Statins and Grace

Statins are an important class of medications for lowering blood cholesterol levels. Statins can help unblock arteries and reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

The first line of treatment for high cholesterol is dietary. Eating fewer dairy products, eggs, and red meat will often dramatically lower cholesterol levels. Statins can be added if diet alone doesn’t reduce blood cholesterol of normal levels.

A recent study showed that people needing statins for cholesterol do just the opposite of what is recommended. Researchers examined diet changes and statin use in 27,886 US adults, 20 years or older over a period of 10 years. 

In this study, statin users increased the number of calories they ate and increased their fat intake over time. This was not true for people not taking statins. Weight gain was faster for statin users than for nonusers.

These adverse effects on the statin users were not directly due to the statins, but rather from the poor food choices resulting from a false sense of security. I have patients who tell me, “I am not going to change the way I eat. Give me a pill for my high cholesterol.” As a group, people taking statins think in similar or worse ways.

This is exactly how sin operates in the lives of some Christians. The grace of God in saving sinners is abused by many who claim Christ as their Savior but then go out and sin even more because Jesus freely forgives.

Such people are rebuked by Paul, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?  Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Romans 6:1-2 (NKJV)

People with high blood cholesterol need to eat right and may still need statins. Abusing statins by eating worse than before largely negates the benefits of statins. Sinning more after a person accepts Christ largely negates the benefits of God’s Grace.