Statins (also called HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors) are medications used to lower bad cholesterol, which is a waxy material that the body produces and that is also found in saturated fats and animal products. Your body needs cholesterol for your cells to work properly. There are 2 kinds of cholesterol. “Bad” cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein cholesterol or LDL-C) builds up in the arteries to form plaque, which can block arteries and cause high blood pressure, heart disease, a stroke, or a heart attack. Conversely, “good” cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein cholesterol or HDL-C) helps the body get rid of bad cholesterol. Cholesterol is measured by a simple blood test and reported as a number. It is optimal for bad cholesterol to be as low as possible and for good cholesterol to be as high as possible. The best way to lower your cholesterol is through diet and exercise, but because genetics can play a role, diet and exercise are not always enough.