Therapies:  

Statin Drugs and Coenzyme Q10

"Massive advertising by drug companies has resulted in millions of Americans taking statin drugs every day.  Because consumers are supposed to take these drugs possibly for the rest of their lives, statins have become the most profitable drug class in the world.  While statin drugs do lower cholesterol, there is a controversy as to how effective these drugs are in extending overall life span."   by William Faloon of The Life Extension Foundation

"Pharmaceutical companies that market statin drugs should consider including the described CoQ10 potential depletion in their drug information materials provided to physicians and pharmacists, and they should encourage patients to consult their physician and pharmacist for appropriate supplementation."
Bernd Wollschlaeger, M.D.


BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Articles from The Life Extension Foundation

Recommended.
Coronary Artery Disease and Atherosclerosis

Why Our Arteries Become Clogged As We Age
by John Colman

C-Reactive Protein
Doctors Using New Test To Watch For Heart Disease
from InteliHealth
"People worried about their chance of getting heart disease may soon become familiar with the concept of C-reactive protein. CRP indicates a person's blood vessels may be swollen, a condition national experts have now shown to be a key risk factor for heart attack."

Inflammation, Heart Disease and Stroke: The Role of C-Reactive Protein
from American Heart Association
"Researchers have found that blood levels of CRP are elevated many years before a first heart attack or stroke."

C-Reactive Protein: A Better Diagnostic Tool Than Cholesterol for Predicting Cardiovascular Disease Risk
from Life Extension Foundation
"A chronic inflammatory state, as evidenced by elevated C-reactive protein, results in significant damage to the arterial system."

Lipoprotein(a) and Fibrinogen

Inflammation and Heart Disease
from the Life Extension Foundation
"A growing consensus amongst scientists is that common disorders such as atherosclerosis, colon cancer and Alzheimer’s disease are all caused in part by a chronic inflammatory syndrome."

Coenzyme Q10

Introduction To Coenzyme Q10
by Peter H. Langsjoen, M.D.
Detailed.   Recommended.

Coenzyme Q10
by Michael B. Schachter M.D.
"A most ironic situation occurs with the cholesterol lowering drug Mevacor or lovastatin.  This drug is given to lower LDL cholesterol levels in order to reduce risks of a heart attack.  However, this drug clearly lowers CoQ10 levels in the tissues, thus increasing risk for heart disease. Certainly, anyone taking Mevacor or similar type drugs should be on a significant dosage of CoQ10.  Similarly, the beta blockers, drugs that are used extensively to treat heart disease, high blood pressure and other conditions, also deplete the heart and other tissues of CoQ10.  Unfortunately, most cardiologists and other conventional physicians in the United States are unaware of this fact and do not give patients on these drugs supplements of CoQ10."

Statin Drugs & Coenzyme Q10 Depletion
by Chris Gupta
"Statin-induced CoQ10 depletion is well documented in animal and human studies with detrimental cardiac consequences in both animal models and human trials.  Furthermore, this drug-induced nutrient deficiency is dose-related and more notable in settings of pre-existing CoQ10 deficiency such as in the elderly and in heart failure.  Finally, statin-induced CoQ10 deficiency is completely preventable with supplemental CoQ10 with no adverse impact on the cholesterol lowering or anti-inflammatory properties of the statin drugs."

Making Old Hearts Young Again
from Life Extension Foundation
"Heart attacks and other types of heart disease affect older people to a much greater extent than the young.  Young hearts bounce back much better from stress and damage, even the stress of treatment itself.  However, treatment with coenzyme Q10 is demonstrating its ability to radically improve the heart's ability to recover from disease and stress."

Usefulness of Coenzyme Q10 in Clinical Cardiology: A Long-Term Study
by P. H. Langsjoen H, et al. in Molecular Aspects of Medicine
"CoQ10 is a safe and effective adjunctive treatment for a broad range of cardiovascular diseases, producing gratifying clinical responses while easing the medical and financial burden of multidrug therapy."

Cardiologists Overlook Lifesaving Discovery
Editorial by William Faloon
"Dr. Whitaker asserts that most patients and doctors do not realize that statin drugs block the production of coenzyme Q10.  Dr. Whitaker went on to describe how coenzyme Q10 has been found to be essential for cellular energy production as well as for the functioning of the heart muscle.  According to Dr. Whitaker: “Statin drugs have proven in clinical trials to deplete coenzyme Q10, the ‘sparkplugs’ of the human body.  Patients who take statin drugs without coenzyme Q10, particularly those with a history of heart disease, are especially prone to developing complications that can have fatal consequences.”

A Close Look at Coenzyme Q10 and Policosanol
Editorial in Harvard Heart Letter - December 2002
"The best advice right now about Coenzyme Q10 is caveat emptor - let the buyer beware.  It seems to be safe, but there's no good evidence that it improves heart health. National guidelines on the use of statins and the treatment of congestive heart failure recommend against Coenzyme Q10.  If you choose to use it, take it as insurance, not as a substitute for proven strategies."

