The Importance of CoQ10 When You Take Cholesterol-Reducing Statin Drugs
Many people take statin drugs such as Lipitor to reduce the amount of cholesterol in their blood. Statin drugs reduce the body’s cholesterol level by suppressing the activity of a liver enzyme which is involved in producing cholesterol. Unfortunately, as with many medicines there are side effects.
The enzyme which helps produce cholesterol also helps your body’s production of Co enzyme Q10. Co enzyme Q10 (also known as CoQ10 or Ubiquinone) is an important part of the metabolic processes that give energy to our cells. It is absolutely necessary to your body’s ability to produce energy at a cellular level. Low levels of CoQ10 can result in fatigue, muscle pain and weakness and is especially important in the heart.
CoQ10 is found throughout the body but the highest levels are in the heart. So the heart is most susceptible to deficiency. Low levels are associated with premature aging since the cells do not have enough energy to do their jobs well.
Lipoproteins in the bloodstream carry cholesterol to and from the cells. Co enzyme Q10 helps prevent LDL or low-density lipoprotein (the bad cholesterol) from oxidizing and clogging the arteries. It is ironic then, that people taking statin drugs to lower cholesterol as a means of reducing the possibility of heart disease are also lowering their levels of CoQ10 which helps protect the heart and cardiovascular system from this same potentially harmful cholesterol.
You do not have to take Co enzyme Q10 as a supplement, it is available naturally through many foods such as: beans, beef, eggs, fish, (especially codfish, mackerel, salmon, sardines) spinach, whole grains and organ meats. But it is very difficult to get the levels of CoQ10 that we need from food – especially as we age and our natural production drops. I have seen recommendations for daily supplement levels of 30mg to 400mg per day. Consult your doctor about what amounts you should take, especially if you currently take statin drugs.
Co enzyme Q10 can be taken as a supplement alone, or in conjunction with various other nutrients such as fish oil supplements. Taking a supplement of CoQ10 can be beneficial in many ways especially if you are at risk for, or have, heart disease or high blood pressure. It helps to boost energy to the whole body and especially to the heart which can help the heart function more efficiently. This enzyme is also known to be a potent anti-oxidant by working together with Vitamin E to help destroy free radicals which can damage the body.
CoQ10 just might be one of those supplements that are really important for nearly everyone as they age.
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Kristine Clemenger, Holistic Health Practitioner