If you are on cholesterol lowering medication, then you need to know about statin drugs and CoQ10. Statin drugs are designed to interfere with the liver’s production of cholesterol. This interference can significantly reduce the cholesterol levels in your blood stream.
Statin drugs also have some significant side effects like fatigue and muscle pain.
But what usually gets overlooked is that statins deplete CoQ10 from your body. The same pathway that produces cholesterol in the liver also produces CoQ10.
CoQ10 is a needed energy source for multiple organ system. Two of which are your heart and kidneys.
As you age your body’s ability to naturally produce CoQ10 declines with age. For example, on average CoQ10 levels decrease by the following percentage when compared to age 20:
For Your Kidneys: 27% reduction by age 40 and a 35% reduction by age 80.
For Your Heart: 32% reduction by age 40 and a 57% reduction by age 80.
If your physician has you on a statin drug, then this can drive your CoQ10 levels even lower.
To help you better understand this decrease, there is a 2004 study that looked at the effects statin drugs had on CoQ10 blood levels. The average age of the study participants was 70 years old. At the start of the study the baseline levels of blood CoQ10 was 1.26 mcg/mL.
After 14 days on a statin drug the CoQ10 blood levels dropped to .67 mcg/mL. And at the 30 day mark they were down to .62 mcg/mL.
This was a 49% reduction. And most of this reduction occurred in the first two weeks.
Optimal blood levels of CoQ10 for normal people without heart disease should be between 2 – 3 mcg/mL. And for heart failure patients, it is recommended that their CoQ10 blood levels be around 4 mcg/mL or higher.
As you can clearly see by this study, statin drugs lowered blood CoQ10 to dangerously low levels.
This is why statin drugs and CoQ10 is a very serious matter.
Additionally, statin drugs also interfere with the synthesis of vitamin K2. Vitamin K2 is needed to regulate calcium levels in the blood stream.
It does this by keeping calcium in the bones where is belongs.
Without proper vitamin K2 levels, calcium can enter epithelial cells causing hardening of arteries, heart, and kidneys.
All of these statin effects can lead to other health issues like muscle pain, cramps, weakness, and a feeling of tiredness.
In a 2018 meta-analysis of 12 randomized, controlled trials two key observations were noted:
Statins reduced CoQ10 levels by 16 to 54 percent.
CoQ10 supplementation reduced muscle pain, cramps, weakness, and tiredness.
In a clinical trial published in 2019, the use of statin drugs and CoQ10 was examined with 60 patients. All patients were taken off statins for one month. At that point they were put back on statin drugs but at half-dose. This continue for one more month. Then the group was randomly split into two:
One group continue with their statin drug but also receive 100 mg of CoQ10 per day.
The other group continue with their statin drug and a placebo.
The difference in response was significant.
The group receiving the statin with CoQ10 reported a 46.6% reduction in pain. The placebo group reported a 6.6 reduction in pain.
Additionally, blood markers for organ damage decreased significantly in the CoQ10 group. Where as the placebo group had no significant change in this area.
At the end of this study, the CoQ10 group had lower LDL and total cholesterol when compared to the placebo group. This means that even at half the statin dosage, the group using 100 mg of CoQ10 per day had better results in lowering their cholesterol and associated side effects.
Given all this information regarding statin drugs and CoQ10, the following is being suggested:
100 – 200 mg a day of CoQ10 for those on a statin drug who do not have heart failure.
400 mg a day of CoQ10 for those on a statin drug and have heart failure.
When it comes to statin drugs and CoQ10, it is clear that you need to supplement with this needed nutrient to help offset the effects statin drugs have on your liver’s ability to create this needed energy source.
If you want to take a deeper dive into this area, then the following two links would be helpful:
Blessing Lives Through Nitric Oxide Therapy!