CoQ10, Cholesterol Medications and Polio Survivors
Edward P. Bollenbach

Professor Emeritus in Biology, Northwestern Connecticut Community College

Eddie Bollenbach Bio & Picture

From Posts to the Post-Polio-Med email list

Thu, 22 Sep 2011 17:37:23 -0400

In doing research for an article on statins for Polio Health International a year or so ago, I contacted a research group at Harvard and Beth Israel in Boston that found a gene called atrogen which is activated by statins and could be the cause of muscle damage.

One of the authors suggested CoQ10, which I suggested to someone even earlier than that, to see if it would make muscle soreness go away. The idea was that the reactions that cause muscle soreness use up a lot of CoQ10 which is a natural coenzyme in the body and very active in muscle. The problem with it though, is that nobody has shown, as far as I know, in a scientific study, if it makes any difference if you have sore muscles. But, many people "in the know" recommend it to people with muscle soreness so you have to just try it to see if it helps.

Earlier than the description of the atrogen gene, the New England Journal of Medicine described a gene present in some individuals but not others which resulted in the majority of cases of muscle soreness. The gene SLO something is in the human population and causes up to 60 percent of muscle soreness events. Whether or not you have this gene has nothing to do with whether you had polio or not.

Since I am at the keyboard I'd like to say a bit more about cholesterol. In mammals, like the elephant and the orangutan, normal cholesterol is about 100. That's total cholesterol. In native human populations, like the Australian aboriginal people it just so happens that the total cholesterol is also 100. But in western societies the average cholesterol is over 200. Clearly this is due to diet and physical inactivity.

Someone on a paleo diet will go a long way toward lowering cholesterol without drugs. But the optimal cholesterol is probably lower than most doctors think. When I was in college my roommate's cousin was in medical school. He used to send us his old Physicians Desk Reference books when he replaced them with new editions.

In 1966 the Physicians Desk reference advised to keep cholesterol below 280. You know the recommendation now is to get LDL, or bad cholesterol below 100, with the total below 200, but nobody knows if this is low enough. I think below 70 is better. All the LDL receptors in the body are full around 38 so you can go down to 50 probably. Anyway, the lower the cholesterol of a population the fewer heart attacks. Some populations with very low cholesterol don't have any heart attacks to speak of. But in the west we die of heart disease or cancer, both of which are common and from the external and internal environment associated with modern western diets, activity, and surroundings (pollution etc.)

Back to CoQ10, This coenzyme is used copiously in energy utilizing reactions, like in muscle contraction. It is a powerful antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory properties. There is recent evidence that it helps remove the buildup of the gummy material called amyloid plaque that causes Alzheimer's disease.

There is a natural set of reactions in the brain which removes this stuff and CoQ10 facilitates its removal. Currently there are ongoing studies on CoQ10 for Parkinson's and other neurological diseases. It has also been shown to lower blood pressure.

The only caveat I have about it is if you are on an anti-coagulant like coumadin, warfarin, Pradaxa, asprin, clopidogrel, etcetera, it may cause increased incidence of bleeding because it has anticoagulant properties.

I haven't seen, in the literature, any warnings about taking it with anti-coagulants in the drug prescribing information but it may be there. I've been taking it and I take Pradaxa so I think I will look it up since I just reminded myself in this post. :0 Ask your doctor if you want to take it and are on anticoagulants.

Thu, 22 Sep 2011 18:16:36 -0400

OK, looked it up. CoQ10 has a structure similar to vitamin K which prevents coumadin (warfarin) from working. This is why they say not to eat too many leafy green veggies with warfarin because it will add vitamin K and interfere with the anti clotting of warfarin.

Vitamin K is an antidote for warfarin. The newer anticoagulants dabigatrran (Pradaxa) will not be affected by CoQ10 and there are no interactions with the anti clotting affect of Pradaxa. As a matter of fact Pradaxa has no antidote if you get a bad bleed.

So if you are not taking Pradaxa (dabigatran) go for the CoQ10.


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