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Statins, Cholesterol-Lowering Class of Drugs, Lower Male Sex Drive, Too



Statins, Cholesterol-Lowering Class of Drugs, Lower Male Sex Drive, Too
If you are over the age of 50, there is a very good chance that your doctor has asked you to consider taking a statin drug. Highly effective at lowering cholesterol levels, this cholesterol-lowering class of drugs works by stopping the action of an enzyme in the liver called hydroxymethylglutaryl-coenzyme-A-reductase. What anyone needs to know about this enzyme is that it is essential to enable the liver to make the body's own cholesterol. About 85 per cent of the cholesterol in the body comes not from food, but from inside the body itself.
The benefits of statin drugs for increasing longevity and even for preventing cardiovascular disease continue to be debated. For some people, however, statins also pose serious side effects.

How this cholesterol-lowering class of drugs works. Since statins paralyze an enzyme pathway in the liver, it is no surprise that these cholesterol-lowering drugs sometimes damage the liver. They can also cause breakdown of muscle tissue (although this only happens after the muscle has also been stressed, for example, by lifting weights or taking a hike), and the byproducts of muscle decomposition triggered by the statin drug can cause kidney problems.

Many people suffer some degree of memory loss when they start taking cholesterol medication—but they forget to report this to their doctors! And some men experience lower sex drive, too.

The best documented evidence of the role of statins in male sex drive and in testosterone levels comes from a study conducted at the Netherlands Pharmacovigilance Centre Lareb, a European center that compiles reports of adverse reactions to drugs. Since these reports are based on patient experience rather than on research protocols, they are rich in detail.