Guard Against the Drug-Induced CoQ10 Deficiency That Can Weaken Your Heart. Your body needs Coenzyme Q10 to ensure the health of virtually all tissues and organs. In fact, most cellular functions depend on CoQ10 for their energy production (ATP synthesis).
Scientific studies continue to highlight the importance of maintaining adequate CoQ10 levels. For example.
- CoQ10 levels decline with advancing age, and this decline might contribute to some manifestations of aging.[1 ]
- Susceptibility to CoQ10 deficiency appears to be greatest in the heart, brain, and immune system.
- Coenzyme Q10 is especially important for cardiovascular health. [2 ]
- Any deficit in CoQ10 will cause disorders in energy production and result in cell damage.[3 ]
Unfortunately, a class of widely-prescribed cholesterol-lowering drugs known as “statins” have been shown to block the body’s synthesis of CoQ10. In fact, controlled studies show that statins can reduce blood plasma levels of Coenzyme Q10 by up to 50%.[4 ]
World’s Most Widely Prescribed Drugs Deplete Coenzyme Q10
Statins are among the most widely prescribed medicines in the world. Furthermore, the world’s top-selling drug is a statin drug with annual sales of $12.9 billion.[5 ]
In 2001, major revisions of the U.S. guidelines increased the number of Americans for whom statins were recommended from 13 million to 36 million.[6 ] Then, in a recent update, eating more healthy and low-fat food. Some products that are high in fat,
Such conflicts of interest have prompted consumer groups and several leading health experts to question the advice of panelists who failed to disclose their income from these statin drug companies.
One such health expert, Dr. John Abramson, MD of Harvard Medical School, says that putting millions of additional Americans on statin drugs flies in the face of sound science. This award-winning physician explains that although statins may, in fact, have benefits in certain high-risk individuals, there is little evidence to support their widespread use in people without evident occlusive vascular disease . In fact, as one consumer group pointed out, exercising, eating a healthy diet, and not smoking each individually appear to give more protection against heart disease [than statins], as well as the added benefit of preventing diabetes, osteoporosis, and multiple other diseases.
Dr. Abramson and Dr. Jim Wright of the University of British Columbia have recently co-authored a landmark article entitled Are Lipid-Lowering Guidelines Evidence-Based?, published in the issue of the prestigious British medical journal The Lancet.
Problems Associated with Low CoQ10 Levels
Low levels of Coenzyme Q10 are associated with impaired heart function, liver dysfunction, and muscle disorders, including cardiomyopathy and congestive heart failure.[8 ] As reported in expert reviews, the lowering of CoQ10 can have a significantly harmful effect in patients with cardiovascular diseases; however, this may be controlled by oral supplementation.
Muscle problems are the most common reported adverse effects of statins. And perhaps the most feared adverse effect of statins is rhabdomyolysis a rare condition in which there is a severe breakdown of muscle tissue that may be toxic to the kidneys and result in kidney failure or death.[9 ]
Supplemental CoQ10 Helps Restore Cellular Energy Production
A 2007 study found that 100 mg a day of supplemental CoQ10 decreased muscle pain associated with statin treatment. The study’s authors concluded that Coenzyme Q10 supplementation may offer an alternative to stopping appropriate treatment with statin drugs.
Furthermore, in clinical research, a combination of statins and CoQl0 induced a more pronounced effect on the total cholesterol/HDL cholesterol ratio.
Although not highly publicized, statin drugs’ adverse effects on CoQ10 levels have long been known. In fact, one of the world’s largest statin drug manufacturers holds patents on the combination of CoQ10 and statins. These patents refer to supplemental CoQ10′s ability to counteract the adverse effects of statins on Coenzyme Q10 levels in the human body. Moreover, the American Medical Association’s Archives of Neurology has published a report stating, widespread inhibition of CoQl0 synthesis could explain the most commonly reported adverse effects of statins, especially exercise intolerance, myalgia, and myoglobinuria. [10 ] (Myoglobinuria is associated with a breakdown of muscle cells, impaired kidney function, kidney failure, and heart arrhythmias.)
A Truly Life-Saving Approach to Heart Health
According to a team of British researchers, a decline in tissue CoQ10 has…been implicated in aging, which would make the elderly more susceptible to statin-induced CoQ10 depletion.” It is, therefore, essential that prescribing physicians and patients be aware that statin drugs may impair skeletal muscle and heart energy due to depleted Coenzyme Q10 levels.[11 ]
A study that appeared in Archives of Neurology reported that even brief exposure to atorvastatin (Lipitor) causes a marked decrease in blood CoQ10 concentration.” The study’s authors concluded that “…it may be reasonable to add CoQ10 in patients receiving long-term treatment with statins in general, and atorvastatin in particular. This recommendation is strengthened by the general experience that oral CoQ10—even in high doses –is well tolerated by patients.
Until recently, so-called “health experts” within mainstream medicine have unwaveringly supported the widespread use of statins. Some even jokingly suggested that statins should be added to the public water supply! Then Reuters News Service published an article entitled ” Study Casts Doubt on Universal Statin Use. [12 ] This article reported on a major study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine showing that statin drugs do little to reduce the risk of death in people with no history of cardiovascular disease. Ironically, the same “experts” who arbitrarily recommend statin drugs to millions of Americans have failed to recommend supplemental CoQ10 in spite of its safety and potential benefits.[13 ]
What’s the smartest approach to using statins? According to cardiologist Peter H. Langsjoen, M.D., one of the world’s leading experts on CoQ10: “Statin-induced CoQ10 deficiency is completely preventable with supplemental CoQ10, with no adverse impact on the cholesterol-lowering or anti-inflammatory properties.”[14 ]