Statin Myth A New Factor In Diabetes

Over the past two decades, I have watched with increasing alarm the skyrocketing numbers of patients with type 2 diabetes who come to my wellness clinic.

Often, they come to see me about other medical issues, but their diabetes adds a new level of complications to their treatment.

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body’s response to insulin – the hormone critical for the maintenance of healthy blood sugar levels – becomes either ineffective or the insulin itself is produced in insufficient amounts.

The horrific trend I’m seeing at my wellness clinic mirrors almost exactly what’s happening in the rest of America, Europe and elsewhere in the world.

At the same time, this modern epidemic has paralleled an astonishing 46% global increase in added sugar in our diet over the past 30 years, according to the World Health Organization.

There is no doubt about it, the world has become addicted to sugar – and excessive consumption has wrecked our metabolism and made us sick.

But now it turns out that it’s not just the massive increase the amount of sugar we consume… Big Pharma is also a major contributor to this pandemic explosion in the number of diabetics.

The surging numbers of diabetics who visit my wellness clinic frustrate me, because most of these patients should never have developed the disease in the first place.

To be clear: The vast majority of type 2 diabetes cases are preventable.

Our modern-day diabetes plague has been caused both by Big Food’s sugar mountain and Big Pharma’s drugs – specifically statins.

A recent study by scientists at the University of Eastern Finland analyzed six years of data from 8,749 men between the ages of 45 to 73. They estimated that people who use statins have a 46 percent greater chance of developing diabetes than those who don’t.1

It makes perfect scientific sense, because statins activate a specialized immune response that blocks insulin from controlling your blood sugar.2

I believe that by continuing to push these unnecessary, cholesterol-busting drugs on a bigger slice of the public, Big Pharma and the doctors who do its bidding violate the most sacred rule of medicine: “First, do no harm.”

But instead of giving up on statins, researchers have begun to look for ways to counteract the rogue immune response – treating patients like Rube Goldberg machines rather than people.

One research group at McMaster University in Canada looking at the problem noted: “Statins reduce lipid levels… and may be a contributing factor to statin-induced development of type 2 diabetes. These results warrant scrutiny of insulin sensitivity during statin use.” 3

About 43.2 million Americans now take statins and another 12.8 million are expected begin taking the drugs under expanded prescription guidelines outlined by the American Heart Association.4

Soon after the University of Eastern Finland study was released, the medical establishment closed ranks to defend 30 years of junk science, perpetuating the false connection between cholesterol and heart disease.

Critics accused the Fins of overstating the percentage of new diabetics. They pointed to numerous previous studies, which reported that statin users would develop diabetes anywhere up to 27 percent of the time anyway.5,6

If 56 million Americans are taking statins over the next few years, that means an even bigger explosion in the number of diabetics.

Perhaps the worst tragedy of all is that millions of people face the risk of diabetes for little or no benefit, because statins do little or nothing to prevent strokes or heart attacks.

One of the first things I always tell my patients is this: “Throw your statins in the trash. They’re doing more harm than good.”

Beside the increased risk of developing diabetes, patients also face the threat of numerous serious side effects,7 including:

  • Debilitating joint pain, muscle weakness and muscle damage;8,9,10
  • Liver damage;11
  • Cataracts;12, 13
  • Nausea, diarrhea, and constipation;14
  • Drug-induced lupus, in which your body attacks healthy tissue by mistake, as a result of an overreaction to a medicine.15

The real villain behind strokes and heart attacks is inflammation, not cholesterol – and science has known this for decades.

But Big Pharma has buried the fact under a deluge of propaganda and misinformation – all for the sake of preserving its multibillion-dollar industry.

It is also interesting to note the American diabetes epidemic began in 1990, about three years after lovastatin, the first mass-market statin, went on sale to the public in 1987.16

Of course, statins aren’t entirely to blame for our modern diabetes epidemic – but there is little doubt that the huge increase in the use of these unnecessary cholesterol busters is major factor that needs to be addressed.

Apart from throwing out statins, there are other ways to avoid type 2 diabetes. Even if the genes you inherit make you prone to this disease, your lifestyle and diet have a far bigger influence.

This is some of the same advice that I give my patients to either avoid type 2 diabetes or better control the disease if they already have it:

  • Retune your diet: Avoid foods containing sugar and processed grains. Part of the explosion in type 2 diabetes is the result of a modern. high-calorie, low-nutrition diet of fast foods and sugary sodas. You risk of diabetes is increased by 25 percent with very 12-ounce sugary soda you consume daily.17
  • Get more active: Numerous studies show that regular, moderate exercise improves your muscles’ ability to process insulin and glucose, reducing your diabetes risk by up to 30 percent. 18, 19 The increased consumption of fast foods and drinks has paralleled the rise in armchair leisure pursuits, like TV, computers and video games. My patients have had the best success with my 12-minute exercise program, called PACE – Progressively Accelerating Cardiopulmonary Exertion.
  • Shed a few pounds: If you’re overweight, dropping 7% to 10% of your weight halves your chances of developing diabetes.20 Being overweight increases the chances of developing type 2 diabetes sevenfold.21

I also help my patients prevent diabetes by using minerals and herbs that naturally improve the body’s insulin response.

