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I have been taking a statin drug for my high cholesterol for several years.

Q. Dear Terry, “I have been taking a statin drug for my high cholesterol for several years. I recently read that statins can decrease the amount of CoQ10 in the body. How much CoQ10 should I take to make up for the statin?” – Austin S., Jackson, MS

A. Dear Austin, The nutrient coenzyme Q10, often abbreviated CoQ10 is incredibly important to the energy producing pathways in the body. Even though CoQ10 is found throughout the body and can be obtained from certain foods, CoQ10 deficiencies are common. CoQ10 levels decline with age, stress, prolonged illness, and statin drug use.

Researchers have found that even 30 days of statin use can cause a 51% decrease in blood levels of CoQ10. Significant reductions were also found after just 14 days. In fact, one of the ways of tracking whether statin drugs are being metabolized in the liver is by noticing a reduction in CoQ10 levels. Statin-induced myopathy, or muscle aches, are a very common side effect because of the depletion of CoQ10 in the body. Personally, I feel that anyone on a statin drug should be supplementing with CoQ10.

Two forms of supplemental CoQ10 are available, and that may lead to some confusion about which is best. My answer is: they are both good choices. The classic ubiquinone form is technically what we call CoQ10. It has been used in clinical research for over 20 years. Ubiquinone is generally more cost effective, but it requires conversion into the active form and may not work for everyone.

The ubiquinol form is referred to as reduced or bioactive CoQ10. This form of CoQ10 is a good option for people who are older, may have liver issues, or other health conditions. Many people find this form of CoQ10 effective for treating the side effects from statins. 

Additionally, there is also an enhanced absorption CoQ10 using a plant-based starch that can increase CoQ10 absorption by 800%. I would take 100 mg of ubiquinol or ubiquinone CoQ10 twice per day. I think any of these CoQ10 options would be beneficial for your health. 

Healthy Regards!

Terry . . . Naturally

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Terry is happy to provide his opinion on diet and nutrition, supplements and lifestyle choices. This information is for educational purposes only. It is not meant to replace the advice of your physician and is not to be considered medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Should you have any concerns please contact your physician directly.

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