New Study: Statins May Make You Fat

Great.  Now I have to worry about my cholesterol medicine making me fat.

A new study has found that people who take statins tend to eat more calories and fat than those who do not. According to newswise.com, "people who take statin drugs to lower their cholesterol appear to have developed a false sense of security that could lead to heart disease and other obesity-related illnesses."

That's because a new UCLA-led study suggests that people who took statins in 2009–2010 were consuming more calories and fat than those who used statins 10 years earlier. There was no similar increase in caloric and fat intake among non–stain users during that decade, researchers said.

In 1999–2000, statin users were consuming fewer calories and less fat than individuals who didn't take these medications, the Web site reports, but that is no longer the case. "Increases in body mass index — a measure of obesity that considers body weight and height — were greater for statin-users than for non-users," it notes.
"We believe that this is the first major study to show that people on statins eat more calories and fat than people on those medications did a decade earlier," newswise quotes the study's primary investigator, Takehiro Sugiyama, who led the research while a visiting scholar in the division of general internal medicine and health services research at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. "Statins are used by about one-sixth of adults. We may need to reemphasize the importance of dietary modification for those who are taking these medications, now that obesity and diabetes are important problems in society."
Statin-users ate roughly 180 kilogram (or about 400) calories less each day and 9 grams of fat less each day than non-users in 1999–2000. But as a result of increases over the decade, the researchers observed no difference in caloric and fat intake between statin users and non-users in 2009–10.  We're all eating too much!
Maybe we fool ourselves that since we're taking statins, we can eat whatever we want.  Wrong. I've lost about 20 pounds and upped my exercise significantly.  But my cholesterol is still higher than it should be.  
"Regardless of the mechanism, there are problems, because eating more fat, especially saturated fat, will lead to higher cholesterol levels, which will undermine the effect of statins and may lead to unnecessary cost of medications," Sugiyama said. "Being overweight also increases the risk of diabetes and hypertension, which also are risk factors for heart disease and stroke.

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