What are statin drugs?
If you have high cholesterol, your doctor may prescribe statins to help lower your LDL-cholesterol levels. The way statins lower LDL-cholesterol levels is thru the inhibition of enzyme activity, specifically the activity of an enzyme called HMG-CoA reductase.
Statins also help the liver to be better able to remove LDL from the blood and, in addition to lowering LDL-cholesterol levels thru the effect of statins on HMG-CoA reductase, statin drugs also help to lower elevated blood fat levels, or triglycerides.
Increasing HDL is levels (this is your "good cholesterol") is another function of statin drugs.
The question is not whether or not statins provide benefit. They can lower cholesterol levels. The question is whether the benefits outweigh the risk of taking statin drugs longterm.
In my opinion, new statin drugs are just too new to know what the longterm health risks may be. For example, the statin drug cervastatin was removed from shelves by the manufacturer when cervastatin became linked to a condition called rhabdomyolysis. This is a muscle condition that can lead to kidney failure.
Side effects of statins: Shortterm, statins can cause a problem with gas, upset stomach, cramping and constipation. Longterm, the side effects may be potentially more serious.