Statins: One of the Greatest Failures of Modern Medicine

Written by Dr. David Brownstein

I recently traveled to Chicago to lecture my colleagues, and I was asked what I thought about evidence-based medicine. In fact, I am frequently hammered by my conventional colleagues because they claim that I do not follow evidence-based medicine. Of course, I disagree with that statement, as I am always reading the medical literature and I am happy to point out the evidence that supports my use of holistic medicine. My books and other articles have numerous citations supporting the medicine that I practice.

However, I take issue when conventional doctors claim that evidence-based medicine supports the use of statin drugs in treating/preventing heart disease. In fact, evidence-based medicine (when studied objectively) would reveal that statin drugs should not be prescribed for either treating or preventing heart disease.

Let’s take a look at the statin guidelines. The new guidelines recommend nearly half of Americans over the age of 40—more than 50 million people—may qualify for taking a statin drug in order to lower their heart attack risk. I have written in my blog posts, newsletter, and in my book, The Statin Disaster, that statin drugs fail nearly 99% who take them—they neither prevent heart attacks nor have they been shown to help people live longer.

On October 6, 2015, an article in the New York Times was headlined, “Heart Scan Can Fine-Tune Risk Estimate for Patients Considering Statins.” The article stated that a new study on CT scans of the coronary arteries, which can identify calcium deposits in the arteries, can help guide health care providers whether or not to prescribe a statin drug. If there is little calcium in the coronary arteries, the authors found a lowered risk of heart attacks. A cardiologist profiled in the article states that he uses the coronary CT scans because, “All the other biomarkers get blown away compared to the calcium score {of the coronary arteries}.”

Statins and arterial calcium deposits. Is there evidence that increased calcium in coronary arteries is associated with an increased risk of heart disease? Yes. So, where is the evidence that statins help lower coronary calcium levels? There isn’t any.

In fact, the opposite is true: Research has shown that statin use actually increases the deposition of calcium in coronary arteries (1).  Yes, you read that right. In fact, researchers reported, “…coronary artery calcium progression was fastest among participants using statins…”  This wasn’t the only study to report that fact. Other researchers have concluded, “Independent of their plaque-regressive effects, statins promote coronary atheroma calcification” (2).

I would venture a guess that you just read that last paragraph again.

To be fair, the authors of the second study claim that statins may stabilize coronary plaques. However, that has never been proven, and even if that is true, it is hard to make a positive argument for using statins at all when they fail nearly 99% who take them. Furthermore, I am not even discussing the horrendous side effects and the tremendous cost of statin drugs.

One of the greatest failures of modern medicine. Evidence-based medicine should be used and embraced, and it is too bad that conventional medicine fails to use it when it comes to statins (as well as many other drug therapies). The evidence behind the statin studies should expose statins as one of the greatest failures in modern medicine.

More information about statins can be found in my book, The Statin Disaster.


  1. J Am. Heart Assoc. 2015;4:e001726
  2. J. Am. College of Cardiol. 2015;65:1273-82

Original blog post by Dr. Brownstein can be found here.



Dr. David Brownstein is a Board-Certified family physician and is one of the foremost practitioners of holistic medicine. He is the Medical Director of the Center for Holistic Medicine in West Bloomfield, MI. Dr. Brownstein has lectured internationally to physicians and others about his success in using natural hormones and nutritional therapies in his practice. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Wayne State University School of Medicine. Dr. Brownstein is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American College for the Advancement in Medicine. He is the father of two beautiful girls, Hailey and Jessica, and is a retired soccer coach.

Dr. Brownstein has received two prestigious awards by his colleagues. The first was given by the American College for the Advancement in Medicine at the 2005 annual meeting. The award was the Norman E. Clarke Sr. Award for Science and Practice. The second award was given by the American Academy of Integrative Medicine at their 2005 annual meeting in Florida. This was titled, 2005 ARC Excellence Award for Distinguished Clinician for his “Advancement in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Chronic Diseases.”



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