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News2013July › Statin drugs block any positive effects of exercise › July 2013

Statin drugs block any positive effects of exercise

If you're overweight and over 50, your doctor is likely to hand out a statin drug to lower your cholesterol levels, while urging you to exercise more

If you're overweight and over 50, your doctor is likely to hand out a statin drug to lower your cholesterol levels, while urging you to exercise more. What the doctor doesn't realise is that the drug stops you getting fit from any physical activity.
Statins-and especially simvastatin, marketed as Zocor-block any positive effects that exercising might otherwise have, researchers have discovered.
People who take the statin and start exercising as the doctor ordered will find their cardio-respiratory (heart and lung) and skeletal-muscle levels remain the same, even if they have been regularly exercising.
Researchers from the University of Missouri monitored a group of 37 individuals, aged between 25 and 59, who were overweight and had not exercised; of these, 18 had also started to take 40 mg of simvastatin daily.
They all followed the same exercise regime for three months, but those taking the statin saw almost no improvement in their health, while the non-statin group achieved a 10 per cent improvement in their cardio-respiratory fitness and a 13 per cent increase in their skeletal-muscle system. In fact, those taking a statin saw a nearly 5 per cent drop in skeletal-muscle efficiency, despite exercising.
(Source: Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 2013; doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2013.02.074)

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