Statins Starve The Brain: Cholesterol Correlated Cognition

Statins stealthily strain and starve the brain leaving us stuck in a stupendous stupor; statins make us stupid. Alliteration aside, cholesterol is clearly correlated with cognition, since our Central Nervous System (the brain) stores a quarter of our body’s cholesterol, despite being representative of only 2% of our body’s mass.

“The human brain is nearly 60 percent fat.”

Statins are drugs that lower cholesterol. High cholesterol is ostensibly the cause of heart disease, and since heart disease is the number one cause of death -save for iatrogenesis or deaths caused by allopathic intervention– cholesterol lowering drugs are arguably the most prescribed and profitable drugs in the universe.


The statin drug called Lipitor was the singular most prescribed drug between 1996-2012 with sales of over 140 million. The second most popular prescription drug Plavix, another heart medication, didn’t even come close with about 74 million dollars in sales.

Statins are big business; there are literally billions of dollars at stake when it comes to these drugs.  Evidence alone, no matter how plentiful, is not enough to upset the applecart and convince investors and multi-billion dollar industries that their drugs not only don’t work, but are deleterious to our collective health.

It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.   -Mark Twain

What we know for sure is that statins work; they lower cholesterol.  That is a fact.  But just because they do what they are supposed to do doesn’t mean they are effective in lowering our chance of heart disease. There is a growing cache of evidence from the peer-reviewed medical literature showing just how ineffective AND dangerous these drugs really are, but the intransigence of academia shelves this newfound evidence, categorizing it as heretical and “anti-science”.

One of the greatest pains to human nature is the pain of a new idea. -Walter Bagehot

It cannot be overstated just how dangerous these drugs are. And you would think that with over 300 confirmed side effects health officials would be able to admit that statins also affect our brains, especially since cholesterol is vital to cognition as well as every other cell in the body.

But they are not quite ready to admit it fully, which is why I’m writing this article. In fact, when they find all these studies that show the negative effects of statins on memory and cognition, they muddy the waters and ask the question “Are statins good for Alzheimer’s, strokes, epilepsy and other neuropathological conditions?”

This is a clever tactic employed by Big Pharma. The studies we read in the medical literature are for the most part funded by these huge drug conglomerates, so it is unlikely they will solely fund studies aimed at putting them out of business.

They have so much money invested in the efficacy of statins they have to posit that statins do the exact opposite of what the peer reviewed literature clearly demonstrates.  They did the same thing with fluoride as we’ll see.

The Pseudoscience of Fluoride  (A Brief Aside)

U.S. Health authorities are so blinded they even go as far as to suggest that we should add statins to the water supply, just like we did with fluoride in the 50’s.  The science behind statins and fluoride is eerily similar, at least in respect to statin induced cognition impairment. Let me explain.

Around of the turn of the century children in Colorado Springs were turning up with mottled brown stained teeth which they called ‘Colorado Brown Stain’.  Nobody could figure out why.  It wasn’t until around the 1920’s they saw the same thing in a town in Idaho, as well as in Bauxite, Arkansas, a company town owned by ALCOA (Aluminum Company of America).

It turns out, the common denominator between these towns were high levels of fluoride. In Arkansas’s case it was ALCOA who were to blame; they were dumping toxic by-products of their manufacturing process into water steams which turned children’s teeth brown. Later they conjectured that these brown teeth were less prone to cavities.

You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.  –Rahm Emanuel (former Chief Of Staff of the Obama Administration)

So what did ALCOA do? In a brilliant public relations stunt, they went to work funding studies to show that fluoride was actually good for our teeth and a necessary component of dental health, especially for children.

You can read the full story behind fluoride here: (The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR))

In summary, when they found out that fluoride was to blame for health related problems, the reversed it, and suggested that fluoride is actually good for our health. Obviously they succeeded.

When overwhelming evidence suggests that cholesterol lowering drugs negatively affect the brain, they reverse it, and posit that statins are good for our central nervous system.  Luckily that have not yet added statins to our water supply like they have theorized, and already succeeded with fluoride.

Further reading: The Fluoride Deception by Christopher Bryson

The Video Documentary


A Lack Of Oversight In Drug Studies

If statins don’t cause memory loss why did the FDA, in 2012, issue a warning that statins may cause cognition impairment? Why did Health Canada issue a similar warning? It could have something to do with the massive number of complains they received from the patients of these drugs, or it could have something to do with the piles of evidence, and common sense, that suggests this is true.

The FDA is not going to issue a statement like this unless they have reason to. It’s not in their interests.  The reason being, they have direct financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry. 

