The Correlation Between CoQ10 and Statin-Induced Muscle Pain
If you have high blood pressure or you are overweight, diabetic or sedentary, you should know your cholesterol levels because keeping them in the normal range will lower your death risk in the short and long term. Now if you need drug therapy to reduce your cholesterol levels, you're probably on a statin. Statins are a class of highly effective cholesterol-lowering drugs that work to inhibit HMG-CoA reductase. Statins work by lowering cholesterol and moderately increase good cholesterol. High levels of "bad" cholesterol are a contributor to heart disease and other negative cardiovascular outcomes.
Statins have been extensively studied and are very effective at improving cholesterol measures and overall cardiovascular outcomes. For example, taking statins for 5 years will prevent 1 heart attack for each 28 patients treated and will prevent 1 heart-related death in 69 patients. Statin therapy is even effective at preventing a first heart attack though the effects are less impressive than in those who have already had cardiac events.
In general, statins are well tolerated. Muscle pain (myalgia) is the only common side effect. Risk factors for muscle pain include age, acute or chronic renal failure, hypothyroidism, genetics, the statin dose and other medications.
Some side effects have been established as clearly linked to statins: Increased liver enzymes as well as muscle pain with elevated muscle breakdown enzyme.
Uncommon side effects reported with statin therapy include more severe forms of muscle pain. Statin-associated muscle pain typically appears as aching muscle pain and muscle weakness, usually affecting both sides of the body and more than one muscle group. Red flags for medical referral include flu-like symptoms, low back and/or proximal muscle pain and brownish colored urine.
It's been proposed that statins may reduce the amount of Coenzyme Q10 in the body, since it shares a metabolic pathway with cholesterol. Also named ubiquinone, Coenzyme Q10 is an oil-soluble, vitamin-like substance present in most cells of our body but mostly in mitochondria of heart and liver cells. Coenzyme Q10 levels are highest in the first 20 years of life. It declines with age to the point that at 80 years of age, the levels are lower than at birth. It has many functions in the body, ranging from antioxidant to biochemical cofactor. Limited data suggests that low levels of CoQ10 cause myalgia.
Muscle pain during statin treatment is a common problem encountered by patients and a frequent question posted to pharmacists. The documented benefits of statins on morbidity and mortality suggest that all evidence-based efforts should be made to keep patients on therapy. Persuasive evidence suggests that the use of CoQ10 may help people with statin-induced muscle pain.
A good idea for people that are getting older is to get CoQ10 supplementation. It is easy and convenient. It's also recommended to try pure green coffee bean extract as a stack on top of CoQ10 supplementation.