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A new review paper suggests the popular drugs for lowering cholesterol may actually be “mitochondrial toxins.”
A new review paper challenges the belief that taking statins for cholesterol reduction also decreases atherosclerosis. Published in Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology, the paper suggests that statins may actually act as “mitochondrial toxins” by stimulating atherosclerosis and heart failure, partly through inhibition of the synthesis of vitamin K2.
Statins are frequently prescribed for cholesterol reduction, but the researchers claim they also “impair muscle function in the heart and blood vessels through the depletion of coenzyme Q10 and ‘heme A,’ and thereby ATP [adenosine triphosphate] generation.” The paper cites a wide range of studies in pointing out the perils of statins, the majority of which were published in the last 20 years.
One of the authors’ findings was that “statins inhibit [vitamin K2] formation, and thereby accelerate coronary artery calcification, an important marker of the progress of atherosclerosis.”
Earlier this year, a clinical trial found that vitamin K2 menaquinone-7 from NattoPharma (Oslo) may help improve arterial flexibility. Natto Pharma issued a statement on the new paper and its possible implications on vitamin K2 research.
“This new paper speaks directly to statins interrupting the mechanism of action by which vitamin K2 inhibits calcifications,” says Hogne Vik, CEO of NattoPharma. “Conversely, research clearly demonstrates that increasing dietary vitamin K2, specifically vitamin K2 as menaquinone-7, can improve vitamin K2 levels in the blood and tissues, thus promoting cardiovascular health.”
Okuyama H et al. “Statins stimulate atherosclerosis and heart failure: pharmacological mechanisms.” Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology, vol. 8, no. 2 (March 2015): 189-199
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