The group of drugs called statins lowers LDL ("bad") cholesterol and reduces the risk of heart attack by as much as 50% and stroke by 25%-but that's not all. Recent research suggests that statins have other remarkable health benefits, too.
Statins, which include atorvastatin (Lipitor) pravastatin (Pravachol), simvastatin (Zocor) and others, limit the amount of cholesterol produced in the liver. They have powerful anti inflammatory and antioxidant effects that prevent cell and tissue damage. The majority of patients who take them experience few or no side effects, though the drugs can be dangerous for some.
Additional studies are needed before doctors can recommend taking the statins solely for Alzheimer's cancer and eye disease, but people who have rheumatoid arthritis or diabetes should ask about statin therapy.
Majid Fotuhi, MD, PhD
Large observational studies suggest that people
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