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)
http://nybcsecure.org/product_info.php?cPath=47&products_id=357(Douglas Labs 200mg chewable tablet formula)