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Slb r elh Fo hps Faue atun Hat od S o ’ et r Statin Side-Effects – A 'significant problem' with 'minimal awareness'

There are approximately 7 million people in the UK taking statin drugs to reduce their LDL cholesterol. As with most medications, there

are side-effects associated with statin use, one of which is statin myopathy. The effects of statin myopathy include unpleasant muscle tenderness, weakness and pain. Alarmingly, a recent paper by the University of Kentucky, USA, suggests that this ‘significant problem’ is currently being ignored by clinicians and given ‘no emphasis’ by clinical investigators. More than one in ten affected

The paper, published in the journal Angiology, July 2011, estimates that 10.5% of statin users suffer from statin- related myopathy. That amounts to over 700,000 people. The impact of this side -effect is strong enough to force thousands of people on cholesterol lowering drugs to stop their medication. In 2009, a study at Nottingham

University was conducted using the records of more than two million patients aged 30 to 84. Researchers found that some

statin users were six times more likely to suffer muscle damage, such as myopathy, as well as a host of other serious conditions including insomnia, constipation, headaches, loss of appetite and nerve pain in the hands and feet.

Myopathy, which may be irreversible, is six times

higher for men on statins and three times higher for women, according to the study. Is Q10 supplementation the answer?

In 2007, a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial from the Department of Surgery, Cardiology Division, at Stony Brook University, New York suggested that a simple vitamin supplement may alleviate the symptoms of statin myopathy. CoQ10 is an essential component of the energy

production within every single cell of the body. Think of it as the ‘spark plug’ which enables all cells to function. It is especially important in those cells that consume huge amounts of energy, such as the heart and other muscles. Therefore, a deficiency may lead to an impairment of muscle energy metabolism and contribute to the development of myopathy and muscle symptoms, often described in statin patients. Cholesterol lowering drugs effectively block the

synthesis of LDL cholesterol, but at the same time it is thought that they disrupt the body's synthesis of coenzyme Q10 (coQ10), thereby increasing the risk of muscle weakness and liver dysfunction. Dr. Giuseppe Caso, who led the study into the effect

of coQ10 on myopathic symptoms in statin patients stated; “Results suggest that coQ10 supplementation may decrease

muscle pain associated with statin treatment, thus coQ10 supplementation may offer an alternative to stopping treatment with these vital drugs.” CoQ10 reduces LDL cholesterol by 15%

A German study published in January 2011 further supports the role of coQ10 supplementation in the treatment of cholesterol levels. The Department of Molecular Prevention in the Institute of Human Nutrition and Food Science at Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel discovered that 150mg per day of the ubiquinol form of Q10 reduces LDL cholesterol by at least 15% in humans. This suggests that coQ10

supplementation may not only counteract some of the common side-effects associated with taking cholesterol-lowering drugs, but it may also help control LDL cholesterol in its own right. Don't stop taking statins

Despite the obvious concerns, it is not advisable to ignore a doctor's advice and cease statin therapy. In fact, it could be life- threatening. A simple solution to the problem of statin myopathy could be sought at a local health food shop. To ensure you

get an effective coQ10 supplement, ensure that it has an oil- based preparation, is blister-packed and is made to pharmaceutical standards, with certificates of analysis available to support this. About Pharma-Nord Bio-Quinone Q10

Each capsule of Pharma-Nord Bio-Quinone Q10 contains coenzyme Q10 in a highly absorbable form, using a patented soybean oil based delivery system. Pharma-Nord Bio- Quinone is manufactured under Danish pharmaceutical control, and is available in capsules containing 10mg, 30mg, 100mg and 200mg of coenzyme Q10 respectively. The intake of Bio-Quinone Q10 recommended by Pharma-Nord is 30 to 200mg/day. Health experts have recommended coQ10 to statin patients for years

In Canada, it is a legal requirement for statins to carry a precautionary warning regarding coQ10 depletion. The USA also has concerns about the safety of statins without coQ10 supplementation. In 2002, Dr Julian Whitaker, a best selling author,

launched a petition with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), calling on the US government to advise all statin patients to take 100-200mg of supplemental coQ10 to safeguard their health. Dr. Chris Steele MBE has been the resident GP on ITV

1’s This Morning for more than 20 years and says: “I’ve taken Bio-Quinone Q10 for years. It is vital for energy production and, as you get older, it becomes very important to top it up if you want to feel younger and keep active for longer.” Source: Pharma Nord. Available at Saltburn Health Food Shop, 01287 624622.

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