Researchers Uncover Link Between Statins And Diabetes

shutterstock_34558930Statins are prescribed to people suffering with heart conditions. It is considered as one of the most commonly prescribed drugs to lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease. Although statins are considered as quite effective in treating and reducing cardiovascular events, researchers have found that it also increases the risk of diabetes, so much so that it is added into the warning labels of the said drugs.

Many researchers are quite puzzled with this effect, considering that the statins’ ability to improve a person’s metabolic profile should actually be decreasing the risk of diabetes. But the opposite effect is happening. But now, researchers have recently discovered the link between statins and increased diabetes risk and discovered a way to suppress this side effect.

Researchers from the McMaster University in Canada have discovered one of the pathways that link statins to an increased risk of diabetes. The researchers have discovered that statins activate an immune response that prevented insulin from doing its job properly. After investigating further, the researchers also found that by combining statins with another drug called Glyburide, they were able to suppress the side effect involving increased diabetes risk.

According to Jonathan Schertzer, assistant professor of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences and Canadian Diabetes Association Scholar and the lead researcher of the study, “It’s premature to say we are going to change this drug, but now that we understand one way it can cause this side effect we can develop new strategies to minimize side effects. This may even include using natural products or nutritional strategies to subvert the side effects of statins.”

The next step in the study is to further understand how statins promote diabetes by the way they work in the pancreas where the insulin is produce d in the body. They also hope to find out whether this immune system pathway may also be linked to other known statin side effects such as muscle pain.

Source: McMaster University. (2014, June 11). Common heart drug’s link to diabetes uncovered by researchers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved June 13, 2014 from


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