Statin Side Effects: The Low Down

Here at ProActiv, the fight against cholesterol is our passion – but as a food brand, we are not the authority when it comes to medications like statins and the topic of statin side effects. It’s important to bring any questions about this to a healthcare professional. But what are statin side effects? Below, we’ve put together a simple guide to resources from around the web that can help you find out more about this from trusted medical organisations and health charities.

Before we start on statin side effects: what are statins?

According to the NHS, statins are “a group of medicines that can help lower the level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in the blood”.  Why is this important? LDL-cholesterol is considered the ‘bad’ cholesterol, as elevated levels in the blood are a risk factor for heart disease*. You can find out more about the use of statins in our guide here.

What are the side effects of statins for cholesterol?

There’s plenty of information online about common statin side effects, but your first port of call for any question about medication should always be a healthcare professional. That said, for quick reference you might like to try one of the trusted resources below to help you gain a better understanding of the issue.

  • The NHS: In the article here, you can find a full list of common (and less-common) statin side effects from the National Health Service. A little on the treatment of statin side effects is also included.
  • The British Heart Foundation: The British Heart Foundation has written extensively about statins over the years, and the news section of their site is well worth visiting if you have any questions about recent statin stories in the media.
    They also have an article on the side effects of statins, this time in the form of an interview with a healthcare professional – this is particularly good at putting that NHS list into a more personal context. Check it out here.
  • Heart UK: The cholesterol charity’s “Statin Conundrum” article is particularly useful when it comes to potential statin side effects around muscles. This handy FAQ also includes a number of study citations, so if needed you can trace the facts back to the source for even more information. Take a look here.

Can you take statins and still eat ProActiv foods? 

If you’re already on cholesterol medication, it’s important to consult with your doctor before using ProActiv. However, studies have shown that consuming foods with added plant sterols in combination with statins effectively lowers cholesterol*. The great thing about this is that because statins and the plant sterols in ProActiv foods both lower cholesterol in different ways, the effect adds up*. You can find out more about how the two work together in our article on cholesterol lowering medications here.

What else should I know?

If your cholesterol is elevated, a healthy diet and lifestyle is important whether you take statins or not. To find out more about the other ways you can help to lower cholesterol, be sure to check out our handy guide here. Or you could download our free cholesterol lowering starter kit, which explains the fundamentals of cholesterol and provides practical tips for helping to bring your levels down to the recommended point.

We hope we’ve helped you find the information you wanted about statin side effects. If you have any further questions, don’t forget to make an appointment with a healthcare professional – they’re trained and happy to help.


* Flora ProActiv contains plant sterols. A daily intake of 1.5 – 2.4g sterols can lower cholesterol by 7 – 10% in 2 – 3 weeks as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle including plenty of fruits and vegetables. High cholesterol is a risk factor in the development of coronary heart disease. As coronary heart disease has many risk factors, more than one may need to be improved to reduce the overall risk of it. Individual results may vary.
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