Are Cholesterol Medications Zapping Your Thyroid? A Cardiologist Explains

Are cholesterol medications zapping your thyroid? A cardiologist explains

This cardiologist professes pharmaceuticals for heart disease are rarely necessary and most heart procedures are dangerous and usually unnecessary, but always financially rewarding to the doctor. He treats heart disease with natural approaches including dietary changes, toxin reduction, and natural supplements. Hmm…

Written by Jack Wolfson, DO, FACC

Cholesterol is King

Physicians think they are doing something for you by labeling what you have as a disease. ~Immanuel Kant

Cholesterol gets a very bad rap. Everyone bashes this tiny wax-like molecule as the villain who destroys our health and causes heart attacks and strokes. The news media pushes the cholesterol story and Big Pharma is ready to provide their “solution.” All the while, doctors are writing millions of prescriptions to combat the cholesterol Boogie Man.

Trust me. I know this story. I am a cardiologist. I was taught the same message. Cholesterol is bad. Let’s lower it.

But on further review, why would the human body, and every animal on planet Earth make cholesterol? After all, eggs contain cholesterol for a reason. That is how a chicken comes to life. Without cholesterol, no chicken.

Cholesterol is a tiny substance that is built from three things: carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. No toxins, metals, or harmful particles.

Do humans make cholesterol to cause heart attacks and strokes? Of course not. Every single cell in the human body contains cholesterol and that includes the follicular cells in the thyroid responsible for thyroid hormone production. Cholesterol is crucial.

In fact, we make cholesterol for many important reasons including:

  • Vitamin D
  • Digestive bile salts
  • Testosterone, estradiol, and progesterone
  • Cortisol
  • Cell membranes

Where’s The Data?

The MRFIT study, a landmark cardiovascular study undertaken in the 1970’s, provided tremendous data on a large population and risk factors for heart disease. The following graph was published to demonstrate cholesterol levels and mortality (death rates) over the course of six years.(source)

Cholesterol & Mortality

We can see in the above chart, all-cause mortality is the same from the cholesterol range of 150-250. The chances of dying are the same whether your total cholesterol is 150 or 250. Notice the striking increase in all-cause mortality at the lowest levels of cholesterol (top left).

According to researchers in a 1990 study titled Lowering cholesterol concentrations and mortality: a quantitative review of primary prevention trials published in BMJ (formerly the British Medical Journal):(source)

Our analysis shows that the six randomised trials, when considered in aggregate, failed to show a decrease in all cause mortality – despite nearly 120 000 person years of observation under treatment and control conditions. It has been suggested that mortality from cancer might be increased with cholesterol reduction, based on epidemiological evidence of an inverse association between serum cholesterol concentrations and incidence of cancer.(source 1)(source 2)

I start the search for cancer in my patients with cholesterol less than 150. Finally, notice how total cholesterol in the chart above has nothing to do with the chance of drying from a stroke.

Thyroid Health Impacts Cholesterol

It is well known that healthy cholesterol levels are dependent on thyroid function. Hypothyroidism a common cause of abnormal cholesterol, lipid production and lipid disposal.

Thyroid levels must be checked and optimized prior to any consideration of statin drug therapy. How many doctors are missing this piece? TONS.

Cholesterol Medications Are Dangerous

Statin drugs like Crestor, Lipitor and Zocor are prescribed by the millions. They lower cholesterol numbers but do very little to lower risk. In my opinion, statin drugs lead to a false sense of security in people. Many patients think they can eat junk food and lead an unhealthy lifestyle while the statin drugs save them (source).

They are wrong and being misled by doctors and Pharma alike. In my own practice, Wolfson Integrative Cardiology in Paradise Valley, Arizona, I get people off the drugs.

Strange times are these in which we live when old and young are taught falsehoods in school. And the person who dares to tell the truth is called a lunatic and fool. ~Plato (427 BC)

The truth is that cholesterol drugs have side effects. After all, if you reduce the production of the molecule that leads to so many benefits, you are bound to have problems.

Statins are notorious for causing muscle and liver damage. In fact, books have been written about statin drugs causing brain issues. I have seen this in my patients and personally, I think statin drugs led to the death of my father.

Statin Drugs & Thyroid

The thyroid gland and the thyroid system are very complex. You already know this, and it is why you are on this site Hypothyroid Mom reading this article.

