Ubiqiunol and cholesterol management

Ubiqiunol and cholesterol management

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In Australia, more than 5 million Australian adults experience high cholesterol[1]and 2.2 million take statin medication to control their cholesterol levels.[2] If you take a statin, there’s a good chance your doctor has mentioned Ubiquinol (the active form of CoQ10) supplements. But how does it actually help with cholesterol management and what are its benefits for heart health?

Cholesterol explained

Cholesterol is a fat-like molecule that is a vital component of all cells in our body. It is also involved in many key metabolic processes. There is a misconception that cholesterol is divided into bad LDL and good HDL. The reality is that cholesterol is typically transported around the body by various types of proteins, the major groups being low density lipoprotein (LDL) and high density lipoprotein (HDL). Furthermore LDL and HDL cholesterol are divided into small and large components.

It is in fact, the small components of both LDL and HDL that contribute to plaque build up in arteries. A standard blood test does not measure the sub components of both LDL and HDL, so it is possible to have the dangerous small type of LDL particles, yet have a normal LDL result on a standard test.

High levels of Ubiquinol are found in healthy hearts and can help maintain healthy LDL levels

There are several benefits to supplementing for your heart and health. Ubiquinol offers promise when it comes to managing heart health and cholesterol levels long term. Ubiquinol is a vitamin-like substance made naturally in the body and plays a critical role in the creation of cellular energy. It’s no surprise, then, that lots of Ubiquinol is found inside the tissue of energy-demanding organs such as the heart.

Research has found that Ubiquinol is highest in healthy hearts and lower in unhealthy hearts. Unfortunately, as we age, stress, or over exert ourselves mentally and physically, the natural levels of Ubiquinol in our body decline. So from about the age of 30, you may need to replenish your Ubiquinol levels.

There is also a growing body of research providing evidence that Ubiquinol and CoQ10 supplementation can assist in lowering levels of LDL cholesterol with consistent use, meaning it could be a worthwhile preventive measure against high cholesterol or used alongside medications prescribed to help manage high cholesterol.

Ubiquinol can assist with statin symptoms

Statins are an integral part of treating cholesterol issues in Australia, however, a common side effect of taking statins is muscle tension, weakness and pain.

Statins interfere with the body’s ability to produce CoQ10 – the oxidised form of Ubiquinol – which is an important factor in muscle metabolism. As CoQ10 is produced via the same process as cholesterol (the mevalonate pathway), the statin that shuts down the body’s production of cholesterol also shuts down the production of CoQ10, thereby affecting muscle function. Ubiquinol and CoQ10 supplements may work to assist in aiding muscle tensions, weakness and pain.

In a 2012 study,[3] researchers found that patients who were taking statins and supplemented with Ubiquinol experienced a reduction in muscle pain by up to 54% and a reduction in muscle weakness by 44%.

If you are at risk of high cholesterol or currently taking statins, speak to your health practitioner or local pharmacist to determine if Ubiquinol can assist you.

References
[1] Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2013. Australian Health Survey: Biomedical Results for Chronic Diseases, 2011-12. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Latestproducts/4812278BC4B8FE1ECA257BBB001217A4?opendocument. [Accessed 27 March 2017].
[2] Heart Foundation. 2016. ‘Conclusive’ Statins Study Ends Fear-Mongering. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.heartfoundation.org.au/news/conclusive-statins-study-ends-fear-mongering. [Accessed 27 March 2017].
[3] Zlatohlavek L et al, The effect of Coenzyme Q10 in statin myopathy. Neuroendocrinology Lett 2012; 33 (Suppl. 2) 98 – 101.

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