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14.05.2014


Q10 protects muscles against statins

According to websites of pharmaceutical companies, the statin atorvastatin 'occasionally' causes side effects such as 'muscle pain, joint pain, muscle weakness and muscle cramp'. 'Very occasionally' these side effects may be a sign of serious muscle damage. A Japanese animal study suggests that supplementation with the co-enzyme Q10 can make a positive difference in these cases.

Statins such as atorvastatin the active ingredient in Pfizer's Lipitor inhibit the enzyme HMG-CoA-reductase, thus reducing the synthesis of cholesterol in the body. The result is a considerable decrease especially in the amount of 'bad cholesterol' LDL in the body, and a dramatic reduction in the likelihood of having a heart attack. But because HMG-CoA is an important enzyme, statins inhibit a lot more too.


According to websites of pharmaceutical companies, the statin atorvastatin 'occasionally' causes side effects such as 'muscle pain, joint pain, muscle weakness and muscle cramp'. 'Very occasionally' these side effects may be a sign of serious muscle damage. A Japanese animal study suggests that supplementation with the co-enzyme Q10 can make a positive difference in these cases.








Ubiquinone (Q10)
For example, they reduce the production of ubiquinone, alias Q10, a co-enzyme that plays a vital role in the mitochondria of muscle cells. The chemical structure of Q10 is shown on the right. The muscle pain and damage that 'occasionally' occurs in statin takers may well be connected to the decrease in the amount of Q10, researchers suspect.

The theory that statins can reduce the production of Q10 in some people to dangerously low levels is not new. Merck developed the theory in the 1980s, and in 1989 filed a patent application for a medicine that contained Q10 and statins. [US 4929437 A]

But nevertheless... Theories are alright, but proof that confirms theories is even better. That's why we admire the animal study that Ayako Muraki of Keio University in Japan published recently in the Journal of Applied Physiology.

Pravastatin
Young male rats were given atorvastatin or pravastatin, another statin [structural formula on the right].

Half of both groups of mice were also given Q10 in their drinking water. The human equivalent of the dose they used would be 200 mg ubiquinone per day. If you were to use a form of Q10 that is more easily absorbed the dose would be considerably lower.

After eight weeks the researchers got the mice to run to the point of exhaustion. Pravastatin had no effect on the mice's endurance capacity; atorvastatin did reduce the total running distance. Atorvastatin also reduced the amount of muscle mass, but the effect was not statistically significant.


According to websites of pharmaceutical companies, the statin atorvastatin 'occasionally' causes side effects such as 'muscle pain, joint pain, muscle weakness and muscle cramp'. 'Very occasionally' these side effects may be a sign of serious muscle damage. A Japanese animal study suggests that supplementation with the co-enzyme Q10 can make a positive difference in these cases.


Atorvastatin sabotages the work that the mitochondria do, and reduces the amount of Q10 the Japanese discovered.

In the mice that were given Q10 as well as atorvastatin there was almost no reduction in endurance capacity. The amount of Q10 in the muscles didn't decrease and the mitochondria activity level remained high.


According to websites of pharmaceutical companies, the statin atorvastatin 'occasionally' causes side effects such as 'muscle pain, joint pain, muscle weakness and muscle cramp'. 'Very occasionally' these side effects may be a sign of serious muscle damage. A Japanese animal study suggests that supplementation with the co-enzyme Q10 can make a positive difference in these cases.


"The findings of the present study provide the scientific and mechanistic basis for co-enzyme Q10 supplementation to statin users", the researchers conclude.

Source:
J Appl Physiol (1985). 2012 Aug;113(3):479-86.

More:
Co-enzyme Q10 versus heart failure 24.06.2013
Does Q10 offer strength athletes cardiac protection? 18.01.2012