You’re not going to bite the hand that feeds you, and you’re not going to fund research that puts the shareholders in financial ruins; it’s just business, and common sense.

I have a doctor in the family and she has given me JAMA journals.  The damn things are rife with pharmaceutical advertisements which makes sense since they are the ones who fund the studies that sell their drugs.

“Most clinical trials, however, are funded by pharmaceutical companies with enormous financial stakes in the products being evaluated…
…clinical trials supported by the pharmaceutical industry may be adversely affected by business interests.
….business needs can override both scientific intent and the ethical obligation to patients already randomized.” – (backup)

“A few months ago, I co-authored with Dr. Joel Lexchin an article in the British Medical Journal showing that only about 10 percent of new drug products fit the industry’s claim to develop clinically superior drugs to make patients healthier.1 About 90 percent of the time, companies use patent protection from normal price competition for monopoly pricing to develop minor variations rather than serious innovations. This constitutes a hidden business model they do not discuss.

Responses from leaders of the industry reflect the institutional corruption of facts, figures, and accounts, an important part of institutional corruption that would be good to develop further. In particular, the heads of first the British and now the European pharmaceutical trade associations, who use staff and paid journalists and science writers to manufacture a large portion of the articles in the general and science press, published on the BMJ website “facts” about how much they spend on research that are not supported by independent sources. Joel and I have just published the following response.2 Besides the mythic size of investments in research and development, the most important point concerns the lack of testing and caution about the serious side effects of new drugs. About 1 in every 5 new drugs (and 1 in 3 biologicals) cause enough serious harm to result in regulators adding their most severe warning or in being withdrawn from patient use altogether.3 ”

by Donald W. Light of Standford U. (Demythologizing Corrupted Facts and Claims by Big Pharma) – Harvard University  (backup)


Statins and Cognitive Impairment

The following are a list of studies I’ve compiled that suggest statins cause memory loss and other cognitive problems. The only other more reported complaint I’ve come across is muscle pain, which is often severe, don’t let the drug companies fool you when they say these side effects are minor.

My father takes Simvastatin™, (I’m pretty sure he has stopped taking it now as I write this), and he has been complaining about both muscle pains and memory loss for quite some time. “I walk into a room and I can’t remember what I came in for.”  But, it’s probably just because he is getting old, right???

These are direct quotes taken from the links that follow them.

Our central nervous system is about 1/4 cholesterol.

“It’s Not Dementia, It’s Your Heart Medication: Cholesterol Drugs and Memory – Scientific American -Why cholesterol drugs might affect memory

Statins and cognition: what can we learn from existing randomized trials?

Statin-associated adverse cognitive effects: survey results from 171 patients.

In 2005, Health Canada released a statement in the Canadian Adverse Reaction Newsletter suggesting a possible association between statins and memory loss. The onset of these adverse events described in the case reports varied, but most occurred within 1 year of statin initiation. Most of the cases (11/19) reported an improvement in cognitive symptoms once the statin was stopped or the dose reduced. In 2012, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a safety announcement to health care professionals, warning them about the potential risk of cognitive impairment (memory loss, forgetfulness, amnesia, memory impairment, confusion) with the use of statins for a period of 1 day to years. (see next link)

Memory loss and confusion have been reported with statin use. These reported events were generally not serious and went away once the drug was no longer being taken.

Statin side effects can be uncomfortable, making it seem like the risks outweigh the benefits of these powerful cholesterol-lowering medications.

Doctors often prescribe statins for people with high cholesterol to lower their total cholesterol and reduce their risk of a heart attack or stroke. While statins are highly effective, they have been linked to muscle pain, digestive problems and mental fuzziness in some people and may rarely cause liver damage.

Simvastatin is commonly prescribed for hypercholesterolemia to reduce vascular risk in patients. Some of these patients have dementia with cognitive defects of several domains. Although protective effects seem to be present, there is emerging evidence that statins cause cognitive impairment.

Statin-Related Cognitive Impairment in the Real World – You’ll Live Longer, but You Might Not Like It:

They say that the most dangerous kind of ignorance is not knowing what you don’t know. It took me a long time to realize I had statin-related cognitive impairment because I had no idea what it was.

Adverse effects of statins reported in older people include muscle-related symptoms, diabetes, impaired physical function and cognitive impairment.

Other Side Effects

Books On Statins and Health

“When Dr. Duane Graveline, former astronaut, aerospace medical research scientist, flight surgeon, and family doctor is given Lipitor to lower his cholesterol, he temporarily loses his short-term memory. Urged a year later to resume the drug at half dose, he lost both short-term and retrograde memory and was finally diagnosed in a hospital ER as having transient global amnesia (TGA). This is the “scary, appealingly written” account of his search for answers that his medical community didn’t have — the how and why of his traumatic experience, and what needs to be done to prevent the devastating side effects to body and mind from the escalating use of the statin drugs.”


