How Much CoQ10 Should I Take With Statins?

Written by Angie Arriesgado
featured image for blog post on how much coq10 to take if on statins

If you – or anyone you know – are taking statins, consider supplementing with our CoQ10 Ubiquinone softgels. In this blog post, we’ll explore how statins affect the body’s natural CoQ10 stores and the consequences of having low CoQ10. We’ll also share some ideas on how much CoQ10 you should take with statins, and if you should take them simultaneously. Let’s begin.

But first, what are statins for?

Statins are a group of medicines that help manage cholesterol levels. They’re often considered the first line of defense against cardiovascular diseases.1

Statins effectively reduce cholesterol by inhibiting or blocking the enzyme (HMG-CoA reductase) required to make cholesterol in the liver. In short, no enzyme, no cholesterol. The liver then helps to remove cholesterol from the blood, further contributing to statin’s effect.2

How do statins deplete CoQ10 levels?

Think of statins as a double-edged sword. They effectively lower cholesterol levels BUT also deplete CoQ10 stores in the body.

How? Well, the HMG-CoA reductase enzyme is also involved in the synthesis of CoQ10!

By blocking the production of cholesterol, statins also inadvertently reduce the body’s ability to make CoQ10 naturally. This can have far-reaching consequences health-wise since CoQ10 is vital to cellular energy production.

As you probably know, cells are the basic units of life. They make up the tissues and organs in the body. When cellular health is negatively affected by depleted CoQ10 levels, this can snowball into various health issues.

For statin users, this often means muscle pain, muscle weakness, nocturnal cramping, tendon pain, and fatigue.3

How can CoQ10 supplements help people taking statins?

The main benefit of taking CoQ10 supplements is that they help raise plasma CoQ10 levels.

For statin users, this is crucial because, as mentioned above, these drugs block both cholesterol and CoQ10 production.4

By raising CoQ10 levels, you get to enjoy other CoQ10 health benefits!

These include helping increase energy levels, improving heart health, boosting sports performance, lowering blood pressure, enhancing immunity, promoting healthier cholesterol levels, improving blood sugar control, supporting cognitive function, and even helping with fertility.  

So, how much CoQ10 should I take with statins?

There’s currently no official dosage recommendation for CoQ10 supplements. But here are some dosages used or suggested by various researchers for those taking statins and heart issues:

health benefits of the best Coq10 supplement from Intelligent Labs

* A group of statin-takers with mild to moderate myalgia responded positively to a twice-daily dose of 50mg (or 100mg total per day) for statin-related myalgia.5

* A meta-analysis of 50 studies found that CoQ10 supplementation significantly affected lipid profiles. Good cholesterol increased, and bad cholesterol, triglycerides, and total cholesterol levels decreased. In particular, they determined that 400mg to 500mg per day was the optimal dose for reducing Total Cholesterol levels.6

* The American Family Physician suggests taking 50mg to 200mg per day to help with cardiovascular issues.7

* A daily dose of 30mg to 200mg may help those suffering from statin myopathy.8

Here at Intelligent Labs, our CoQ10 supplement comes in 200mg softgels. We recommend taking one softgel daily. If you need to take more, please seek your doctor’s advice first.

We use the Ubiquinone form of CoQ10; this is the same form used in many scientific studies. Moreover, each bottle of our CoQ10 contains 120 softgels, which means your CoQ10 needs are covered for 4 months!

Should I take CoQ10 at the same time as my statins?

Well, it depends on the type of statins. Some are to be taken at night. Also, some statins are better absorbed when taken on an empty stomach; others are best taken with food. 

As for CoQ10, we recommend taking it in the morning with fat-containing food since it’s a fat-soluble nutrient. We do not suggest evening time because CoQ10 is a natural energy booster (remember, they’re found in the mitochondria) and may therefore cause you to stay up past your bedtime!   

Also, while we’ve added MCT oil to our softgels to aid absorption, we still recommend taking our supplement with food.  

How safe is CoQ10?

CoQ10 is generally very safe to take and has few side effects, usually minor. Examples are stomach upset, dizziness, irritability, headaches, and insomnia.9

Studies have tested various doses, from 60mg to 1,200mg per day, and found no significant issues. Even doses up to 3,000mg per day have been tried without problems, although more research is needed for such high doses.10

However, if you’re taking a blood-thinner like warfarin, CoQ10 might affect how well it works.11 If so, talking to your healthcare provider before taking CoQ10 is a great idea.

