Are Your Cholesterol Lowering Drugs Hurting You?
Statins: Good or Bad?
Many people rely on a class of cholesterol lowering drugs called “statins”. These are some of the most widely used drugs in the world. However the Food and Drug administration has officially linked statin use with cognitive dysfunction such as forgetfulness and confusion. This class includes drugs like Lipitor, Zocor, Crestor and Vytorin.
Statins are used in many patients to lower cholesterol and the value of statins in preventing heart disease has clearly been established. However, the use of these drugs is not without the potential for side effects as their new evidence shows. These drugs are often taken by the aging population who already are concerned about cognitive decline.
Another troubling side effect of statin treatment can be muscle aches and pains or even muscle damage. Some evidence suggests the coQ-10 may reduce or prevent this side effect.
Functions of Co Q10
Coenzyme Q10 is a fat-soluble antioxidant that is found in virtually all cell membranes, hence its alternative name “ubiquinone.” The antioxidant activity of vitamin E requires the CoQ10 to be available, to which vitamin E will pass on the unpaired electron (free radical) that it has scavenged. CoQ10 also acts as an anti-oxidant independently, protecting against DNA damage and other forms of oxidative damage caused by the consumption of excess polyunsaturated fatty acids.
Coenzyme Q10 function and the Heart
Dr. Al Sears, MD, director of the south Florida Center for Health and Wellness, devotes an entire chapter to the importance of CoQ10 to the heart, in his book “The Heart Cure.”
According to Dr. Sears, coenzyme Q10 prevents arteriosclerosis by reducing the accumulation of oxidized fats in blood vessels, eases high blood pressure, regulates the rhythm of the heart, and improves chest pain and exercise toleration in angina patients.
Since coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) and cholesterol are both synthesized from the same substance, mevalonate, statin drugs (Lipitor, Zocor, etc) also inhibit the body’s synthesis of coenzyme Q10. This is not a “side effect,” of statins, but a direct, inherent function of the drugs.
In fact, the use of statins can decrease the body’s synthesis of coenzyme Q10 by as much as 40%!1 At the very least we need to replace these depleted levels of this important antioxidant if someone is on a statin drug.
A Better Way
Most of our patients have been able to reduce their cholesterol with the use of diet and exercise. Exercise and good nutrition IS medicine. And it is medicine without side effects. Why ignore proper nutrition and exercise and be forced to take a drug with such side effects. Proper nutrition and exercise lowers cardiac risk, cholesterol, systemic inflammation AND lowers the risk of cognitive impairment. You don’t have to be a doctor to see the better course of action. Contact Midwest Rejuvenation to begin a more proactive approach to your health.