An international network of independent researchers has severely criticised an article in The Lancet which backed the use of statins.

The article by the Cholesterol Treatment Triallists Collaboration in the February issue claimed that everyone over the age of 75 should be considered for “cholesterol-lowering” statins. The CTT said its data showed that by doing this 8,000 lives could be saved.

But THINCS, an organisation which believes research by pro-statins supporters is fundamentally flawed, challenged the CTT paper’s assertion that coronary mortality was significantly reduced amongst those on statins.

THINCS pointed out that closer analysis of the figures showed that the difference was minimal and calculated to a few days. that you would need to treat 1040 for a year to prevent one death.

Thincs also takes issue with the paper’s claim that the side effects among those on statins was negligible, pointing to other studies which showed much higher figures.

Meanwhile Dr Malcom Kendrick, an active THINCS member also took aim at the research. “Statins (in the over 75s) do not reduce mortality. They do not prevent fatal heart attacks and strokes. Whilst they reduce serious cardiac events, previously published results demonstrate they do not reduce total serious adverse events”.

Verner Wheelock, founder of Low Carb Skipton and a former food science professor, said: “There is now overwhelming evidence that the Total Cholesterol (TC) in the blood is NOT a valid risk factor for death from heart disease.In fact, the all-cause mortality for those in their sixties and seventies, is HIGHEST in people who have a low TC value. These are the individuals who comply with the official TC guidelines.

“Hence, taking statins to lower TC does not make sense. The justification for lowering cholesterol is totally bogus. Statins work by reducing the amount of CoQ10, which is essential for the production of Vitamin D and many important hormones.

“So, it is not in the least surprising that many taking statins suffer nasty side effects, including aches and pains in muscles, Type 2 Diabetes and even memory loss.”