There is a raging controversy over coenzyme Q10 and statins: to supplement or not? Just yesterday in the Herald Tribune, doctor was posed the question whether to supplement with Co Q10 while on statins. His answer was an undeniable NO.
However, other conventional doctors, some at UCLA medical clinics, some at UCSF medical centers say YES, definitely. So why the controversy?
In looking back over the scholarly articles on this topic, it is clear that statins interfere with the metabolic pathways that produce Co Q10 in our bodies. Coenzyme Q10 is a substance that is found in all our cells, particularly in the heart, liver, kidneys, and pancreas. It is an antioxidant and is important in the reactive pathways that generate ATP in cells. ATP is the energetic molecule that provides cells their fuel.
It is suspected that the depletion of Coenzyme Q10 while on a statin prescription causes the muscle myopathy or pain that is one of the more noxious and often irreversible side effects of statin use. Studies have been undertaken to see whether additional Co Q10 will inhibit this side effect by allowing our cells to have adequate amounts of this compound to function properly. The trials on this theory are yet inconclusive.
This brings to mind the 1960′s when supplements and health were just on the rise. Prior to this time, only cod liver oil was taken and vitamins were almost unheard of. I had been told a number of times that taking vitamins was a waste of my money and I was just flushing it down the toilet. Since then, there have been a number of well controlled studies to show that my use of supplements was the right choice.
This is clear by the way I feel and even look. My 80 year old father started supplements in the early 60s (we were the health nuts down the block). He is however, outliving everyone he knows. At 80, he is still on no medications such as blood pressure pills and cholesterol pills, is still lively and active, going to the gym at least 3 times a week, still gardening, and able to do what he wants. This is aging gracefully.
I view this example as a similar situation. There will be fits and starts until we figure out whether it really works. So why not hedge your bets and take it? It can’t harm you and it might even help. Better would be to move to a healthier lifestyle and rid yourself of the need to take statins or CoQ10.
Coenzyme Q10 and Statins: To supplement or not?
Lipitor is one of the statins. It is true that statins appear to lower the production of natural Q10, but it isn’t proven that the Q10 is protective against one of the rare complications of these medicines. Dr. Donohue in the Herald Tribune
Despite the controvery on Coenzyme Q10 and statins: to supplement or not, it would just make sense that if the medication depletes a necessary nutrient, that a small insurance against a noxious side effect would be to supplement with CoQ10. It could possibly save you from going on another drug to counteract the effects of the first one. The best bet however, is to avoid statins if you possibly can. If you can’t, this would make more sense.