REPORTS SUGGESTING patients taking statins have reduced blood levels of the vitamin-like substance coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) are leading to hundreds of doctors in the United States recommending supplements to patients as additional treatments.
In the latest study, published in the Archives of Neurology in June, Tatjana Rundek and colleagues from Columbia University measured CoQ10 levels in 34 people before and after taking 80mg of atorvastatin a day. The mean blood concentration of subjects' CoQ10 was 1.2[micro]g/ml at baseline and decreased to 0.621[micro]g/ml after 30 days' atorvestatin. The authors conclude that widespread inhibition of CoQ10 synthesis explains the commonly reported adverse effects of statins, especially exercise intolerance, myalgia and myoglobinuria, and suggests side effects might be averted with supplementation.
Dennis Gore, a community pharmacist from Prestwich, Manchester, specialising in complementary medicine, says that CoQ10 is now by far the biggest seller in his shop. As well as a co-treatment with statins, he says, people are buying CoQ10 for a variety of other cardiovascular conditions, including athlerosclerosis, hypertension and myocardial infarction.
CoQ10, first isolated from...
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