Nutrient Deficiencies & Statin Drug Use

Nutrient Deficiencies & Statin Drug Use

By Cyrus Kuhzarani
R.Phm. / Owner

10 Dec 2021

Nutrient Deficiencies & Statin Drug Use

Statins act to prevent the accumulation of cholesterol in the arteries and reduce the mortality of those with coronary artery disease; however, with nutrient deficiencies caused by statins they have not been found to be beneficial for those with chronic heart failure.1

Furthermore, there is also evidence that statins actually contribute to coronary artery calcification and can function as a mitochondrial toxin.2


Numerous studies have shown that statin drug-use depletes the body of CoQ10, a nutrient vital for heart health and muscle strength because it is involved in ATP production in the cell.

The muscle pains that many patients experience while on statins are a result of the body being depleted of CoQ10.3

Research has shown that taking a statin drug reduces heart pumping function and causes shortness of breath, and one study even showed that those with heart failure had fewer complications when taking both a statin and CoQ10.4

Statin-induced CoQ10 deficiency is preventable with supplemental CoQ10 with no adverse impact on the cholesterol lowering or the anti-inflammatory properties of statin drugs.5


Many studies have shown a relationship with Vitamin D3 deficiency and statin-associated muscle pain.  In one study, some of the subjects within 3 months of discontinuing the statin and starting Vitamin D3 replacement therapy up to a point of repletion showed a reduction in muscle pain.
When the statin was restarted in conjunction with Vitamin D there was no myalgia pain for at least a 6-month period.6


Interestingly, some studies have shown that Vitamin D signaling is essential for cardiovascular integrity and can help improve vascular tone as well as prevent tissue scarring. 
Also, Vitamin D3 deficiency has been associated with hypertension, atherosclerosis and heart failure and plays a crucial role in cholesterol plaque vulnerability and rupture.7,8
Based on this research, Vitamin D3 deficiency associated with statin drug administration can accelerate atherosclerosis.9


Statins have also been shown to inhibit the synthesis of Vitamin K2. 
Especially Vitamin K2-MK7 prevents the arterial calcification associated with atherosclerosis.2


Statins also inhibit the production of selenium containing proteins, one of which is glutathione peroxidase which is critical for antioxidant production.  A reduction in selenium has become associated with congestive heart failure and enlarged hearts, so the use of statin drugs to prevent atherosclerosis may aggravate heart disease.2


With evidence of nutrient depletions of CoQ10, Vitamin D, Vitamin K and Selenium attributed to statin therapy, this therapy begs to question whether it should be used for those with chronic heart failure. 
It is necessary to re-evaluate the current treatment guidelines for those using statin drugs.   


Reference List

  1. Maggioni, Aldo P. 2001. “Debate: Should statin be used in heart failure?” Current Control Trials in Cardiovascular Medicine 2(6)(November) (accessed October 3, 2021).
  2. Okuyama, Harumi et al. 2015. “Statins stimulate Nutrient Deficiency and Heart Failure: Pharmacological Mechanisms,” Expert Review of Nutritional Pharmacology 8 no. 2 (March) (accessed October 4, 2021).
  3. Inspire Statin and Nutrient Depletion Blog. (accessed October 3, 2021).
  4. Devries, Stephen. CoQ10 Plucks Success from Heart Failure. Explore, (accessed October 4, 2021).
  5. Langsjoen, Peter, 2003. “The clinical use of HMG CoA-reductase inhibitors and the associated depletion of coenzyme Q10. A review of animal and human publications.” 18. Abstract in Biofactors 1-4.
  6. Parker, Beth A et al. 2012. “Effects of Statins on Skeletal Muscle: Exercise, Myopathy, and Muscle Outcomes,” Exercise Sport Science Review 40 no. 4 (October), (accessed October 4, 2021).
  7. Latic, Nelja et al. 2020. “Vitamin D and Cardiovascular Disease, with Emphasis on Hypertension, Atherosclerosis, and Heart Failure,” International Journal of Molecular Science 21(18) (September) (accessed October 5, 2021).
  8. Kassi, Eva et al. “Role of Vitamin D in Atherosclerosis,” Circulation 128 no. 23 (December) (accessed October 6, 2021).
  9. Bernal-Mizrachi, Carlos, 2018. “The Effects of Vitamin D on macrophages function, cholesterol metabolism and cardiometabolic disease.” 56. Abstract in Endocrine Abstracts.

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