Fitness & Health, Sport & Exercise Science

Burger, fries and a side order of statins please

Order a cheeseburger and fries and pick up a free statin tablet along with the other free condiments on offer.

Probably not the message that multi-national burger chains will be putting out to customers any time soon, but it is precisely what a group of researchers from Imperial College London suggests you should be able to do at fast food outlets as a way to offset the increase in heart attack risk from eating junk food.

The report, published in the American Journal of Cardiology calculates that the reduction in cardiovascular risk offered by a statin is enough to compensate for the increase in heart attack risk from eating a hamburger with cheese and a small milkshake.

Senior author Dr Darrel Francis, from the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial College London, said “Statins don’t cut out all of the unhealthy effects of burgers and fries. It’s better to avoid fatty food altogether”

“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,” he added.

However, experts from the British Heart Foundation say that “McStatin” is not the antidote to junk food.

Their medical director, Professor Peter Weissberg, said in a statement that “The suggestion that the harmful effects of a junk food meal might be erased by taking a cholesterol-lowering statin tablet should not be taken literally.”

Source: Medical News Today


  1. Pedro Sepulveda says

    Dear Editor. Personally I found this information unadvisable and dangerous. Statins are drugs that will act in the liver as inhibitors of HMG-CoA redutase an enzyme that produces cholesterol. So far so good. The big problem is the serious side effects produced by statins in striated muscle cells – – rhabdomyolosis -. Are the general public aware what this means? Probably not. Wouldn’t be advisable do not publish this kind of news which can lead people in general to think their cholesterol problems are solved by an over the counter sale whitout having the slightest idea about what they may acquire in the future.
    Best Regards

    • Hi Pedro,
      Thanks for your comment. I don’t think this report was seriously suggesting that statins should be taken routinely as an antidote to junk meals. I think the idea was to highlight the amount of saturated fat there is in a typical burger meal.
      I would wholly endorse your view that no one should remotely consider regularly taking statins or any other drug for that matter, without medical supervision and certainly not in the belief they can offset the unhealthy effects of a poor diet.

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