Statin caused diabetes in women is found to increase in those women taking cholesterol lowering medications such as Lipitor according to a new study. Statins diabetes in women is easily understood with knowledge of how coenzyme Q10, selenium and cholesterol influence each other. This applies to men as well.
Statins and diabetes in women has been confirmed by a new study from researchers at Harvard Medical School reporting if women over the age of 45 are taking statins, diabetes in women rises substantially.
Following more than 153,000 postmenopausal women who enrolled in the Women’s Health Initiative study in the 1990s, at the time they enrolled, none of these women had diabetes. Researchers followed up with the women in 2005, and found that nearly 10 percent of women taking statins developed diabetes, compared to only 6.4 percent in women who did not take statin drugs.
Experts are calling this a “slight” or “modest” increase. Is a 50% increase in the risk for developing diabetes, slight or modest? Statins are drugs such as Lipitor and are taken for high cholesterol levels by more than 25% of men and women over 45. It may also make sense the results of this study can be applied to men.
Several previous studies demonstrated the same results. Statins were shown to increase diabetes risk in a randomized controlled study in 2008. More reports about the connection between diabetes and statin drugs were published in The Lancet in 2010 and yet again in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2011.
Why Do Statin Drugs Increase the Risk of Diabetes?
Let’s walk this conversation backwards a bit. Studies have shown that normal levels of coenzyme Q10 help keep normal levels of glycosylated hemoglobin…a marker denoting the amount of glucose attached to a red blood cell the previous 120 days. This finding is also correlated with high levels of oxidative stress which is another marker denoting poor blood sugar control. 1. Think anti-oxidant supplements.
Additionally, supplementation with coenzyme Q10 (100 mg twice a day) improved blood pressure and long term sugar control. 2. Also, treatment of human cells in vitro with coenzyme Q10 prevented hyperglycemia induced oxidative stress. 3.
The take away from the above mumbo jumbo is that increases in Type 2 Diabetes are associated with not only increases in blood sugar and too much insulin in the bloodstream, but the biochemical system that produces oxidative stress may be a large contributing factor as to why blood sugar isn’t controlled in Type 2 diabetes.
Coenzyme Q10 is important in preventing much of the chemistry that contributes to oxidative stress and its connection to Type 2 diabetes, but what are statin drugs connection to this puzzle?
Interestingly, statin drugs are known to reduce the circulating levels of coenzyme Q10 in the body and reduce the amount of selenium in the body, a nutrient dangerously low in the average American’s diet. Selenium is a must have nutrient to assure the selenium-containing antioxidant biochemical system is working to prevent an abundance of oxidation in the body.
Selenium is needed to form glutathione, a potent anti-oxidant in the body. Also, cholesterol is necessary in the body because it produces selenium containing enzymes that form glutathione.
So, in summary:
- Statin drugs force coenzyme Q10 out of the body, further reducing the body’s ability to fight oxidation.
- Statin drugs are known to reduce the amount of selenium in the body, preventing the formation of the selenium dependent pathway to fight oxidation.
- Statin drugs block cholesterol synthesis and that prevents the selenium-containing antioxidant system to be formed resulting in an abundance of oxidation in the body.
It is this oxidation that contributes to the increases in Type 2 diabetes.
Stay away from statins and avoid increased risk of diabetes. High cholesterol is a dietary issue. Change your diet and improve your health. Try a low carb diet or become a vegetarian. Both are effective at normalizing cholesterol levels.