CoQ10 with statins

Researchers studying the effects of the cholesterol-lowering statin drugs over the last decade found that patients taking statins were likely to also have lowered levels of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), a coenzyme naturally produced in the body and important to the function of organs such as the heart. Further study has also indicated that supplementing with CoQ10 while taking statins can reverse the deficiency and limit the side effects.

A few facts and recommendations about CoQ10:

CoQ10 functions inside cells to make energy; the highest amounts of the coenzyme are found in the heart, liver, kidneys and pancreas. The muscles of the heart are especially sensitive to CoQ10 deficiency.

Statins act by inhibiting an enzyme, HMG-CoA reductase, that is responsible for synthesizing both cholesterol and CoQ10. So statins seem to simultaneously decrease cholesterol and CoQ10 levels.

A 2004 report in the American Journal of Cardiology found that 70% of people in a study group taking the statin Lipitor showed heart muscle weakness after six months. This weakness was reversed by taking CoQ10.

CoQ10 has also been studied for these statin side effects: muscle pain and weakness, fatigue, memory loss, shortness of breath and peripheral neuropathy.

A common recommendation for those taking a statin: supplement with 100 mg CoQ10 softgel twice daily, in the morning and at noon. Avoid insomnia by taking it early in the day. Be sure to consult your doctor about the possibility of CoQ10 interacting with any blood thinner you may be taking.

Reference: Marc Silver et al. Effect of atorvastatin on left ventricular diastolic function and ability of coenzyme Q10 to reverse that dysfunction. American Journal of Cardiology. Volume 94, Issue 10 , Pages 1306-1310, 15 November 2004.

See the NYBC entries for more details:
(Jarrow 100mg CoQ10 Qsorb)

or Labs 200mg chewable tablet formula)


CoQ10 for heart health

Clinical studies have shown repeatedly that CoQ10 has potent abilities to assist the heart muscle, and as an adjunct treatment for angina, congestive heart failure, arrhythmia, hypertension (high blood pressure), and drug toxicity. In Japan, it has been widely used, and over several decades, for these types of heart health issues, and that’s one reason why its potential effectiveness and safety profile are at this point quite well characterized.

Research has also shown that as cellular levels of CoQ10 decrease, HIV disease progresses. Other studies have documented CoQ10’s immune restorative qualities, including restoration of T cell function. Many people with HIV find that CoQ10 is an important nutrient to aid in detoxification if one uses nucleoside analogs (AZT ddI, ddC, d4T, etc.), or other toxic drugs. (For example, studies have shown clear benefit when used with a heart toxic chemotherapy drug called adriamycin.)

In addition, we’ve seen widely circulated the recommendation, based on various levels of evidence, that people taking statin drugs—used to manage cholesterol—also take CoQ10. (Levels of CoQ10 in the blood are notably depleted when using this class of drugs, and there is potential for metabolic disruptions in the body as a result.)

A 2007 pilot study showed relief of muscle pain (myopathy) in people taking statins who also took 100mg/day of CoQ10. However, we have also found recommendations for higher dosages (200mg/day or more) for a variety of heart-related conditions.

For further details, see NYBC’s entry on Q-sorb Plus 100mg (Jarrow), specifically designed for enhanced absorption.

See also other forms of CoQ10, at both higher and lower dosages and in combination with other supplements, at