Coenzyme Q10, Statins, and Heart Health

February 25, 2009 | Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist

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 Coenzyme Q10, Statins, and Heart Health
Coenzyme Q10 is an essential cardiovascular nutrient1. Your heart has very high energy requirements and never gets to take any time off. Q10 is required for the proper production of energy at an optimal rate, around your body and specifically for your heart. If you lack Q10, you will be more tired and you will make free radicals instead of energy. If you lack Q10 within your heart it will speed up the aging process and weaken your heart.

Q10 also operates as a direct antioxidant in cell membranes, meaning that it is highly protective to your overall circulatory system, having a direct benefit to support healthy blood pressure. It acts as an antioxidant team player, helping vitamins E and C maintain their antioxidant roles which provides additional synergistic cardiovascular protection.

It is very clear from the literature that statin cholesterol medications interfere with the natural production of Q10, which is evidenced by lower blood levels of Q102 in patients taking statins. It has been known for over a decade that statin drugs reduce Q10 levels3 as much as 25% and that 100 mg of Q104 is enough to offset a relatively low dose of statins (20 mg of Zocor.)

Since Q10 is essential for energy production within cells, energy is reduced. This results in fatigue, makes it more difficult to exercise, and is part of the reason for muscle aches and pains in some statin-taking patients. The interference with cell energy production results in an increased production of lactic acid5, which contributes to muscle aches. In patients with muscle pain associated with statin use a double-blind study showed that supplementing 100 mg per day of Q10 reduced pain by 40%6.

Taking Q10 is helpful in restoring cellular energy production11 within your heart and around your body. It also helps reduce free radical production in your general circulation, improving the status of friendly nitric oxide to relax your vascular system – thereby supporting healthy blood pressure.

These positive influences of Q10 for cardiovascular health extend far beyond the notion of simply correcting a deficiency. It is more of an anti-aging concept for your cardiovascular system.

Unfortunately, there are millions of Americans being given statins who are in this high risk health category wherein a lack of Q10 could aggravate already lacking antioxidant and energy systems, thus making their heart health worse.

If you are taking a statin it is prudent to consume a dose of Q10 ranging from 100 mg – 300 mg a day. Higher doses would be warranted for those in poorer health.

And for anyone, keep in mind that Q10 is a top cardio-friendly nutrient that can help keep you energized, your heart happy, and your circulation flowing along in a less stressed condition.

Referenced Studies

  1. ^ Q10 - A Valuble Cardiovascular Nutrient  Curr Neurovasc Res.  Dhanasekaran M, Ren J.
  2. ^ Statins Clearly Lower Q10 Levels  J Am Coll Cardiol.   Marcoff L, Thompson PD.
  3. ^ Statins Lower Q10 Based On Dose   Mol Aspects Med.  Mortensen SA, Leth A, Agner E, Rohde M.
  4. ^ Taking Q10 During Statin Treatment Can Prevent Deficiency  Int J Clin Lab Res.  Bargossi AM, Battino M, Gaddi A, Fiorella PL, Grossi G, Barozzi G, Di Giulio R, Descovich G, Sassi S, Genova ML.
  5. ^ Statins Cause Increase in Lactic Acid Production  Br J Clin Pharmacol.  De Pinieux G, Chariot P, Ammi-Said M, Louarn F, Lejonc JL, Astier A, Jacotot B, Gherardi R.
  6. ^ Q10 Reduces Muscle Pain in Statin Users  Am J Cardiol.  Effect of coenzyme q10 on myopathic symptoms in patients treated with statins.
  7. ^ In Patients Who Quit Statins, Q10 Helps Them Recover from Side Effects  Biofactors.  Langsjoen PH, Langsjoen JO, Langsjoen AM, Lucas LA.
  8. ^ Statins May Cause Cardiomyopathy  Mitochondrion.  Littarru GP, Langsjoen P.
  9. ^ Statins and Low Nitric Oxide Really Depletes Q10 in the Heart  Physiol Res.  Kucharská J, Gvozdjáková A, Simko F.
  10. ^ Q10 Improves Circulation in Statin-Treated Diabetics  Diabetes Care.  Hamilton SJ, Chew GT, Watts GF.
  11. ^ Q10 Helps Correct Cardio-Related Depletion of Antioxidants  QJM.   Chew GT, Watts GF.
  12. ^ Q10 Helps Heart Failure Patients  Eur Heart J.   Belardinelli R, Muçaj A, Lacalaprice F, Solenghi M, Seddaiu G, Principi F, Tiano L, Littarru GP.

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