Been taking statins to lower your blood cholesterol? You need to be aware of concerns around statins increasing the risk of diabetes. Let’s understand the connection and the role of CoQ10 supplementation in dealing with this risk.
Statins: The Basics Explained
For those who are not aware, statins are drugs taken by those at a risk of heart disease and have high LDL-cholesterol and C-reactive protein levels. They reduce LDL (low-density lipoproteins are a primary constituent of plaque that collects in the arteries) and C-reactive proteins (substances whose levels escalate with the presence of inflammation) in the blood. C-reactive proteins are important predictors of a possible cardiovascular event, such as a stroke or myocardial infarction. But, what’s the connection between statins and diabetes? Let’s find out.
How Statins Can Lead To Diabetes?
The function of insulin in the body is an important one as its secretion and absorption by the cells (sensitivity and resistance levels) determine whether, or not, one might suffer from diabetes.
Statins impair insulin secretion as well as reduce the sensitivity of fat cells to insulin.
This occurs because they cause the following reactions:
- They disrupt the mechanism by which insulin particles are exchanged across the pancreatic beta-cell membrane.
- They reduce the number of GLUT4 glucose-transporters that carry glucose into adipocytes (fat cells).
Statins also make your muscles ache and make you feel fatigued, reducing your motivation to exercise. Thus, they increase your propensity to develop visceral fat or fat around your internal organs. This condition is known as sarcopenia, or being thin-outside-fat-inside, and is linked to glucose intolerance and Type 2 Diabetes.
How Co Q10 Helps In Fighting Statin-Induced Diabetes?
Statins bring down the secretion of beneficial substances, such as CoQ10, which are released naturally when cholesterol is synthesized. Statins block a precursor of CoQ10, which is a critical ingredient in the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), an energy-carrying molecule, generated by cells.
Also, in general, diabetics are known to have low levels of CoQ10 because a lot of it is used in combating oxidative stress caused due to their illness. Reduced levels of CoQ10 lead to delays in the generation of ATP, making the mitochondria dysfunctional. This dysfunction, particularly in skeletal muscle cells, adipocytes and pancreatic beta cells, results in high glucose levels.
Supplementing with the right amount of CoQ10 can help in dealing with statin-induced diabetes. For most people, 200 mg a day of CoQ10 supplementation works. Please consult your doctor to find out the exact dosage for your needs.