Women and Statins
Should women be offered cholesterol lowering drugs to prevent cardiovascular disease?  Yes
by Scott M Grundy
"In summary, cholesterol lowering drugs should be avoided in most lower risk women.  But in those who have multiple cardiovascular risk factors and who are projected to be at moderately high risk, use of drugs such as statins should not be ruled out."

Should women be offered cholesterol lowering drugs to prevent cardiovascular disease?  No
by Malcolm Kendrick
"To date, none of the large trials of secondary prevention with statins has shown a reduction in overall mortality in women.   Perhaps more critically, the primary prevention trials have shown neither an overall mortality benefit, nor even a reduction in cardiovascular end points in women.  This raises the important question whether women should be prescribed statins at all. "

Articles on Diabetes

Statins Cut Diabetics' Risk of Heart Attacks, Study Finds
by Rob Stein of THE Washington Post
"People suffering from the most common form of diabetes could sharply cut their risk for heart attacks and strokes by taking a cholesterol-lowering drug even if they have normal cholesterol levels, according to a major new study."

Lipid Control in the Management of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Clinical Practice Guideline from the American College of Physicians

Lunatic Recommendations For Statin Drug Use
by Joseph Mercola, D.O.
"The 'experts' are now saying that no matter how low your cholesterol count, if you are a diabetic you should take cholesterol-lowering drugs.  They are completely ignorant of the well documented dangers of having too low of a cholesterol level."

Statin Drugs - Pro
The Statin Drugs
by Richard N. Fogoros, M.D.
"Statins are drugs that improve cholesterol levels primarily by inhibiting the liver enzyme called "HMG C-A reductase."  Statins have proven to be very effective in reducing cholesterol and in reducing the risk of heart attack and death.  For this reason, and because they are generally well tolerated, they have become some of the most commonly prescribed drugs in the United States.  Even so, recent federal guidelines indicate that statins are significantly underused, and that millions more Americans would benefit from them."

Should You Take Statins?
from InteliHealth
"If you have known heart disease you should be on a statin; the more risk factors you have the more you need to consider taking one."

Strong Statin Therapy Reverses Plaque Build-up in Arteries
from American Heart Association
"Reducing bad cholesterol to below “optimal” levels reversed the accumulation of artery-clogging plaque, according to a study in today’s rapid access issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association."

Statin Therapy and High C-Reactive Protein among Patients with Significant Coronary Disease
by Benjamin D. Horne, et al. in Circulation
"The survival benefit of statins interacted with CMV seropositivity and high CRP to significantly reduce mortality rates among patients with CAD.  This finding supports the hypothesis that statins have beneficial, "lipid-independent," antiinflammatory effects. The mechanism of statin benefit associated with CMV seropositivity remains to be determined."

Measurement of C-Reactive Protein for the Targeting of Statin Therapy in the Primary Prevention of Acute Coronary Events
by Paul M. Ridker, M.D., et al. in NEJM
"Statin therapy may be effective in the primary prevention of coronary events among persons with relatively low lipid levels but with elevated levels of C-reactive protein."

Statin Drugs - Con

Cholesterol & Statin Drugs: Separating Hype from Reality
by William Davis, M.D.
"Unfortunately, the statins’ success in lowering cholesterol has led many people to believe they represent a cure-all for cholesterol and heart disease risk.  They are not, however, a cure-all.  To get at the truth about statins, we need to dig deeper."

"We must step back for a moment and recognize that statin therapy for high cholesterol is just one piece of a bigger picture. Heart disease has many other risk factors, and there are many other ways to reduce risk and identify people at risk."

Cholesterol is NOT the Cause of Heart Disease
by Ron Rosedale, M.D.
Detailed.   Recommended.

The Benefits of High Cholesterol
by Uffe Ravnskov, M.D., Ph.D.

Do Statins Have a Role in Primary Prevention?
from The Therapeutics Initiative
"The balance between benefit and harm (overall health impact) is estimated by total mortality and total serious adverse events."

Commentary: Statin Drugs and Coenzyme Q10
by Bernd Wollschlaeger, M.D.

The Dangers of Statin Drugs: What You Haven't Been Told About Cholesterol-Lowering Medication
by Sally Fallon and Mary G. Enig, Ph.D.
Detailed.   Recommended.

Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs and Cancer
by Shane Ellison, M.Sc.
"The use of cholesterol-lowering drugs for the prevention of heart disease may increase your chances of suffering from the pandemic killer known as cancer.  Few doctors are aware of this real and present danger."

Statin Drugs - A Critical Review of the Risk/Benefit Clinical Research
by Joel M. Kauffman, Ph.D.
"Careful examination of the literature on statin drugs reveals false premises, minimal to no benefits, serious side-effects leading to very low adherence rates, and safer, low-cost alternatives for prevention of Coronary Heart Disease deaths."

Bad News About Statin Drugs
by Chris Gupta
Articles, opinions and especially Readers' Comments.

Half of Population Will be Taking Statins - Danger Ahead
by Joseph Mercola, D.O.
"There are likely to be some people who benefit from them, but it is probably far less than 5% of the people who currently take them. These are individuals with total cholesterol above 350 who have inherited liver processing problems.

