As is often the case with pharmaceutical drugs, the side effects end up teaching us new things about how the human body works. When statins first hit the market, conventional medicine was unaware of the importance of cholesterol for proper brain function. Now, researchers believe that statins' adverse effects on cognition are due to cholesterol insufficiency.
Research also began to emerge in 2001 showing the importance of cholesterol in the formation of memories.
In fact, dolichols are vital to a number of cellular processes, including:
Dr. Graveline goes on to explain that dolichols influence all the hormones involved with your mental condition, including your emotions and moods. And if you do not have sufficient dolichol, your entire process of neurohormone production will be altered—with potentially devastating results.
- Glycoprotein synthesis
- Cell identification
- Cell communication
- Neurohormone formation
"[T]here are thousands of reports of aggressiveness and hostility, increased sensitivity, paranoia, depression and homicidal ideation," Dr. Graveline says.There are also numerous reports of suicide.
"This whole range of what I call personality- or emotion and behavioral responses have to do with the dolichol deficiency brought on by the mevalonate blockade," Dr. Graveline explains.That said, it's important to realize that your brain also requires cholesterol in order for memory formation to function normally. In essence, statins suppress a number of vital elements for proper brain functioning, including cholesterol, antioxidants and co-factors like CoQ10, and dolichol.
"It's not just something that occurs in an occasional person… You know we're all the same and yet we're all different… You give one medicine to 10 people and if you're really lucky, in six of them it will do what it's supposed to do. That's the way it is with this. I expect there are some people that won't get any effects of dolichol suppression because they have alternative pathways. The same thing probably holds for CoQ10."
At the same time, statins also create mitochondrial DNA and cellular damage, including in your brain.
Your brain uses glial cells as factories for producing its own cholesterol on demand. Unfortunately, glial cells are affected by statins in the same way as your liver cells, or any other cell in our body. So if you take a statin, you're also harming your glial cells and when they cease to function normally, that on-demand cholesterol capability also ceases and your brain can no longer function properly.