Results of a new study comparing the effectiveness of Pfizer Inc.,’s Lipitor with Pravachol, made by Bristol-Myers Squibb, was recently published in the New York Times. The study details the clinical observation that Lipitor was significantly more effective than Pravachol in lowering patient’s LDL cholesterol levels. However, the study did not comment on the overall effect that Statin drugs have on patient health, or the research that indicates Statins may actually increase your risk of heart disease and heart attack.
Statin drugs have been proven effective in the reduction of LDL cholesterol in most patients. However, the bio-chemical reactions that the drugs use to decease cholesterol also inhibit the production of an important nutrient that is essential for good heart health; specifically CoQ10.
Lipitor and Pravachol work by inhibiting the body’s ability to make an enzyme called HMG-CoA. This enzyme is the precursor to two compounds, cholesterol and CoQ10. Because the intent of Statin drugs is to inhibit cholesterol production, this method of suppression is very effective in reducing cholesterol levels. However, by suppressing the manufacture of HMG-CoA, and subsequently CoQ10, the body actually becomes more susceptible to heart attack, angina, congestive heart failure, and many other pulmonary-related diseases.
CoQ10 is found in every cell in the body and is necessary for proper energy utilization, resistance to disease, and cardiac health. The compound is so necessary that it’s chemical name is actually ubiquinone, because of its ubiquitous presence in the body. By suppressing the mechanism that makes CoQ10, Statin drugs such as Lipitor and Pravachol put patients at significant risk of heart disease, as well as reduce overall resistance to cancer and other diseases.
CoQ10 is used by the heart and other muscles to facilitate contraction as blood is pumped through the body. If the body’s source of CoQ10, is lowered, either through Statin drugs or environmental factors, the hearts ability to contract is greatly diminished. This subsequently results in significant cardiac complications; including angina, heart disease, cardiac arrhythmia and heart attack.
In addition to its contribution to proper heart function, CoQ10 is also a significant ant-oxidant. When our ability to product CoQ10 is reduced, our body’s immunity to cancer, pollution and disease can be greatly diminished. This has been documented in a number of studies where CoQ10 levels have been measured in people with specific cancers, degenerative diseases, or HIV.
The relation between HMG-CoA, cholesterol, and CoQ10 has been well documented and is freely available. Subsequently, the solution to reduced CoQ10 levels has been made extremely simple. The solution is simply dietary supplementation with CoQ10 if you are taking a Statin drug. Much of the diminished CoQ10 supply can be made up through dietary supplementation. In fact, CoQ10 supplements can be purchased in the supplement section of your local health food store.
CoQ10 is essential to proper heart health and resistance to disease. Statin drugs such as Lipitor and Pravachol inhibit the body’s ability to product CoQ10. If not addressed, this can increase a patient’s risk of heart disease and other cardiac conditions. However, supplementation of CoQ10 by the use of a dietary supplement can balance the effects of Statin drugs and ensure that the patient’s risk of overall heart disease does not increase while his/her cholesterol levels decrease. If you are currently taking a Statin drug to reduce your cholesterol, talk to your doctor about supplementation with CoQ10 to ensure your continued good health.