FHN Complementary Medicine Monthly Newsletter October 2002
Cholesterol lowering drugs
While there are many natural ways of managing cholesterol (diet, exercise, inositol hexaniacinate, guggal, acidophilus, etc.) in this newsletter we are going to focus on cholesterol lowering drugs. We will look at the three most popular categories of those drugs and talk about counteracting some of the side effects.
The three types we will talk about are:
Statin Drugs which lower cholesterol by inhibiting the enzyme HMG CoA reductase.
Gemfibrozol which acts by activating lipoprotein lipase
Bile Acid Sequestrants that work by binding bile acids, salts and cholesterol constituents
The statin drug complications are well known for the muscle pain and possible liver problems. Its method of action (inhibition of HMG CoA reductase) also inhibits the synthesis of coenzyme Q10. Co Q10 is one of the electron carriers in the mitochondria that creates energy in the cell. If you are taking statin drugs you need to supplement coQ10 100-200 mg/day. This should be done at least 2 hours away from taking the statin drug. Additionally we have found in clinical practice that magnesium supplementation 500-1000 mg/day helps with many of the muscle aches and pains.
Gemfibrozol method of action is hydrolysis of triglycerides which in turn creates free radicals. It has been shown that both CoQ 10 and vit E are seriously depleted. If you are on this drug we recommend you supplement both vit E and CoQ 10. Talk to your physician to make sure this won't inter fere with other drugs you are taking.
Bile Sequestrants inhibit the absorption of many nutrients, carotenes, calcium, folate, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, Vit A , B12, D, E, K, and zinc. Obviously a good multivitamin and mineral supplement is necessary here.
We hope this is useful for all of you on these drugs.
Drs Glenn and Julie Smith