CoQ10 and Statins. What is the relationship?

Functional Nutrition with Carmen Gresa-Alemany, functional nutrition therapy

CoQ10, is short for Coenzyme Q10 and it is found in all cell membranes, but mainly concentrated in tissues with high energy requirements. Heart, skeletal muscle, brain, liver, kidneys, adrenals, pancreas and spleen are some of the main users of this fantastic nutrient. CoQ10 is a crucial component of adenosine triphosphate or ATP, what our bodies use as fuel, like petrol to a car.  

Statins are often prescribed to patients that have had a stroke or heart attack as a preventative measure against heart disease, as well as to those with high cholesterol levels. Millions of people take them currently in the UK, with the numbers increasing each year; this medicine is usually prescribed for life. Statins work by reducing the pathway that produces cholesterol in the liver, so your cholesterol levels will go down when taking them, as you don’t produce as much, however, at the same time, will decrease your own natural ability to produce an important and much-needed nutrient for good health, CoQ10 as it is produced by that same pathway as cholesterol.

This CoQ10 is one of the ingredients to produce energy and also acts as an antioxidant, let’s say it reduces the rust produced by your main engine, the heart, and the toxins associated with chronic disease.

    If you take statins, do you recognise any of these symptoms? Being unusually tired, muscle pain, sleep problems, muscle weakness, unexplained fatigue, stomach issues. If any of these sound familiar, low CoQ10 could be the cause due to your Statins consumption. Research shows that when taking Statins, CoQ10 confers protection to the heart muscle as this precious muscle has one of the highest concentrations of ATP in the body, so the more fuel the muscle needs the higher CoQ10 need.

CoQ10 is found in offal, beef, sardines, broccoli, spinach and cauliflower, but not in high enough levels that food sources could cover our entire needs. It is produced inside our cells, however its concentrations decline gradually with age.

    What message should you take away from this article? If you take statins you should consider adding CoQ10 as soon as possible to your supplements, to make sure your engine (heart) has the fuel it needs to carry on working.

Available from health food stores and pharmacies

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