Statin drugs reduce cholesterol and therefore cholesterol is not available to:

  • Form cell membranes on the thyroid gland
  • Build receptors for thyroid hormone around the body
  • Assist in the function of the pituitary, the brain organ that controls the thyroid
  • Digest our food in the form of bile salts released from liver to gall bladder to intestines

Statin drugs may:

  • Lower TSH levels (source)
  • Linked to thyroid cancer…43% higher risk in women (source)
  • Lower CoQ10, a major factor in cellular energy production

In addition, people are often prescribed statin drugs for cholesterol when the real problem is hypothyroidism. When these people are put on statin drugs, the risk of muscle damage is much higher (source). If you do take statins, make sure thyroid function is optimized.

Now What?

If you take a statin drug, discuss these issues with your doctor. Is there a better way to optimize your cholesterol levels? After all, each one of us has a perfect cholesterol for us. If our levels are not perfect, it is not because of a statin drug deficiency.

There is a CAUSE for abnormal cholesterol, inflammation, heart attacks, and cancer.

A good doctor will help your find the CAUSE.

Ways to Improve Your Heart Health Naturally

The person who takes medicine for disease must recover twice, once from the disease, and once from the medicine. ~Sir William Osler

Here are some effective ways you can improve your heart health naturally.

  1. Decreasing sugar intake is one of the best ways to control excess cholesterol. Once can of soda equals ten teaspoons of sugar.
  2. Artificial sweeteners play a double trick on your body. They taste sweet without any calories, but they increase your chance of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.
  3. Paleo beats Mediterranean and all other diets. Eat gluten-free and soy-free.
  4. Use a greens powder daily or make a fresh juice from celery, cucumber, cabbage, kale, cilantro, parsley, carrots, beets, etc.
  5. Eat 3-4 avocados per week. They reduce damaged LDL particles.
  6. Coconuts are a great source of saturated fat, fiber, and acids that fight cancer, raise HDL, and fight infections.
  7. You must eat organic food. Once pesticides are in your body, pesticides are a no-brainer – literally.
  8. Drink at least half your body weight in ounces each day, and always in a glass bottle. The best water is spring water.
  9. Do you suffer from palpitations or heart racing? It could be from caffeine.
  10. Get rid of stress. No matter the source, stress can lead to high blood pressure, heart attack, and even death. It is well known Monday mornings and return from a vacation or holiday are popular times to suffer a heart attack.
  11. Avoid environmental toxins and pollutants. Indoor air is more dangerous than outdoor air. Invest in an air filtration system. Open windows frequently. Immediately get rid of all candles, air fresheners, and chemical sanitizers. Avoid toxic laundry detergent, fabric softener, and dryer sheets. Get the carpet out and install hardwood floors with non-toxic finish and adhesives.
  12. Never buy plastic water bottles and only drink out of glass. Avoid canned foods. Store food in glass containers.
  13. Use bar soap and minimize personal care products in plastic. Select organic personal care products. Use natural, fluoride-free toothpaste. Floss daily.
  14. Minimize electronic devices, especially in the bedroom and on your body. Unplug your microwave and Wifi router when not in use. Never use Teflon-coated or aluminum pots and pans. Aluminum is a metal you should avoid, even under your arms. Get the smart meter removed from your house. Don’t dry clean your clothes.
  15. Get the metals and other toxins out of your body through regular bowel movements, plenty of urine, and lots of sweat. Regular exercise in moderation is a necessity for good heart health, not an option. Speak to a holistic dentist about removal of metal amalgams.
  16. Get plenty of sunshine. This helps to set your internal sleep clock.
  17. Go to sleep just after sundown and wake at sunrise. Edison invented electricity 125 years ago. Our bodies will never adapt to it. And get an organic mattress.

Top Heart Health Supplements

Ask 100 doctors if vitamins work, most will scoff at the idea. The truth is medical doctors receive ZERO training in vitamins, minerals, botanicals, and other natural remedies. We are trained to shun anything but prescription pills and expensive procedures.

I worked in the hospital for over 16 years. I am not a “crazy” doctor. I am a board certified cardiologist recommending proven natural supplements instead of prescribing poison to achieve heart health. Do not go it alone. The intention of this article is not to suggest that readers quit their medications or postpone heart procedures. The article is intended to encourage you to always seek multiple medical opinions to ensure that you have heard about all the options. I help my patients stop their medications but that’s by replacing them with effective dietary changes, toxin reduction, and natural supplements. Find a holistic doctor to guide you, as supplements are complicated. Make sure you take top quality supplements. Not all supplements are created equal.

