Bonnie: All the more reason to take CoQ10 if you are taking a statin.
In Gretchen Reynolds article, "Do Statins Make it Tough to Exercise," she eloquently brought attention to side effects patients must endure while taking statin medication. Statins' effect on mitochondria can be detrimental to muscles, especially in those who exercise regularly. The research she cites, in which joggers saw an extreme rise in free radical production, is well known to the manufacturers of statins as well as health professionals. Unfortunately, Ms. Reynolds missed a golden opportunity to present one crucial aspect of this issue. Co-enzyme Q10, or CoQ10, ensures optimally functioning mitochondria because it quenches excess free radical production. CoQ10 is depleted by statin medication.
Merck, maker of the popular Zocor, applied for patents in 1989 and 1990 for CoQ10-simvastatin combination products. The company’s 1989 patent application states that a combined statin-CoQ10 product might be effective against not only cardiomyopathy, but also elevated levels of the enzyme transaminase, which reflects liver damage. The company has thus far declined to exercise these patents, and the FDA and other major drug manufacturers have yet to acknowledge the risk of CoQ10 depletion from statins.
Many cardiologists recommend CoQ10 supplements to patients taking statin medications because humans do not produce CoQ10. It can only be obtained through meat products and supplements.
Statin medication is currently being considered by the FDA to be sold over-the-counter. The public must know every detail of these medication, even if the truth is not as rosy as we would like it to be.