How long should you take CoQ10 while on statins?

Most people take statins for life. Unfortunately, if you stop taking statins, your cholesterol will likely return to high levels. While early interventions may help (such as eating a heart-friendly diet and exercising), it may be hard to undo the damage once too much cholesterol is deposited in arteries.

So, does this mean you should also take CoQ10 for life?

Long-term studies say that CoQ10 is very safe, even at high doses. But statin use is not the only factor that depletes CoQ10 levels. Aging and various health issues need to be considered, too.

For best results, we highly recommend speaking with your doctor regarding the dosage and length of time you should take the best CoQ10 supplement.

Conclusion

If you’re taking statins for cholesterol and heart health, your CoQ10 levels may be dangerously low (your doctor may ask you to take a blood test to confirm). Fortunately, as you’ve learned in this blog post, studies show that supplementation can boost CoQ10 levels in your body!

As for how much CoQ10 to take with statins, a daily 200mg softgel of our Intelligent Labs CoQ10 Ubiquinone should be enough for most people. That said, please consult your doctor if you intend to take a higher dosage or think you may need to reduce your dose.


References:

  1. Taylor, Fiona, et al. “Statins for the Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease.” Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, vol. 1, no. 1, 31 Jan. 2013, www.cochrane.org/CD004816/VASC_statins-primary-prevention-cardiovascular-disease ↩︎
  2. Deichmann, Richard, et al. “Coenzyme Q10 and Statin-Induced Mitochondrial Dysfunction.” The Ochsner Journal, vol. 10, no. 1, 2010, pp. 16–21, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3096178 ↩︎
  3. Sathasivam, S., and B. Lecky. “Statin Induced Myopathy.” BMJ, vol. 337, no. nov06 3, 6 Nov. 2008, pp. a2286–a2286, https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.a2286. ↩︎
  4. Mabuchi, Hiroshi, et al. “Effects of CoQ10 Supplementation on Plasma Lipoprotein Lipid, CoQ10 and Liver and Muscle Enzyme Levels in Hypercholesterolemic Patients Treated with Atorvastatin: A Randomized Double-Blind Study.” Atherosclerosis, vol. 195, no. 2, Dec. 2007, pp. e182–e189, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2007.06.010.  ↩︎
  5. Skarlovnik, Ajda, et al. “Coenzyme Q10 Supplementation Decreases Statin-Related Mild-To-Moderate Muscle Symptoms: A Randomized Clinical Study.” Medical Science Monitor : International Medical Journal of Experimental and Clinical Research, vol. 20, 6 Nov. 2014, pp. 2183–2188, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4226312/ ↩︎
  6. Liu, Zhihao, et al. “Effects of Coenzyme Q10 Supplementation on Lipid Profiles in Adults: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.” The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, vol. 108, no. 1, 7 Oct. 2022, pp. 232–249, https://doi.org/10.1210/clinem/dgac585. ↩︎
  7. Bonakdar, Robert Alan, and Erminia Guarneri. “Coenzyme Q10.” American Family Physician, vol. 72, no. 6, 15 Sept. 2005, pp. 1065–1070, www.aafp.org/pubs/afp/issues/2005/0915/p1065.html#dosage-and-standardization. ↩︎
  8. Littlefield, Nate, et al. “Statins’ Effect on Plasma Levels of Coenzyme Q10 and Improvement in Myopathy with Supplementation.” Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, vol. 26, no. 2, 1 Feb. 2014, pp. 85–90, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24170646/ ↩︎
  9. Sood, Brittany, and Michael Keenaghan. “Coenzyme Q10.” Nih.gov, StatPearls Publishing, Oct. 2019, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK531491/. ↩︎
  10. Potgieter, Marnie, et al. “Primary and Secondary Coenzyme Q10 Deficiency: The Role of Therapeutic Supplementation.” Nutrition Reviews, vol. 71, no. 3, 30 Jan. 2013, pp. 180–188, https://doi.org/10.1111/nure.12011. ↩︎
  11. Landbo, C., and T. P. Almdal. “[Interaction between Warfarin and Coenzyme Q10].” Ugeskrift for Laeger, vol. 160, no. 22, 25 May 1998, pp. 3226–3227, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9621803/. ↩︎