St. Paul Chiropractor Blog

Health. Wellness. For Life.

Statin Drugs Prevent Benefits From Exercise

A package and pill of atorvastatin 40mg (Lipitor).

A package and pill of atorvastatin 40mg (Lipitor). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Statins are a popular drug among physicians – they are the most prescribed class of drugs.  People are given statins to help lower cholesterol.  They are marketed heavily as a necessary component in fighting cardiovascular disease.

When diet and exercise are not enough, ask your doctor about Lipitor.

We’ve all heard the commercials.  We’ve seen the smiling faces.  It’s simple really – just pop this pill and avoid heart disease.  High cholesterol is bad, low cholesterol is good – and statin drugs like Lipitor, Crestor, and Vytorin are the answer.  And pay no attention to the fast-talking, lowered voice in the background as it rattles off the list of side effects.

This makes the huge assumption that this individual is actually making the lifestyle changes and to the degree necessary for the desired result.

Now evidence points to the notion that adverse side effects are actually greater when the individual exercises.

Great.

So an individual striving  to be proactive and start exercising may learn they no longer have the same capacity to work out – now that they are taking the statin drug.

This recent article in the NY Times details the research:

To learn more about the effect statins have on exercising muscles, scientists in Strasbourg, France, recently gave the cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor to a group of rats for two weeks, while a separate control group was not medicated. Some of the rats from both groups ran on little treadmills until they were exhausted.

It was immediately obvious that the medicated animals couldn’t run as far. They became exhausted much earlier than the rats that had not been given statins.

The differences were even more striking at a cellular level. When the scientists studied muscle tissues, they found that oxidative stress, a measure of possible cell damage, was increased by 60 percent in sedentary animals receiving statins, compared with the unmedicated control group.

The effect was magnified in the runners, whose cells showed 226 percent more oxidative stress than exercising animals that had not been given statins.  (Full article: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/14/do-statins-make-it-tough-to-exercise/#)

Statin drugs should be more heavily scrutinized.  Hampering your ability to exercise is a ridiculous barrier to enter into the equation.  Most people prescribed a statin will be refilling it for the rest of their lives.  Can you imagine having difficulty with physical activity for the rest of your life?

Every individual should think long and hard about this as a decision.  You maybe haven’t been told you have high cholesterol and need a statin.  Perfect – let’s keep it that way!  Health is not something you pick up from your doctor.  It definitely doesn’t come in a pill.  In most cases, it is earned.

How do you earn it?

Living a chiropractic lifestyle means living naturally in a way to maximize your health.

This includes actually doing the proper amount and kind of exercise that yields the most benefit. This means eating the proper foods.  And this means maintaining a nervous system free of interference so that your body can function fully and optimally.

Need help getting started?  Call us – we’re here to help!

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