Statin Drugs Cause Fatigue and Inability to Exercise

By: Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist
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A new study shows that the widely prescribed statin cholesterol drugs cause fatigue and inability to exercise. The only thing shocking about this study was the statin-friendly commentary by some, downplaying the importance of fatigue as a side effect. I beg to differ. Energy is the backbone for sustaining life. The better your energetic conditioning and baseline energy level, the longer you will live. Any drug that interferes with energy production is dangerous, and its long-term use should be avoided. It will shorten your life. No science will ever contradict such a fundamental principle of health.

The study showed that statins, especially in women, cause fatigue and easier fatigue when they exert themselves (such as exercise). According to the researchers these effects can sometimes take a while to show up, indicating a slow and progressive deterioration in muscle and energy function over time. Some individuals may not recognize that their fatigue is coming from the statins, since it sometimes does not happen immediately. These researchers concluded that, “These unfavorable effects were not uncommon. These findings are important, given the central relevance of energy and functional status to well-being.”

It is hard to find individuals in such bad shape that the loss of energy is less of an issue than the severity of their cardiovascular risk. This means that 95 to 98 percent of the people getting statins should not be on them. Doctors want people on these for life—more than a decade. That makes no sense. Nor does it make sense to give statins to children or for any type of primary prevention.

I reported for years on a 1996 study showing that statins interfere with coenzyme Q10 production, increase the production of lactic acid by cells, and decrease the production of energy. This happens in everyone who takes them, to a greater or lesser degree. No rational argument can be made for a drug that causes energy loss.

Statins are now fully proven to make a person less active and more energetically feeble. If you want to live longer you need to exercise more often and improve your fitness and energetic conditioning. Statins are an enemy to that result.

These findings do not mean you should ignore a cholesterol problem. It means you should understand the red flag waving in your face and take steps to actually improve your health. In my article, The Five Key Things You Can Do to Lower LDL Cholesterol Healthfully, I cover the basics that apply to the majority of people with elevated cholesterol.

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