Please understand there will never be a head to head comparison of Lipitor versus berberine, or fish oil versus aspirin. Since vitamins and natural supplements cannot be patented, no one is going to invest money to study them. This leaves the door open for the skeptic to criticize natural remedies. Fortunately there are thousands of papers proving vitamins do work!

Which supplement is fantastic in helping with cholesterol? Berberine may turn out to be one of the best supplements of all. This botanical extract used in Chinese medicine for more than 2500 years has received a lot of attention over the last few years for its health benefits including lipid control, diabetes, heart failure, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, metabolic syndrome, and obesity. How many conventional doctors are recommending natural supplements like berberine in their practice instead of prescribing poisonous pills? FEW, IF ANY.

Heart disease can be prevented, treated and reversed naturally in the majority of cases without useless pills or dangerous procedures. No matter your medical history, it is near too late to change. One day at a time, you can heal yourself.

About Jack Wolfson, DO, FACC

Dr. Jack Wolfson is a board-certified cardiologist, in Paradise Valley, Arizona, who grew tired of patients failing to truly get well (while sometimes feeling worse) using pharmaceuticals and procedures. As a result, he opened Wolfson Integrative Cardiology where he now uses in-depth testing and targeted nutrition to prevent and treat cardiovascular disease. He treats the whole person, getting to the cause of the issue, instead of treating only the symptoms. Dr. Wolfson offers practical solutions for heart health in person at his office in Paradise Valley, Arizona.

READ NEXT: Thyroid Disease & Heart Disease: The Research

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About Dana Trentini

Dana Trentini founded Hypothyroid Mom October 2012 in memory of the unborn baby she lost to hypothyroidism. This is for informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for consulting your physician regarding medical advice pertaining to your health. Hypothyroid Mom includes affiliate links including the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.


  1. Very interesting article. My husband and twin, pre-teen daughters have Familial Hypercholesterolemia. Because of this my husband is currently on statins and his dosage was doubled after recent labs. Our twins are monitored closely to determine when medication will be required. We already have many, many family members with hypothyroidism as well, so just another thing to closely monitor.

  2. Dana, this article confirmed my decision. Should I face the same heart related issue as my Mother suffers, I will not resort to surgery or medications. I watched how a Seventh Day Adventist Medical Professional cared for his wife’s ailing heart. Yes, her mitral valve was doing poorly, and the rest of her heart was not strong enough to deal with daily hard work and stress, so he removed all of that stress and hard work and created two fun small apartments. One, in Peterborough by the water, the other in South Florida. She has thrived so well with her water exercises and minimal fussing with the big house and the entertaining. They love to entertain. Now they use the clubhouse and have even more fun. Her bed time was important. 9:30pm she would rest up for the next day in the sun.

  3. As much as I may agree with a lot of the information presented, this article features some lofty claims and a lack of citations! We need research to actually support these claims if we’re going to convince those in conventional medicine.

    • Hi Josh, I’ve thought about your comment and I agree with you. It’s a big topic and more sources needed to be added. His book contained 2 great chapters explaining his thinking but truly that would make this article far too long. I asked him to add a paragraph to give some sources.

  4. Years back our family physician told me that my mother should be on statins as she may die soon from a stroke or hear attack. I told him she had taken them for a couple weeks and ended up in hospital as a result. I also told him I believe statins are poison. My mother turned 93 yesterday, and she is as sharp as a tack! You may find interesting – The Great Cholesterol Myth, by Dr. Sinatra. Also you can google Dr. Stephanie Seneff’s discussions on how statins work. She is a lead researcher at MIT, so intelligent, and she explains (in detail) her opinion on how statins work, and the dangers they pose.

  5. I am sending this fantastic article to my 87 year old mother who is on statins (again!) after having many problems with them before. This time, she shows some signs of dementia, which, not shockingly, started right after she started statins again.

    A couple of years ago, a cardiologist suggested she get a full thyroid panel. She never did, despite the fact that 2 of my siblings and I have thyroid issues (one had thyroid cancer), and another likely does.

  6. Can you please site peer reviewed journal articles that support your claim that statins are dangerous and do not lower the risk of having either a primary or secondary coronary artery related event?

  7. So happy to share this information with your tribe.

    • I’m so happy I read your book Jack. I will never take a heart-related pharmaceutical or undergo a dangerous heart procedure without consulting you first. “Game changer,” I wrote and I meant every word.

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