From Dr. Gabe Mirkin’s Fitness and Health e-Zine
May 19, 2013
* Researchers measure fitness by a test called VO2max, the maximum amount of oxygen you can take in and use/body weight with vigorous exercise. As fitness levels increase, so does VO2max. In this study, exercise increased VO2max by 10 percent. However, for those who also took statins, exercise increased VO2max by only 1.5 percent. Some statin takers had their VO2max lowered by statins.
* Markers of mitochondrial function increased by 13 percent in those who exercised only. Those who also took statins lost 4.5 percent of mitochondrial function. Mitochondria are the principal source of energy for your muscles when you exercise. Defective mitochondria may well be the cause of cancer. Everything that increases mitochondrial function, size and number has also been shown to help to prevent or treat cancer.
* Those who only exercised lost more weight. The exercise-only group lost 1.7 percent of their body weight, compared to a gain of weight in those who took statins.
Other Data on Harmful Effects of Statins in Exercisers
Statins caused marathon runners to develop higher levels of muscle enzymes in their bloodstreams, signifying greater muscle damage. Statins cause muscle aches in many people who exercise, and those who exercise the most intensely are the ones most likely to suffer muscle pains from statins.
Statins Are Still Necessary for Some People
Statins have been shown to help lower the bad LDL cholesterol and help to prevent heart attacks. Most doctors recommend that you get your bad LDL cholesterol below 100 mg/dL (below 2.6 mmol/L if you live in Canada or Europe). If you are at high risk for heart disease, LDL should be below 70 mg/dL (below 1.8 mmol/L if you live in Canada or Europe).
My Recommendations Low levels of fitness are a major risk factor for heart attacks and premature death. I think that anyone who is not a regular exerciser and wants to take statins should first check with his or her doctor and start a supervised exercise program, and probably should lose weight.