CoQ10 and Statins:

Why There Is A Problem

What CoQ10 and Statins Have To Do With Each Other

The combination of CoQ10 and statins can be risky. 

That is why they are often discussed together in heart health literature. Both of these substances are frequently prescribed for the promotion of heart health. But that isn’t the connection. 

Statins are considered the most effective drugs for lowering LDL cholesterol. They also reduce inflammation and plaque. It is no wonder – then - that they are increasingly prescribed to many millions of people in the US alone. 

Statins reduce cholesterol by interfering with the mevalonate pathway – which is simply the pathway through which cholesterol is produced. By interrupting cholesterol production, statins reduce the amount of LDL cholesterol. 

It is this mevalonate pathway that is the connection between CoQ10 and statins.

The same process that is responsible for the production of cholesterol is also necessary for the synthesis of CoQ10.

Statins block the synthesis of both cholesterol and CoQ10 by inhibiting the enzyme HMG CoA reductase. Inhibiting HMG CoA reductase decreases mevalonate, the precursor of both cholesterol and CoQ10. 

So the unfortunate connection between CoQ10 and statins is this… If you are taking statins you are also limiting your body’s synthesis of CoQ10.

So what?

Why is this so important? Because...

CoQ10 is Essential To Your Health

We will boil down the heart health effects of CoQ10 to two items. The first is that CoQ10 is absolutely essential to the production of cellular energy. The second has to do with CoQ10's anti-oxidant properties.

CoQ10 and Energy Production:

When we talk about the relationship between CoQ10 and statins in the context of energy production, we are not talking about the fact that all of us would like to feel more energetic. I hate the fact that I don’t have as much energy as I did when I was younger. 

The production of cellular energy is much more fundamental than that. And it is not a luxury. Sufficient cellular energy is absolutely essential to proper health.

So what does CoQ10 have to do with cellular energy?

As its name implies, CoenzymeQ10 is a coenzyme. That means it is a necessary precursor to the proper functioning of certain enzymes. In this case enzymes associated with the mitochondria. 

The mitochondria are sometimes referred to as cellular power plantsbecause they generate most of a cell’s supply of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is a primary source of chemical energy. 

In other words… our cells need ATP to supply energy. Without CoQ10 there is no ATP. 

This becomes very important to heart health when we consider that cells with high metabolic demands are particularly sensitive to low energy supplies...

Cells like cardiac muscle cells (myocytes).

Cardiac muscles require high levels of energy to function properly. This has led many researchers and holistic doctors to consider CoQ10 as a link in the development of congestive heart failure. Of course the debates continue around this conclusion. Some studies claim that supplementing with CoQ10 has no effect on reducing the symptoms of CHF. Other studies demonstrate a significant improvement.


Here’s a question for you…

Are you sick and tired of just not feeling great?

Are there health issues – in addition to your heart health – that concern you? Like…

Anxiety? Or not sleeping well? Or joint pain? Or low energy? Or poor digestion? Or weight gain? Or stress? Why do so many people suffer from these symptoms and others? Those nagging health issues that seem so difficult to define.

Did you know that these health problems – as well as more serious chronic diseases – can be the result of …

  • Your body holding on to too many toxins?
  • And chronic inflammation?
  • And pH and blood sugar imbalance?
  • And your elimination organs not working well?
  • And poor nutrition?
  •  And foods that stress your system?

Many people have come to realize this and have made changes to recapture their health. We have a great – FREE – resource we want you to have. Simply click the link below.

Click here to learn how you can regain your health. 


CoQ10 and LDL Oxidation:

Another connection between CoQ10 and statins is that both reduce LDL cholesterol risk but in different ways. 

Statins – as we have already seen – reduce LDL cholesterol risk by limiting the amount of LDL that is produced.

CoQ10 reduces the risk by preventing the oxidation of LDL.CoQ10 has been shown to be a powerful antioxidant... many times more effective than vitamin-E. This has special application for heart health when it comes to the oxidation of LDL. 

Oxidation of LDL is believed to be an important step in the development of coronary heart disease as is evident from the following statement...

Intimal oxidation of LDL is considered an important early event in atherogenesis, and certain antioxidants are antiatherogenic.

The study went on to state that supplementing with a combination of CoQ10 and vitamin-E reduced the oxidation of LDL which is associated with the development of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease.

Compared with controls, VitE+CoQ10 supplementation decreased atherosclerosis at the aortic root and arch and descending thoracic aorta to an extent that increased with increasing distance from the aortic root.

CoQ10 significantly inhibited atherosclerosis at aortic root and arch, whereas VitE decreased disease at aortic root only. Thus … VitE+CoQ10 supplements are more antiatherogenic than CoQ10 or VitE supplements alone.

