Cholesterol Drugs Reduce Fitness Gains

Posted by juggernautPT on July 18, 2013

Cholesterol Drugs Reduce Fitness Gains
Cholesterol Drugs Reduce Fitness Gains

New research has found that cholesterol-lowering drugs, known as statins, could limit the cardiovascular benefits achievable by heart patients.

Researchers from the Clinical Research Center in the University of Missouri School of Medicine found thatwhile taking a daily 40 milligram dose of simvastatin, a group of 18 overweight or obese subjects did not achieve any significant fitness gains over a 12-week period, while another group of 19 participants that didn’t take the drug, but did undergo the same exercise program, did display improvement.

Study author John Thyfault, an associate professor at the centre said; ‘If you exercise a group of people, they are going to have an increase in their fitness. In our group who was only taking statins, the improvements were blocked or did not occur.’

Both statins and physical activity have been shown to independently lower cardiovascular disease risk, but this study indicates they may not work well together. Although the exercise-only group enjoyed a higher cardio fitness effect than the statin and exercise group (10 per cent versus 1.5 per cent), and a 13 per cent improvement in efficiency of converting glucose and oxygen into energy, the statin group did experience a 38 per cent decrease in ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol, while the exercise-only group saw no significant change.

‘Statins have saved lives, but I think physicians need to be careful about who they prescribe to, that it should be reserved for the most at-risk patients. We need to rethink it. Not like a lot of people used to say, that statins should be put in the water supply’ said Thyfault.

Source: Journal of the American College of Cardiology


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