LONDON, Aug. 14 (UPI) — London researchers suggest fast-food outlets could provide low-dose statins — cholesterol lowering drugs — with meals to offset the dangers of fatty food.
Senior author Dr. Darrel Francis of the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial College London and colleagues calculated the reduction in cardiovascular risk offered by a statin is enough to offset the increase in heart attack risk from eating a high-fat meal of a cheeseburger and a milkshake.
“Statins don’t cut out all of the unhealthy effects of burgers and fries. It’s better to avoid fatty food altogether,” Francis says in a statement. “But we’ve worked out that in terms of your likelihood of having a heart attack, taking a statin can reduce your risk to more or less the same degree as a fast food meal increases it.”
Low-cost statins are effective and have one of the best safety profiles of any medication, Francis says.
“Everybody knows that fast food is bad for you, but people continue to eat it because it tastes good,” he says.
However, the researchers note studies are needed to assess the potential risks of allowing people to take statins without medical supervision and they suggest a warning on the packet should stress no tablet can substitute for a healthy diet.
The study is scheduled to be published Sunday in the American Journal of Cardiology.
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