How statins undo exercise
"No pain, no gain!" That's what they say about exercise, right?
But cholesterol-lowering statin drugs can turn exercise for physical fitness into an exercise in futility -- because new research shows they can actually undo all your hard work and even block some of the most important benefits.
In other words, all pain -- with no gain.
In the study, two groups of overweight, sedentary, and unhealthy volunteers were put onto physical fitness programs. Half got statins, half did not.
After 12 weeks, the ones who didn't take the drugs got all the expected benefits, including a 10 percent improvement in physical fitness and a 13 percent increase in the activity of an enzyme used to measure the health of muscle mitochondria -- or the part of the cells that produce energy for the muscle.
The ones who took the statins, on the other hand, went in the opposite direction. They had virtually no gain in physical fitness, with an average improvement of less than 1 percent. Some of the volunteers even saw their aerobic fitness levels worsen.
Imagine that -- working hard for three months, and getting worse!
And it doesn't end there, either. Remember those all-important mitochondria? The enzyme levels actually fell by an average of 4.5 percent.
The study has shocked some in the mainstream, but it's consistent with the rest of the research on statin drugs. We know, for example, that marathon runners on statins suffer more muscle damage during a race. We also know that lab animals given the drugs don't run as far as animals not on the drugs.
And of course one of the most notorious side effects of statin drugs is muscle pain -- in some cases, pain so severe it can be debilitating.
My suggestion is to make sure you get your exercise no matter what. But if you're on statins, speak to a holistic doctor about finding a way off -- because most people don't even need the drugs in the first place.
If you want to know more about why, read my free report on cholesterol here.