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Statins Effect on Glycogen

Old 09-23-22, 02:01 PM
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Statins Effect on Glycogen

After several years of having a LDL higher than what my Doctor desires, I've relented and started on the statin, Pravastatin, a little over a week ago... 4 rides ago.

Right off the bat I notice that riding now seems to be a chore! Essentially I feel as if I have no energy reserves to climb hills anymore. So I'm wondering if anyone knows... better yet understands the relationship between statins and glycogen use by the muscles in the body.

One other thing I've noticed is that my HR seems to be about 10 BPM higher than what's normal for me on those rides. Though all in all, once I accept that some climbs I no longer do quite as well, the over all times for my rides are still pretty much the same. And I've even increased what Garmin thinks my FTP is as well as increased my lactate threshold. Though the latter might just be directly because of the higher HR BPM I'm having while riding. But still, despite the data showing otherwise for all but climbing, my perceived effort for a entire ride is much higher than previous.

Perhaps this should be in Pills and Ills in the old peoples sub-forum, but since I'm asking about statin's effect/affect to glycogen use during hard efforts I felt it might get better answers here.
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Old 09-23-22, 02:39 PM
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Follwing this one.
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Old 09-23-22, 03:49 PM
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One of the documented side effects of statins is an increase in blood glucose level. To decrement glycogen while the precursor blood glucose level is higher? Not likely; perhaps you should request a move to pills and ills.

Disclaimer: I started taking a statin after my heart attack, so my comparison is across a major medical emergency and a few months' recovery. That said, I'd rather have had something, perhaps psychological, to gripe about that wasn't life-threatening, than the fall through the trap door into the cardiac patient ward!
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Old 09-23-22, 06:53 PM
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I tried several statins several years ago, both lipid and water-based in several dosages (they're so cheap!). They all had a bad effect on my power, plus they made my muscles sore after even moderate exercise. On our tandem, my wife said it was like I wasn't there anymore. I quit them, still alive. I got my cholesterol levels better balanced, mostly by nutrition.

I looked around for about 10 minutes and found this study, which might explain your symptoms: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jcsm.12654
I also looked around for connections to glycolysis but couldn't find anything definite other than the above. The statin thread is the geezer forum seems to say that about 20% simply can't tolerate statins.

The really interesting thing about statins (and I don't remember where I saw this) is that cholesterol levels per se aren't strongly associated with cardiac events and that what statins really do is that they change the deposits in your heart's arteries to a more solid substance which doesn't break loose and cause blockages. High levels of endurance exercise do the same thing. See:
https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/6/6/e010401

Unfortunately, the statin industry has taken over heart disease research. It's become hard to find unbiased research. As my PCP says, "Cardiologists lose their license if they don't prescribe a statin."

You should try taking 100mg of ubiquinol morning and evening. See if that helps. That helped me a little but not enough to make me a happy cyclist again.
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Old 09-24-22, 09:26 AM
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And here's the statin thread from the geezer forum: https://www.bikeforums.net/pills-ill...s-younger.html
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Old 09-24-22, 10:10 AM
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Carbonfiberboy Those helped some for getting me on the track of what to look for to read up on. Prior to this I was just seeing stuff only talking about the increased serum glucose and Type II Diabetes related stuff. Which IMO shouldn't be assumed that increased serum glucose means an increase in glycogen stores in the muscles. Quite possibly one might assume the excess serum glucose is due to it not being converted and stored in the muscles. And that might go hand in hand with why I don't seem to be able to hold peak power for any period of time whatsoever.

However 4 rides are a little to soon to base anything on and I did have very minor surgery immediately before starting the statin. Thankfully my LDL was on its way down from when it went over the preferred range a few years ago. So maybe I won't stay on this stuff long. And it's starting to get easier at the house to get my wife to eat better which will benefit me.

If things don't get better in the next dozen or so rides, maybe I'll try some CoQ10 supplement. Though my diet already has plenty of natural sources of CoQ10. Though there is more reading I'll have to do to even get back to being able to understand all the terms and acronym's I'm seeing used together in these studies!
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Old 09-24-22, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
After several years of having a LDL higher than what my Doctor desires, I've relented and started on the statin, Pravastatin, a little over a week ago... 4 rides ago.

Right off the bat I notice that riding now seems to be a chore! Essentially I feel as if I have no energy reserves to climb hills anymore. So I'm wondering if anyone knows... better yet understands the relationship between statins and glycogen use by the muscles in the body.

One other thing I've noticed is that my HR seems to be about 10 BPM higher than what's normal for me on those rides. Though all in all, once I accept that some climbs I no longer do quite as well, the over all times for my rides are still pretty much the same. And I've even increased what Garmin thinks my FTP is as well as increased my lactate threshold. Though the latter might just be directly because of the higher HR BPM I'm having while riding. But still, despite the data showing otherwise for all but climbing, my perceived effort for a entire ride is much higher than previous.

Perhaps this should be in Pills and Ills in the old peoples sub-forum, but since I'm asking about statin's effect/affect to glycogen use during hard efforts I felt it might get better answers here.
​​​​​​There are different ways Garmin can think it found your FTP. If you set a new 20 minute MMP record it will tell you your new threshold is 95% of that. But mostly it's based on your HRV. If that's what triggered your Garmin to tell you this, ignore it. Their algorithms assume healthy heart function that is not affected by medication. They don't know you're taking statins and the effect they have on you breaks the calculations. The result is still interesting and might be worth bringing up when you talk to your doctor about this. But it's not your new FTP.
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Old 09-27-22, 09:46 AM
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Maybe not the statin. Or at least my body is getting use to it if it was from starting the statin.

On my ride yesterday I felt more normal. Still can't quite attack climbs for as long and hard as what I had been just 3 weeks ago, but much better than the recent previous rides. There are two other things that might be more a factor than the statin that I realized over the weekend. One, I've all of a sudden lost about 5 lbs that I'd been trying to all summer without any movement on the scale. The other is that my body temp was elevated several days. So maybe I had a virus or something going through me. During COVID, my wife and I got in the habit of taking our temperatures once a day near bedtime. And three nights mine was elevated some, but not enough to call a fever.

Can't ride today, but hope tomorrows ride is even better. Especially since I need to do a couple long rides before a charity ride that is coming up in October.
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Old 09-29-22, 09:42 AM
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I think this thread should serve as an example of jumping to conclusions and wanting to jump on the statins are bad bandwagon.

I went out and rode 42 miles yesterday and had no issues with how my muscles felt. Just like the previous ride I described in the post above. This route had some of the longer distances of continuous climbing that one can get around here and since the upcoming charity ride a little over a week away is coming up, I now am relieved that I don't have to worry about running out of steam. Though this ride is only a 63 mile ride, it starts out and doubles back on much of the 42 mile ride I just did.

I just guessing that as to my experiences related in the OP, that those four rides were just my body getting use to the new med. Or a minor cold or virus going through me at the time.
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