Statins. What's the alternative? Something dietary or supplements?

Hi any advice,information or experience v welcome. T1 19yrs pump about 15 months. Aged 45 in UK Endos like to put all diabetics over 40 on statins. Tried a few statins in last couple of years. Recent ones rovustation have left me feeling awful cramp v painful neurothopy. GP suggested a month off them. Am looking for alternative ideas to statins themselves? Cholesterol was 5.4 other cholestrol level was good. Wondering what to avoid in ‘diet’ or to add in? Family history female heart attacks/heart problems. Thanks.

I personally have been harmed by cholesterol treatment so I carry a bit of anger and have spent a lot of time looking at these issues so I could defend myself against pressures to medicate and take statins. I think we all should feel empowered to ask our doctors hard questions. So let me give you my perspective and perhaps that will help you with your discussions with your doctor.

Your total cholesterol normal at 5.4 mmol/L (208 mg/dl) and you are getting pressured to take a statin. Why? Your cholesterol is fine. In fact the lowest mortality (in men) is actually found with slightly higher cholesterol. Cholesterol lowering in women with statins has not been found to lower mortality at all. Should you choose to lower your cholesterol you will probably be harming yourself. Cholesterol levels below 5.4 mmol/L are associated with higher mortality and cognitive decline.

No actual studies statins on people with diabetes have been done to support the recommendations for statins and cholesterol lowering. Instead the recommendation in the US and NHS has been “made up.” Studies of the use of statins in men who have already had a heart attack has been extrapolated to suggest that statins help women and people who have not had a heart attack. And then further extrapolated to suggest that it helps people with diabetes. Efforts to demonstrate the broader utility of statins have not been successful.

The biggest cause of cholesterol abnormalities in those of us with diabetes is in fact high blood sugars. Tighter blood sugar control and low carb diets have been found to help “normalize” (not minimize) cholesterol. The recommendations from the “experts” are pretty much useless. In fact recent examinations of the evidence have found that all the recommendations to limit saturated fat reduces CVD are in fact wrong. Limiting saturated fat was a huge boondoggle (sorry for the technical term).

These are my opinions, but I would urge you question your doctors before submitting to treatments you don’t need and possibly suffering harm.


My cholesterol has been in the same range, and I, too, have refused to take statins. My endo comments on it when the rest results come back, and immediately adds, “… but I know you don’t want to take anything for it, so that’s fine.” :smile:

My parents have both taken statins in the past. My dad stopped taking them, due to the discomfort he had from them - and, as he is in his 90’s, who’s going to tell him he’s doing something wrong? My father also blames Lipitor for triggering my mother’s T2D. I don’t know if there’s any truth to that, but she hasn’t taken a statin in a couple years now.


Thank you that is very enlightening and informative. Any info re what foods are best to eat or just balanced diet? Thanks

Wow your dad can do as he wishes at 90 something :grinning: Sorry to hear about mum though.

I’m 51, T1D, diagnosed at age 49. My endo said I had to go on statins and I flat out refused. My cholesterol numbers were good, and since I have been on a on a low-carb/high fat diet (lots of bacon and eggs!) they have gotten even better. Besides that, new research has indicated that the cholesterol levels may not be the cause of heart disease deaths as previously thought. Add to that the fact that statin use correlates with a mere 1% reduction in mortality and can have debilitating side effects, and there really doesn’t seem to be a good argument for making people take them.


In any of the drug trials used to qualify a drug as safe and effective, a statistic called “number needed to treat” or NNT can be calculated. This is the number of people that would need to take a drug in order to avoid one case of the bad outcome. For statins that would be the number of people that needed to take statins in order to avoid one case of cardio vascular disease or stroke.

These qualifying trials also calculate the number of people that suffer secondary side effects, some of which can be debilitating in themselves. So using the NNT statistic you might be able to say (I’m using made-up numbers to demonstrate the concept) that it takes 400 people on a statin to avoid one heart attack. But what if 3% of the people that take this drug suffer from an unintended side effect. In this example, with my made up numbers, it would mean that while 1 person in 400 could avoid a heart attack. 12 people in the 400 will suffer undesirable side-effects.

Neither Pharma nor most clinicians like to talk about the NNT statistic.