If these individuals take the statin drugs however, they should also take Coenzyme Q 10, which is important for heart health and, like cholesterol, is reduced when one takes these drugs."

Statin Drugs Kill
by Peter H. Langsjoen, M.D.
"In my practice of 17 years in Tyler, Texas, I have seen a frightening increase in heart failure secondary to statin usage, "statin cardiomyopathy".  Over the past five years, statins have become more potent, are being prescribed in higher doses, and are being used with reckless abandon in the elderly and in patients with "normal" cholesterol levels.  We are in the midst of a CHF epidemic in the US with a dramatic increase over the past decade.  Are we causing this epidemic through our zealous use of statins?  In large part I think the answer is yes."

Statins - Is the Danger in the Dose?
by Jay Cohen, M.D. in Dr. Mercola's Web Site
"These excellent responses at very low doses require drug manufacturers and physicians to treat patients as individuals, not statistical averages.  And to remember that the best dosage is the lowest effective dosage.  Unfortunately, the trend within the drug industry and medical community has been in the opposite direction. Thus, serious problems were all but inevitable."

How Low Should Cholesterol Lowering Go?
by Jay Cohen, M.D.
"Milligram for milligram, Lipitor is four times stronger than Pravachol, so comparing 80 mg of Lipitor to 40 milligram of Pravachol was no contest at all, but a commonly seen strategy of comparing a strong drug to a weaker competitor."

"Why was a weaker dose of Pravachol involved at all?  If they wanted to study the effects of aggressive vs. moderate lipid lowering, they could have studied 80 mg of Lipitor vs. 10 or 20 mg of Lipitor.  But there's no potential public relations windfall in doing that."

"In the Lipitor-Pravachol study, Lipitor reduced C-reactive protein by 36%, while Pravachol reduced it by 5%.  Maybe that's why the Lipitor worked better.  If so, the debate on LDL levels may be focusing on the wrong parameter."

The Truth About Crestor: Is Crestor Dangerous and, If So, Why?
by Jay S. Cohen, M.D.
"One of my basic principles is: The best dose of any medication is the least amount that works.  Medical science agrees.  Most people with elevated cholesterol or LDL-C have mild-to-moderate elevations. For many, dietary interventions are enough. For others, modest statin doses are often plenty."

"Who actually needs Crestor?  Hardly anyone.  Other statins have much longer track records and should be used first."

Statin Use May Slightly Impair Brain Function
from Reuters Health
"The results of a new study suggest that treatment with a cholesterol-lowering statin called simvastatin (Zocor) may have small negative effects on brain function."

Interview with Duane Graveline
Medical Doctor, Astronaut, and Critic of Lipitor and Other Cholesterol-Lowering Statin Drugs
from MedicationSense.com
"I have discovered that the stronger statin drugs such as Lipitor can be associated with profound cognitive disturbances in some patients.  There are now thousands of patient case reports of amnesia, forgetfulness, confusion and disorientation, at times severe and incapacitating.  With some cases lasting months and years, another very important point is that cognitive side effects can appear after months and years of seemingly trouble-free use."

Statin Drugs - Frequently Asked Questions
by Duane Graveline, M.D.
"Most prescribing physicians are completely unaware of the potential of cognitive side effects from statin drug use.  Doctors are victims, in a sense, much like their patients, for they have never been informed of the cognitive problems of many statins, known for years by the drug industry. "

Lipitor and the "The Dracula of Modern Technology"
by Jeffrey Dach, M.D.

Statin Adverse Effects
from University of California at San Diego Statin Study

OTHER RESOURCES

American College for Advancement in Medicine

American Heart Association

Life Extension Foundation

Articles from The New England Journal of Medicine

Stephen Sinatra, M.D.


Statin Alert

University of California at San Diego Statin Study

Worst Pills

Podcasts
Dr. Hoffman and Dr. Abramson on Statin Drugs 2-1-07

Dr. Hoffman and Dr. Golomb on Statin Drugs 12-8-06
Good information but very fast talker.

RECOMMENDED BOOKS

Please click on the picture of the book or the title to order.

Seth Baum, M.D., The Total Guide to a Healthy Heart: Integrative Strategies for Preventing and Reversing Heart Disease

Jay S. Cohen, M.D., What You Must Know About Statin Drugs & Their Natural Alternatives
Robert Crayhon, Ph.D., The Carnitine Miracle: The Supernutrient Program That Promotes High Energy, Fat Burning, Heart Health, Brain Wellness, and Longevity

Robert Fried, Ph.D. and Woodson C. Merrell, M.D., The Arginine Solution: The First Guide to America's New Cardio-Enhancing Supplement

 

Richard Kilmer McCully, M.D., The Heart Revolution: The B Vitamin Breakthrough That Lowers Homocysteine, Cuts Your Risk of Heart Disease, and Protects Your Health

Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D., The Sinatra Solution: New Hope for Preventing and Treating Heart Disease

 

Mehmet Oz, M.D., Healing from the Heart: A Leading Heart Surgeon Explores the Power of Complementary Medicine

Stephen Sinatra, M.D., Coenzyme Q10 Miracle Treatment: New Hope for the Heart, Cancer, Diabetes, and More

 

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