A Statin Rx Won’t Help… If You’re Fighting It

Are statins just a way to get to eat what you want?Human nature is a funny thing, isn’t it? So often, we just want a pill so that we don’t have to fix the issue ourselves.

“I’m overweight, so give me a diet pill – but I’m going to eat whatever I want.”

“I’m retaining water, so give me a diuretic – but let me eat those salty pretzels.”

“My cholesterol is high and I have risk factors for heart disease, so put me on a statin – but I want to keep my deep-fried foods.”

Statins and Increased Eating

A new study seems to suggest that those who take cholesterol-lowering drugs (called statins) may feel a false sense of security and eat a little more than they did before. In 1999-2000, U.S. adults taking statins ate less than those who didn’t take the drug. Ten years later, statin users were eating the same amount as non-users. Consumption among statin users increased by about 10 percent during the decade, with a significant increase of fat intake.

Dr. Takehiro Sugiyama, of the University of Tokyo in Japan, is the lead author of this new study. His conclusion? “We believe that physicians need to re-emphasize the importance of a healthy lifestyle to statin users.”

Statins are prescribed to lower cholesterol in the blood. When cholesterol is lowered, so is the risk of developing plaque in blood vessels and developing heart disease. More and more Americans are prescribed statins every year.

Studies conducted previously on this subject showed that there was no evidence that statin users ate more than non-users. However, use of the drugs has increased greatly since those studies were conducted.

Dr. David Frid, a staff cardiologist at Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, said about statins, “I think the biggest impact of this trial is that as physicians when we put patients on statins it shouldn’t be the end of the discussion about other lifestyle interventions.” (Dr. Frid was not involved in the new study.) “Even on a statin,” he said, “you do need to continue following your dietary recommendations.”

Have You Seen “Bad” Behavior?

What do you think? Do you believe statins give people a false sense of security, so that they “cheat” on the recommended lifestyle changes? Do you see this type of behavior in people who take other medications? Share your experiences! We would love to hear your comments below.

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