Statins are the most widely prescribed medication in Australia because of their ability to lower cholesterol levels. Although these medications are necessary in people with significantly high cholesterol or those who are genetically prone to having high cholesterol levels. A large proportion of statins are over prescribed and result in a high level of side effects. One being the depletion of CoQ10.
CoQ10 is a chemical that occurs naturally in the body. It is stored within the mitochondria of our cells, where it helps to produce energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is like cellular fuel for our cells and is used to carry out many vital functions within the body. Without enough CoQ10, the mitochondria in the cells cannot produce enough ATP and results in energy deficiency. In addition, CoQ10 is a powerful antioxidant. This means it helps to neutralise harmful free radicals in the body that can contribute to destructive processes.
Research has shown CoQ10 can protect heart health. It does this by reducing the amount of oxidative damage in the lining of blood vessels, lowering blood pressure, enhancing the pumping action and electrical function of the heart and reducing LDL cholesterol levels.
Statin drugs deplete CoQ10 by blocking its production. These drugs lower cholesterol by blocking the action of HMG-CoA reductase enzyme. This enzyme is required for cholesterol synthesis as well as CoQ10 production. Therefore, this leads to reduced CoQ10 levels in the body.
Low CoQ10 levels leave many statin users with undesirable symptoms such as muscle fatigue, weakness, cramping and aches, especially after exercise. One of the main reasons people use CoQ10 supplements is to decrease the muscle aches associated with the use of statins. Studies have found that supplementation of CoQ10 for 30 days can reduce pain severity by 40%, with a daily dose of 100mg.
How to increase your CoQ10 levels
There are two main ways to increase your CoQ10 levels, through food intake and supplementation. CoQ10 is in foods such as grass-fed beef, free-range chicken, organ meats, legumes, oily fish, nuts, and green vegetables. Supplementation is a great and necessary choice for statin users as most foods only contain low amounts of
CoQ10. Taking a daily, high-quality CoQ10 supplement can help maintain adequate levels. When used to offset the CoQ10 lowering effects of statins, 100mg daily is an effective dose. It’s best to take CoQ10 with a meal containing fat as it is fat soluble.
Fusion Health have created a Bio-enhanced formula, with a blend of piperine (derived from Black Pepper) and phospholipids from lecithin that enhances the bioavailability of CoQ10 and optimises its absorption from the digestive tract. It provides a healthy, daily dose of 150mg.
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