Volume 3, Issue 7
February 18, 2010
Why CoQ10 doesn't
make statins safe
If you take statins, I hope you've been taking CoQ10 along with them. We've known for years that statins cause heart failure and CoQ10 can protect your heart. But just because CoQ10 protects you from the devastating effects of statins, doesn't mean it makes statins safe.
That's because it's almost impossible to keep up with the damage statins do to your CoQ10 production. Some early research on statins showed that you have to take statins for a year before you notice any damage. They said that was because it took that long to stop your body's production of CoQ10. If that were true, you could take plenty of CoQ10 to offset the statin's impact on your body's production.
However, there's new research that now shows that these drugs start depleting your body of CoQ10 much faster. In fact, they start depleting your body almost immediately.
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In a new study, researchers examined 34 patients. The average blood level of CoQ10 in each participant was 1.26 micrograms per milliliter. Then the researchers gave the patients 80 mg of atorvastatin calcium to take every day. Atorvastatin is one of the most commonly used statins in the country. You probably know it by the name Lipitor. Then the researchers checked the blood levels of CoQ10 after just two weeks on the drug. And they checked again after four weeks.
After just 14 days, their levels of CoQ10 had decreased significantly. But the levels continued to decline. In fact, by four weeks, their levels were less than half of what they had been. At this point, the researchers concluded the study. So we don't know just how low the levels might get after two or three months more.
The authors of the study readily admitted that "even brief exposure to atorvastatin causes a marked decrease in blood coenzyme Q10 concentration." They also admitted that this is the cause of the most common adverse effects of statins. These can include exercise intolerance, myalgia, and myoglobinuria.
At this rate of depletion, taking the normal dose of 400 mg daily of CoQ10 isn't enough to restore your CoQ10 levels. In fact, it might be impossible to keep up with the inhibition by taking supplements.
Statins are dangerous. And they're not necessary. If you're still not convinced to stay away from statins, it's vital you take CoQ10. But at this point, we don't know how much is enough to protect you.
So the best solution is to avoid these drugs at all costs. Any advantages you get from statins, you can get at half the price by using safe, natural, and more effective nutrients. These include fish oils, magnesium, and vitamin D. They can lower your cholesterol and will help your heart instead of hurting it.
Finding your Real Cures,
Frank Shallenberger, MD
Mohaupt, MG, et al "Association between statin-associated myopathy and skeletal muscle damage" CMAJ 2009; 181: E11- E18.
Rundek T., et al. Atorvastatin decreases the Coenzyme Q10 level in the blood of patients at risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke. Arch Neurol. 2004 Jun;61(6):889-92.
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