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What kind of supplements can I take with statins?

December 05, 2019 5 min read

Statins by themselves are an effective form of medication, and generally don't need any supplementation. However, there is one particular supplement that can be taken with statins, and a few that you should avoid.

Read on to find out exactly what you need to know.


CoQ10. What it is and what it does


Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is an enzyme that's naturally produced by the human body, which is used in our cells to generate energy. CoQ10 is also vitally important as it's a powerful free radical, which fights against cell damage.


But our bodies naturally produce less CoQ10 the older we get, and there are certain conditions which can affect production levels, including:


  • Parkinson's disease
  • Diabetes
  • Heart problems


If you naturally have low levels of CoQ10, there are certain food which you can eat to boost your levels, including fish, whole grains and some organ meat, for example beef liver.


But you can also purchase CoQ10 supplements over the counter almost anywhere.


CoQ10 and Statins


Whilst statins don't tend to have many serious side effects, they can cause muscle pains, as well as increase your chances of diabetes. It is also known that statins will lower levels of CoQ10 in your body over time.


Because of this, CoQ10 supplementation can be an effective choice for people on statins, effectively fighting against the most common issues someone taking statins might face.


Bear in mind that CoQ10 also has its own side effects, including causing upset stomachs. It's also known to lower blood sugar, so be careful if you have pre-diabetic symptoms.


What to avoid when taking statins


As well as supplements that work well with statins, there are several that should be avoided.


  • St John's Wort should be avoided when on statins, as it can reduce blood statin levels. Atorvastatin specifically paired with St John's Wort can also lead to an increase in cholesterol levels.
  • Magnesium can also decrease blood levels of statins.
  • Red Yeast Rice contains naturally occurring statins, and shouldn't be taken alongside other statins without medical approval.
  • Niacin should be avoided, as it has risks when taken alongside statins, so if you're using niacin to manage your cholesterol levels, talk to your doctor before starting a course of statins.
  • Finally, fruit juices, specifically grapefruit juice, can stop your body from breaking down statins, and can last for several days after the last time it was drank.



What kind of program can I implement to reduce cholesterol in 30 days


High cholesterol is heavily influenced by lifestyle, and there are several lifestyle changes which you can make that will quickly reduce your cholesterol levels.


Here's the top 5 things you can do to make an impact on your cholesterol levels, in the next 30 days.


Have a heart healthy diet


A lot of blood cholesterol is dependent on diet, so small changes can have a huge impact.


  • Reduce your saturated fat intake: Dairy products and red meat are the key culprits, so lowering these foods can make a huge difference.
  • Remove trans fats from your diet: Also called partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, trans fats are terrible for cholesterol. You can normally find these fats in carb heavy foods like cookies, crackers or cakes. Thankfully, we won't need to worry about this issue for much longer, as they've been banned as of January 2021.
  • Increase your levels of Omega 3s: Whilst omega 3 fatty acids don't affect your cholesterol levels, they are good for your heart, and can help reduce blood pressure. You can find it in fish, some nuts, as well as supplements.
  • Eat more fibre: Fibre can stop cholesterol from being absorbed in your bloodstream, so increasing your fibre intake can really help with cholesterol. It's also a great way to increase gut health, so eat more beans, apples and pears, and oatmeal. Oatmeal in particular is particularly good, as well as easy to eat with everything.
  • Supplement with whey protein: Whey protein is protein from dairy, and it's been shown that whey protein can drop cholesterol levels as well as your actual blood pressure.


Lose weight


It's been proven that losing as little as 10% of your body weight can make a massive difference when it comes to cholesterol.


When it comes to weight loss, consistency is the key. Reduce your intake of sugary drinks and soda, replace crisps and biscuits with popcorn and rice cakes, and if you crave sugar, have one or two small, low fat sweets.


Exercise can also help with weight loss. Adding a little more physical activity can make a considerable difference when it comes to total calories burned, which is why we also recommend...


Start up a healthy exercise plan


Being physically active is great advice in general, but it can also help increase levels of HDL (good) cholesterol and improve your heart health.


As always, talk to your doctor before starting any new exercise plans, but in general a moderate exercise schedule of 30 minutes 5 times a week, or 30 minutes of intensive exercise 3 times a week, will make a significant difference.


It's easy to integrate exercise into your day, by doing things like riding your bike on short journeys, taking up a sport or increasing your amount of sport, or walking during your lunch hour at work.


Stop smoking


Nothing has a faster impact on blood pressure and cholesterol than quitting smoking.


In just 20 minutes from your last cigarette, your blood pressure and heart rate decrease back to normal levels.


After three months, circulation and breathing systems start to repair themselves.


After a year, you're at half the risk of heart disease than you were when you smoked.


If you're serious about lowering cholesterol and looking after your health, quitting smoking should be very high on the list.


Drink occasionally, never to excess


One or two drinks daily can huge a positive effect on levels of good cholesterol, but don't take up drinking if you don't already, as there are obvious negatives alongside the benefits.


If you regularly drink heavily, consider slowing down, as excessive alcohol consumption is directly linked to heart problems, liver problems high blood pressure and strokes.


In conclusion


Simple lifestyle changes like these can make a major difference when it comes to heart health and cholesterol.


However, if you're struggling, or you need change fast, always talk to your doctor. There are a range of medications that can quickly help manage your cholesterol, which are safe with a very small range of side effects.


Important information: The information provided on this website is of a general nature and information purposes only. It does not take into account your personal health requirements or existing medical conditions. It is not personalised health advice and must not be relied upon as such. Before making any decisions about your health or changes to medication, diet and exercise routines you should determine whether the information is appropriate in terms of your particular circumstances and seek advice from a medical professional.