How Statins Cause Diabetes

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When you are told you have high cholesterol, you assume it comes from eating too much fat, right? That’s what we’ve been told for years and after all, cholesterol is a lipid of “fat”… however, if you think high cholesterol is due to a high-fat diet, you’re wrong. Very little fat from foods actually becomes cholesterol. What makes high cholesterol is consumption of sugar, soda, candy, cake, potato chips, bread, pasta and other carbohydrates. High cholesterol and triglycerides almost always occur as a consequence of eating too many sweets, not butter or eggs!

If your body turns excess sugar into cholesterol, and statins reduce the cholesterol formation, then where does all the sugar go when you take a statin drug? 

It’s a good question, and I need to give you an answer so you can get started down the path to getting well!  If you tell your liver to “knock it off and stop making cholesterol”, then it’s going to push all that sugar (glucose) back out of the liver and into your blood stream, rather than turn it into cholesterol. It’s just going to lock the door and tell the sugar, “Get out!”

You may know this already but just in case, when your doctor finds excess sugar in your blood, you’re told you have diabetes. Then you start driving in the fast lane of a multi-billion dollar business, one complete with shots, drugs and scary complications (amputations, blindness).  Yet if we personally met and you told me you had diabetes, the first thing I’d ask is, “Are you taking a statin?”  

Please make sure you have diabetes, the real disorder, and not a man-made disease induced by a medication you took for high cholesterol.  This is basic Health 101, guys. The treatment plan differs dramatically if you have diabetes versus drug-induced hyperglycemia (high blood sugar).

Statins block endogenous (internal) production of cholesterol, the cholesterol your body makes. You see, many of you still think statins block the fat (cholesterol) you get when you eat a bacon cheeseburger. That’s not true.  Statins don’t reduce cholesterol from exogenous (external) sources; that bacon cheeseburger is heading straight for your arteries even if you take a statin. (So is the cherry croissant you had for dessert!)

The statins offset the cholesterol you make, not eat.

Unfortunately, you can’t negate a junk food dinner with one tiny pill.

Because statins block your own endogenous cholesterol production in the liver, they force your liver to ‘spit out’ the glucose that comes from eating sugary, starchy foods. Normally, your liver would turn that PB & J sandwich into cholesterol but instead, the glucose gets pushed back into your bloodstream.

In your relentless quest to lower your cholesterol, you may be giving yourself diabetes. I recommend reducing cholesterol with diet, exercise and healthy EFAs (essential fatty acids like fish oil, chia seed oil, etc.). Can you lower cholesterol without a statin? “Surprise, surprise, surprise” like Gomer Pyle used to say… of course you can! And avoiding statins is far better for your blood sugar levels.