Elevated cholesterol levels are still a big problem for many people. Unfortunately, the first line of treatment in many cases, rather than correcting WHY it is high in the first place, is to put a patient on a statin drug. Yes, they have proven that they can improve the number values, but at what cost?
For a few decades now, the medical literature has repeatedly shown that statin medications like Lipitor, Crestor and Zocor shut down the production of a particularly important heart-protective nutrient in the body: Co-Enzyme Q10 (CoQ10). What many people are unaware of is the fact that when CoQ10 is depleted it causes the LDL cholesterol to become oxidized. This in turn sets off a cascade of events where the LDL cholesterol damages the arterial walls, causing major inflammation. This inflammation sets you up for an increased risk of getting a heart attack or stroke, defeating the purpose of why many patients are put on them in the first place!
There is much literature published that demonstrates the health issues that can come about when you walk around with a CoQ10 deficiency. If you are taking a statin and not taking CoQ10, you could be setting yourself up for increased risk of:
- Fatal Cardiomyopathy
- Heart Attack
- Congestive Heart Failure
- Myopathy Angina
- Depression Resistant to Anti-Depressants
- High Blood Pressure
- Gum Disease and Tooth Loss
- Liver Disease
- Sudden Complete Memory Loss or Amnesia
In fact, it not only increases your chance of getting any of these conditions, but low CoQ10 levels can also be a predictor of an increased risk of death within 6 months under certain circumstances!
And if you think that sounds a little dramatic, consider this: Back in 1990s, the pharmaceutical giant, Merck, decided to add CoQ10 to a statin medication. They even went so far as to get a patent (number 4,933,165). Now why would they produce a statin with CoQ10 included? They knew of the seriousness and health risks of selling the world on statins without CoQ10. So, the next obvious question should then be why did it never come to be available? Well, that answer still remains a mystery to this day to the general public.
Fortunately, CoQ10 is readily available as a supplement. While testing of levels is not currently commonplace, there are assays available if you needed to know your specific level. For most though, if you are on a statin medication, you need to be taking CoQ10 if you are not already. Typical dosage is in the 100-200 mg range daily. The potential risks and benefits are too great to be going without it. And while you are taking that step, consider a good functional medicine evaluation so that you can get help to identify the root causes of your high cholesterol and work to get it under control naturally, without the use of potentially harmful drugs.