Click here to read the abstract in full. 

So CoQ10 and statins attack the same problem but in different ways. Statins reduce cholesterol production. CoQ10 – along with vitamin-E - reduces LDL oxidation. 

But statins hinder CoQ10 production. 

So statins – while suppressing LDL production –also hinder CoQ10 production which theoretically could increase the risk of LDL oxidation.

There is a bit of irony in there.

Dr. Langsjoen on CoQ10 and Statins

The topic of CoQ10 and statins is one that Dr. Peter Langsjoen knows well. Dr Langsjoen is a cardiologist in Tyler, TX who has been studying CoQ10 for much of his career. 

In his article entitled: The clinical use of HMG CoA-reductase inhibitors (statins) and the associated depletion of the essential co-factor coenzyme Q10; a review of pertinent human and animal data he states the evidence this way…

The peer-reviewed scientific evidence supports the following findings:

  1. Statins block the endogenous biosynthesis of both cholesterol and CoQ10 by inhibiting the enzyme HMG CoA reductase, thus decreasing mevalonate, the precursor of both cholesterol and CoQ10.
  2. CoQ10 is essential for mitochondrial ATP production and is a potent lipid soluble antioxidant present in cell membranes and carried in the blood by LDL. CoQ10 is biosynthesized in the body and available from dietary sources.
  3. Statin-induced decreases in CoQ10 are more than just hypothetical drug-nutrient interactions. Good evidence exists of significant CoQ10 depletion in humans and animals during statin therapy.
  4. Scientific evidence confirms the existence of detrimental cardiac consequences from statin induced CoQ10 deficiencies in man and animals.
  5. Statin-induced CoQ10 deficiency is dose related and the clinical consequences are notable most in the elderly and in settings of pre-existing congestive heart failure (CHF).
  6. Statin-induced CoQ10 deficiency can be completely reversed by supplemental CoQ10.
  7. Supplemental CoQ10 is safe and has no adverse effect on statin cholesterol-lowering or on statin anti-inflammatory effects.
  8. We are in the midst of a congestive heart failure epidemic in the United States. Approximately 4.8 million Americans are diagnosed with congestive heart failure. Half of those patients will die within 5 years. Each year, there are an estimated 400,000 new cases of CHF (Congestive Heart Failure Data Fact Sheet, www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/other). Although the causes of this epidemic are unknown, statin-induced CoQ10 deficiency has not been excluded as a possible contributing factor.
  9. All large-scale statin trials excluded patients with NYHA class III and IV heart failure such that the long term safety of statins in patients with heart failure has not been established.

Dr Langsjoen feels so strongly about the adverse connection between CoQ10 and statins that he advocates putting a warning in the labeling of all statins sold in the US. He says that warning should read...

HMG CoA reductase inhibitors block the endogenous biosynthesis of an essential cofactor, coenzyme Q10, required for energy production. A deficiency of coenzyme Q10 is associated with impairment of myocardial function, with liver dysfunction and with myopathies (including cardiomyopathy and congestive heart failure).

All patients taking HMG CoA reductase inhibitors should therefore be advised to take 100 to 200 mg per day of supplemental coenzyme Q10.

Be Aware of the CoQ10 and Statins Relationship

If CoQ10 deficiency is tied to coronary heart disease, cardiomyopathy, and congestive heart failure – to name a few conditions... then we should be concerned about depleting our CoQ10 stores with statins. 

Because of the data demonstrating that statins reduce the risk of heart disease we should not be quick to stop using statins where needed. However we should be aware of the side effects of statins… including CoQ10 depletion. 

Supplementing with CoQ10 is free from adverse side effects. Many doctors support its use, especially when taking statins. In light of the adverse relationship between CoQ10 and statins… supplementing with CoQ10 is a good idea.

Do You Have a Statin Story?

Statin use is growing. It is likely that you use statins or know somebody who does. 

What is your experience? Has it been good or bad? 

If you would like to tell the rest of us your story we would love to hear it. How? By creating your own webpage right here at Optimal-Heart-Health.com. It’s easy and it’s fun. Remember... this is your story. 

Would you like to tell us the great victories you have had with statin therapy? Or would you like to share about the pain and the side effects you – or someone you know - has experienced? It would help others to know what to expect and what to watch out for. 

We look forward to hearing from you. 

Click here to create your own Statin Story webpage. 

Return from CoQ10 and Statins page to the Statin Side Effects main page.

A Challenge For You!

People are making great improvements in their heart health.

How... are they doing it? By challenging themselves to change the way they eat. Really!

I have a challenge for you. It is my double dog dare.

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