Restaurant patron: “Gimme the chocolate milk shake and the cheeseburger deluxe.”
Waitress: “That’s the cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato, onion, fries and statin pill, coming right up.”
That scene could someday happen, if researchers at Imperial College London have their way. They say that including a dose of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs could offset the health risks of a high-fat meal. They present their case in the American Journal of Cardiology. [Emily Ferenczi et al, http://bit.ly/aTFTbo]
We all know that eating a greasy burger is not the most heart-healthy approach to dining. It can raise our cholesterol and boost our risk for heart attacks. But could a statin pill really neutralize the harmful effects of a pit stop at the local burger joint?
Reviewing data from some 43,000 patients involved in seven clinical trials, scientists calculated how much a person’s heart attack risk increases with fat intake, and how much statins can decrease that risk. They conclude that a daily dose of statins would compensate for a daily cheeseburger and a small milk shake.
Dispensing the drug would cost pennies—not much more than the packet of ketchup that restaurants already give you for free. It may not be a Happy Meal. But it could be a healthier one.
[The above text is an exact transcript of this podcast.]