Statins are popular drugs and usually prescribed to reduce risk of cardiovascular disease leading to heart attack and death. Clinical research shows that patients can effectively reduce their chances of having heart attack by lowering cholesterol in the blood. There are two types of cholesterols—the low density lipoprotein (LDL) and high density lipoprotein (HDL). LDL has built a reputation as the bad cholesterol, which is counteracted by the good cholesterol—the HDL.
The role of statins is to lower LDL, thereby, improving chances against heart disease, although recent studies are about to prove the truth about this knowledge. What statins do is they inhibit the HMG Co-A reductase, an enzyme produced by the liver. In turn, the liver’s ability to make cholesterol is slowed down. Statins cause sizeable decrease in levels of blood cholesterol while moderately curbing levels of triglycerides. However, only a small rise of HDL levels is seen in most trials.
The positive effects of statins don’t come without downsides. Though they are not toxic chemicals, they can cause abdominal discomfort and produce symptoms like dizziness, headache, and sleep disturbances. Some patients who took statins reported muscle weakness, a symptom that only stopped when the statin intake was discontinued.
Studies can yield confusing data. This is why further research should be conducted to test the relationship between HDL and LDL.