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University of Missouri

Second Thoughts on Cholesterol Pill

MU research shows downsides to statins, a class of drugs that reduce cholesterol.

pill bottle


Taking statins, a class of cholesterol‐reducing pharmaceuticals, used to be considered as natural to aging as bifocals. Forty million Americans are on them. But new research from MU, done in part at the Truman Veterans Hospital, joins a growing chorus warning of downsides to their widespread use. John Thyfault, associate professor of nutrition and exercise physiology, writes in a forthcoming article in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology that fat‐soluble statins blocked the ability of exercise to improve fitness in obese adults. That’s important, he says, because low fitness is a prime indicator of early mortality. Thyfault seeks more grant funding to determine how fitness is blocked and if water‐soluble statins behave similarly.