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Can statins cause shingles?

MagazineSeptember 2003 (Vol. 14 Issue 6)Can statins cause shingles?

Heart failure is epidemic in the UK and US, and so is statin use

Heart failure is epidemic in the UK and US, and so is statin use. Millions of patients are taking statins, which are increasingly more potent and enthusiastically prescribed in ever-higher dosages.

It is well known that patients taking statins lose coenzyme Q10 according to the dosage. The drugs block production of both cholesterol and CoQ10 by inhibiting the enzyme precursor of not only cholesterol, but also of CoQ10.

CoQ10 helps in chemical reactions, particularly those involving cellular energy production, and helps make cell membranes stronger against oxygen damage. It is abundant in the heart largely because of the huge energy requirements of those cells.

Studies have shown that a deficiency of CoQ10 is linked with heart failure (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 1985; 82: 901-4) and an impaired heart function (Biofactors, 1999; 9: 291-9).

Out of 15 published studies, nine have confirmed that statins can significantly lower CoQ10 levels (Arzneim Forsch, 1999; 49: 324-9).

Critics of statins believe that widespread statin use has caused an increase in 'statin cardiomyopathy', where the heart loses its ability to pump blood or heart rhythm is disturbed, leading to irregular heartbeats.

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