If you currently use statins then you are hopefully aware of the significant benefits using a decent Co Enzyme Q10 (CoQ10) supplement
alongside. CoQ10 benefits
the body in several ways and is key to vitality and longevity, whilst statins are used for cholesterol control.
Unfortunately the relationship between the two is not a good one as a side effect of using statins is the reduction of CoQ10 levels within your body. In fact, using statins can halve your natural production of CoQ10 within just two weeks.
Statins are used to lower harmful cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein or LDL) through blocking the chemical in the liver that produces cholesterol. Cholesterol is vital for normal cell and body function. However levels which are too high can lead to fatty deposits building up in arteries and blocking blood flow. By reducing blood cholesterol levels, statins lower the risk of strokes and coronary heart disease (heart attack and angina).
While statins inhibit the enzyme which produces harmful cholesterol in your body, this same enzyme also produces the substance called co-enzyme CoQ10 which is made in the body. Coenzyme Q10's alternate name “ubiquinone” comes from the word ubiquitous, which means "found everywhere." As well as in the muscles, CoQ10 is found in the heart, liver, brain and kidneys. If your levels of CoQ10 are lowered, your muscles might feel weak or uncomfortable, your brain may feel foggy, your heart will have to work harder and the liver (this organ is also important in recycling harmful cholesterol into good cholesterol) and kidneys might not detox you as well as they could.
You may be particularly vulnerable to statin-induced CoQ10 deficiency if you have diabetes, are over 50 years of age or are at risk of heart failure or cardiomyopathy.
If you lower cholesterol with statins, you will lower CoQ10 levels too and you may experience the side effects mentioned above.
The good news is that the side effects of statins may be alleviated through CoQ10 supplementation. A study published in the American Journal of Cardiology in 2004 documented evidence of early heart muscle weakness in 70% of patients taking statins for a period of six months. This early heart muscle weakness reversed back to normal by adding CoQ10 100mg three times daily.
Of course it's not just people with high cholesterol and statin users who can benefit from supplementing with CoQ10 - your levels begin to deplete by the time you pass 20 years of age. As a general rule CoQ10 dosage should be:
CoQ10 30mg - 60mg daily
- health maintenance for anyone aged 20 years and over.
CoQ10 100mg daily
- for anyone with cardiovascular/circulation health issues, those on low dose statins and anyone looking for improved exercise performance.
CoQ10 300mg daily
- for those with high blood pressure or on high dose statins.
CoQ10 supplements are better absorbed when taken with a meal.
The supplement is fat-soluble which mean it is best absorbed when taken
with foods that contain oil or fat.
PLEASE NOTE - these daily dosages are for general information and should not be used to self-prescribe. Anyone on medication or under medical supervision should consult their doctor or pharmacist before using any supplements.
In summary, Co Enzyme Q10 supplements can help support the efficiency of statins in reducing harmful cholesterol and may lessen side-effects of CoQ10 depletion. Although you can replenish some of the CoQ10 lost from diet it won't be anywhere near enough. If you’re on statins and have not yet considered how to replenish the CoQ10 levels within your body then it is time you started.