Trials involving more than 170,000 people have shown that statins reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels.
In addition, the study revealed that for every 1mmol/L drop in LDL cholesterol there was “an important drop” in a person’s five year risk of cardiovascular disease.
What’s LDL cholesterol?
There are two types of cholesterol – low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL).
The arteries are responsible for delivering oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the tissues of the body, clarified Web MD.
When there’s too much LDL cholesterol, it can clump together and stick to artery walls, causing the blood passageway to narrow.
As a result, the heart pumps blood more ferociously, trying to force the blood to the body’s tissue (this increases blood pressure).
Furthermore, this can interfere with the blood flow to the brain and back to the heart, meaning the person could have a stroke or heart attack.
HDL cholesterol, on the other hand, picks up excess LDL cholesterol and transports it to the liver.
Once deposited at the liver, the LDL cholesterol is broken down and evacuated from the body.
The overall health benefits of taking statins is the reason why people might decide to just get on with any side effects.
However, the NHS wants people to discuss their symptoms with their doctor if they are bothering them.
Common symptoms can include:
- Feeling sick
- Feeling unusually tired or physically weak
- Digestive system problems, such as constipation, diarrhoea, indigestion or farting
- Sleep problems
- Low blood platelet count
“Your doctor may carry out a blood test to measure a substance in your blood called creatine kinase (CK),” the NHS added.
Should the results show that the CK levels are five times their normal level, you may be advised to stop taking the statins.
Alternatively, the dosage or brand of statin you are taking might be altered.
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Health Feed