Fears are growing over the side effects of cholesterol-lowering pills STATINS make regular users become older faster, leaving them open to long-term mental and physical decline, according to disturbing new research.
Scientists have found the heart disease drug badly affects our stem cells, the internal medical system which repairs damage to our bodies and protects us from muscle and joint pain as well as memory loss.
Last night experts warned patients to “think very carefully” before taking statins as a preventative medicine.
A GP expert in the field said: “They just make many patients feel years older. Side effects mimic the ageing process.”
The new research by scientists at Tulane University in New Orleans has reignited the debate about statin side effects which many doctors say have been played down.
They include memory loss, muscle pain, diabetes, cataracts, liver dysfunction, diabetes, fatigue and memory loss.
Millions of Britons currently take statins to combat the risks of heart attacks
“People who use statins as a preventative medicine for heath should think again as our research shows they may have general unwanted effects on the body which could include muscle pain, nerve problems and joint problems.”
This research reinforces what has long been suspected. The side effects of statins mimic the ageing process
Statins prevented stem cells from performing their main functions, to reproduce and replicate other cells in the body to carry out repairs.
The researchers found the statins prevented stem cells from generating new bone and cartilage.
They also found they increased ageing.
Professor Izadpanah said: “People at high risk of heart disease can reduce this risk by taking statins. However, considering the adverse effects of these drugs and their association with so many side effects, it is crucial people are fully aware of the risks before they take the treatment.”
“I observe patients on statins slowing down. Some are not affected, for some it is a relatively subtle process, but for many it is a serious side effect and one which disturbingly helps us confirm what we have long suspected.”
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence says the findings could save lives
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence claims this could save thousands of lives.
But critics say much of the trials data has never been made public and more work is needed to ensure routine use is not harmful.