Statin drugs are effective medications for improving cholesterol profiles. They do this by blocking the action of an enzyme (HMG-CoA reductase) that is required by the body to manufacture cholesterol. Unfortunately, this enzyme is also required for the body to manufacture CoQ10. CoQ10 is essential to the body's ability to generate energy, and important for normal heart function.
Like most drugs, statins can cause various undesirable side effects. Many of these side effects are thought to be related to reduced levels of CoQ10 production impaired heart function and muscle symptoms, such as muscle pain, muscle weakness, muscle cramps, and muscle tiredness.
While this connection seemed logical to most health professionals, many doctors failed to act on it. Actual clinical evidence was sparse, and experimental results were contradictory.
That may finally have changed. A new study has been published, reaching the following conclusion:
"CoQ10 supplementation ameliorated statin-associated muscle symptoms, implying that CoQ10 supplementation may be a complementary approach to manage statin-induced myopathy."
The researchers performed an extensive meta-analysis of recent and previous randomized controlled trials of CoQ10 supplementation, designed to reassess whether CoQ10 supplementation ameliorates statin-induced myopathy.
They found that "Coenzyme Q10 supplementation ameliorated statin-associated muscle symptoms, such as muscle pain, muscle weakness, muscle cramps, and muscle tiredness, demonstrated by the present meta-analysis."
What Are the Clinical Implications? What significance does this have for those patients taking statin drugs? The researchers suggest that "Coenzyme Q10 supplementation provide[s] a complementary approach to statin-associated muscle symptoms, which would be significant for the patients with cardiovascular diseases who are intolerant to statin treatment because of statin-associated muscle symptoms."
Reference: Effects of Coenzyme Q10 on Statin-Induced Myopathy: An Updated Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Hua Qu, MD, PhD; Ming Guo, MD, PhD; Hua Chai, MD, PhD; Wen-ting Wang, MD, PhD; Zhu-ye Gao, MD, PhD; Da-zhuo Shi, MD, PhD. Published in the Journal of the American Heart Assoc.
Comments by Don Goldberg: CoQ10 and Ubiquinol are beneficial in many ways. It is now clear that this is especially true for those with heart disease and those taking statin drugs. There is much upside to supplementing with this nutrient, and little downside. The pharmacists and nutritionists at Willner Chemists are available to help you choose the best CoQ10 or Ubiquinol supplement for your specific needs.
Coenzyme Q10 and its reduced form Ubiquinol, are both fat soluble and should be taken with meals. They are available from many suppliers, and my preference is a soft gelatin capsule such as: