Statin medications? What are we to think? Statins 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.
The heart muscle cells need Coenzyme Q10
Low plasma and tissue concentrations of Coenzyme Q10 are clearly associated with increased risk of heart failure [Folkers].
Low plasma Coenzyme Q10 levels are an independent predictor of death from The 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 [Molyneux].
Note: The American Heart Association defines heart failure is the chronic, progressive failure of the heart to pump adequate quantities of blood to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the bodily organs.
Statin medication plus Coenzyme Q10 supplementation
Dr. Daniel Pella and a team of researchers at the Medical Faculty of P. J. Safarik University in Kosice, Slovakia, have investigated the effect of adding Coenzyme Q10 and/or omega-3 fatty acid supplements to the diet of heart disease patients taking a statin medication [Tóth].
Dr. Pella was also one of the researchers on the 2014 Q-Symbio study of the effect of Coenzyme Q10 adjuvant treatment in The 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 [Mortensen].
In this current study, the Slovak researchers were particularly interested in studying the effect of Coenzyme Q10 supplementation on atherogenesis (= the accumulation of plaque on the inside walls of arteries).
Study design: Coenzyme Q10 and statin medications
The researchers enrolled 105 patients diagnosed with elevated cholesterol levels and elevated triglyceride levels and randomly assigned them to one of three groups.
They called the group that got the statin medication only the control group. They formed two experimental groups as follows:
- The second group got 2.52 grams of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplements daily.
- The third group got 2.52 grams of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids daily plus 200 milligrams of Coenzyme Q10 daily.
The researchers evaluated the patients at the start of the study and again at the end of the 3-month study period [Tóth].
Study results: Coenzyme Q10 and statin medications
Compared to patients in the control group, patients in both treatment groups had The outcome of a clinical trial is thought to have statistical significance, or to be statistically significant, if the outcome is likely not caused by chance at a given statistical significance level, typically at the 0.05 level. Statistically significant outcomes may or may not be clinically significant.... Read more about this term reductions:
- in liver enzyme activity
- in systolic blood pressure
- in bio-markers for Inflammation is an immune system response to an injury to cells or tissues. It is the body’s attempt to defend against invaders such as bacteria andviruses and to mend the damage done by invaders. Typically, inflammation manifests itself in the form of fever and swelling, in the swarming of white blood cells and the release of cytokines to fight against... Read more about this term
- in triglyceride levels
Furthermore, the patients in the two treatment groups had significantly increased antioxidant activity:
- superoxide dismutase antioxidant activity
- glutathione peroxidase antioxidant activity
Increased health benefits with Coenzyme Q10 added
Now comes the most gratifying aspect of the research study. The combination of Coenzyme Q10 supplementation and polyunsaturated fatty acids, added to the statin medication, significantly reduced important parameters even beyond what adding the omega-3 fatty acids alone did:
- reduced systolic blood pressure
- reduced hsCRP – a bio-marker for inflammation
- reduced IL-6 – a bio-marker for inflammation
Coenzyme Q10 and superoxide dismutase levels
The addition of the daily Coenzyme Q10 supplements further improved the activity of the very important antioxidant called superoxide dismutase. Superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase are the most important antioxidant enzymes protecting the cells and lipids and proteins and DNA against oxidative damage caused by harmful Free radicals are unstable and highly reactive molecules that are produced in the body during normal oxygen metabolism. Free radicals derived from oxygen are known as reactive oxygen species. Free radicals play both helpful and harmful roles in the body. Free radicals steal electrons from other substances in order to become stable. In so doing, the free radicals oxidize those... Read more about this term.
Coenzyme Q10 and fewer adverse effects of statins
Moreover, the addition of the Coenzyme Q10 to the treatment significantly reduced the intensity of the adverse effects of the statin medication.
This is an important study [Tóth]. The addition of omega-3 fatty acid supplements and Coenzyme Q10 supplements to the diet of patients taking statin medications confers beneficial health effects related to atherogenesis and side effects of statin treatment.
The Coenzyme Q10 preparation used in this study is the same Coenzyme Q10 supplement used in the following studies:
- Q-Symbio study [Mortensen 2014]
- KiSel-10 study [Alehagen 2013]
- Gulf War Veterans study [Golomb 2013]
Alehagen, U., Johansson, P., Björnstedt, M., Rosén, A., & Dahlström, U. (2013). Cardiovascular mortality and N-terminal-proBNP reduced after combined Selenium (symbol Se, atomic number 34) is a trace element that is an essential nutrient and an essential component of some of the most important antioxidants in the body, in particular the selenoproteins glutathione peroxidase, thioredoxin reductase, and selenoprotein P. Selenium is involved in the optimal functioning of the immune system. Professor Alehagen has pointed out that there exists a... Read more about this term and Coenzyme Q10 supplementation: a 5-year prospective randomized A double-blind study is a study in which neither the investigators nor the study participants know which participants are receiving the active treatment and which participants are receiving the control treatment until the study has been completed and the seal on the code has been broken.... Read more about this term placebo-controlled trial among elderly Swedish citizens. International Journal of Cardiology, 167(5), 1860-1866.
Folkers, K., Vadhanavikit, S., & Mortensen, S. A. (1985). Biochemical rationale and myocardial tissue data on the effective therapy of cardiomyopathy with Coenzyme Q10. Proceedings of The National Academy of Sciences of The United States of America, 82(3), 901-904.
Golomb, B. (2014). Coenzyme Q10 and Gulf War illness. Neural Computation, 26(11), 2594-651.
Molyneux, S. L., Florkowski, C. M., George, P. M., Pilbrow, A. P., Frampton, C. M., Lever, M., & Richards, A. M. (2008). Coenzyme Q10: an independent predictor of mortality in chronic heart failure. Journal of The American College of Cardiology, 52(18), 1435-1441. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2008.07.044
Mortensen, S. A., Rosenfeldt, F., Kumar, A., Dolliner, P., Filipiak, K. J., Pella, D., & Littarru, G. P. (2014). The effect of Coenzyme Q10 on morbidity and mortality in chronic heart failure: results from Q-SYMBIO: a randomized double-blind trial. JACC. Heart Failure, 2(6), 641-649.
Okuyama, H., Langsjoen, P. H., Hamazaki, T., Ogushi, Y., Hama, R., Kobayashi, T., & Uchino, H. (2015). Statins stimulate Atherosclerosis is the thickening of the artery walls brought about by the build-up of plaque (plaque is made up of cholesterol and other fatty substances and waste products and calcium and fibrin) and the subsequent slowing of the flow of blood through the clogged arteries. More research is needed into the role of Coenzyme Q10 in the prevention and adjunct... Read more about this term and heart failure: pharmacological mechanisms. Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology, 8(2), 189-199. doi:10.1586/17512433.2015.1011125
Tóth, Š., Šajty, M., Pekárová, T., Mughees, A., Štefanič, P., Katz, M., & … Pella, D. (2017). Addition of omega-3 fatty acid and coenzyme Q10 to statin therapy in patients with combined dyslipidemia. Journal of Basic and Clinical Physiology and Pharmacology, 28(4), 327-336. doi:10.1515/jbcpp-2016-0149
The information presented in this review article is not intended as medical advice and should not be used as such.
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