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Statins

Statins is a group of drugs that is used to lower the level of cholesterol in the blood by reducing the production of cholesterol by the liver. Excess of cholesterol in the bloodstream is accumulated in arteries, like the coronary arteries of the heart, the arteries to the brain, and the arteries supplying blood to the legs. Cholesterol hardens and sticks to the artery walls, causing them to narrow and resulting in a condition called atherosclerosis. Statins reduce cholesterol by inhibiting a liver enzyme called HMG Co-A reductase, in-turn reducing the liver's ability to make cholesterol. Statins lowers LDL "bad" cholesterol levels significantly, it also reduces triglyceride levels, and increases levels of HDL "good" cholesterol making it perfect drug in controlling cholesterol levels in the blood. The benefits of Statins are:

  • Improve blood cholesterol levels
  • Reduces the size of plaques in the arteries.
  • It stabilizes plaques making them less likely to rupture.
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Decreases blood clot formation.

With all the benefits associated with Statins, there are a few side effects too:

  • Statins are associated with muscle problem. They sometimes cause muscle pain, muscle inflammation and in some cases severe muscle injury. Muscle problems begin within a few weeks or months after starting statin and when they are discontinued the problems usually go away.
  • Statins are said to cause memory loss in some cases but the relation between statins and memory loss is still not well established.
  • Liver damage
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Upset stomach
  • Rash

Grapefruit are taken by many as a part of their healthy heart diet but when you are also using statins at the same time you have to be careful. Grapefruit and certain kind of statins when interact together they result in an increased level of medication in the blood which increases the chances of developing serious muscle problems and sometimes even life-threatening complications. Grapefruit also interferes with the liver's ability to metabolize these medications.It is advised to avoid the consumption of grapefruit, in any form if you are taking statins to prevent possible adverse drug interactions.

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