THE TRUTH ABOUT
STATIN DRUGS AND ERECTIONS
"In the cases reported to the Netherlands Pharmacovigilance Centre, most men who had problems with sex drive began experiencing them the first week they started taking the statin drug." Robert Rister talking about a statin study in his article on Steady Health called, Statins, Cholesterol-Lowering Class of Drugs, Lower Male Sex Drive Too.
We know that Statins have plenty of side effects (take a look at the links above). Could one of their 'good' effects really be that they can help men who have PERFORMANCE ISSUES in the bedroom? If so, this would be news to me. I have been following the scientific literature pretaining to both SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION and Statins for many years, and have yet to see anything quite so optimistic as the spate of recent headlines promoting this latest study. In fact, over the course of the past decade, I have seen numerous doctors and studies touting the exact opposite.
A few years later came 2008's bombshell. Dr Beatrice Golomb (MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine and director of the Statin Study Group at UC San Diego School of Medicine) published a freaky study citing nearly 900 peer-reviewed papers showing just how harmful Statin Drugs could really be. The meta-analysis (Statin Adverse Effects: A Review of the Literature and Evidence for a Mitochondrial Mechanism) was published in the American Journal of Cardiovascular Drugs, and listed absurd numbers of side effect directly attributable to Statins. Of course, plenty of air-time was given to the all-to-common MUSCULAR PAIN associated with these anti-cholesterol medications. But numerous other studies were touting other less well-known side effects, including ALZHEIMER'S, NEUROPATHY, INSULIN RESISTANCE, DIABETES, TENDINOPATHIES / FASCIAL WEAKNESS. Oh; and let's not forget "Sexual Dysfunction" made the list as well. Unfortunately, Dr. Golomb's teams concluded that when it comes to Statins, "Physician awareness of such side effects is reportedly low".
The hits kept coming in 2010 when the Journal of Sexual Medicine (The Effect of Statin Therapy on Testosterone Levels in Subjects Consulting for Erectile Dysfunction) looked at 3,500 men and then came to some ugly conclusions. Listen to these words taken straight from the study's abstract. "Both total and calculated free testosterone levels were significantly lower in subjects taking statins. Our data demonstrated that statin therapy might induce an overt primary hypogonadism [shriveled testicles] and should be considered as a possible confounding factor for the evaluation of testosterone levels in patients with ED." Gulp! Web MD dot com actually carries this headline on their website, "Statins May Lower Testosterone & Libido. Men With Erectile Dysfunction on Statin Therapy Are Twice as Likely to Have Low Testosterone" But in all honesty, none of this should come as a surprise.
Cholesterol is the precursor for all the sex hormones, including Testosterone. The thing is, never forget that Testosterone is the hormone that not only creates and maintains the male sex drive, but the female sex drive as well. When you start tinkering with Cholesterol levels in an unnatural method (i.e. drugs), you are going to get some crazy side effects, including the potential inability to get an erection sufficient for sex.
The March 10, 2012 issue of The Morning Call (newspaper) had an article on Statin Drugs written by a knee surgeon. The article started out saying, "What does a knee surgeon know about statins' side effects? Plenty, after seeing scores of patients improve their memory, strength, vigor and sex drive after stopping these popular drugs." The author, Dr. Thomas Meade of Allentown, Pennsylvania went on to say that, "A recent Cochrane Review of many studies confirmed 1,000 people without heart disease had to be treated with statins to prevent one death. Therefore 999 people, paying $5 per pill, are not going to live one day longer, but they will enrich the pharmaceutical industry's coffers and are at risk for the many real side effects of stopping production of cholesterol — a wonderful molecule responsible for healthy cell membranes, sex hormones, nerve conduction and brain function, all of which contribute to life as we know it today. Statins are simply the most prescribed drug in the history of medicine and the most profitable, with annual revenues of $26 billion. Profits are so lucrative to "big pharma" that drug manufacturers have influenced most medical organizations and respected high-profile physicians to continue to look for every opportunity to exaggerate any new study that validates prescribing the highest dose of statins to an increasing patient population under the false assumption that it will improve their quality of life." Hopefully you caught those parts about Cholesterol and sex hormones / sex drive.
But now --- all of a sudden --- we are supposed to believe numerous headlines from around the country touting this study and the benefits of Statin Drugs in the bedroom? If you did not know better, you would almost think Statins were an aphrodisiac after reading some of these articles. Commenting on the study, Dr. Jeffery Kuvin of Boston's Tufts Medical Center chimed in, "Over the years it's become apparent that erectile dysfunction is an indication of decreased vascular health in men, and it's considered by many to be a significant cardiovascular risk factor." It's true. There is an intimate relationship between cardiovascular health and the ability to get and maintain an erection. My only question is whether or not taking a drug is the best way to solve the underlying reasons men have this problem. For some potential solutions to this issue, you can look at the two previous links or go HERE or HERE.