by Kevin DiDonato, MS, CSCS, CES
If you’re currently taking a prescription statin, then there is some important information you should know.
Yes, they are effective at reducing your cholesterol…
BUT, and this is a BIG but…
Although these same medications are good for lowering cholesterol, they may also be making you FAT!
Statins and Fat Loss
Cholesterol medications have been linked to a number of different health issues.
First, one major side effect of statins may be muscle pain or weakness (muscle myopathy), which could prevent you from working out, exercising, or just tending to your garden.
But, in a recent study, statins were also shown to reduce the benefits of exercise by impairing the way your body adapts to exercise.
Now, those two things may impair your body’s ability to burn extra calories and reap the benefits of exercise.
But, a new study shows that statins may also impair your body’s ability to burn fat!
The researchers wanted to see if statins reduced fat oxidation, therefore reducing the body’s ability to burn extra fat.
They took 14 elderly adults who were on statins and 14 adults – not on statins – and performed a test on respiratory exchange ratio during submaximal and maximal exercise.
From their testing, they discovered that subjects taking the statins had lower respiratory exchange ratios – in both the maximal and submaximal exercises – which could indicate a reduction in fat oxidation.
They also showed that free fatty acids were elevated by exercise in the statin group, compared to the control groups.
Also, fat oxidation (breakdown of fatty acids) was significantly REDUCED in adults taking the statin medications.
And, the availability of fat from the blood was also higher in the statin group compared to the controls.
“Although statin therapy normalizes blood lipoproteins, it reduced fat metabolism in older individuals, which cannot be a result of lower availability from blood.”
Are Statins Bad for Fat Loss?
Although statin drug therapy may be effective for reducing cholesterol and improving heart health, it may make it that much harder to burn extra fat.
Statin therapy may be associated with muscle weakness (myopathy); plus, it may limit the adaptations you may see from exercise.
But, a new study shows that statin therapy may also be linked to reduced fat oxidation, which could lead to excess fat gain.
This may increase your risk for weight gain and all the chronic diseases associated with it.
A change in your diet and exercise program may increase your fat loss results, therefore preventing excess fatty acids from being stored in your body.