Statin medications? What are we to think? StatinsStatins are a class of medications that effectively block the body’s synthesis of cholesterol. In so doing, statins also block the body’s synthesis of Coenzyme Q10.... Read more about this term undoubtedly lower cholesterol levels and reduce the number of heart attacks.
But statin medications can and do have adverse effects [Okuyama]. One of the undesirable unintended consequences of taking a statin medication is that the patient’s bio-synthesis of Coenzyme Q10 is also inhibited. The body produces cholesterol and Coenzyme Q10 in the same biological pathway. Cut off one, and you cut off the other as well.
Q. Good morning, Dr. Judy. You have talked with us about the safety of Coenzyme Q10 supplements, and you have told us that the formulation of the supplement is decisive for the absorption of Coenzyme Q10Coenzyme Q10 molecules are fat-soluble molecules that are both bsynthesized in the body and ingested in the diet and in supplements. Coenzyme Q10 is synthesized in the body in the same biological pathway as cholesterol. Bio-synthesis of Coenzyme Q10 begins to decline once humans reach their adult years. The reduced production of Coenzyme Q10 cannot be compensated in any practical... Read more about this term. Shouldn’t we talk today about why we adults need daily Coenzyme Q10 supplements?
A. Yes, indeed. Coenzyme Q10 is very much needed and, at the same time, very little known by most people. Our bodies produce Coenzyme Q10 –called ubiquinone –, and Coenzyme Q10 is found in all of our cells except the red blood cells. That should tell us something.
There are surprisingly many prescription drugs that inhibit the body’s bio-synthesis of Coenzyme Q10 or inhibit the body’s absorption of Coenzyme Q10 from supplements or both. Of course, there are many drugs that inhibit the uptake of other nutrients as well, but it is difficult to think of any one supplement that is more important to us as we age.
Coenzyme Q10 is “the essential bio-nutrient” (in the words of the chemist Dr. Karl Folkers), and our bodies produce less and less of it as we get older. It is practically impossible to make up for the decreased bio-synthesis from food alone. We, all of us, need a well-formulated Coenzyme Q10 supplement.
There are two issues concerning the use of statin medications that relate to Coenzyme Q10.
The more serious issue is that several animal and human studies have shown that the administration of statin medications leads to a reduction in the plasma and muscle tissue levels of Coenzyme Q10. There is no doubt that depletion of Coenzyme Q10 is an unintended consequence of taking statin medications. Some human trials have shown the extent of the reduction to be 40 % or greater. Furthermore, ageing seems to play a role in the diminution of Coenzyme Q10 levels caused by the administration of statin medications [Deichmann]. Decreased plasma and heart muscle tissue levels of Coenzyme Q10 are associated with the increasing severity of heart failureThe Mayo Clinic defines heart failure, also known as congestive heart failure and/or chronic heart failure, as the failure of the heart muscle to pump blood to the body adequately. In other words, heart failure is not a heart attack, and it is not death from heart disease, which its name might seem to imply. Heart failure is a condition... Read more about this term [Folkers, Mortensen].
Dr. William V. Judy earned his doctorate degree in physiology and bio-physics in 1971. He has worked as an aerospace scientist in NASA’s manned spacecraft center and has taught in the Indiana University School of Medicine as a Professor of Physiology. Dr. Judy has worked in basic and clinical research for 56 years now; the major focus of his research has been on the absorption, efficacy, and safety of Coenzyme Q10. He was an early colleague of Dr. Karl Folkers, with whom he carried out joint research studies for 21 years. Absorption of Coenzyme Q10 from supplements
Dr. Judy makes the following points about the absorption of Coenzyme Q10:
Professor Franklin Rosenfeldt, MD and Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons (Edinburgh), is an adjunct professor and cardiac surgeon in the Department of Surgery, Monash University, a university based in Melbourne, Australia. Dr. Rosenfeldt is also the administrative supervisor of The Integrative Cardiac Wellness Program at The Alfred, a tertiary teaching hospital in Prahran, (a suburb of Melbourne), Victoria, Australia.
Q10 research at The Alfred
The Alfred’s services include heart and lung replacement and transplantation as well as many other specialized services. For 30 years, Dr. Rosenfeldt has been conducting cardiac surgery research at The Alfred. His special research interest has been the protection of the heart against damage during heart surgery. In this context, he has done much research on the role of Coenzyme Q10 and fish oil in the management of heart disease.