Statins warning: The drink that may ‘block’ the cardio-protective effects of the drug
Statins: How the drug prevents heart attacks and strokes
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Statins are the first choice of drug for patients with hyper-cholesterolemia. The drug works by inhibiting the production of cholesterol in the liver. Coupled with certain beverages, however, the drug’s effects may become unfavourable. Coffee, for instance, has been found to block the protective effects of the drug against heart attack.
According to the Medical News Bulletin: “Statins are a family of blood cholesterol-lowering drugs that act by inhibiting the production of cholesterol in the liver.”
The drugs have garnered a significant amount of praise for their benefits, but their side effects haven’t got unnoticed.
Those avoiding complications on the drug are advised to take precautionary measures.
This sometimes involves avoiding certain foods.
Some foods can interact with the drug to increase its side effects, while others may prevent the pills from working correctly.
Writing in the journal Cardiovascular Drugs Therapy, researchers explained: “Caffeine is a nonspecific adenosine receptor blocker, and thus drinking caffeinated coffee may block the myocardial protective effects of statins.”
Statins are taken mainly for their ability to enhance myocardial protection in at-risk patients.
While the study provided evidence that coffee intake blunt statin-induced cardio-protection, further studies are needed to confirm this.
There is, however, growing evidence that green tea and its derivative interact with several cardiovascular drugs.
The Medical News Bulletin notes: “Studies have found that green tea can interact with both statins Simvastatin and Rosuvastatin to alter their kinetic profiles in the body.
“Recent research shows that alternations in the kinetics of Rosuvastatin are likely due to green tea inhibiting metabolic liver enzymes, which are for the absorption of Rosuvastatin.”
Reporting in the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers described the case of a man who developed muscle pain while taking Simvastatin.
READ: Statins: The sign on your skin that could turn ‘aggressive’ and ‘fatal
“But when he stopped drinking his usual three or more cups of green tea a day, he was able to take Simvastatin without any pain,” the authors noted.
“Tests showed that on the same 20-milligram dose of Simvastatin, the man had twice as much of the statin in the bloodstream as he did when he took a break from drinking it.”
Several other studies have highlighted a direct link between the consumption of coffee and elevated cholesterol.
In fact, it’s been suggested that coffee oils may decrease bile acids and neutral sterols, fueling an increase in lipids.
Researchers have concluded from some research that cafestol is the most potent cholesterol-elevating compound identified in the human diet.
Another drink to avoid on statins is grapefruit juice, which can elevate the risk of undesirable side effects.
The fruit can cause the drug to lurk in the bloodstream for longer, causing a build-up which eventually leads to the breakdown of muscles.
“This can increase the risk of muscle breakdown, liver damage and even kidney failure,” warns Healthline.
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