Recent activity on the news and web include recommendations for children and high cholesterol since the report published in Dec 2011 in the Pediatric Journal came out. The medication companies are coming out big in advertising it because they see a whole new market to hook on statins.
However, if you read through the report, you’ll find all the same recommendations for adults: eat a prudent diet, exercise, and get enough rest. They also recommend counseling programs for families to help get everyone involved in a healthy lifestyle. They absolutely do not suggest medicating anyone under the age of 10. And those between the ages of 10 and 21, only after other means of lowering cholesterol are unsuccessful.
The one error I’ve seen in the article was that statins only rarely cause side effects. Of the people that I’ve interviewed, and there are many, nearly all of them had side effects that have decreased the quality of life. The most heinous of those is the effect on memory and brain function. This is in part due to the decreased availability of CoQ 10, needed for healthy brain and nerve function.
Giving a medication that TYPICALLY, not rarely, affects the brain function and development to children, whose brains are not fully developed until sometime in their late 20s, is ALARMING. The best way to keep children healthy is to educate their parents to turn their own health around.
The last thing anyone with children wants is to have their own behavior harm their children. I know for myself, I did many things no matter how tired I was because I knew it would affect my children’s future, this included making healthier meals and my own daily exercise. It worked. My children, now adults, mimicked my behavior.
The bottom line here is two things: people will skew conclusions of research reports to their benefit; not all statements in research reports is necessarily true; and last let’s not poison our children with medication until we’ve exhausted all possible means to get them healthy without medication. Modeling and involving them in healthy behaviors will increase the odds of our children growing up to be healthy adults. My recommendation for children and high cholesterol is to not only educate the children, but also their parents. We all need help with this problem.