Statin Drugs and Bananas
Is It Good to Eat Bananas while Taking Lipitor?
Lipitor is a type of statin, a widely prescribed drug for lowering bad cholesterol. Bad cholesterol, also known as high-density lipoproteins, builds up in the arteries and hardens, increasing your risk for heart disease. Some foods, such as grapefruit, intensify the effect of statins and should not be consumed with this drug. Other fruits, like bananas, may decrease the amount of statin medication absorbed, exacerbate potassium side effects and inadvertently enhance the benefits of Lipitor. Consult your physician prior to consuming bananas if you are currently taking Lipitor or other statin drug.
According to Michigan State University, consuming two bananas a day can decrease your blood pressure by 10 percent within a week. The high-nutrient content, specifically the high quantities of minerals, contribute to reducing hypertension, as well as your risk of stroke. High cholesterol and hypertension increase your risk for heart disease and stroke. Among individuals with elevated cholesterol and blood pressure, consuming bananas with Lipitor may decrease the development of heart disease and improve cardiovascular functioning.
Statins may deplete your body of necessary nutrients, according to Dr. Joseph Mercola, an alternative health physician. Specifically, statins strip your body’s CoQ10 levels, an antioxidant that stimulates cellular energy production. Low levels of CoQ10 increases free radicals, muscle weakness and overall fatigue. Bananas contain significant amounts of vitamins A and C, two powerful antioxidants that combat free radicals. Additionally, bananas provide quantities of the B-complex vitamins, known to help boost energy.
Fiber assists in decreasing cholesterol. Bananas contain a moderate amount of fiber at 2.5 grams per one medium fruit. One banana contributes to 7 to 10 percent of your daily recommended allowance, according to the University of Missouri Extension. The body cannot readily digest fiber, so the fiber functions to remove wastes from the stomach and intestines. However, fiber consumption may prevent or decrease the quantity of Lipitor absorbed in the stomach. Consume foods with significant fiber content 2 to 4 hours prior to taking your statin medication.
Potassium is an essential nutrient that aids in muscle and nerve cell functioning in the heart. However, too much potassium in your blood, a level higher than 7 millimoles per liter, may cause irregular heartbeat, slowed pulse and nausea. Statins can cause Rhabdomyolysis, a condition characterized by muscle-fiber synthesis and kidney damage. Damage to kidney tissue increases the amount of potassium released by the cells, which elevates your potassium blood levels. Additionally, increased consumption of high-potassium foods, such as bananas, can cause elevated levels of this nutrient in your blood. With 560 milligrams of potassium packed into one medium banana, consuming bananas with Lipitor may exacerbate any adverse side effects from potassium.
University of Missouri Extension: Eat More Fiber
Blue Shield of California: Heart and Cardiovascular System
MayoClinic.com: High Potassium (Hyperkalemia)
Columbia Health Services: Foods Plentiful in Potassium
Michigan State University: Bananas
DoctorMercola.com: The Many Dangers of Statin Drugs