It is known that brown fat is important for weight loss.
Previous research has shown that brown fat could help convert sugar and fat into heat and that people who have high levels of brown fat are more likely to be slim.
For overweight and obese people, having more brown fat in the body may help them achieve healthy body weight.
Recently, a team led by researchers ETH Zurich found that common statins drugs for lowering cholesterol levels may reduce the beneficial brown fat in the body.
Statins are widely used for lowering blood cholesterol and preventing heart disease and stroke.
They are among the most commonly prescribed drugs in the world because they can effectively beat high cholesterol.
But the drugs have some side effects. One side effect is muscle disease. Patients who use the drug may experience muscle pain and weakness. It is a chronic, debilitating condition.
This study shows that statins have another side effect: hindering weight loss.
The researchers examined PET scans of 8,500 people. They examined the brown fat and statin therapy in these patients.
The result showed that statins use was linked to decreased brown fat in the body. In people who took statins, only 1% of people showed brown fat.
But in people who did not use statins, about 6% of them had brown fat.
The team then directly tested the effect of statin use on brown fat in humans. In 16 people, they found that statins reduced the activity of brown fat.
Moreover, when people took high doses of statins, their diabetes risk was slightly higher.
The team suggests that since statins can negatively influence brown fat, the drugs may be not good for controlling body weight.
Future work needs to confirm the findings and find possible solutions.
Patients who need to lower blood cholesterol should not stop using statins without talking to their doctors.
Copyright © 2019 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.