For those who have already developed diabetes and also as a preventative measure, I recommend cinnamon, because it improves insulin function in the body.

Use one teaspoon of cinnamon a day in your food. Add it to smoothies or coffee, or sprinkle it into yogurt.

You can also take a cinnamon supplement. I recommend 500 mg. a day.22

Some cinnamon supplements contain oils that can be toxic to your liver if you take too much. Look for supplement that say “water-soluble” on the label.

To Your Good Health,

Al Sears, MD

Al Sears, MD, CNS

1. Cederberg, et al. “Increased risk of diabetes with statin treatment is associated with impaired insulin sensitivity and insulin secretion: A 6-year follow-up study of the METSIM cohort.” Diabetologia, 2015; DOI:10.1007/s00125-015-3528-5.
2. Henriksbo, B.D., et al. “Fluvastatin causes NLRP3 inflammasome-mediated adipose insulin resistance.” Diabetes, June 2014 DOI: 10.2337/db13-1398 1939-327X.

3. Diabetes; Researchers at McMaster University Target Diabetes (Fluvastatin Causes NLRP3 Inflammasome-Mediated Adipose Insulin Resistance) Diabetes Week (Dec 1, 2014): 60.

4. Duke University Medical Center. “New guidelines deem 13 Million more Americans eligible for statins.” March 19, 2014.

5. Sattar, N., et al. “Statins and risk of incident diabetes: A collaborative meta-analysis of randomized statin trials.”
Lancet, Feb. 27, 2010; 375 (9716): 735-42.

6. Shah, Dr. Ravi v., et al. “Statins and risk of new-onset diabetes mellitus.” Circulation. 2012; 126: e282-e284. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHAH.112.122135.

7. Malhotra, Aseem, et al. “Maximizing the benefits and minimizing the harms of statins.” Prescriber. Jan. 2015, Vol. 26, Issue 1-2, P6-7.

8. Stroes E.S., et al. Statin-associated muscle symptoms: impact on statin therapy-European Atherosclerosis Society Consensus Panel Statement on Assessment, Aetiology and Management. Eur Heart J. 2015 Feb 18. pii: ehv043. [Epub ahead of print]

9. Mansi, I., et al. “Statins and musculoskeletal conditions, arthropathies, and injuries.” JAMA Intern Med. 2013 Jul 22;173(14):1-10. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.6184.


11. Chaipichit, N. “Statin adverse effects: Patients’ experiences and laboratory monitoring of muscle and liver injuries.” Int J Clin Pharm. 2015 Jan 29. [Epub ahead of print]

12. Wise, Stephanie J., et al. “Statin Use and Risk for Cataract: A Nested Case-Control Study of 2 Populations in Canada and the United States.” Canadian Journal of Cardiology, 2014; 30 (12): 1613 DOI: 10.1016/j.cjca.2014.08.020

13. Gryn, Steven E., et al. “Doctor my eyes: A statin-cataract connection?” Canadian Journal of Cardiology, 2014; 30 (12): 1508 DOI: 10.1016/j.cjca.2014.08.019.


15. Chazerain, P., et al. “Four cases of tendinopathy in patients on statin therapy.” Joint Bone Spine. 2001 Oct;68(5):430-3.

16. White Junod, S., Ph.D. “Statins: A success story involving FDA, academia and history.” Downloaded on March 13, 2014.

17. Malik V.S., et al. “Sugar-sweetened beverages and risk of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes: A meta-analysis.” Diabetes Care. 2010;33:2477-83.

18. Tanasescu M, et al. “Physical activity in relation to cardiovascular disease and total mortality among men with type 2 diabetes.” Circulation. 2003.

19. Hu FB, et al. “Walking compared with vigorous physical activity and risk of type 2 diabetes in women: a prospective study.” JAMA. 1999; 282:1433-9.

20. Hu FB, Manson JE, Stampfer MJ, et al. “Diet, lifestyle, and the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus in women.” N Engl J Med. 2001; 345:790-7.

21. Hu FB, Manson JE, Stampfer MJ, et al. Diet, lifestyle, and the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus in women. N Engl J Med. 2001; 345:790-7.

22. Stoecker BJ, et al. “Cinnamon extract lowers blood glucose in hyperglycemic subjects.” FASEB J. 2010; 24:722.1