Wondering about taking coenzyme Q10 and statins? Cholesterol lowering drugs, known as statins, reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) in the body, which helps reduce the risk of heart disease. However, statins also reduce the body’s coenzyme Q10 levels and, ironically, low CoQ10 levels are a risk factor for heart disease. So the drugs that are meant to prevent heart disease are actually doing something to increase the risk.
For this reason, many scientists and health practitioners recommend that their patients on statins take a CoQ10 supplement in order to counterract the CoQ10 lowering effects of the drugs.
CoQ10 is a naturally occurring coenzyme that is present in every cell of the body and in many foods. It is safe with very few side effects, although people taking higher doses may have mild side effects like gastrointestinal distress or headaches. The good news is that extremely high doses at the levels that would cause side effects are usually not required in order to gain the benefits that CoQ10 provides.
Some doctors are still not aware of this, however. My grandmother was on statins and a cocktiail of other drugs and also had congestive heart failure. My parents talked to her doctor about giving her CoQ10 supplements. He didn’t know anything about CoQ10 and said he didn’t really think it would do anything for her, but agreed to let her take it since there are virtually no side effects.
What happened amazed him. Her overall health improved significantly and she was able to reduce the amount of time she spent on an oxygen tank. He became a convert to CoQ10 and was no longer just “allowing” her to take the supplement in order to pacify us, but actually insisted that she take it and made sure her nurses always gave it to her.
If you or someone you love is taking statins or has congestive heart failure, it’s so important that you talk to the doctor about supplementing with CoQ10. If the doctor questions you or doubts whether CoQ10 will help, kindly tell him or her that he or she is not informed on the topic and ask him or her to read this article from the University of Washington about the research done on CoQ10 and why more doctors don’t know about it.