Blockbuster drugs spawn whole new type of diabetes

You’re probably already familiar with type I (juvenile) diabetes and type II (adult onset, insulin-resistant) diabetes. And in the December 2012 issue of my Insiders’ Cures newsletter, I told you how Alzheimer’s disease may actually be considered type III diabetes, due to the association between high blood sugar and cognitive decline.

Now, we have a fourth type of diabetes. This one is caused by cholesterol-lowering statin drugs.

According to a new article published in the Southern Medical Journal, this form of diabetes is officially called “Statin-Associated Diabetes Mellitus,” or SADM. And this new, official disease category of diabetes even has a clinical guide for how to treat it.

Statin-associate diabetes is “SAD” indeed.

Doctors continue to dole out these diabetes-causing drugs to unsuspecting patients despite growing evidence about lack of benefits and further serious harms.

As I have reported over the past two years, statin drugs do lower cholesterol. But they do NOT prevent heart disease or reduce death rates, which should be their ultimate goal.

And now we know they definitely cause diabetes — which, ironically, is the leading cause of cardio-metabolic heart disease.

Perhaps a more apt term is SAD-o-Masochistic.

No — we really don’t need more research on statins

Still, few are ready to admit they should actually stop prescribing these toxic drugs. Because, of course, as always, they say “more research is needed.” In fact, doctors say they still don’t know the all-important “mechanism of action” as to why statins cause diabetes.

Although, in my view the possible mechanisms should be pretty clear by now.

As any high school biology student knows, cholesterol is a critical building block for all hormones. And hormones are central for metabolism, which directly impacts metabolic conditions such as diabetes. And, yes, we learned this “stuff” in high school biology class.

So it baffles me how doctors can say they don’t understand why statins cause diabetes. They must be wearing blindfolds!

In the old days, they put blindfolds on the horse so he would just keep plodding along, regardless of what was going on around him. Now, the mainstream puts the blinders on the drivers, so all they see is the backside of the horse. They might as well be looking in a mirror!

What planet are they on?

The researchers uncovered this “significant link” between new-onset diabetes mellitus and patients given rosuvastatin in the trial called “Justification for the Use of Statins in Primary Prevention: An Intervention Trial Evaluating Rosuvastatin,” called the “JUPITER” study for short. And as I reported before, we do have to wonder what planet they are on, given their call for “more research” despite clear evidence.

You can also make a simpler acronym with the trial’s initials to form the word “JUST,” which got me to thinking about my service during the first Gulf War in 1991. I was mobilized as a senior medical officer at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in “Operation Just Cause” just in case, to cover for doctors who were being sent overseas. Given the limited goals for that conflict, we took to calling it “Operation Just Because.”

“Operation Just Because” would suit this new statin study as well. Because despite the mounting evidence showing lack of effectiveness and serious long-term harms, doctors just keep prescribing statins, apparently, just because…

And there really is no other justification other than “just because…”

Because, it’s not just for patients.

Old statin studies were too short and poorly designed

Statin advocates still cling to the early studies conducted by big pharma, which did not detect the association between diabetes and statins.

But as I have reported previously, those early studies probably didn’t uncover the link because they weren’t long enough. Diabetes doesn’t develop overnight. But most doctors put their patients on lifetime statin therapy, so they really should have followed these patients for longer than a year or two.

The most recent studies suggest an ever stronger correlation between statins and diabetes. In fact, since the JUPITER trial first uncovered “statin-associated diabetes mellitus,” multiple additional analyses have confirmed that statins cause diabetes. In fact, most new studies now demonstrate this increased risk of new onset diabetes.

Experts may not have pinned down the definitive mechanism by which statins cause impairment of blood sugar balance. But as I said earlier, even high school biology gives us a strong idea why statins are bad metabolically.

Plus, there is a dose-response effect among the different versions of statin drugs. In other words, the higher the dose, the higher the risk of developing diabetes. In forensic toxicology, we use the presence of a dose-response relationship to assess the effects of any poison.

Ultimately, the FDA should pull the entire class of statin drugs off the market.

But don’t hold your breath. Despite all the mounting evidence, statin prescriptions keep flying out the door. And big pharma still has a few years left before the highly profitable patents start to expire on some of their biggest money-makers.

In the meantime, though, you can read more about how to avoid, or recover from, statins in my report The Insider’s Guide to a Heart-Healthy and Statin-Free Life.


“Statin-associated Diabetes Mellitus: Review and Clinical Guide,” South Med J 2016;109(3); 167-173.