THE SCOOP ON STATINS
Designed to help you maintain healthy cholesterol levels, statin drugs such as Lipitor and Zocor are the most widely prescribed medications in America. Statins block HMG-CoA reductase, an enzyme that causes the liver to produce cholesterol. This effectively prevents excess amounts of cholesterol from entering the bloodstream. But, while statins can aggressively lower LDL levels, they come with a host of side effects such as muscle pain and weakness, nerve damage, liver damage, heart failure, and rhabdomyolysis—the breakdown of muscle tissue that can lead to potentially fatal kidney failure. Recent research in the Journal
of the American Medical Association also suggests that high-dose statin therapy may increase the odds of developing type 2 diabetes.
Another drawback to statin therapy is that it robs the body of CoQ10. CoQ10 is essential for providing energy to cells, especially the cells in the heart, and low levels of this critical nutrient are linked to nearly every form of cardiovascular disease, including angina, hypertension, cardiomyopathy, and congestive heart failure. The problem is, CoQ10 supplements are poorly absorbed by the body. Fortunately, studies show that a more bioavailable form of CoQ10 called ubiquinol provides 60 percent better absorption than standard CoQ10 supplements. Over the past decade, studies have demonstrated that ubiquinol effectively inhibits LDL oxidation and may have a direct effect on the progression of atherosclerotic lesions. Ubiquinol has also been found to improve the symptoms of congestive heart failure.
To get the most out of your supplemental CoQ10, choose carefully. With nearly 200 brands of ubiquinol on the market today, picking the right supplement may seem overwhelming. Ubiquinol supplements may be labeled “CoQ10 Ubiquinol,” “Super Ubiquinol CoQ10,” “Ubiquinol QH,” or any combination of various names. Don’t let these combinations confuse you. Just look for the word “ubiquinol” on the Supplement Facts panel. This form of CoQ10 is much more bioavailable and beneficial than conventional CoQ10.