Cholesterol lowering drugs, also known as “statins” are often prescribed to lower the bad cholesterol, the low-density lipoprotein or LDL, and triglycerides in the blood. They have a mild effect in raising the good cholesterol levels, the high-density lipoproteins or HDL. Physicians typically prescribe these drugs as the first line of treatment for people with high cholesterol to lower the risk of cardiovascular events. While these chemicals do many good things, cholesterol-lowering drug nutrient depletions must be addressed. START SOMEWHERE today & feel your best. Examples of statins are:
- Lipitor (Atorvastatin)
- Zocor (Simvastatin)
- Pravachol (Pravastatin)
- Lescol (Fluvastatin)
- Livalo (Pitavastatin)
- Crestor (Rosuvastatin)
Statins inhibit an enzyme called HMG CoA reductase – a key step in the liver’s production of cholesterol. This is why these drugs lower circulating LDL cholesterol. But, this same enzyme, HMG CoA reductase, is also a key enzyme in the production of Coenzyme Q10. When a drug blocks a pathway for a negative event, it also often blocks the pathway for a positive event.
Dr. Stephen Sinatra, a world-renowned integrative cardiologist, says that “Coenzyme Q10 is one of my top recommended nutritional supplements for reducing heart risk factors.” CoQ10 is the “spark” for energy production in all of our cells. Since the heart never rests, the heart muscle consumes huge amounts of energy and must have a continual supply of CoQ10 to pump efficiently. Considered a universal antioxidant, it scavenges and destroys free radicals that cause heart and vessel disease. So, while statins decrease the production of bad cholesterol, they also decrease the production of CoQ10.
Dr. Sinatra said that if your body is running low on CoQ10, it’s like trying to run on weak batteries. I’ve had patients who concluded that they were just “getting old” when in reality, they needed to supplement their life with this important nutrient. One of the most serious conditions of CoQ10 deficiency is congestive heart failure.
The good news is that CoQ10 is produced naturally in the body. The bad news is that the production decreases around the age of 40. Foods like beef heart, pork, chicken liver, salmon, mackerel, and sardines are dietary sources of CoQ10. The average person gets only 2-5 mg in their diet daily. Dr. Sinatra recommends taking a quality supplement based on the following:
- Healthy people between 40-60: Take 50-100 mg/daily
- Over 60 or on a statin: 100-200 mg/daily
- Recent heart surgery/heart attack/congestive heart failure: 200-300 mg/daily
For best results, take your CoQ10 supplement with food because it is absorbed better with fat in a meal.
Statins also carry warnings of memory loss, liver damage, intestinal problems, mental confusion, high blood sugar, and muscle inflammation. As always, intentionally give your body nutrient dense foods to give it the fuel it needs to serve you well. Other nutrients considered to be possibly depleted by statins include:
- Folic Acid
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin K
LIVE YOUNGER by knowing what you are putting in your body and the benefits as well as the possible side effects. Cholesterol-lowering drug nutrient depletions must be addressed. Discuss this with your physician today. START SOMEWHERE to live intentionally by including nutrient dense foods in your day, drinking pure water, decreasing sugar, nurturing quality sleep and finding active ways to keep your body moving. You can do it. I will help you.