Looks like those statin drugs lower a lot more than just cholesterol levels--a new study finds that men who take these meds face shrinking testosterone levels, too.

Ouch!

Italian researchers made the alarming discovery when they looked at data on nearly 3,500 men with sexual dysfunction who visited a clinic at the University of Florence between 2002 and 2009.

When they looked at the records and separated the men on statins from the rest, they found that the men taking the drugs had double the risk of low testosterone, according to the study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

That's a real kick in the manhood... but the journal's editor, Dr. Irwin Goldstein, isn't surprised. He told HealthDay News that he sees patients several times a week who say they've had sex problems after starting on statins.

The authors of the study say the drugs appear to block the pituitary gland from signaling the testicles that they need to make more testosterone. So they stop... and you pay the price.

And if those low testosterone levels keep you from performing in the bedroom, then your spouse is feeling the statin side effects, too.

Now that they're trying to give these meds to millions of new patients who have perfectly normal cholesterol levels, it's possible that we're going to see a new wave of lonely nights in bedrooms across the nation.

Even without testosterone problems, these meds are bad news. Statins have been linked to debilitating muscle pain, kidney damage and even kidney failure. Yet tens of millions of Americans take them every single day, and are expected to keep taking them until the day they die, despite the fact that there are easier, safer ways to keep your cholesterol levels under control.

The first and best approach is something I've written to you about before: Keep your weight in check and get some steady exercise. Not only will these lifestyle changes help lower your cholesterol levels, but they will also keep you healthier overall and can even improve your sex life rather than harm it.

And that's true whether you have a cholesterol problem or not.

For a little more help, be sure you're getting enough omega-3 fatty acids. You might also want to talk to your doctor about phytosterols and red yeast rice, two natural (and far safer) alternatives to statins.

You don't have to kill your sex life just to lower your cholesterol levels.