Statins warning: Dr Chris reveals the one fruit to steer clear of to avoid side effects
Statins are the main type of cholesterol-lowering drug. Yet, muscle pain is widely noted as a side effect. On ITV’s This Morning, Dr Chris revealed the medication’s interaction with a certain fruit can be the culprit.
On the morning of Thursday July 2, Dr Chris spoke to This Morning co-hosts Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby about the side effects of medication.
In particular, the famed doctor talked about statins and how they interact with grapefruit to cause muscle sensitivity.
Muscle weakness and tenderness is a reported side effect of statins, but who knew drinking or eating grapefruit could bring about this unwanted sensation?
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Cholesterol charity Heart UK assert that statins “work very well” to reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol up to “50 percent”.
Usually, statins don’t cause any side effects, reported the charity, but if they do, it’s possible to switch to another statin.
According to Dr Chris, should you suffer from muscle weakness due to the medication, it may be advisable to stay away from grapefruit.
Side effects of statins
Some of the side effects from statins noted below will apply to specific statins.
Should side effects be experienced, typical symptoms include a headache, dizziness and feeling sick.
Moreover, some people may suffer from digestive problems, such as constipation, diarrhoea, indigestion or farting.
The medication can cause sleep problems, low blood platelet count and make someone feel physically weak and unusually tired.
Rare side effects include hair loss, memory problems and inflammation of the liver (hepatitis).
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How do statins work?
Heart UK explained that statins slow down the production of LDL-cholesterol in the liver, where it’s made.
Statins do this by blocking an enzyme called HMG-CoA-Reductase. This highlights why the medical name for statins is HMG-CoA Reductase inhibitors.
The slowing down of cholesterol production encourages cholesterol to be collected from the blood, in order for bile to be created in the liver.
As cholesterol is collected from the bloodstream, blood cholesterol levels fall.
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A study, partially funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF), looked into the effectiveness of statins on different age groups.
For this study, the BHF collaborated with scientists at the University of Oxford and the University of Sydney.
They found that for every mmol/L (millimole per litre) reduction in LDL cholesterol, statins reduced the risk of a heart attack by 25 percent and a stroke by 21 percent across all age groups.
To gather this data, the research team investigated 28 major statins treatment clinical trials, totalling 186,854 people.
“These findings follow on from decades of research showing that people who have already suffered a heart attack or stroke will significantly lower their risk of a future event by taking [statins],” wrote the researchers.
BHF Medical Director Professor Sir Nilesh Samani said: “Age should not be a barrier to prescribing these potentially life-saving drugs to people who are likely to benefit.”
NHS England are currently reviewing whether high-dose statins can be made directly available from pharmacists.
At present, low-dose statins are available over the counter and the NHS reckon up to two-thirds of people at high risk of heart attack and stroke would benefit from taking statins.
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