Co Q 10 and Statins
By Thomas O’Connor, MD
CoQ10 or Coenzyme Q10 is a natural substance that the human body produces. CoQ10 is used by the cells to generate energy and also functions as a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants fight free radicals, which are believed to contribute to damaging the health of your cells and DNA.
Some studies show that CoQ10 could potentially help with high blood pressure, age-related macular degeneration, and even chronic fatigue syndrome, but as an Internist who prescribes statins for heart protection, I am very interested in the cardio-protective effects of CoQ10 when taken with statins. Read on….
Statins are a class of prescription drugs designed to lower high cholesterol. People taking statins can experience side effects such as muscle pain, nausea and diarrhea, liver and kidney damage, and even increased blood sugar or type 2 diabetes. I have seen in some studies that up to 25% of patients on statins experience muscle pain and discomfort, called Statin Induced Myalgias –SIMS.
In a study published in the American Journal of Cardiology, researchers indicate that coenzyme Q10 seems to decrease muscle breakdown and reduce pain and discomfort on people taking statins.
Statins lower your body’s levels of coenzyme Q10. As your levels go down, the side effects of statins increase. Taking CoQ10 supplements might help increase the levels on the body and reduce problems.
I have seen this to be true in my clinical practice and there are no dangerous side effects from CoQ10, so if you’re on a statin, please talk to your Doc about adding some COQ10!
Stay Strong and healthy, Dr. O