May 24, 2012        

                  Can Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs Cause Heart Failure?

      The heart beats 100,000 times every day pumping 1,900 gallons of blood every 24 hours. It never gets a rest so must rely on a huge amount of energy. But it's ironic that every year North Americans spend 20 billion on Cholesterol-lowering drugs (CLDs) that rob their hearts of energy.

   CLDs work by blocking an enzyne in the liver that makes cholesterol. But the same enzyme also makes coenzyme Q10 which provides energy to the heart, just as gasoline powers a car. Studies show that CLDs can lower the blood level of coenzyme Q10 by as much as 40 percent. This may be the reason people on CLDs often complain of fatigue, muscle pain and memory problems.  

   This is why some researchers worry that taking CLDs may be seting the stage for a future epidemic of heart failure. The obvious answer is for patients taking CLDs to ask their doctors about the advantage of adding coenzyme Q10 to prevent starving the heart of energy.

   It is amazing that most people know so much about cholesterol and so little about coenzyme Q10.