Statin Drugs, Cholesterol, CoQ10 and Chronic Muscle Pain


The name of this blog is Pain-Free Living and it has always been my intention to share not only information about how muscles cause pain, but also to share information I find about other topics that cause both physical, mental, and spiritual pain.

Today I was reading something that made me realize I needed to really look into the nutritional cause of muscle pain, and I’m starting with the way cholesterol-lowering drugs, specifically the statins that are now so common, are a cause of muscle pain. Here’s the statement that started me researching about this important enzyme…

In a preliminary study, statin users reported a 40% decrease in statin-induced muscle-pain intensity after taking 100 mg of CoQ10 for 30 days. (reported by the Center for Nutritional Research)

I never thought too much about cholesterol before, my HDL has always been so good that I’ve been told I’m just fine, so I ignored it until it moved into my world of muscle pain, and then I became interested.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the use of cholesterol-lowering statins has increased tenfold over the past two decades. In fact, Americans spent a total of $14.3 billion on statins alone in 2009! The CDC reported that 102 million Americans have high cholesterol, a major contributor to heart disease, and that 34% of Americans over age 45 and 86% of Americans over age 65 report taking statins. That is appalling, and it’s primarily diet related so it can be changed.

Although statins are highly effective at lowering LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, their use comes with potential side effects, including muscle aches and rare but serious muscle damage.

Statins, commonly prescribed cholesterol-lowering medications not only lower LDL cholesterol but also inhibit the body’s natural production of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). Statins have been reported to reduce CoQ10 levels in the blood by up to 50%. CoQ10 is naturally present in all cells of the body and is vital for cellular energy production – especially in the heart. Without adequate levels of CoQ10, energy production in cells would decline and the function of the heart would be seriously compromised.

CoQ10 is also known for its potent antioxidant activity and, as a result, helps protect arteries from damaging effects of oxidized LDL cholesterol. Oxidized LDL cholesterol is thought to damage blood vessels and may trigger the development of arterial plaque. The build-up of plaque leads to the narrowing of arteries and eventually can block blood flow to the heart and brain, causing heart attack or stroke.

Factors such as poor diet, exposure to free radicals, and the use of certain medications may increase your body’s need for CoQ10. Eating a diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids (e.g., fish, walnuts, and flaxseed), along with losing excess weight and doing as little as 30 minutes of exercise every day, can help to lower cholesterol. Also, I’ve read that smoking is a loaded-gun, not only for cholesterol but for a long list of other serious health problems.

As you know I’ve recently become more active in learning about the amazing products produced by Shaklee, so I went to the Shaklee site and looked to see what was offered for lowering cholesterol. There are actually three products that are formulated to lower cholesterol: OmegaGuard, which reduces the risk of heart disease by delivering a full spectrum of ultra-pure omega-3 fatty acids; Cholesterol Reduction Complex, which helps lower cholesterol naturally and includes 2,000 mg of plant sterols and stanols; and CoQHeart, which contains a unique blend of CoQ10 and resveratrol, which helps to produce energy and power your heart.

If you’re like me, and your HDL is high enough to balance out your LDL, maybe you’re not interested in this information, but if you have chronic muscle pain that doesn’t seem to be helped by muscular therapy (self-applied or done by a good massage therapist), extra fluids, or stretching, than perhaps you should take another look at this and give it a try. And, if you know your LDL cholesterol is high, it behooves you to do the lifestyle changes mentioned above and take a look at the Shaklee products to naturally lower your cholesterol.

My next topic of research on nutrition and muscles is calcium, magnesium, and potassium, and how deficiencies cause horrible muscle cramping.

Wishing you well,


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