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  #1   ^
Old Sat, Dec-22-18, 09:13
teaser's Avatar
teaser teaser is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 14,126
Plan: mostly milkfat
Stats: 190/152.4/154 Male 67inches
Progress: 104%
Location: Ontario
Default statins versus brown fat

Cholesterol-lowering drugs reduce brown adipose tissue

A certain proportion of the adult population has not only white adipose (or fatty) tissue, but also the brown kind. This brown adipose tissue helps to convert sugar and fat into heat. People with brown adipose tissue are better at regulating their body temperature in the winter, and are less likely to suffer from excess weight or diabetes.

An international team of researchers led by Christian Wolfrum, Professor for Translational Nutritional Biology at ETH Zurich, has now discovered that the statin class of pharmaceuticals reduces the formation of brown adipose tissue. Statins are prescribed as a way to reduce the risk of a heart attack since they reduce cholesterol levels in the blood. They are among the most commonly prescribed drugs worldwide.

Of mice and men

Wolfrum and his colleagues have been researching brown adipose tissue for many years. They looked into the question of how "bad" white fat cells, which form the layer of fat under our skin, become "good" brown fat cells. Having conducted cell culture experiments, they found out that the biochemical pathway responsible for producing cholesterol plays a central role in this transformation. They also discovered that the key molecule regulating the transformation is the metabolite geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate.

Earlier studies showed that the cholesterol biochemical pathway is also central to the functioning of statins; one of their effects is to reduce the production of geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate. This is why the researchers wanted to know whether statins also impact the formation of brown adipose tissue. And indeed they do, as the scientists have now shown in studies on mice and humans.

One thing the researchers did was study positron emission tomography scans of 8,500 patients at the University Hospital Zurich. This let them determine whether the person had brown adipose tissue. It was also known whether the patients were taking statins. Evaluating the scans shows that 6 percent of those not taking the medication had brown adipose tissue, but this tissue type was present in only a little over 1 percent of those who were taking statins.

The researchers conducted a separate clinical study of 16 people at the University Hospitals of Basel and Zurich to demonstrate that statins reduce the activity of brown adipose tissue.

"Incredibly important medications"

Although the study demonstrated that statins have a negative impact, Wolfrum warns against talking them down. "We also have to consider that statins are incredibly important as a way to prevent cardiovascular disease. They save millions of lives around the world, and they are prescribed for a very good reason," he says.

However, statins also have another negative effect: in high doses, they slightly increase some people's risk of developing diabetes -- as has been shown in other studies. "It's possible that these two effects -- the reduction in brown adipose tissue and the slightly increased risk of diabetes -- are related," Wolfrum says, adding that this question requires further research.

But Wolfrum stresses that even if such a link were established, that would be no reason to demonise statins. Rather, it would become imperative to conduct further research into the mechanisms behind this and find out which patients are affected. It might then be possible to take a personalised medicine approach and continue to recommend statins to most people, while proposing alternative therapies for a small group of patients.

Ask your doctor if statins are right for you.
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  #2   ^
Old Sat, Dec-22-18, 11:09
GRB5111's Avatar
GRB5111 GRB5111 is offline
Posts: 3,441
Plan: Ketogenic (LCHFKD)
Stats: 227/186/185 Male 6' 0"
Progress: 98%
Location: Herndon, VA

Good information to know. I don't agree with the statement "incredibly important medications" as we've got lots to learn, and it will be an uphill battle to perform further confirmation of the "importance" of statins against the will of big pharma. Too much value with these drugs to jeopardize the market with further studies, and the pharmaceutical companies will not stand for any risk against the "golden eggs" that are statins. Maybe statins are of value to certain people, but there will be very slow support to better understand the precise "use cases" where statins are most beneficial. Underlying all this is the broadly misunderstood assumption that certain lipid profiles are actually valid health markers and can enable us to accurately determine one's potential for CVD/CHD based on these measurements.
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  #3   ^
Old Sat, Dec-22-18, 11:19
bevangel's Avatar
bevangel bevangel is offline
Posts: 2,269
Plan: modified adkins (sort of)
Stats: 265/176/167 Female 68.5 inches
Progress: 91%
Location: Austin, TX

Interesting how, the least little bit of evidence that eating natural fats or red meat might possibly be bad for you is always blown into a "New Evidence Proves Fat/Meat is Deadly" headline and the warning is always made that everybody needs to stop eating fat/meat immediately!

Meanwhile when a study suggests that some pharmaceutical compound has a negative impact, the story is always accompanied by a disclaimer saying that one mustn't make too much of this study because the Drug is GOOD! The articles always say something like "all this study shows is that we need to conduct more research so we can maybe figure out just which small group of patients are going to be negatively affected by this drug. Until then, everybody just needs to keep on taking their prescribed drugs until we know for sure..."

Seems to me it should work the other way. When a naturally occuring substance has been consumed for thousands of years by hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people, one ought to have to have overwhelming evidence that the substance is actually bad for a large number of people before calling for people to stop using it.

Conversely, when a manufactured substance that has been being used for, at most, for a few dozen years, ANY reasonable evidence of LACK OF SAFETY ought to be accompanied by a clarion call to consider discontinuing the manufactured substance's use until further studies establish safety and efficacy. <sigh>
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  #4   ^
Old Sat, Dec-22-18, 14:05
Ms Arielle's Avatar
Ms Arielle Ms Arielle is online now
Senior Member
Posts: 14,058
Plan: atkins
Stats: 255/214/153 Female 5'8"
Progress: 40%
Location: Massachusetts

Double sigh.
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  #5   ^
Old Sun, Dec-23-18, 10:27
WereBear's Avatar
WereBear WereBear is offline
Posts: 12,894
Plan: Epi-Paleo/IF
Stats: 220/123/150 Female 67
Progress: 139%
Location: USA

Originally Posted by GRB5111
Maybe statins are of value to certain people, but there will be very slow support to better understand the precise "use cases" where statins are most beneficial.

Many statin skeptics believe the tiny benefit in a small number of cases is actually from the anti-inflammatory effect, but there are far better ways to achieve it.
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  #6   ^
Old Sun, Dec-23-18, 12:15
dan_rose dan_rose is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 156
Plan: None
Stats: 161/140/140 Male 5'10"
Progress: 100%
Location: Loughborough, UK

Originally Posted by WereBear
Many statin skeptics believe the tiny benefit in a small number of cases is actually from the anti-inflammatory effect, but there are far better ways to achieve it.

Malcolm Kendrick puts it down (at least partly) to statins increasing nitric oxide:
Statins, for example, which are held up as inarguable proof of the LDL hypothesis. How do they actually work to reduce the risk of CVD? It is because they increase nitric oxide synthesis in endothelial cells, and nitric oxide protects the endothelium, stimulates the growth of endothelial progenitor cells, and is also the most powerful anticoagulant agent known to nature.

If this is the case, you'd be better off taking L-Arginine or Viagra.
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  #7   ^
Old Wed, Dec-26-18, 12:17
mike_d's Avatar
mike_d mike_d is offline
Grease is the word!
Posts: 8,475
Stats: 236/181/180 Male 72 inches
Progress: 98%
Location: Alamo city, Texas

Yumm ... love me some "brown fat" LOL

They say going out bare in the cold or ice dips increases BBF. Seven minutes out, seven minutes (or less) getting back in if you see a bear
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  #8   ^
Old Wed, Dec-26-18, 12:28
s93uv3h's Avatar
s93uv3h s93uv3h is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 1,551
Plan: Atkins & IF / TRE
Stats: 000/014.5/015 Male 5' 10"
Progress: 97%

i will continue to demonize, tyvm.

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