycerides and a reduction in LDL particle size. Simple sugars and starches that are high on the glycemic index are the worst offenders. So, stay away from sweet, starchy foods and stick with foods having a low glycemic value.
  3. Eat a Mediterranean style-diet: I always recommend eating a healthy Mediterranean-style diet as regular practice. This means getting plenty of seafood, nuts, antioxidant-rich vegetables and fresh fruits. This type of diet is high in polyunsaturated fatty acids, which significantly increase LDL particle size. This is true even in people who are genetically predisposed to smaller particle size.
  4. Supplement with niacin: Niacin has long been known to protect your heart. Now we know that extended-release niacin has a specific effect on the smaller, more dangerous LDL particles. Plus, it enhances the role of large HDL particles, which also reduces cardio risk.

Getting you off those statins is top priority. And the steps above will help you do that. But it’s also important to protect yourself from developing prostate cancer.

Unfortunately, even after you stop taking statins, you might still be at a higher risk of developing prostate cancer than if you had never taken them. So, here are a few tips for prostate protection.

Vitamin D, the “sunshine” vitamin, is linked to a lower risk of prostate cancer. Without enough vitamin D, prostate cells can multiply too quickly and promote both prostate enlargement and cancerous tumors. Make sure you’re getting enough by taking 1,000 IU of supplemental vitamin D3 in the cholecalciferol form each day to help prevent cancer.

Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant and the source of the red coloring in tomatoes. And, it can slash the risk of prostate cancer by about 35%. A high level of lycopene in the blood is also associated with low PSA levels. To boost your lycopene levels, take at least 6.5 mg. per day.

Beta-Sitosterol is the compound found in prostate-friendly herbs like saw palmetto, pumpkin seed, and Pygeum africanum. It can decrease cancer growth by killing off cancerous cells. This may help halt the growth and spread of the cancer cells. To get the most protection possible, take 130 mg. of beta-sitosterol daily.

Sources:
Mauger JF, et al. “Effect of different forms of dietary hydrogenated fats on LDL particle size.” Am J Clin Nutr 2003;78:370-5.

Siri PW, et al. “Influence of dietary carbohydrate and fat on LDL and HDL particle distributions.” Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2005 Nov;7(6):455-9.

Moreno JA, et al. “The effect of dietary fat on LDL size is influenced by apolipoprotein E genotype in healthy subjects.” J Nutr. 2004 Oct;134(10):2517-22.

Morgan JM. et al. “Effects of extended-release niacin on lipoprotein subclass distribution.” Am J Cardiol. 2003 Jun 15;91(12):1432-6.

Lou YR, et al. “The role of vitamin D3 metabolism in prostate cancer.” J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2004 Nov;92(4):317-25.

Fraser ML, et al. “Lycopene and prostate cancer: emerging evidence.” Expert Rev Anticancer Ther. 2005 Oct;5(5):847-54.

Bradford PG, Awad AB. “Phytosterols as anticancer compounds.” Mol Nutr Food Res. 51 (2): 161-70, 2007

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