Statins, Diabetes And CoQ10

| May 16, 2013

Last year, in The Real Diabetes Truth of 15 May 2012, I explained how statin drugs can cause diabetes. Millions of people take statins on a daily basis, raising the possibility of thousands of statin-induced diabetes cases. In fact, the massive worldwide use of these drugs since they were launched around 25 years ago could go some way to explaining the parallel “diabetes epidemic”.

Statins block a normal metabolic process in the body called the “mevalonate pathway”, which produces several different compounds. These include cholesterol, co-enzyme Q10 (CoQ10) and a molecule called dolichol. As I mentioned last May, it is depletion of dolichol that causes insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, as a statin drug side effect.

Now, a laboratory study has suggested that the body may be able to find a way around this insulin resistance side effect, so long as adequate CoQ10 is available to cells. A full report on this story is available here: But before you rush to get some CoQ10 to take alongside your statin medication, let’s take a long, hard look at what is going on here.

The makers of statins have known all along that these drugs reduce levels of CoQ10 in the body. This fact probably lies behind many of the adverse side effects of statins, such as fatigue, muscle pain and weakness, shortness of breath, numbness and tingling in the feet, liver damage and possibly an increased risk of cancer.

In theory, taking a supplement of CoQ10 should help to reverse these side effects. In practice, attempts to counteract statin side effects with CoQ10 supplements have given mixed results, even though CoQ10 is a fantastic supplement for boosting energy production and heart health. And, because the new study looked at isolated cells in the laboratory, there is no guarantee that taking CoQ10 will actually help to prevent statin-induced insulin resistance.

So, what are we to do? We are told that “too much cholesterol raises the risk of heart disease and statin drugs are the best way to reduce cholesterol”. But cholesterol is a vital component of many metabolic processes. Without it, we couldn’t make sex hormones, adrenal hormones or vitamin D. And cholesterol levels, on their own, are a poor indicator of heart attack risk. In fact, most heart attack victims have normal or even low cholesterol readings.

Cholesterol has been the scapegoat that has allowed the pharmaceutical industry to make an eye-watering £60 billion a year from statin drugs. This despite a rigorous review of clinical data in 2011 showing that taking statins does almost nothing to reduce heart attack risk in people who have not previously experienced a heart attack. And with growing evidence of the horrendous side effects of statin drugs, the bland assurance that “the benefits outweigh the risks” just won’t wash any longer. For the full lowdown on statins and cholesterol, see visit The Cholesterol Truth.

Six drug-free ways to keep your heart healthy

Keeping your heart and circulatory system healthy without resorting to statin drugs isn’t rocket science. In fact, if you have been following my recommendations in The Real Diabetes Truth over the past months, you are probably already doing a lot to reduce your cardiovascular risk factors. Here are six simple steps you can take to ensure good heart health:

• Take a supplement of CoQ10, which improves blood flow to the heart muscle, enhances arterial elasticity and lowers blood pressure. The ubiquinol form of CoQ10 is up to eight times more potent than standard CoQ10.

• Follow a Mediterranean diet that includes heart-healthy fatty acids from olive oil, nuts and oily fish, as well as the benefits of fresh fruits, salads and vegetables.

• Cut out added sugars as far as possible. Study after study has shown the link between sugar intake and coronary heart disease.

• Eat tomatoes. Research shows that lycopene, the red pigment in tomatoes, reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

• Sit less and move more. Just reducing the time you spend sitting down each day will cut your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

• Take curcumin, an incredible herbal all-rounder for keeping your arteries and heart healthy, combatting diabetes and even preventing Alzheimer’s disease and arthritis.

A safe, natural way to reduce your cholesterol levels, lower your blood pressure and prevent plaque build-up in your arteries is to eat linseeds, also known as flaxseeds. New research has shown that including linseeds in the diet can also reduce insulin resistance in pre-diabetics and help reduce the risk of developing type-2 diabetes. This will be the subject of my next blog post.

Wishing you the best of health,

Martin Hum
PhD DHD Nutritionist
for Real Diabetes Truth

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Bear in mind we are not addressing anyone’s personal situation and you should rely on this for informational purposes only. Please consult with your own physician before acting on any recommendations contained herein.


1. Ganesan S, Ito MK. Coenzyme Q10 ameliorates the reduction in GLUT4 transporter expression induced by simvastatin in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Metab Syndr Relat Disord. 2013 Mar 15. [Epub ahead of print]

2. Taylor F, Ward K, Moore TH, Burke M, Davey Smith G, Casas JP, Ebrahim S. Statins for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011; (1):CD004816

3. De Koning L, Malik VS, Kellogg MD, Rimm EB, Willett WC, Hu FB. Sweetened beverage consumption, incident coronary heart disease, and biomarkers of risk in men. Circulation. 2012; 125(14):1735-1741

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Category: Diabetes and Heart Disease

Comments (2)

Testimonials are based on the personal experience of individuals. Results are not typical and the potential benefits of taking any drug or supplement may vary depending on your individual needs and health requirements. Please consult your GP before making any changes to your medical regimen.

  1. Randell says:

    Aren’t these drugs linkied to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes? Why would they then give it to a diabetes sufferer?

    • MartinHum says:

      Yes they are, and the reason they’re prescribed for diabetics is because doctors don’t know any better and Big Pharma only cares about its profits.