Thank you every time have taken statins have ended up feeling really poorly and in pain.

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Try some vit B3 instead of a statin. Statins are evil as far as I am concerned, and once their patent life expires, so will the push to put everyone on one.


Thank you it’s a really difficult decision whether to leave them or to try a different type.

Thanks is Vit B3 a supplement?

Statins are a huge marketing ploy - and their side efects are severe, and can include permanent muscle damage (including cardiac muscle damage). Plus cholesterol is a sign of inflammation and there is minimal if any evidence that reducing cholesterol will reduce cardiac events. High cholesterol (and yours is not high ) is a sign of inflammation. To reduce cholesterol one must reduce inflammation in the body: lower carb diet with plenty of vegetables, high in healthy unprocessed fats (no transfats or vegetable oils). Stress management.

To increase good cholesterol: high intensity exercise, wine, healthy fats, minimise sugars.

My Dr. Told me that statins are recommended for all persons with diabetes. Then he laughed and said given my cholesterol levels (low, including hdl, unfortunately) it would not do me any good. We then discussed marketing and the push to get everyone on statins. Smell the $$


Today was my last day on statins. Been on it almost 3 months to appease my endo. Cholesterol was 190, hdl was good, triglycerides were 45 but ldl wasn’t low enough.
Meanwhile, my blood glucose started climbing the last few weeks and, being an OmniPod user, I thought it might be due to me using a faulty PDM (Insulet told me last year, after a mal-function that it was no longer wkg up to par. They sent me a new one but the old seemed to suddenly work fine so I continued using it. Until today, that is. I called Insulet and they helped me transition to my new PDM.
I’m still getting really high readings and read what a number of you said about statins raising blood sugar.
Will eliminate statins for a week (only taking 10 mg) and see if they’re responsible.

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Thank you. The neurothopy pain is back to normal levels but muscle pain in legs is excruciating stopped statins 2 weeks ago.

Hi which statin are you taking? I feel rovustation raised my blood glucose too.

Was taking 10 mg Atorvastatin (Lipitor). Have heard about muscle pain and weakness from different people.
I’m thinking that hadn’t happened to me because of the low dosage.
That said, I’m hoping my BG levels drop back to normal; for me that is.

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I was on a statin for about 6 months a decade ago. Never again. Many suggestions here are great. I also recommend Red Yeast Rice from which statins were originally derived. I don’t know if this has changed lately, but for years, big pharma lobbied and succeeded in preventing manufacturers from indicating on their labels that red yeast rice could help lower cholesterol. Like all supplements—do some research on your sources to be sure they do not have a reputation for producing a bad product.

I pay much more attention to my triglycerides—which are ridiculously low right now. Others would be able to give you better info on them, but I believe I have read that they are a good health indicator…

Lowering one’s carb intake can help a lot, in partnership with exercise. And, as someone with mobility issues (fibromyalgia and arthritis), I can say that many kinds of exercise can help, including quiet walks and sitting yoga, for instance. And I time my exercise for post meals to help work off the few carbs I did have…

One last point: Statins are particularly devastating as one ages, causing cognitive difficulties on top of everything else, a fact that I witnessed in my 89-year-old mother—and which reversed itself when we got her off them, returning her to her delightful self. I do believe that Big Pharma would put them in our water supply if they could…Blessings to you!


Thank you v kind. Am still in a lot of pain from statins. Unfortunately can’t exercise a lot as had oesophagus transplant as a baby and have a lot of chest pain. Frozen shoulder and slipt disc. Although swimming could be ok. Thanks gain.

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Hi Jo, late to this party but Some of my shoulder problems started with high doses of Lipitor. Usually stopped taking them and pain would go away after 2-3 days but over a year ago it did not go away (this after about 9 months on low dose). THis of course has led to the MRI and Cortisone injection that we both talked about a few weeks back. Docs said it was not related to the Stain use but n back of my mind I feel it was, at least partially. I’ve stopped all Cholesterol treatment, just to get a baseline where I am. Good luck!

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Oh geez, I admit to being in panic mode!
I have no intentions of going back on statins, ever. However is it possible to become insulin resistant after being on it for 3 months on a 10mg dose?
BG still running high. I wish to will myself to be hopefully optimistic and I do pray.

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