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Statins and inflammatory bowel disease: Where do we stand?

Published:March 06, 2020DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejim.2020.02.017

      Highlights

      • Statins may exert complex immunomodulatory properties and pleiotropic effects.
      • These effects may render them beneficial for inflammatory bowel disease.
      • Experimental studies show that statins reduce inflammation in models of colitis.
      • Clinical studies on the subject have shown some limitations and conflicting results.
      • We cannot recommend statins for inflammatory bowel disease treatment or prevention.

      Abstract

      Inflammatory bowel disease is a chronic autoimmune disorder of the western world that is rapidly expanding in newly industrialized countries. Novel strategies are urgently needed to prevent and improve the treatment of this costly and disabling disease. Statins are the most commonly prescribed drugs worldwide. Besides their lipid-lowering effects, statins may exert complex immunomodulatory properties and multiple pleiotropic effects including the inhibition of T-cell activation, antigen-presenting function and leukocyte infiltration of target organs which might render statins as beneficial agents for inflammatory and autoimmune conditions. In this review, we summarize the experimental findings on the topic, and critically appraise the epidemiological evidence regarding the value of statins as a potential strategy for preventing and treating inflammatory bowel disease.
      Several experimental studies have shown that statins reduce inflammation in animal models of colitis; however, clinical studies investigating their disease-modifying and preventive potential in IBD have demonstrated some limitations and conflicting results. The available epidemiological evidence is not yet sufficient to support the use of statin for preventing or treating inflammatory bowel disease. Additional high-quality research is warranted.

      Keywords

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