Q: Will CoQ10 help prevent muscle problems caused by statins?
A: Maybe, but the evidence is unclear. Some statin users take coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) supplements as a way to prevent or treat muscle problems. Made by the body, this vitamin-like substance is essential for energy production and is a powerful antioxidant.
Statins work by inhibiting an enzyme that’s integral to cholesterol production in the body. This enzyme is also involved in the production of CoQ10, so statins reduce blood levels of it as well (certain other drugs, such as some beta-blockers and antidepressants, also reduce CoQ10). It’s not known if statins’ effect on CoQ10 contributes to their adverse effects.
So far, research on the effect of CoQ10 supplements in statin users has had mixed results. A major study on people with confirmed statin-related muscle problems is now underway and may clarify matters.