Association of flavonoid-rich foods and statins in the management of hypercholesterolemia: a dangerous or helpful combination?
Sommaire de l'article
Statins and dietary modifications are the cornerstone of hypercholesterolemia management. Although it is well known that possible adverse effect of statins can occur due to drug-drug interactions, food-drug interactions are a commonly overlooked aspect. In particular, flavonoids could interfere with statins' bioavailability through different mechanisms, such as competition with cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes, esterases, uridine diphosphate glucuronosyltransferases and transporters (P-glycoprotein, multi-drug resistance-associated proteins, organic anion transporting polypeptides, breast cancer-resistance protein and monocarboxylate transporters). Transporters are characterized by low substrate specificity and flavonoid- rich foods could interfere with the bioavailability of all statins at this level. On the other hand, in addition to being substrates of drug metabolism/ transport systems, flavonoids are also able to modulate gene expression of enzymes and transporters. Therefore, long-term transcriptional induction may increase the clearance of statins, despite flavonoids act as competitive inhibitors after bolus consumption. In humans, major interactions were observed between grapefruit juice and statins that are substrates of P-glycoprotein/CYP3A, but also other fruit juices affected the bioavailability of statins that are not metabolised by CYP. Even if flavonoids could play a role in the prevention of hypercholesterolemia, the question whether a helpful or dangerous association between flavonoid-rich foods and statins, due to the interactions between flavonoid-rich foods and statins and the potential associated adverse effects of statins, remains unanswered. Therefore, the anamnesis of patients must include detailed information about their eating habits and the present review suggests monitoring and reporting any possible case of interaction between a prescribed statin and food.