Daily News: Disease

Many benefits from life-changing statins

Telegraph-Herald (Dubuque, IA)

04-28-14

Everything that goes up must come down - or so the saying goes. That's certainly true of the stock market, Arnold Schwarzenegger's popularity and the winner's weight on "The Biggest Loser." But sometimes the opposite is true.

When it comes to elevated levels of lousy LDL cholesterol, more than 32 percent of men in the U.S. can't get their number down below 100mg/dL. And at the same time, 30 percent of guys 40-70 have erectile dysfunction. Coincidence? Nope. High levels of LDL can clog any blood vessel, not just those in your heart, and make it difficult to achieve an erection. Unless the LDL comes down ...

Well, it turns out there's good news. Statins, the anti- cholesterol, anti-inflammation medications taken by 15 percent of men in the U.S. ages 45-64 and the 50 percent of those 65-plus, don't just help prevent cardiovascular disease, dementia and peripheral artery disease, they restore blood flow throughout the body, and that eases ED.

While it's too soon to prescribe statins as ED therapy (not all ED is caused by circulatory problems; psychosocial issues need to be addressed through therapy), it's one more reason why we say these are life-changing medications.

Other good news about potential benefits of statins: They may help prevent blood clots and reduce your risk of developing and dying from all cancers, plus they slash colon cancer chances by 47 percent. And combining a statin with a daily low-dose aspirin (warm water before and after, but check with your doc first) might reduce a woman's risk of breast cancer.

Oz is host of "The Dr. Oz Show" and Roizen is chief wellness officer and chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic.

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