Conducted online by Research Now at the behest of the nascent CoQ10 Association, the survey found that 7 out of 10 cardiologists recommend CoQ10 supplementation for their patients who are on statin drugs. But interestingly, only about 50% of them are aware that CoQ10 depletion is often associated with use of statins, the association announced yesterday.
“The opportunity in front of us is to provide more education to make the cardiologists more comfortable with the relationship of CoQ10 and statins,” Scott Steinford, executive director of the association told NutraIngredients-USA.
Underscoring that there is opportunity for market growth with further education of physicians and consumers, the survey also found that 45% of cardiologists without prompting say they recommend CoQ10 to their patients, a rate that is more than double that of other supplements, such as fish oils and vitamins. CoQ10 is known to be essential for producing energy throughout the body, but common factors such as poor diet, stress and statin use can create noticeable deficiencies.
The study also suggests a significant gap in understanding of CoQ10 and how it works. “What we found is that cardiologists are very open to CoQ10 usage, but they need to see more proof of efficacy and quality, along with better usage education and guidelines,” Steinford said.
CoQ10, a substance similar to a vitamin, is found in every cell in the body and is a key part of cells’ energy production machinery. Levels of CoQ10 have been shown to decline with age and in particular with statin use, which can account for some of the muscular pain and weakness that some users experience as a side effect of the drugs. CoQ10 also functions as an antioxidant, which along with its energy production bona fides would seem to make it a natural in sports nutrition formulations.
“I think there is tremendous opportunity in sports supplements,” Steinford said. “But we need more research and education, and that has been lacking for about a decade.”