A new study confirms that cholesterol-lowering drugs (statins) have adverse acidic effects on skeletal muscles, which are the muscles that allow the body to move. The study, conducted by the University of Alabama at Birmingham, found that statin drugs cause muscle cramping, fatigue, and potential myopathy (weakness) which are all symptoms of latent tissue acidosis.
Fatigue is stage 1 acidosis side effect most often reported, and roughly nine percent of users also report statin-related pain. Increasing the dosage of statins can make both symptoms worse.
According to Dr. Robert O. Young, a research scientist at the pH Miracle Living Center, “you cannot have pain without acidity and acidity without pain. Bottom line, statin drugs are acidic and acids cause pain to the break down of body tissues.”
In an attempt to find whether there exists a definite cause-and-effect link between these symptoms and statins, the study focused on the effect of statins on muscle progenitor cells, which are also called satellite cells (SC). These cells, which are central in skeletal muscle regeneration and repair, come into play following exercise or injury, at which time they are stimulated to proliferate.
Research zeroed in on possible antiproliferative effects of statins on satellite cells, since statins are known to have such an effect on other types of cells. The study addressed whether statins inhibited the critical role of SCs and thereby harmed the health of skeletal muscles.
Human SC cultures were exposed to simvastatin (a statin drug marketed under the trade name “Zocor”) in order to discover whether it interfered with the ability of SCs to divide and make new cells, which is what they must do in order to repair injured muscles. The simvastatin had a definite slowing effect on division by the cultured cells. By interpolating the results, the researchers found that taking the equivalent of a 40 milligram daily dose reduces by 50 percent the capacity of SCs to divide, and therefore definitely compromises their ability to proliferate.
A member of the research team said, “While these are preliminary data and more research is necessary, the results indicate serious adverse effects of statins that may alter the ability of skeletal muscle to repair and regenerate due to the anti-proliferative effects of statins.”
Further, the team member expressed special concern for older patients: “We are very interested in these effects in the older population. It is possible that older adults may not be able to distinguish between muscle pain related to a statin effect or an effect of aging and therefore adverse effects of statins in older adults may be under-reported. Therefore, our next step is to examine statins among older adults.”
Dr. Young further states, “the body produces cholesterol to buffer or neutralize excess metabolic and dietary acidity from poor lifestyle and dietary choice. Cholesterol protects healthy tissue, including the heart from breakdown. To reduce cholesterol unnaturally with acidic statin drugs may only lead to increased risk of fatigue, pain, stroke, and heart attack.”