Do statins permanently reduce LDL levels in blood?

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Main Question or Discussion Point

Statins are often prescribed by doctors to people who have a high level of LDL in their blood. I have also read that statins help in boosting HDL to some extent, but that is not of interest in this thread.

Consider the case where a person has been prescribed statin by a doctor. After two months, the patient sees that his/her LDL has come within the normal limits. Also assume that during this time, the patient has brought about a change in his/her lifestyle and reduced the intake of foods containing LDL to a negligible level. Now if the person discontinues the statin, will the LDL level remain in the normal range (provided, of course, the patient continues the healthy lifestyle)? In other words, do statins permanently reduce LDL, or is the effect temporary?

When I say the effect is "temporary", I mean the following: drugs regulating blood pressure, like telmisartan or olmesartan medomoxil (both widely used in my country) work only if they are taken everyday. So, their effect is temporary.

N.B.: I am not discussing whether a patient should discontinue statins; instead, I am interested in knowing what happens if it is discontinued. No post in this thread is a medical advice, and one should strictly follow their doctor's advice before starting/discontinuing any drug. Neither Physics Forums nor any member thereof (including me) should be held responsible if anyone decides to self-medicate based on anything posted here. For more information, please read this thread.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
BillTre
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Statins are taken periodically (I take one).
Therefore by your definition, they are temporary.

Off the top of my head, I can't think of any treatment like that that is not temporary unless it is killed an pathogen or cancer, or treating a temporary nutritional problem.

Well, I guess a vaccine is like that since it can provoke a change in the immune systems development of particular antibodies.
 
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  • #3
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If you're taking statins, please ask your physician about CoQ10 supplements.

From: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/ar...ounds that induce,HMG-CoA into mevalonic acid.

By blocking HMG-CoA reductase, statins induce a decrease in cholesterol level and simultaneously other by-products of the mevalonate pathway such as farnesyl pyrophosphate (FPP), geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate (GGPP), dolichols and coenzyme Q10 [12,13].[/quote]

CoQ10, aka ubiquinone, is important for mitochondrial function, and privation of it is known to produce neural problems.​
 
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  • #4
Laroxe
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Generally when a person is prescribed statins it is expected that this would be for life, their effect on blood fats takes a few weeks to get going and if the statins are stopped they tend to return to baseline in a few weeks. The effect of the statins on blood fats tends to be more powerful and more predictable than changes to the diet. There is still some debate whether the benefits of statins are just down to the effects on blood fats, there may be other effects that are also clinically useful.
There are lots of issues when it comes to the effects of lifestyle changes, at a population level the effects are clearly of benefit, though there are large differences between individuals, as the overall effects can be small the research is all over the place. The fact is that fats like cholesterol are essential and are involved in a lot of our body processes, if you don't eat what your body thinks it needs it simply produces it.
Its now considered carbohydrate intake may be more important than fat intake in controlling blood lipid levels. There is an increasing move towards diets containing "functional" foods like soluble fibre, soya proteins, Q10, fish oils, resveratrol etc. all of which can have a small but cumulative effect.
If you can tolerate the statins without side effects they do have lots of advantages, the healthy diet will add to this, these interventions used aggressively have been shown to not only reduce cardiovascular risk but to reverse some of the arterial damage.
There is masses of information about statins but make sure what you read is from a good source, even then the answers are not clear cut. This might be interesting
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13668-012-0017-z
 
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