Log in
Cholesterol Support
8,260 members2,329 posts

Help needed

I am a man of 63 and after resisting taking a Statin that my DR kept advising me to take, because of a heightened risk of heart attack because of my high BP. I succumbed. It took my Cholesterol ratio from 5.9 to 3.6 happy yes.... The problem I have always exercised aerobic on the treadmill 5+km 4 days 43mins at 7kmh and 2min HIT at 9km also 4 days moderate loose weights upper body workout . These exercise's up until now kept my midriff reasonably trim, but recently on the statin there has been a gradual thickening of the waist nothing drastic, but it worries me if I cut back any, what would happen. I then read this report


researchers from the University of Missouri and other institutions gathered a group of overweight, sedentary men and women, all of whom had multiple symptoms of metabolic problems, including wide waistlines, high blood pressure or excess abdominal fat.

Most had slightly but not dangerously elevated cholesterol levels.

None had exercised regularly in the past year.

All underwent muscle biopsies and treadmill testing to determine their aerobic fitness — which was generally quite low — and agreed to continue with their normal diet.

Then they all began a supervised 12-week exercise program, during which they visited the university lab five times a week and walked or jogged on a treadmill for 45 minutes at a moderately vigorous pace (about 65 to 70 percent of their individual aerobic maximum).

Half of the group also began taking a daily 40-milligram dose of simvastatin, a particular type of statin sold under the brand name Zocor.

At the end of 12 weeks, the participants fitness and muscles were retested.

Statins, as most of us know, are medications designed to reduce the body’s cholesterol levels, particularly levels of low-density lipoprotein, or “bad” cholesterol. The drugs routinely are prescribed for those with high cholesterol and other risk factors for heart disease, and some physicians believe that they should be used prophylactically by virtually everyone over 50.

Exercise also typically is recommended as a means of fighting heart disease and prolonging life span.

And both statins and sweating indisputably are effective. In past studies, researchers have shown that statins reduce the risk of a heart attack in people at high risk by 10 to 20 percent for every 1-millimole-per-liter reduction in blood cholesterol levels (millimoles measure the actual number of cholesterol molecules in the bloodstream), equivalent to about a 40-point drop in LDL levels. Meanwhile, improving aerobic fitness by even a small percentage through exercise likewise has been found to lessen someone’s likelihood of dying prematurely by as much as 50 percent.

So, theoretically, it would seem that combining statins and exercise should provide the greatest possible health benefit.

But until the current study, no experiment scrupulously had explored the interactions of statin drugs and workouts in people. And the results, as it turns out, are worrisome.

The current study, no experiment scrupulouslyhad explored the interactions of statin drugs and workouts in people. And the results, as it turns out, are worrisome.

The unmedicated volunteers improved their aerobic fitness significantly after three months of exercise, by more than 10 percent on average. But the volunteers taking the statins gained barely 1 percent on average in their fitness, and some possessed less aerobic capacity at the end of the study than at its start.

Why there should be such a discrepancy between the two groups’ fitness levels wasn’t clear on the surface. But when the researchers looked microscopically at biopsied muscle tissue, they found notable differences in the levels of an enzyme related to the health of mitochondria, the tiny energy-producing parts of a cell. Mitochondria generally increase in number and potency when someone exercises.

But in the volunteers taking statins, enzyme levels related to mitochondrial health fell by about 4.5 percent over the course of the experiment. The same levels increased by 13 percent in the group not taking the drug.

In effect, the volunteers taking statins “were not getting the same bang from their exercise buck” as the other exercisers, says John P. Thyfault, a professor of nutrition and exercise physiology.


This must be bad news for overweight people on statins that their exercising is negated by the statin keeping them overweight .... the thought is exercise to get the weight down before starting on statins ...

but for people like me I have a problem, as I don't want to discontinue the statin and waste the benefit of the 3.6 but also don't want an increase in waistline... So since this report is there a way round it or do athlete trainers , nutritionists know what I can do exercise wise to negate the statin effect ?

17 Replies

Cholesterol dropping from 5.9 to 3.6 might not be a benefit.

