CoEnzyme Q10 and Statins
Produced naturally in the body, coenzyme Q10 is a dietary supplement and is available in capsule form. Its commercial names are Co-Q10, Coenzyme Q10 or CoQ10.
Taking a coenzyme Q10 supplement, researchers believe, brings about beneficial effects for people suffering from seriously damaged muscles or those who experience side effects such as muscle and joint pain. If someone is on statins and then takes coenzyme Q10, the statins may not be able to do the work they're supposed to do, although there is insufficient proof for this theory.
Benefits of Taking Coenzyme Q10 with Statins
Statins are said to restrict the production of coenzyme Q10. This coenzyme uses the same biological tracts used by cholesterol. But there are studies that recommend that they be taken together.
Certain medical conditions generate the need for CoQ10 supplements.
While statins have distinct advantages, some people have reported side effects: pancreatic discomfort, gastrointestinal irregularities, myositis, myalgias, muscle cramps, and cognition loss. Some of the rarer side effects include the deterioration of muscle tissue and kidney failure.
The debate continues on the relationship between coenzyme Q10 and statins. When statins cause side effects, one advocate group believes it is, in fact, the result of low coenzyme Q10 levels. Myopathies (e.g. muscle tissue degeneration, muscle pain) are often discussed to support this belief.
Those who recommend coenzyme Q10 for these conditions share the opinion that a decrease in CoQ10 levels is to be blamed for the side effects generated by statins. Statins prevent the production of melavonate, a substance the body needs to produce coenzyme Q10. So should these supplements still be recommended? No one knows at the moment. But, probably.
To note: for the majority of people, coenzyme Q10 doesn't cause side effects. And yet, some recent studies demonstrate that coenzyme Q10 may help relieve the symptomatic side effects caused by statins.
The mitochondria is the "powerhouse" of the cell. It is responsible for providing the energy required for cellular activities. The problem is that statins hinder the production of mevalonate - an indispensable chemical in coenzyme Q10 production.
The belief among scientific researchers is that when a person suffers from chronic muscle pain, it could mean that the person has low levels of coenzyme Q10. Myopathies, although not occurring often, are linked to the use of statins, but are more evident when doses of statins or other drugs exceed what is prescribed.
Health food stores sell coenzyme Q10 as a dietary supplement (they carry labels with the name "CoQ10."). It has become popular for treating disorders like Parkinson's disease and migraines.
But should we also associate decreased muscle pain with the use of statins?
Still some Uncertainty...
In one word: inconclusive. Studying the effects of a coenzyme Q10 supplement on muscle pain and weakness associated with statins still cannot be confirmed. There may be circumstances where statin users show low coenzyme Q10 levels in the blood and in muscle tissue, but any physical changes are rarely observed.
What is encouraging to note is that some trials have actually pointed to the fact that people who take at least 100 mg of coenzyme Q10 one to four times daily have shown a 40% reduction in muscle plain and weakness, especially after 30 days. More rigorous testing may be required. But let's not turn our backs to those studies that can potentially point to the benefits of coenzyme Q10 for treating - or relieving - muscle disorders.