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What effects do statins have on our muscles?
Researchers have now found that so-called statin-induced medications, which are normally prescribed for people with high cholesterol, can weaken the muscles and nervous system of those affected.
In their current study, the scientists at ETH Zurich found that statin treatment in people with high cholesterol levels weakens the muscles and nervous system of those affected. The experts published the results of their study in the English-language journal "Cell Metabolism".
Statins reduce the formation of brown adipose tissue
According to current medical findings, statins reduce the formation of brown adipose tissue, which normally turns sugar and fat into heat. The brown adipose tissue helps people to regulate their body temperature better in winter, in addition, these people also suffer less from obesity or diabetes.
How do white fat cells become brown fat cells?
The research team dealt with the question of how white fat cells, which form the fat layer under our skin, become beneficial brown fat cells. When carrying out cell culture experiments, the experts then determined that the biochemical pathway responsible for cholesterol production plays a central role in this conversion. The scientists also discovered that the key molecule that regulates the conversion is the metabolite called geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate.
How do statins affect brown adipose tissue?
So-called positron emission tomography scans were also performed on 8,500 patients. This examination determined whether the test subjects had brown adipose tissue. The doctors were also informed whether the patients were taking statins. The analysis of the scans then showed that six percent of the patients who did not take the drug had brown adipose tissue. This type of tissue was only present in just over one percent of patients when taking statins.
Statins protect against cardiovascular diseases
The researchers conducted a separate clinical study on 16 people to show that statins reduce brown adipose tissue activity. It must be borne in mind that statins are incredibly important to prevent cardiovascular diseases. Statins save millions of lives around the world and are prescribed for a very good reason, explains study author Christian Wolfrum from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich). However, statins not only have a negative effect on brown adipose tissue, they have at least one other negative effect: in high doses they increase the risk of developing diabetes. (as)