Get a CAC heart scan if you want to know what calcified plaque you already have (if any). And get a full lipid panel, HbA1C, CRP, Vit D3, Vit B12.. and Magnesium RBC. These are the basics, but they should reveal quite a bit. Always get the full printout of lab results WITH the lab reference ranges (written alongside each result).

1 like

What help do you need buddy?

1 like

The report came out in 2013, I would like to know if there was a current statin busting exercise routine or nutrition that counteracts the Statin from negating my current exercise routine. Which before the statin kept my waistline normal, instead of what is happening now, a slow thickening which worries me, because if I had to cut my routine for any reason my waistline could get even worse ...... as the report said seems to be true in my case ..... "The unmedicated volunteers improved their aerobic fitness significantly after three months of exercise, by more than 10 percent on average. But the volunteers taking the statins gained barely 1 percent on average in their fitness" So a statin busting exercise routine or nutrition diet .... and if possible to reduce my BP of 143/92 on medication to a lower figure ( I will try Londinium suggestion for the BP of a magnesium supplement for that ,but I did hear it makes only a slight reduction) ...thx


it's the suggestion of renowned Vascular Surgeon Prof. Sherif Sultan, and progressive-minded Cardiologists recommend it too. I'm surprised you hadn't known that, and hadn't tried that, prior to using the prescription drugs?

Do you have proven advanced cardiovascular disease? If not, why are you taking statins?


Thank you for your information, I will be taking up the suggestion of one of your Profs videos of adding a magnesium supplement .. I had read of it before but it suggested only a slight decrease in high BP so didn't take it up then. As for the other, the statin it hasn't caused any muscle pain..hence my continuing workout routine . So don't think its Myopathy. It's the lack of the continued benefit of theses workouts since taking statins which is the problem on the waistline ...

I am considering your suggestion of a CAC to see if I need a statin, never considered it before, I just saw the results of the bloods showing 5.9 which the Dr advised was high.. I resisted the Dr's advice to take statin's for a long time, but relented and saw the advantage with the cholesterol going from 5.9 to 3.6.. it wasn't till the lack of benefit of my regular workouts with a midriff gain normally kept at bay by the exercise .. I am still checking out the lipid panel you suggested,but no use asking my Dr as he is happy just dolling out pills ( I have once already changed Drs for lack of interest ) as he also gave me a blood thinning called Clopidogrel but the prescription I have left unused.

As for your question about " have proven advanced cardiovascular disease?" I personally don't see it as advanced so no suggested by me it is... and the Dr has never mentioned it as being advanced. He as my physician diagnosed due to the age factor the high BP and what he regarded as high cholesterol 5.9 I was at what he called" risk " .... hence the BP meds and the much resisted statin use.

I did try natural ways of "fasting" which I did two days week no real benefit in BP or cholesterol .... now out of boredom of the continual fasting I have gone to one day a week ... I tried stenols through drinks. yogurts etc found them useless for me anyway ... I also tried kefir each morning but just increased my weight and no real benifit... I am not overweight but see a worrying thickening of the waistline because the statins seem to be negating the exercise now, so if I had to stop I would be worried I would gain a unhealthy weight on top of the other symptoms I seem according to the DR need the meds for.


I think your doctor's practising idiot-style medicine. 5.9 isn't a high Cholesterol. Of far more relevance is Vit D3, Vit B12, Triglycerides, HDL, CRP, and HbA1C.

Statins are known to increase risk of many things, including cataracts, diabetes, dementia, myopathy, CoQ10 depletion, arteriosclerosis and heart failure. If you think it's worth taking statins when you were not even shown to have proven advanced cardiovascular disease, then that's your choice.

1 like

It is cholesterol ratio!!!!

"It took my Cholesterol ratio from 5.9 to 3.6 happy yes...."


I must admit my confidence in my local GP's isn't good, I think I have indicated that ... and I am aware of Statin risks, but I also know for a layman like myself its difficult, because of the conflicting evidence posted on the net by expert Dr's on both sides which is contrary to each other .... hence my resistance in taking Statins ......