How Do Statins Work?

Statins work by cutting off our liver’s ability to make something called HMG-CoA reductase. This is responsible for a host of other bodily responsibilities.

So statins don’t just stop the production of the small particle LDL. They don’t just stop the production of HDL or LDL cholesterol. They don’t just stop the production of overall cholesterol. They halt the process of an important compound a few rungs up the ladder, which is also responsible for making C0Q10 which is crucial for heart health, and probably a whole bunch of other stuff that we don’t even know about.

They also interfere with the ability to make selenium, vitamin E, and other important chemicals that keep us healthy.

Taking statins is like trying to kill an ant by dropping a bomb on the city where the ant lives. It’s pretty ridiculous.


‘Good’ Cholesterol Vs. ‘Bad’ Cholesterol

Most people are under the impression that there is “good” cholesterol, and “bad” cholesterol, HDL and LDL respectfully.  We’ve been told that if we lower the bad LDL we have a lower chance of suffering from a heart attack.  If it were only that simple.

I’ve written about this before in a previous article. Cholesterol does not cause heart disease. It actually repairs thedamage done from other causes. When people suffer heart attacks, surgeons do find a lot of cholesterol in their arteries, but that doesn’t mean that cholesterol is the culprit.  As a heart surgeon and author once put it, blaming cholesterol on heart disease is like blaming a fire on the fireman. They show up on the scene much in the same way cholesterol is found in arteries; they are only trying to absolve the situation.

If LDL is a good indicator of heart disease than why do 50% of people who have heart attacks have normal LDL levels. What does that tell you?

“In a large cohort of patients hospitalized with CAD, almost half have admission LDL levels <100 mg/dL.”

It should tell you that high LDL counts are not a precursor for heart disease. LDL is made up of many things, like proteins and triglycerides. There are even two different types of LDL, small particle and large particle.  The tests your doctor performs on you don’t even take this into account which is important because the large particle LDL are harmless, and even protective of the heart. This has all been found out in the last 20 or so years, but it takes a lifetime for academia to admit they were wrong and make the necessary adjustments.

“A 1998 review of studies that examined the relationship between cholesterol levels and violence concluded that the data “consistently showed increased violent death and violent behavior in persons with low cholesterol levels.

The relationship between cholesterol and depression or suicide is also complex. For example, studies from France and Canada linked low cholesterol levels to an increased incidence of suicide, and research from the Netherlands and Turkey reported an association between low cholesterol levels and depression. On the other hand, data from Hawaii found the reverse: High cholesterol levels were connected with an increased risk of suicide.”

This is because they are only measuring total LDL levels, which doesn’t tell us much. All the research they have conducted looking at overall LDL levels is pretty much useless.

Our overall LDL count is like a car.  It is made of many parts.  On the outside you can only see the cars make and model,which is equivalent to our overall LDL counts, what doctors call LDL-C. Measuring our LDL-C is like trying to diagnose a transmission problem by looking at the color of the car.  It won’t tell us much.  Only by looking at the inter-workings of the car, or the sdLDL(small particle), LP(a), and other compounds inside the LDL of a human, can we figure out what is wrong with the car, or the person.



In Conclusion

Do yourself a favor and don’t worry about your cholesterol. It’s mostly junk science. Remember, it wasn’t too long ago that doctors recommended smoking Camels®, and spraying our lice ridden children with DDT.

But some people are stubborn, especially older people which is who these drugs are catered to. In that case, find out if they are on either a fat soluble statin like Simvastatin, Lovastatin, or Atorvastatin.  If they are, and they have memory problems that might be because they are lipophilic and pass through the blood-brain barrier.

Being stubborn is a virtue when you’re right; it’s only a character flaw when you’re wrong.
-Chuck Noll

Statins like Pravastatin, Rosuvastatin, and Fluvastatin are hydrophilic and don’t pass through the blood-brain barrier, but they still lower cholesterol, which as we have learned is no good. If they are unwilling to quit taking the statin maybe they would consider taking a less harmful variant. Or better yet, If they are willing, have them temporarily stop taking the drug  (for a month or three) and see if their conditions improve.

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Additional Resources:

Notes for this article (more research and studies) –

How Statins Cause Heart Problems; Use These Natural Solutions Instead


Joe Dubs

I write about philosophy, geometry, health, politics and other stuff that interests me.

What do you think?