What you don't know about Statins and coenzyme Q10 may hurt you.
Dr Peter H. Langsjoen, MD, has a paper on the FDA website about statins reducing serum levels of CoQ10. It says in part:
The medical profession has, after more than 30 years of excellent propaganda, successfully created the wholly iatrogenic - "pseudo-disease" dubbed "hypercholesterolemia" and the associated malady "cholesterol neurosis". After decades of dismal failure to cure this "disease" of numbers with low fat diets and a host of cholesterol lowering drugs, the medical profession stumbled upon the magic bullet, the cure for this dreaded artificial disease - statins (HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors). First released on the US market in 1987, statins have rapidly grown into one of the most widely prescribed class of drugs in history. Statins do three things:
1. They block the body's ability to make cholesterol, thus lowering the blood level of cholesterol, thereby curing cholesterol neurosis. Doctors and patients equally neurotic have immediate gratification. The "evil" high cholesterol has been dramatically lowered and the future is bright and promising. So far...so good.
2. Unrelated to their cholesterol lowering, statins have been found to have anti-inflammatory, plaque-stabilizing properties which have a slight benefit in coronary heart disease.
3. Statins kill people - lots of people - and they wound many, many more. All patients taking statins become depleted in Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), eventually - those patients who start with a relatively low CoQ10 levels (the elderly and patients with heart failure) begin to manifest signs/symptoms of CoQ10 deficiency relatively rapidly - in 6 to 12 months. Younger, healthier people who's only "illness" is the non-illness "hypercholesterolemia" can tolerate statins for several years before getting into trouble with fatigue, muscle weakness and soreness (usually with normal muscle enzyme CPK tests) and most ominously - heart failure.
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. We are now in a position to witness the unfolding of the greatest medical tragedy of all time - never before in history has the medical establishment knowingly (Merck & Co., Inc. has two 1990 patents combining CoQ10 with statins to prevent CoQ10 depletion and attendant side effects) created a life threatening nutrient deficiency in millions of otherwise healthy people, only to then sit back with arrogance and horrific irresponsibility and watch to see what happens - as I see two to three new statin cardiomyopathies per week in my practice, I cannot help but view my once great profession with a mixture of sorrow and contempt.
Here is something else you should know about cancer and coenzyme Q10:
This complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) information summary provides an overview of the use of coenzyme Q10 in cancer therapy. The summary includes a history of coenzyme Q10 research, a review of laboratory studies, and data from investigations involving human subjects. Although several naturally occurring forms of coenzyme Q have been identified, Q10 is the predominant form found in humans and most mammals, and it is the form most studied for therapeutic potential. Thus, it will be the only form of coenzyme Q discussed in this summary.
This summary contains the following key information:
* Coenzyme Q10 is made naturally by the human body.
* Coenzyme Q10 helps cells to produce energy, and it acts as an antioxidant.
* Coenzyme Q10 has shown an ability to stimulate the immune system and to protect the heart from damage caused by certain chemotherapy drugs.
* Low blood levels of coenzyme Q10 have been detected in patients with some types of cancer.
* No report of a randomized clinical trial of coenzyme Q10 as a treatment for cancer has been published in a peer-reviewed, scientific journal.
* Coenzyme Q10 is marketed in the United States as a dietary supplement.
Many of the medical and scientific terms used in the summary are hypertext linked (at first use only) to the Cancer.gov Dictionary, which is oriented toward nonexperts. When a linked term is clicked, a definition will appear in a separate window. All linked terms and their corresponding definitions will appear in a glossary in the printable version of the summary.
Reference citations in some PDQ CAM information summaries may include links to external Web sites that are operated by individuals or organizations for the purpose of marketing or advocating the use of specific treatments or products. These reference citations are included for informational purposes only. Their inclusion should not be viewed as an endorsement of the content of the Web sites or of any treatment or product by the PDQ Cancer CAM Editorial Board or NCI .
One of the cardinal rules of medicine is "If you cannot help the patient, make sure you do him no harm." It seems many physicians have forgotten that tenent.