Statins are a class of drugs that help lower cholesterol levels in the blood. A new study has revealed that regular use of statins might speed up aging process and could lead to mental and physical decline.
The scientists suggested that the heart disease drug could badly affect stem cells, the internal medical system which repairs damage to our bodies and protect us from muscle and joint pain as well as memory loss.
Lead author Reza Izadpanah of the Tulane University said, "The people who used statins as a preventative medicine for health should think again as their research showed they might have general unwanted effects on the body which could include muscle pain, nerve problems and joint problems."
For the study, scientists treated stem cells with statins under laboratory conditions and found that after a few weeks the cholesterol-busting treatment had a dramatic effect. They observed that the heart drug prevented stem cells from performing their main functions, to reproduce and replicate other cells in the body to carry out repairs. They also found that statins prevented stem cells from generating new bone and cartilage and it also increased aging.
Izadpanah said, "People at high risk of heart disease could reduce this risk by taking statins. Considering the adverse effects of these drugs, it was crucial people are fully aware of the risks before they take the treatment."