The Effects Of Statins On Muscles And Exercise
I recommend this article by Gretchen Reynolds for The New York Times to any of you taking statins to lower your cholesterol. An incredible amount of cutting edge research is continually being done on this medication and it is critical that you know the good and bad effects of it. Reynold's piece provides the latest evidence about the effect of statins on muscle pain and exercise. You can read the article here and/or check out the quote below. More than 20 million Americans are taking statins, and by most estimates, at least 10 percent of them will experience some degree of muscle achiness or fatigue. That proportion rises to at least 25 percent among people taking statins who regularly exercise, and may be 75 percent or higher among competitive athletes. Why and how exercise interacts with statins to cause muscle problems remains unknown, in part because it’s more difficult to study molecular responses in people than in animals. (People generally dislike muscle biopsies.) But an eye-opening 2005 study of healthy young people taking statins showed that the gene expression profiles in their leg muscles after exercising were very different from those of volunteers not using statins. In particular, genes associated with muscle building and repair were “down-regulated,” or expressed less robustly, in the group using statins. "It seems possible that statins increase muscle damage” during and after exercise “and also interfere somewhat with the body’s ability to repair that damage,” says Dr. Paul Thompson, the chief of cardiology at Hartford Hospital in Connecticut and senior author of the study.