You say the 5.9 ratio isn't high or an indication of advanced cardio disease which could be true [ what is the proven indication of advanced Cardio disease ? ] ... but when you are told your 5.9 ratio makes you at increased risk of heart attack by your physician, and especially when he can show you, this is also the thinking of professionals in the advice given out by NHS ,it tends to sway a layman's decision the risk may be real ......NHS Quotes.. "Your ratio of total cholesterol to HDL may also be calculated. This is your total cholesterol level divided by your HDL level. Generally, this ratio should be below 4, as a higher ratio increases your risk of heart disease" This showed to me my risk was real ,when he also combined it with my high BP and age.


I already mentioned Magnesium in relation to BP and cardiovascular system. And I said this regarding actual cardiovascular evaluation: "Get a CAC heart scan if you want to know what calcified plaque you already have (if any)." And you replied: "I am considering your suggestion of a CAC to see if I need a statin."

There are options instead of, or in addition to, statins. But you seem to have taken the statin route, despite no one proving your actual (not your suspected or imagined) cardiovascular status.

As I said before, regarding your cholesterol, lipids and other lab tests, it's always best to provide the lab results WITH the reference ranges... but you've not provided Vit D3, Vit B12, Triglycerides, HDL, CRP, HbA1C... or anything else.

1 like

I think explained why I reluctantly went down the statin route not "despite of " but "due to" the "evidence of" presented to me on my risk of heart attack due to the 5.9 cholesterol ratio being above the NHS advice "ratio should be below 4, as a higher ratio increases your risk of heart disease" plus the added risk of the high BP and age...

You say there is options apart from statins, well that was my original question for help, was .... what are they? ..... if you notice on the other posts I did try some natural alternatives I had read about by other experts and GPS but they didn't work before the statin route .

I will try your suggestion of magnesium and thank you for it if it works. I am as you said considering the CAC .


As I suggested before, it's best to get your lab printouts.. and then post them on this forum - if you want people's opinions. And get a CAC scan if you want to know your present level of calcified plaque.

Ps. My cholesterol was/is double yours, and I was told, years ago, by a hospital cardiologist that I must take statins and have no choice over the matter because, as far as he was concerned, "it is a matter of life and death". I chose life.. without statins.. and I'm still here.

I take a few nutrients e.g. Vit D3, Magnesium, CoQ10, Vit K, etc. But there's little point in talking around and around and around the issue.. when you haven't even posted your lab results WITH the reference ranges.


Oh.. Okays that is simple..

Prunes and goats yoghurt.. Every day, at night. Let me know how you get on after 4 weeks.

1 like

I wish it was Arty.... So are you suggesting in replacement of the statin , because if you see my second reply to Londunium I tried many natural methods to reduce the cholesterol all to no avail....


Since being on statins I have lost 35kg. I exercise most days. Cycle walk run gym kayak golf. My midriff certainly reduced. I gave up Google doctoring. That helped the over thinking everything.

1 like

I am glad it worked for you Andyman but it hasn't for me .... I didn't dwell on the report on google ,it just confirmed the unexplained, of the thickening of my waist on starting on a statin ...... that before on the same exercise routine.... up until the medication had kept it reasonably trim . Maybe a change of statin needed ... maybe to yours if the effect to your waist and weight has been beneficial which one do you take if you don't mind me asking .... I was given Liptor Atorvastatin. .


I take Atorvastatin. And I think that just goes to show we are all different. And why we cannot go on what others say. Good to hear but then follow what our bodies are saying. Good luck with the waist. Don't be put off from exercise which i am sure you wont.

1 like

You are talking about your cholesterol coming down from 5.9 to 3.6.

What are your lipid numbers?, total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, VLDL and triglyceride?

You station medication brought your cholesterol ration to 3.6, so this is Total Cholesterol / HDL?

AS we age some of the blood test numbers do change, blood pressure, blood glucose and blood cholesterol.

you want to bring your BP from 143/92 to what BP value? Normal BP is considered to be anything below 120/80.

BP of 143/92 "Is this done at home?"

We need cholesterol in our body to function to let us do day to day activities. Man made numbers are questionable?

Take it easy and enjoy one life.


You may also like...