Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs Reduce Brain Function

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Research by an Iowa State University scientist due to be published this month in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences indicates that cholesterol-lowering drugs (statins) may lessen brain function.

The results of the study show that drugs that inhibit the liver from making cholesterol may also keep the brain from making cholesterol, which is vital to efficient brain function.

“If you deprive cholesterol from the brain, then you directly affect the machinery that triggers the release of neurotransmitters,”, said Yeon-Kyun Shin, the lead researcher. “Neurotransmitters affect the data-processing and memory functions. In other words – how smart you are and how well you remember things.”

Cholesterol is abundant in the tissue of the brain and nervous system. Myelin, which covers nerve axons to help conduct the electrical impulses that make movement, sensation, thinking, learning, and remembering possible, is over one fifth cholesterol by weight. Even though the brain only makes up 2% of the body’s weight, it contains 25% of its cholesterol.

We now know that the formation of synapses, or connections between neurons, is directly dependent on the availability of cholesterol.

The formation of these synapses are what give us the ability to remember and learn. The benefits of sleep for memory formation and learning are in part a result of increased cholesterol synthesis during sleep.

“If you try to lower the cholesterol by taking medicine that is attacking the machinery of cholesterol synthesis in the liver, that medicine goes to the brain too. And then it reduces the synthesis of cholesterol which is necessary in the brain,” said Shin.

This study is yet another strike against statin drugs, which have numerous side effects and are not effective in reducing mortality for the vast majority of the population. Please see my recent article, The Truth About Statin Drugs, for more on why statins are probably not a good idea for you and your loved ones.

    • Please see this post for an extensive list of recommendations. Also check here for an index of all of my posts on cholesterol and heart disease. There is no need to control blood cholesterol, because it’s not the cause of heart disease.

  1. Hello,
    It is actually old news about cholesterol’s usefulness for brain and also for some hormones production in physiology. However, still cholesterol is associated with atherosclerosis and is a risk factor for cardiac disease. I read ( don’t remember, unfortunately, where) that problem with cholesterol is due to its high viscosity. Because of this cholesterol could easy stick to vessel’s wall creating the foundation for plaque formation. What do you think about it.? There are some herbs and formulas that help to manage cholesterol level in the blood stream. Do you think it is o’k to use these herbs instead of statin drugs?
    Respect. Galina

