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The main class of drugs used to lower elevated cholesterol levels are the statin drugs, which go by many different names such as; Lipitor, Crestor, Lipex and Simcor. A recent 2011 scientific study has found that taking statin drugs resulted in a 55% increased risk of prostate cancer 1. The study also found that the higher the dose of the statin drugs, the higher the risk of prostate cancer. Another 2011 study found that statin drugs lower the common prostatic cancer blood test marker (P.S.A) 2. An increase in P.S.A. levels is associated with cancer, enlarged prostate and prostatitis; lower levels may cause a misdiagnosis, which may lead to undiagnosed prostate cancer.
Greg’s Comments: Prostate cancer is the second biggest cancer killer in men so looking at ways of reducing the chances of suffering from this cancer should be a high priority in males. Nutrients such as zinc, magnesium and saw palmetto help improve prostate function whilst vitamin D and green tea may help to protect against prostate cancer.
The above studies are of real concern as statins are the most prescribed and highest grossing class of drugs in the world. What statin drugs do besides lowering cholesterol is lower your co-enzyme Q10 and natural occurring substances called Squalene’s. Both of these are needed to help protect cells from mutating into cancer cells.
There are natural ways to lower cholesterol levels. A substance called red rice yeast extract, which contains a naturally occurring statin type compound, is commonly used to lower elevated cholesterol levels but is banned in Australia! Interestingly another 2011 study has found that red rice yeast extract reduces prostate cancer growth in animal studies 3. Other nutrients such as high dose fish oil, fibre, co-enzyme Q10, lecithin, apples, oats, quercetin and vitamin C may all help to lower elevated cholesterol levels.
1. Chang CC, Ho SC, Chiu HF, Wu TN, Yang CY. Statins increase risk of prostate cancer: A population based case control study. Pancreas. 2011 Jul;40(5):669-72.
2. Effect of statin use on biochemical outcome following radical prostatectomy.Ritch CR, Hruby G, Badani KK, Benson MC, McKiernan JM.BJU Int. 2011 Mar 31.
3. Hong MY, Henning S, Moro A, Seeram NP, Zhang Y, Heber D: Chinese red yeast rice inhibition of prostate tumor growth in SCID mice. Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2011 Apr