This study was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology 2013 Apr 10. pii: S0735-1097(13)01403-4
Study title and authors:
Simvastatin impairs exercise training adaptations.
Mikus CR, Boyle LJ, Borengasser SJ, Oberlin DJ, Naples SP, Fletcher J, Meers GM, Ruebel M, Laughlin MH, Dellsperger KC, Fadel PJ, Thyfault JP.
Division of Cardiology at Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC.
This study can be accessed at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23583255
This study sought to determine if simvastatin hindered the positive effects of exercise for obese and overweight adults. The study, which lasted for 12 weeks, included 37 sedentary overweight or obese adults (aged 25-59) with at least two metabolic syndrome risk factors, who completed either:
(i) 12 weeks of aerobic exercise training.
(ii) 12 weeks of aerobic exercise training in combination with simvastatin (40 mg per day).
The study found:
(a) Cardiorespiratory fitness increased by 10% in response to exercise training alone, but was blunted by the addition of simvastatin resulting in only a 1.5% increase.
(b) Skeletal muscle mitochondrial content (the cells' energy production sites) increased by 13% in the exercise only group (a normal response following exercise training) but decreased by 4.5% in the simvastatin plus exercise group.
One of the study authors, John Thyfault, an associate professor of nutrition and exercise physiology at the University of Missouri School of Medicine, concluded: “Daily physical activity is needed to maintain or improve fitness, and thus improve health outcomes. However, if patients start exercising and taking statins at the same time, it seems that statins block the ability of exercise to improve their fitness levels.”