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<div class='gf_browser_safari gform_wrapper qc_box_container_wrapper' id='gform_wrapper_9' ><form method='post' enctype='multipart/form-data' id='gform_9' class='qc_box_container' action='/cholesterol-lowering-drugs-reduce-brain-function/'> <div class='gform_body'><ul id='gform_fields_9' class='gform_fields top_label form_sublabel_below description_below'><li id='field_9_1' class='gfield field gfield_contains_required field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible' ><label class='gfield_label' for='input_9_1' >Email<span class='gfield_required'>*</span></label><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_email'> <input name='input_1' id='input_9_1' type='email' value='' class='large' placeholder='Your Email' aria-required="true" aria-invalid="false" /> </div></li><li id='field_9_2' class='gfield health-concern field field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible' ><label class='gfield_label' for='input_9_2' >I want to improve my...</label><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_select'><select name='input_2' id='input_9_2' class='large gfield_select' aria-invalid="false"><option value='' selected='selected' class='gf_placeholder'>I want to improve my...</option><option value='Weight' >Weight</option><option value='Energy' >Energy</option><option value='Digestion' >Digestion</option><option value='Brain' >Brain</option><option value='Overall Health' >Overall Health</option><option value='All of the Above' >All of the Above</option></select></div></li><li id='field_9_4' class='gfield gform_hidden field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible' ><input name='input_4' id='input_9_4' type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' aria-invalid="false" value='191' /></li><li id='field_9_5' class='gfield gform_hidden field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible' ><input name='input_5' id='input_9_5' type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' aria-invalid="false" value='Food Additives' /></li> </ul></div> <div class='gform_footer top_label'> <input type='submit' id='gform_submit_button_9' class='gform_button button' value='Download eBook' onclick='if(window["gf_submitting_9"]){return false;} if( !jQuery("#gform_9")[0].checkValidity || jQuery("#gform_9")[0].checkValidity()){window["gf_submitting_9"]=true;} ' onkeypress='if( event.keyCode == 13 ){ if(window["gf_submitting_9"]){return false;} if( !jQuery("#gform_9")[0].checkValidity || jQuery("#gform_9")[0].checkValidity()){window["gf_submitting_9"]=true;} jQuery("#gform_9").trigger("submit",[true]); }' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='is_submit_9' value='1' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_submit' value='9' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_unique_id' value='' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='state_9' value='WyJbXSIsIjVkYTAyNjYxOTg4ZDNhZGQwOTU0Yzc4NDcyNDk5YmM4Il0=' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_target_page_number_9' id='gform_target_page_number_9' value='0' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_source_page_number_9' id='gform_source_page_number_9' value='1' /> <input type='hidden' name='gform_field_values' value='popup_name=Food+Additives' /> </div> </form> </div><script type='text/javascript'> jQuery(document).bind('gform_post_render', function(event, formId, currentPage){if(formId == 9) {if(typeof Placeholders != 'undefined'){ Placeholders.enable(); }} } );jQuery(document).bind('gform_post_conditional_logic', function(event, formId, fields, isInit){} );</script><script type='text/javascript'> jQuery(document).ready(function(){jQuery(document).trigger('gform_post_render', [9, 1]) } ); </script>
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<div class='gf_browser_safari gform_wrapper qc_box_container_wrapper' id='gform_wrapper_9' ><form method='post' enctype='multipart/form-data' id='gform_9' class='qc_box_container' action='/cholesterol-lowering-drugs-reduce-brain-function/'> <div class='gform_body'><ul id='gform_fields_9' class='gform_fields top_label form_sublabel_below description_below'><li id='field_9_1' class='gfield field gfield_contains_required field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible' ><label class='gfield_label' for='input_9_1' >Email<span class='gfield_required'>*</span></label><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_email'> <input name='input_1' id='input_9_1' type='email' value='' class='large' placeholder='Your Email' aria-required="true" aria-invalid="false" /> </div></li><li id='field_9_2' class='gfield health-concern field field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible' ><label class='gfield_label' for='input_9_2' >I want to improve my...</label><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_select'><select name='input_2' id='input_9_2' class='large gfield_select' aria-invalid="false"><option value='' selected='selected' class='gf_placeholder'>I want to improve my...</option><option value='Weight' >Weight</option><option value='Energy' >Energy</option><option value='Digestion' >Digestion</option><option value='Brain' >Brain</option><option value='Overall Health' >Overall Health</option><option value='All of the Above' >All of the Above</option></select></div></li><li id='field_9_4' class='gfield gform_hidden field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible' ><input name='input_4' id='input_9_4' type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' aria-invalid="false" value='191' /></li><li id='field_9_5' class='gfield gform_hidden field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible' ><input name='input_5' id='input_9_5' type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' aria-invalid="false" value='Diet-Heart Myth' /></li> </ul></div> <div class='gform_footer top_label'> <input type='submit' id='gform_submit_button_9' class='gform_button button' value='Download eBook' onclick='if(window["gf_submitting_9"]){return false;} if( !jQuery("#gform_9")[0].checkValidity || jQuery("#gform_9")[0].checkValidity()){window["gf_submitting_9"]=true;} ' onkeypress='if( event.keyCode == 13 ){ if(window["gf_submitting_9"]){return false;} if( !jQuery("#gform_9")[0].checkValidity || jQuery("#gform_9")[0].checkValidity()){window["gf_submitting_9"]=true;} jQuery("#gform_9").trigger("submit",[true]); }' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='is_submit_9' value='1' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_submit' value='9' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_unique_id' value='' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='state_9' value='WyJbXSIsIjVkYTAyNjYxOTg4ZDNhZGQwOTU0Yzc4NDcyNDk5YmM4Il0=' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_target_page_number_9' id='gform_target_page_number_9' value='0' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_source_page_number_9' id='gform_source_page_number_9' value='1' /> <input type='hidden' name='gform_field_values' value='popup_name=Diet-Heart+Myth' /> </div> </form> </div><script type='text/javascript'> jQuery(document).bind('gform_post_render', function(event, formId, currentPage){if(formId == 9) {if(typeof Placeholders != 'undefined'){ Placeholders.enable(); }} } );jQuery(document).bind('gform_post_conditional_logic', function(event, formId, fields, isInit){} );</script><script type='text/javascript'> jQuery(document).ready(function(){jQuery(document).trigger('gform_post_render', [9, 1]) } ); </script>
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