Statins in the fight against sarcopenia

August 9, 2023

Accelerated muscle aging, known as sarcopenia, is a geriatric condition that poses significant health risks both for individuals and society. Hospitalization can trigger a sudden deterioration of sarcopenia, making it imperative to find effective interventions targeting this acute sarcopenia. Drug repurposing, which involves utilizing ‘old’ medications for new indications, could be a cost-effective and faster solution as the safety of these drugs has already been established in the old population.

We propose that short-term use of low-dose statins may be a promising option for preventing and treating acute sarcopenia. This hypothesis is based on the mechanisms of action of statins, which demonstrate hormesis-like effects with no direct muscle-toxic effects at low doses, as well as muscle-beneficial indirect effects through other body systems such as the immune-endothelial system and the gut microbiota at low doses. Additionally, supportive observational studies suggest beneficial muscle effects in inflammatory subgroups of older people, with a safe track record of statins in older people at short-term low doses. Therefore, we hypothesize that statins may be of potential benefit in combating acute sarcopenia. Read our hypothesis