Apoptosis is an essential component of the maintenance process of our bodies. It is a highly controlled and organised technique for removing unwanted cells from any organ by the process of induced metabolic suicide.
Tinkering with this process is a potentially catastrophic game, that good old law of unintended consequences could have a field day here.
Statins promote apoptosis. They do it in diseased tissues, including cancer cells; hooray for Lipitor. Unfortunately they also do it in normal tissues too; boo for Lipitor.
Statins promote apoptosis in heart muscle. You just have to imagine what having heart muscle cells commit suicide does for your pumping ability. Most of the work on statins and myopathy focuses on coenzyme Q10 depletion. This looks to be an additional problem.
Statins promote apoptosis in the vascular epithelium. Again you just have to wonder what the death of vascular lining cells does for your circulation. Brings to mind those folks in Japan who were highly susceptible to simvastatin. This is the effect on mortality from cardiac causes when you really respond to a statin.
Statins also promote apoptosis in brain cells, or at least do so in a lab prep designed to mimic brain cells. This is your brain on a statin. Last sentence of the paper:
"These findings could contribute to elucidate the molecular mechanisms by which statins induce growth suppression and/or apoptosis in neuronal cells, and may also help to explain the CNS side effects associated with statin therapy."
Just going back to that J-Litt paper, the death rate from accidents/suicides were increased just under three fold in the TC <160mg/dl group. Seems like low cholesterol causes you to throw punches at a well armed wide boy in a down town bar.
However all is not doom and gloom. Here is your brain on chocolate!
OK, that's a complete cheat. I've absolutely no idea how much of the stearic acid in the topping of a dessert cheesecake ever gets remotely near a human brain neurone in real life. Much less activate PPAR gamma there. But I'd prefer (real) chocolate to a statin any day if I was looking to avoid Alzheimer's (or anything else for that matter).