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Statin Drugs Linked To Cataracts

Written by Wellness Club on August 16, 2012 – 2:47 pm -

Cholesterol: So Vital For So Many Things…

 

By Nurse Mark

 

A newly published research paper titled “Age-related cataract is associated with type 2 diabetes and statin use” from the School of Optometry at the University of Waterloo in Canada sounds yet another warning about the use of statin drugs to lower cholesterol levels.

An article in the August 13, 2012 on-line edition of TheHeart.org (a division of WebMD) tells us that researchers have found:

Statin users are more than 50% likelier to develop age-related cataracts, according to the results of a new study. And type 2 diabetics who use statins are at even greater risk of cataracts, report investigators.

“The bioplausibility of these results lies in the fact that the crystalline lens membrane requires high cholesterol for proper epithelial cell development and lens transparency,” writes Dr Carolyn Machan (University of Waterloo, ON) and colleagues in the August 2012 issue of Optometry and Vision Science. “Increased cataract formation has been seen in both animals and humans with hereditary cholesterol deficiency, and the risk exists that statins can inhibit cholesterol biosynthesis in the human lens.”

While this is yet more evidence that statin drugs are a toxic pox perpetrated on modern man by Big Pharma, it is also more evidence that cholesterol is actually our friend and essential to so many vital processes in our bodies that we are foolish to fall for the “lower your cholesterol by any means possible” propaganda that Big Pharma uses to sell their drugs.

Now to be fair, the heartwire article author sought out comment from Dr Richard Karas of Tufts University School of Medicine who pooh-poohs the research findings, saying: “It’s a nice paper, an interesting observation, and it isn’t alarmist in that it doesn’t make a blanket recommendation that we should start providing screening for all patients undergoing statin therapy,” … “I think it raises the issue where additional study in perhaps an even larger patient population might be warranted. Also, it raises awareness of the potential for an issue, but on its own this study doesn’t confirm that cataracts are an issue.”

Does this sound like a statement made by someone with an interest in maintaining the sales figures for statin drugs? It turns out that Karas has received honoraria from Merck and Abbot and research support from Pfizer. One would not want to accuse a respected professional of anything unethical, but it might be expected that he would be supportive of someone who is paying his bills – or as they say “He who pays the piper calls the tunes!”

There you have it – two sides of an argument. One side warns that statins and lowered cholesterol could raise the risk of developing cataracts, the other side says that we mustn’t worry about such things since all of us will develop cataracts eventually anyway, and keeping cholesterol levels as low as possible outweighs any other risks.

You decide…

 

References:

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/769077

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22797512?dopt=Abstract

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