Dietary Modulators of Statin Efficacy in Cardiovascular Disease and Cognition

Document Type

Article - Merrimack Access Only

Publication Title

Molecular Aspects of Medicine


International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Publication Date


Abstract/ Summary

Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States and other developed countries, and is fast growing in developing countries, particularly as life expectancy in all parts of the world increases. Current recommendations for the prevention of cardiovascular disease issued jointly from the American Academy of Cardiology and American Heart Association emphasize that lifestyle modification should be incorporated into any treatment plan, including those on statin drugs. However, there is a dearth of data on the interaction between diet and statins with respect to additive, complementary or antagonistic effects. This review collates the available data on the interaction of statins and dietary patterns, cognition, genetics and individual nutrients, including vitamin D, niacin, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, phytochemicals (polyphenols and stanols) and alcohol. Of note, although the available data is summarized, the scope is limited, conflicting and disparate. In some cases it is likely there is unrecognized synergism. Virtually no data are available describing the interactions of statins with dietary components or dietary pattern in subgroups of the population, particularly those who may benefit most were positive effects identified. Hence, it is virtually impossible to draw any firm conclusions at this time. Nevertheless, this area is important because were the effects of statins and diet additive or synergistic harnessing the effect could potentially lead to the use of a lower intensity statin or dose.