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Expert warns: this food can aggravate statin side effects

When you're on statins, you should be careful about your food choices - expert warns

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According to a study, between 18% to 20% of statin users experience side effects, which increases the likelihood of a heart attack or stroke.

There’s no question that statins help prevent recurrent heart problems by lowering the risk of heart attack and stroke by up to 40%. That’s not the question, and doctors routinely prescribe the drugs for anyone who has had a heart attack, angina or bypass surgery.

Many experts believe that people who are on statin should take care of their diet as there are some foods that can aggravate statin side effects.

Dietician Roxane Bakker says when you are on statins, you should be careful about your food choices.

Statins are prescribed to individuals who are diagnosed with high blood lipids and those who are at higher risk of developing heart (cardiovascular) disease.

There is limited research to suggest a direct link between foods and the functioning of statins except for grapefruit (including grapefruit juice).

However, certain foods and nutrients should be limited when diagnosed with high cholesterol, so that you can support your body in reducing your blood lipids to healthy levels.

Mrs Bakker on how food could interfere with statin use, said:

Certain foods and nutrients in our diet may exacerbate symptoms associated with statin use.

These include sugar, alcohol, caffeine and the fatty acid omega 6.

Numerous studies suggest that processed sugar releases proinflammatory substances in the body, causing inflammation which could lead to greater pain.

If you experience muscle aches and pains, take a look at the amount of sugar you are consuming (beware of those pesky hidden sugars in dressings, sauces and tinned foods) and look for healthier alternatives.

Mrs. Bakker warned that people on statins should cut alcohol and caffine intake.

She added:

Alcohol and caffeine are two substances that have a bad reputation.

Research reveals they stimulate our inflammatory response which could lead to further discomfort.

For the foods which will help with any side effects from statin use, Mrs Bakker suggests meat, legumes and broccoli.

They contain a co-enzyme known as Q10 and has been shown to decrease muscle pain and discomfort in those taking the drug.

Another well-known food type to stay away from is grapefruits, the juice can block the action of CYP3A4, which means more of the medication enters the bloodstream and stays in the body for longer.

As people have differing amounts of the enzyme in their small intestine, grapefruit juice can affect people differently, even if they’re taking the same medication.

The FDA confirmed that mixing grapefruit and statins could lead to an increased risk for liver and muscle damage.

These two side effects may even lead to kidney failure, which is a serious complication.

Image Credit: Getty

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