The raison d'etre of this website is to provide you with hard scientific information which may help you make informed decisions in your quest for health (so far I have blogged concise summaries of over 1,500 scientific studies and have had three books published).

My research is mainly focused on the effects of cholesterol, saturated fat and statin drugs on health. If you know anyone who is worried about their cholesterol levels and heart disease, or has been told to take statin drugs you could send them a link to this website, and to my statin or cholesterol or heart disease books.

David Evans

Independent Health Researcher

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Statins linked with mitochondrial dysfunction

This study was published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 1996 Sep;42(3):333-7

Study title and authors:
Lipid-lowering drugs and mitochondrial function: effects of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors on serum ubiquinone and blood lactate/pyruvate ratio.
De Pinieux G, Chariot P, Ammi-Saïd M, Louarn F, Lejonc JL, Astier A, Jacotot B, Gherardi R.
Groupe de Recherche en Pathologie Neuromusculaire (ER 269), Faculté de Médecine de Créteil, Hôpital Henri Mondor, France.

This study can be accessed at:

Coenzyme Q10 is a substance that is found in almost every cell in the body and helps convert food into energy by the mitochondrial respiratory chain. It may also help with heart-related conditions, because it can improve energy production in cells, prevent blood clot formation, and act as an antioxidant.

Low levels of coenzyme Q10 may lead to mitochondrial dysfunction. Mitochondrial dysfunction is a mechanism behind many metabolic, age-related, neurodegenerative and psychiatric diseases or health conditions such as: aging, age-related macular degeneration, Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, atherosclerosis, autism, bipolar disorder, cancer, cataracts, chronic fatigue, endothelial dysfunction, diabetic nephropathy, neuropathy and retinopathy, endothelial dysfunction, epilepsy, fibromyalgia, hearing loss, heart failure, Huntington’s disease, hypertension, hypoglycemia, insulin resistance, major depressive disorder, male infertility, migraine, multiple sclerosis, myopathy (cardio and skeletal), non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, obesity, panic disorder, Parkinson’s disease, psychosis, schizophrenia, sleep apnea, social phobia, stroke and type 2 diabetes. 

Mitochondrial cytopathies represent a group of multisystem disorders which affect the muscle and nervous systems see here.

Mitochondrial myopathies are a group of neuromuscular diseases caused by damage to the mitochondria. Nerve cells in the brain and muscles require a great deal of energy, and are particularly damaged when mitochondrial dysfunction occurs. Some of the more common mitochondrial myopathies include Kearns-Sayre syndrome, myoclonus epilepsy with ragged-red fibers, and mitochondrial encephalomyopathy with lactic acidosis and stroke-like episodes. The symptoms of mitochondrial myopathies include muscle weakness or exercise intolerance, heart failure or rhythm disturbances, dementia, movement disorders, stroke-like episodes, deafness, blindness, droopy eyelids, limited mobility of the eyes, vomiting, and seizures.

Elevated lactate/pyruvate ratios are associated with mitochondrial cytopathies and mitochondrial myopathies.

This study was designed to evaluate the effect of cholesterol lowering drugs on coenzyme Q10 levels and on mitochondrial function assessed by the blood lactate/pyruvate ratio. This study included 80 patients, some of whom were treated with statins and 20 healthy control subjects.

The study found:
(a) Coenzyme Q10 levels were lower in statin-treated patients than in untreated patients.
(b) Lactate/pyruvate ratios were significantly higher in patients treated by statins than in untreated patients or healthy control subjects.

The results from the study show that statins are associated with low levels of coenzyme Q10 and a high blood blood lactate/pyruvate ratio which are linked with mitochondrial dysfunction.