Are you looking for information on coenzyme q10 and statins? This article gives you details about their usage, explains their properties, and sheds some light on the controversies surrounding their use.
To begin with, let’s understand what coenzyme q10 and statins are, individually. Coenzyme q10, also known as ubiquinone, and abbreviated to CoQ10, is a 1,4 benzoquinone compound produced by the human body as well as most eukaryotic cells, and is found mainly in mitochondria. CoQ10 levels have been known to lower within the body with the advancement of age; certain people who suffer from chronic medical conditions like Parkinson’s disease, cancer, and HIV have also exhibited low levels of CoQ10.
It is required by the body for the production of ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) and takes part in the process of aerobic respiration. Statins are a class of drug, prescribed primarily to lower cholesterol levels, but also as a secondary supplemental treatment for diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease. Studies show that the use of statins can significantly lower LDL cholesterol levels, while raising levels of HDL cholesterol. This means a decrease in heart disease and other cardiovascular disorders.
The use of statins has been found to inhibit the production of Coenzyme Q10, which uses the same biological pathways as cholesterol―this is why some studies suggest prescribing supplements of coezymeQ10 along with statins to counter this effect. Although the CoQ10 supplements are recommended for a number of medical conditions, some feel that the findings are insubstantial in proving an obvious benefit in health, as a result, the co-relation of coenzyme q10 and statins, and the prescription of CoQ10 supplements for healthy people remains controversial.
For all their benefits, statins have a number of reported side effects. These can range from myalgias, myositis, pancreatic disorders, gastrointestinal problems, muscle cramps, and cognition loss to rarer, but reported, cases of pathological degeneration of skeletal muscle tissue and acute renal failure.
There are a number of side effects that are associated with the use of statins, which a school of thought believes can be linked with lowered levels of Coenzyme Q10. This is especially seen in some myopathies―causing degeneration of muscle tissue, and manifesting in symptoms like muscle cramps and pain.
Supporters of the prescription of coenzyme q10 in these conditions believe that these symptoms are caused by the drop in CoQ10 levels that statins cause, by the inhibition of the production of mevalonate, which is needed by the body for the development of Coenzyme Q10. As such, there is little medical evidence to support this theory, and the jury is still out on whether the use of these supplements should be advocated.
Coenzyme Q10 occurs naturally in certain foods like salmon, sardines, mackerel, soybean oil, olive oil, peanuts, walnuts, sesame seeds, pistachios, and hazelnuts, as well as parsley, blackberries, spinach, and avocado. However, it is also available in the form of health supplements in most health stores. Typically, CoQ10 dosage is between 30 mg and 90 mg a day, taken in divided doses.
It is advisable to take these supplements along with a meal containing oil, since coenzyme Q10 is fat soluble. Statins are generally started on a dosage of between 20 mg and 40 mg, but doses of up to 80 mg have become routine, as target levels for serum cholesterol have progressively been lowered.
As in the case of all drugs, it’s important to consult a qualified medical practitioner before you begin any kind of medication. As the controversy surrounding coenzyme q10 and statins continues, until such time that there is conclusive medical evidence to support the prescription of CoQ10 supplements to counter the effect of statins, it’s safest to avoid combining these two groups of medication.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.