Statin User? You Must Take CoQ10!
by Dorothy Evanovich
Are you currently on statin drug therapy? Here’s a fair warning. Without taking coenzyme Q10, you may be putting your health in serious jeopardy, just like the majority of people taking these cholesterol drugs in the United States.
Millions of Americans are taking statins, making this cholesterol-lowering medication one of the most prescribed in the country. At present, experts believe that even children and teenagers, who are potentially at risk of elevated levels of cholesterol, should take them.
What people generally don’t know is that statins function by blocking the enzyme found in your liver tasked with producing cholesterol. With this restriction, your CoQ10 production is also hindered, as this is also produced in the same pathway where cholesterol is created.
There are no official warnings in America regarding the depletion of your CoQ10 levels due to statins. Many doctors fail to inform their patients about this pressing health issue as well. This is a far cry from labeling in Canada, where there is clear warning of CoQ10 depletion and even a note that this nutrient deficiency “could lead to impaired cardiac function in patients with borderline congestive heart failure.”
What Is It with Statins and CoQ10 Depletion?
CoQ10 is an antioxidant compound that is integral to the process of energy production within your mitochondria. It is also crucial in the quenching of free radicals. Research notes that statins impair mitochondrial function, leading to increased free radical production.
Statins lower your CoQ10 levels at the same time. These medications do this by blocking the pathway involved in producing cholesterol, which is the very same pathway by which Q10 is created. Additionally, statins reduce the blood cholesterol that moves CoQ10 and other fat-soluble antioxidants around.
CoQ10 loss leads to cell energy loss and heightened free radical production, which can further damage your mitochondrial DNA in turn. This efficiently sets into motion a vicious cycle of increasing free radicals and mitochondrial damage. All these very well explain why statins are a glaring risk if you have existing mitochondrial defect, because your system depends on enough CoQ10 to bypass the damage.
If, after looking at the evidence, you determine that CoQ10 supplementation makes good sense to you, it is vital to take ubiquinol or the reduced version if you are over age 40. Ubiquinol is far more effective and has many other benefits.
If you are not worried, know that high blood pressure and diabetes are associated with higher rates of mitochondrial problems. Your risk of statin complications rises if you have either of these conditions, according to a recent study. And since statins can cause progressive mitochondrial damage as time goes by (and since your mitochondria weakens with age), expect new side effects to develop while you are on statin drugs.
How to Naturally Optimize Your Cholesterol Levels
Here is the cold hard truth: there is really no reason for you to take statins and suffer through the adverse effects, unless you have a genetic defect called familiar hypercholesterolemia (which makes you resistant to traditional measures of normalizing cholesterol).
Follow the simple and statin-free guidelines below to help optimize your health and your cholesterol levels – naturally, of course!
• Reduce and eventually eliminate sugar and grains, because this will normalize your insulin levels. For those who don’t know, statins trigger the onset of diabetes by raising your insulin levels. Remember: if this were to progress to chronic inflammation, you are at risk for numerous disorders, including heart disease – the primary problem that statins are assumed to prevent.
• Take plenty of high-quality animal-based omega-3 fats, mainly from high-quality krill oil.
• Exercise regularly or nearly every day. Pay special attention to the type that nearly all people fail to have, which is anaerobic sprint cardio training. Bear in mind that ample rest periods, allowing your muscles to recover, should accompany your exercise program.
• Eat foods according to your Nutritional Type.
• Consume a good portion of your food raw.
• If you are a man – or a woman who is in menopause – check your iron levels, which can cause major oxidative damage in your blood vessels, heart, and other body organs when elevated. Excess iron is among the major contributing factors of cancer risk, too.
• Address your emotional stresses through effective tools like the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). Your emotional health is closely linked to your physical health.
• Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol excessively.
Statins lower your cholesterol at your health’s expense, while these natural lifestyle techniques support your overall health, wellness, and cholesterol levels. Which route would you rather take?
(Dorothy Evanovich is a wellness blogger who is mother to three kids and is based in Ontario, Canada. She is currently running a blog series on adverse drug effects, including the consequences of taking statin drugs. She says there is plenty of material on statins side effects, which have been exposed in over 900 studies.)