Exercise and Your Cholesterol Lowering Drug. Don’t Bother

Fitness is important for the heart. But what if a common drug used to “protect” your heart completely erased the benefit of exercise?

Quite the conundrum, huh?

Or, at least, it would be for the mainstream medical provider who puts any degree of faith in statins for high cholesterol.

For everyone else who knows the dangers and the incredibly limited benefit, there is no conflict.  It is very well established that statins pretty much suck for preventing a first heart attack and aren’t too much better for secondary prevention either.  Just to make it worse, the list of side effects are quite long and are highlighted in my eBook on statins that can be found by clicking here.

While the side effects of cholesterol lowering drugs are all of concern, the ones related to the heart are of the gravest concern.  After all, aren’t we all taking statins to lower our risk of having a heart attack?

The irony is so strong that it would be laughable if we weren’t spending $20+ billion per year on these drugs.

This particular study finds yet another particularly disturbing side effect of cholesterol lowering drugs.  Here are the details:

  • 37 sedentary overweight or obese adults
  • At least 2 prediabetes risk factors
  • 12 weeks of aerobic exercise training or
  • Exercise in combination with simvastatin (Zocor-40 mg per day)
  • Cardio fitness and mitochondrial function (as measured by citrate synthase activity) were monitored.

And here are the results that should make any cardiologist think twice about prescribing this worthless class of drugs:

  1. Cardiorespiratory fitness increased by 10% in the exercise group.
  2. In the exercise group taking the statins, there was only a paltry 1.5% increase.
  3. Skeletal muscle mitochondrial function in the exercise group increased by 13%.
  4. In the statin group?  A drop of 4.5% in mitochondrial function.

Regular readers of the Rantings will know that I consider mitochondrial function as the holy grail of longevity.  Preserve or improve it, and life it good.  Worsen mitochondrial function and all hell will break loose.

Look at these results again.  Exercise, yes exercise, became worthless in the face of the intake of statin drugs.  Worse than worthless, mitochondrial function deteriorated during exercise, something that should never, ever, ever happen.

If your doctor has told you to take statins to avoid heart attacks, there is just no way he or she is actually reading the medical research centered around cholesterol lowering drugs.  There is no other valid excuse to write that prescription.

James Bogash

For more than a decade, Dr. Bogash has stayed current with the medical literature as it relates to physiology, disease prevention and disease management. He uses his knowledge to educate patients, the community and cyberspace on the best way to avoid and / or manage chronic diseases using lifestyle and targeted supplementation.