There was an article in the Science Times last week November 7th, 2017 that caught my eye. It was entitled, “When the Heart Fails Slowly” and concerned guidelines for end of life care for people with heart failure. The article states that the number of Americans with heart failure increased to 6.5 million in 2011 – 2014 from 5.7 million in 2009 – 20012 according to the American Heart Association. It states that Americans used to die in greater numbers from heart attacks, which killed quickly but now with improved medical care, the heart just weakens gradually until it fails.

Improved medical care!
Does that sound like improved medical care to you?

It sounds like trading a sudden quick death for a slow painful death. What a choice to have to make. In heart failure, the heart loses strength to pump and dilates. Blood can’t go forward as well so it goes backward, fills up the lungs with fluid, and people can’t breathe and start to drown in their own fluids.
But this article makes it seem as if the natural course of heart disease is for the heart to weaken and fail when before, people didn’t live long enough for their hearts to fail. Could there be another reason for this sudden increase in hearts failing? What is causing this weakening of the heart muscle? Could it be the Statin drugs, given for reducing the heart attacks, that are causing the heart failure?

The clinical use of statin drugs is to reduce risk of cardiac disease, but since statins reduce Coenzyme Q-10 levels, this reduction creates a new risk of cardiac failure, since it is established that C0Q10 is indispensable for cardiac function. [1] and low levels of Coenzyme Q10 are associated with heart failure. [2]

The risk of dying from any cardiovascular cause (heart attack, stroke, and congestive heart failure) was lower by 49% in those who received supplementation with selenium and co-Q-10. And this combination of nutrients was still effective at reducing cardiovascular deaths 10 years after the start of the study. (years after they stopped the supplements) [3] .

Doesn’t it seem as if the priorities are wrong when we are stressing out about the best way for us to provide end of life care for people whose hearts are failing from too many statin drugs?

Shouldn’t we be dealing with preventing heart failure in the first place!!

We should be looking at multiple risk factors such as inflammation (Cardio CRP), high clotting parameters (Fibrinogen), and Homocysteine (B12 and folate deficiency) .

Every person on a statin drug should be taking Coenzyme Q 10. We should also be giving Selenium, Taurine, B12, among other nutrients which are known to help prevent heart disease.

It’s a shame for people to die of this disease when the cause is known, and there is a great deal of evidence regarding the prevention.

[1] Folkers, K Lovastatin Decreases Coenzyme Q Levels In Humans, Proc Natl Acad Sci 1990 Nov;87(22):8931-8934.

[2] Mortensen, SA et al., Coenzyme Q`0: Clinical Benefits With Biochemical Correlates Suggesting A Scientific Breakthrough In The Management Of Chronic Heart failure. Int J Tissue React 1990;12(3):155-162.

[3] Alchagen et al., Mortality 10 years after supplementation with selenium and coenzyme Q 10 for 4 years: Follow up results of a prospective randomized double blind placebo controlled study in Elderly Citizens. Plos one 2015;10(12):e0141641.