Health Notes: Cholesterol drugs hinder fitness development; exercise stops cancer in tracks

Studies show cholesterol-lowering drugs hinder fitness development; exercise stops cancer in tracks

Cholesterol-lowering drugs hinder fitness development

Folks who go on drugs to lower their cholesterol might think that regular exercise combined with their medication will make them healthier than ever. Those people would be wrong, according to findings recently published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

The study followed two groups of sedentary, overweight people — one group that was taking statins and one group that wasn’t. Neither group’s members exercised regularly in the year prior to the study.

Both groups did 45 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise, five times a week for 12 weeks. The group taking the statins were found to have no significant improvement in physical fitness, whereas the group who didn’t take them improved physical fitness levels by 10 percent.

Though in many cases statins save lives, in some cases exercise provides as big a benefit as taking cholesterol-lowering drugs.

So what? Since a lot of specialty fitness retailers these days are focused on making connections with medical facilities, this is an interesting piece of news. It means that cholesterol-lowering medications hinder people’s abilities to develop physical fitness.

For the scientifically minded: Find the journal article abstract free here.

Exercise in middle age helps shield men from cancer later in life

When it comes to reaping the benefits of exercise, it’s never too late — especially when it comes to preventing cancer later in life for men.

According to findings from a recent University of Vermont study, there is a link between maintaining physical fitness in middle age and preventing cancer later in life, particularly for men.

For the study, Dr. Susan Lakoski, an assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of Vermont at Burlington, and her colleagues evaluated more than 17,000 men who had had a single cardiovascular fitness assessment as part of a preventive health checkup at the Cooper Clinic in Dallas when they were about 50.

Within the 20- to 25-year follow-up period, 2,332 men developed prostate cancer, 276 developed colorectal cancer and 277 developed lung cancer. At the end of the follow-up period, 769 men died (347 of cancer, 159 of heart disease and 263 of other causes). The men who were the most fit in that initial checkup in Dallas had lower risk for lung and colorectal cancer, and a lower risk of death from prostate cancer (being fit didn’t lower their risk of getting it, but heightened their ability to fight it).

So what? Your male baby boomer clients and customers want to be healthy and now they have even more reason to buy that treadmill or home gym. This is a good tidbit to share with them.

For the scientifically minded: Find an article about the study here.