For very many people, high cholesterol is much less a matter of diet and much more the way their liver is programmed to manufacture cholesterol. In many cases, diet and weight loss (where needed) will not reduce cholesterol sufficiently to reduce the risk of premature heart disease and other complications.
The statins (crestor, lipitor etc) were originally designed for folks like this. Essentially, the drug tells the liver to “knock off making so much cholesterol”. Combined with proper diet and exercise, excellent results can be achieved, and I consider the statins to be good medicines for folks who truly do have a bad cholesterol profile. In my humble (and professional) opinion, the benefits far outweigh the risks in these sorts of cases.
Mind you, I’m talking folks who despite diet and exercise still have LDL cholesterol (the bad stuff) over 200 or more, and HDL (good) cholesterol at a pathetic 29 or so. Or the guy with diabetes who’s had 2 heart attacks already, and with diet can only get his LDL down to 110. (LDL should be about 70 in these folks, there’s evidence that reducing it that low actually reverses coronary artery disease!)
Of course, in our society, everybody jumped on the statin bandwagon, and now guys take it so they don’t have to cut back on their fried lardball surprise for dinner.
But I really can’t say anything about your friend’s situation, as I don’t know his health history, his other risk factors, nor his total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, or triglyceride numbers.