Exercise could help thousands of patients taking statins because of muscle aches



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Researchers Say Moderate Exercise Could Help Patients Taking Cholesterol Stats to Fight the Most Common Side Effects of Muscle Pain

  • About six million Britons take statins at £ 20 per patient
  • Between 15 and 20% of patients who take them report a form of muscle pain
  • The discovery could lead to ways to prevent dozens of patients from dropping the drugs

The researchers believe that moderate exercise can be the antidote to the most common side effects of statins.

Thousands of patients taking cholesterol pills experience muscle pain after taking these medications.

And scientists now claim that they know why, in a breakthrough that could lead to ways to prevent many patients from dropping life-saving drugs.

Thousands of patients taking cholesterol pills experience muscle pain after taking the medications

Thousands of patients taking cholesterol pills experience muscle pain after taking the medications

About six million Britons take statins, avoiding 80,000 heart attacks and strokes each year, at a cost of about £ 20 per year per patient.

Many others start taking the drugs but stop – between 15 and 20% of patients reporting a form of muscle pain.

Doctors believe that tens of thousands of people die each year in Britain because they are fleeing life-saving pills, often because of side effects.

Researchers at the University of Leeds and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden have discovered that statins can cause spontaneous leakage of calcium from storage compartments in muscle cells.

Unregulated calcium leaks can damage muscle cells and cause muscle pain and weakness.

In most people, muscle cells can tolerate this leak of calcium, according to the study funded by the British Heart Foundation.

But in people already sensitive because of their genes or their lifestyle, it could overwhelm muscle cells, which would cause muscle pain and weakness.

WHY STATINES ARE CONTROVERSIES?

Statins are the most commonly prescribed medicine in the world and it is estimated that 30% of all adults over 40 years old have the right to take them.

Cholesterol-lowering medications are given to people considered to be at least 10% risk of developing cardiovascular disease or having a heart attack or stroke in the next 10 years.

It has been proven that these drugs help people who have had heart problems, but experts believe that the thresholds may be too high, which means that the benefits are offset by the side effects for many people.

Almost all men are over the threshold of 10% at age 65, and all women at age 70, regardless of their health.

Commonly reported side effects are headache, muscle aches and nausea. Statins can also increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, hepatitis, pancreatitis and vision problems or memory loss.

A study published in the Pharmaceutical Journal last year found that taking a daily statin for five years after a heart attack prolongs your life by just four days, reveals a new study.

And Dr. Rita Redberg, a professor at the University of California at San Francisco, told CNN in January that out of 100 people taking statins for five years without having a heart attack or stroke, "the best estimate is that one or two people will avoid a heart attack, and none will live longer, taking statins.

The team of scientists said their findings suggest why only some people have muscle pain after taking statins.

The researchers also showed that exercise could prevent changes that lead to calcium leakage.

And it may be an effective way for people taking statins to avoid muscle symptoms, they wrote in JACC: Basics of Translational Science.

The team tested the effects of statins on muscle biopsies of patients taking long-term statins and statin-treated rats for four weeks.

They discovered that statins include gatekeeper proteins called ryanodine receptors, which control the release of calcium from storage compartments in muscle cells.

This resulted in spontaneous and irregular calcium leaks that could trigger cell death signals.

These favorable death signals were elevated in the muscles of statin-treated individuals and rats compared to untreated controls.

However, scientists found that statins did not affect muscle function or muscle strength in rats, despite cellular changes.

They added that research also suggests that the potentially harmful effects of statins on muscles can be countered by exercise.

When the rats had free access to an exercise wheel, the statins-related modifications of the gatekeeper proteins no longer occurred.

The team of researchers also observed that rats treated with statins were twice as far apart as the control rats.

Professor Metin Avkiran, Associate Medical Director at BHF, said, "Statins are life-saving medicines and most people who take them do not experience any side effects.

"Those who suffer from muscle pain and weakness should always ask their doctor if a different statin or dose could solve the problem.

"Identifying the effect of statins on the biology of muscle cells is the first step in preventing potential muscle side effects – and ensuring that people sensitive to these side effects do not lose the protection offered by statins."

The researchers acknowledged that they did not directly show that the cellular changes were causing muscle weakness and pain in people, but they also noted that it was likely.

The proposed mechanism could also explain why heart muscle, which contains different regulatory proteins for calcium release, is protected against the potentially harmful effects of statins.

HOW MUCH EXERCISE DO YOU NEED TO DO?

To stay healthy, adults between the ages of 19 and 64 should try to exercise daily and should:

  • at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity, such as cycling or brisk walking, every week, and
  • Bodybuilding exercises on 2 or more days a week that involve all major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms)

Or:

  • 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity such as running or singles tennis each week and
  • Bodybuilding exercises on 2 or more days a week that involve all major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms)

Or:

  • a mixture of moderate and vigorous aerobic activity each week – for example, 2 strokes of 30 minutes plus 30 minutes of brisk walking equals 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity and
  • Bodybuilding exercises on 2 or more days a week that involve all major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms)

As a rule, a minute of intense physical activity provides the same health benefits as two minutes of moderate physical activity.

One way to do the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity a week is to do 30 minutes every 5 days.

All adults should also break their long sitting periods by doing light activity.

Source: NHS

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