Michael Smith, MD: More Americans than ever are taking statins. But just because you’re eligible, does that mean you should take one? The quick and short answer is, yes! If diet and exercise aren’t enough, statins can quickly reduce your bad cholesterol by 50% or more, while boosting your good cholesterol by as much as 15%. That’s a tremendous improvement in itself, but they can also reduce your risk of heart attack, and other heart problems. So does that mean you can let the pill do all the work? Absolutely not! To get the most out of your statin and make your body stronger overall, a healthy lifestyle is still a must. Plus, changing your diet can cut your cholesterol by as much as 30%. But if cholesterol is a problem, and your doctor has recommended a statin, that’s advice worth taking. For WebMD, I’m Dr. Michael Smith.