Cholesterol levels that are too high can be life-threatening. Statins are one way to lower cholesterol.
The dietary fat cholesterol is vital for the body. For example, it is crucial for the production of certain hormones, vitamin D and bile acid. If there are elevated cholesterol levels, this poses a health risk in the long run. Statins have long been considered a reliable drug in spasms against high cholesterol levels.
Lowering cholesterol with medication: prejudices against statins not justified
If you suspect that your cholesterol levels are too high, you should see a doctor. © Roger Richter/Imago
Elevated cholesterol levels can have various causes. According to the Health Knowledge Foundation, too little exercise, poor nutrition, obesity, as well as hormonal changes, such as those that take place during menopause or pregnancy, can be the reason.
Cholesterol is a fat that the body has to put into small particles for transport. These particles are called lipoproteins. There are different groups of lipoproteins, especially the so-called low-desity lipoproteins (LDL) and the high-density lipoproteins (HDL). Researchers assume that a high LDL level may be associated with vascular diseases. According to the Heart Foundation, an LDL cholesterol level that is too high causes vascular calcification and can lead to more plaque deposits in the vessels.
Side effects of statins very low
If this happens, drug treatment is necessary. It is not uncommon for statins to be used. Statins make the body reduce cholesterol formation. This is achieved by inhibiting the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase, which is responsible for cholesterol production. Active ingredients that are used for this purpose are, for example:
In addition, statins have an anti-inflammatory effect and can stabilize deposits in the blood vessels. They are particularly useful for patients who have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. These include, for example, people with diabetes, severe obesity, high blood pressure or people who smoke. In people who do not have a pre-existing condition, statins are less effective.
According to the Health Information Service, the risk of serious side effects with statins is very low. Possible side effects are, for example, muscle pain or, in bad but very rare cases, a so-called rhabdomyolysis. In this case, muscle fibers of certain muscles slowly dissolve, which can lead to paralysis. In studies, however, this side effect could only be detected in one in 10,000 people. By the way, long-term use of statins is not problematic. The body has mechanisms to break down and excrete the drug over a longer period of time.
This article contains only general information on the respective health topic and is therefore not intended for self-diagnosis, treatment or medication. It is in no way a substitute for a visit to the doctor. Unfortunately, individual questions about clinical pictures may not be answered by our editors.