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A recent study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, found that the cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins increase the risk of diabetes within postmenopausal women by 48%.

This new finding adds to a growing body of clinical evidence that statin drugs are fundamentally diabetogenic, which is not surprising considering the National Library of Medicine contains peer-reviewed, published research on over 300 other known adverse effects associated with their use.

The profound irony here is that most of the morbidity and mortality associated with diabetes is due to cardiovascular complications. High blood sugar and its oxidation (glycation) contribute to damage to the blood vessels, particularly the arteries, resulting in endothelial dysfunction and associated neuropathies due to lack of blood flow to the nerves. Statin drugs, which are purported to reduce cardiovascular disease risk through lipid suppression, insofar as they contribute to insulin resistance, elevated blood sugar, and full-blown diabetes, are not only diabetogenic but cardiotoxic, as well.

Cardiotoxicity, in fact, is a characteristic property of this chemical class. Because the heart muscle is muscle, and because the most well-known adverse effect of statin drugs is their muscle-damaging (myotoxic) properties, it does not take more than commonsense to deduce that statin drugs are toxic to the heart muscle as well.

Indeed, ever since the Journal of Clinical Cardiology published the results of a 2009 study on statin drug use and heart function, it has become alarmingly clear that they actually weaken the heart muscle:
"CONCLUSION: Statin therapy is associated with decreased myocardial function as evaluated with SI [strain imaging]."
Is it possible, therefore, that statin drugs are inducing an as-of-yet under-appreciated and under-reported epidemic of heart disease and congestive heart failure in the populations using them? What is, after all, the most important nutrient widely recognized to benefit cardiovascular health? Coenzyme Q10 would be the correct answer. And what do statin drugs do but suppress the production (via mevalonate pathway inhibition) of this indispensable factor in mitochondrial ATP production. The heart muscle is so ATP-dependent that each cardiac muscle cell has as many as 200 times higher levels of mitochondria than skeletal muscle cells. It is, after all, the muscle that never stops working.

Statins, therefore, can be considered the most oxymoronic chemical class of its kind: a "heart" drug that by its very nature harms the heart. And coenzyme Q10 deficiency caused by statin drugs is just the tip of the iceberg. There are a wide range of nutritional deficiencies that these drugs induce, including selenium, zinc, and vitamin E deficiency -- all of which may profoundly harm cardiovascular function.