Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Statins Plus Fitness Can Lower Mortality in Persons with Diabetes

Statins are often prescribed to patients to lower their cholesterol. Lowering cholesterol can help prevent strokes and heart attacks. And while statins can raise the risk of diabetes in some people who don’t have the disease, a study indicates that when combined with cardiorespiratory fitness, statins can lower mortality in those persons with diabetes.
Our bodies naturally produce cholesterol, and cholesterol is necessary for some bodily functions. Cholesterol is required in the coating of cells, it is necessary in bile acid composition (bile is used in food digestion.), and cholesterol is necessary in the production of Vitamin D and hormones, such as estrogen in women and testosterone in men.

But too much cholesterol is harmful in the form of the so called bad cholesterol, LDL. "[If] you have too much LDL in the bloodstream, it deposits the cholesterol into the arteries, which can cause blockages and lead to heart attacks." Statins reduce the amount of cholesterol that the liver produces. So statins are helpful because they can lower LDL. Statins can also slightly raise HDL, the good cholesterol.

And while some statins can raise the risk of type 2 diabetes, a recent study has concluded that when statins and cardiorespiratory fitness are combined in patients who already have type 2 diabetes, the risks of mortality are lowered for all BMI levels. (Cardiorespiratory fitness is a measure of how well the body gets oxygen, and how well the body uses the oxygen.)

In the above mentioned study, over 3000 U.S. type 2 male veterans were examined over a period of approximately ten years. And the researchers concluded that "Statin therapy was associated with increased survival in diabetic veterans, which was further enhanced when fitness and statin therapy were combined."

Weight loss and weight control experts continue to explore the potential effectiveness of appropriate medication on weight and metabolic conditions. As with statins, some medication can be useful in helping to attain a healthy state. But deliberate physical activity is also essential.

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