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Old 01-10-2020, 11:01 AM
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Statins the cause of increased tribalism


A BBC article suggests that low cholesterol results in lower serotonin which causes increased aggression and hostility and various other bad side effects. Statins, which reduce cholesterol, are one of the most prescribed medicines today. Could this be the cause, or at least a significant factor, in the tribalism we see in today's politcal climate?
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Old 01-10-2020, 11:20 AM
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Sounds profoundly idiotic to me.
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Old 01-10-2020, 11:26 AM
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I assumed lead poisoning was a major factor in why our politics is so dysfunctional. Lots of people born from the 1930s to early 1960s had high levels of lead exposure due to leaded gasoline and lead paint.

Never heard of statins having that effect of irritability, which is interesting. I wonder if taking something like 5HTP along with a statin would reduce that side effect.

I've read that propranolol can reduce racism though.

http://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2012-03-08-...study-suggests
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Last edited by Wesley Clark; 01-10-2020 at 11:27 AM.
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Old 01-10-2020, 11:39 AM
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The statin-"tribalism" connection seems very weak based on current knowledge, but it could be worthwhile to further explore the possibility that in a minority of susceptible people undesirable personality traits are exacerbated by these drugs.

One other class of drugs that was mentioned was SSRIs used to treat depression. I'm not alarmed by the supposed revelation that these drugs reduce anxiety symptoms (that's long been part of their appeal) or impressed by the theory that they thus make us less empathetic.

I do see an increasingly fertile field for lawyers hoping to convince juries that their violent clients are not to blame for horrific crimes, since "the statins made me do it."
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Old 01-10-2020, 11:40 AM
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I take statins, and I'm a joy to be around. So much for that theory.
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Old 01-10-2020, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wesley Clark View Post
I've read that propranolol can reduce racism though.

http://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2012-03-08-...study-suggests
yep, I can totally see that being a thing.
Quote:
Propranolol is a beta-blocker used to treat heart disease that blocks activation in the peripheral 'autonomic' nervous system and in the area of the brain implicated in fear or emotional responses. The researchers believe propranolol reduced implicit racial basis because such bias is based on automatic, non-conscious fear responses, which propranolol blocks.
I take atenolol for hypertension, also a beta blocker like propranolol. In a situation that should cause fight/flight response, my heart rate stays flat, so I do not "feel afraid".

This leads to behavior change. I once saw a big guy who could easily squash me like a bug leave his shopping cart sitting in the parking lot. I shouted across the lot to him, "hey, asshole, don't leave your cart there". He could/should have kicked my ass, instead he took his cart to the coral.
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Old 01-10-2020, 12:26 PM
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If blood chemistry were Olympic events I'd be a gold medalist in cholesterol as well as triglycerides. And I can power a small village with my blood pressure. I don't take anything for any of it, and I am a joy to be around. If you're a cat. I'm a one man tribe.
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Old 01-10-2020, 03:16 PM
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sounds like the theory that ergotism (when a fungus causing in grain causes hallucinations) started off the Salem witch trials.
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Old 01-10-2020, 04:12 PM
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Old 01-10-2020, 05:07 PM
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People - like me - take statins to lower their high cholesterol to normal levels, not to lower normal cholesterol to a level that's too low. I have no aggression and hostility. You can ask my cat.
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Old 01-10-2020, 07:23 PM
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A number of the early cholesterol-lowering studies showed an unanticipated increase in violent death among patients taking statins and other cholesterol lowering drugs. Things like homicide, suicide, and car crashes.

It is not a totally ridiculous possibility, but I'd look to the lower cholesterol levels not the drug used to achieve it (cholesterol is needed for brain cells and their function, and other cells too).

Last edited by KarlGauss; 01-10-2020 at 07:24 PM.
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Old 01-10-2020, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Darren Garrison View Post
Sounds profoundly idiotic to me.
Ah, I see you've taken your pills today.
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Old 01-11-2020, 06:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtilque View Post
... low cholesterol results in lower serotonin which causes increased aggression and hostility and various other bad side effects. Statins, which reduce cholesterol, are one of the most prescribed medicines today....
I take 40 mg daily, and IIRC am supposed to be taking 80 mg. Thanks for this. I may alter my .sig to blame Simvastatin for the recent upsurge in my posting hostility.
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Old 01-11-2020, 07:27 AM
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Is there a difference in statin usage in rural vs urban populations?
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Old 01-11-2020, 12:40 PM
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Seems like the link has been suspected for some time. From BMJ Case Reports 2011:

Quote:
Irritability, aggression and other adverse behavioural effects have been associated with the use of statins (3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-coenzyme A reductase inhibitors) and other drug classes. A number of studies have also linked low cholesterol with aggression and violence.


j
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Old 01-11-2020, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarlGauss View Post
A number of the early cholesterol-lowering studies showed an unanticipated increase in violent death among patients taking statins and other cholesterol lowering drugs. Things like homicide, suicide, and car crashes.

It is not a totally ridiculous possibility, but I'd look to the lower cholesterol levels not the drug used to achieve it (cholesterol is needed for brain cells and their function, and other cells too).
I always thought that made sense as an instinct. If you are low on cholesterol, you aren't eating much meat. If you aren't eating meat, you get the urge to go kill something. Now you have meat; eat it.

Something that worked OK in the Stone Age, not so much in an age where people are more likely to get meat from the supermarket.
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