The science of statin recovery

In my Daily Dispatch articles, I often report on the dangers of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs. And last month, I told you about how statins can cause severe nutritional deficiencies, muscle damage, and even cognitive problems. Following that report, a concerned reader asked me if it’s possible to recover from these harmful side effects. Is there a “recovery program” for statin drugs?

Of course, there is!

In fact, nearly 900 scientific studies focus on statin damage and/or recovery. Of course, reading these studies can be overwhelming for anyone not in the medical field. (And even for most doctors, apparently.)

That’s just one reason why you won’t hear about statin recovery from the mainstream government-industrial-medical complex. The other reason? Statin drugs are the best-selling drugs in the U.S. And Lipitor–nicknamed “turbo statin”–is the No. 1 best-selling drug of all time.

But clearly, plenty of men and women out there do stop taking statins because of the side effects.

The good news is, the actual drug starts to leave your body within 24 hours after you stop taking it. But it can leave behind lasting effects in your muscles. And even in your cells.

So you need to be careful about what to do in the days and weeks after stopping a statin regimen. Five critical steps will help support your body as it heals from the damage.

Just keep reading and I’ll tell you everything you need to know about how to recover from a statin drug. But first, let’s back up and review what statin drugs do to your body.

As I explained earlier this month, statins are designed to disrupt normal cholesterol production. And they also cause a lot of collateral damage.

In fact, statin drugs are so strong, they block your tissues from getting enough CoQ10.

This may cause you to experience severe muscle pain, fatigue, and weakness. These problems are common statin side effects. And they’re actually signs that the drug is poisoning your metabolism and depleting your CoQ10 stores.

You may even experience rhadbomyolysis–actual destruction of muscle tissue. Of course, your heart is a muscle too. So now–just think of the irony! You take a statin drug to lower your cholesterol and prevent heart disease. Sure, maybe it lowers your cholesterol. But it can damage your heart muscle in the process.

And that’s not all…

The byproducts of muscle destruction can build-up in your blood. And if these byproducts build up, they can cause kidney failure and brain damage.

In fact, after muscle problems, cognitive problems are the most common side effect of statin drug use.

In addition to muscle and cognitive problems, statins can also cause neuropathy, pancreatic failure, liver failure, and sexual dysfunction. They also interfere with mevalonic acid and hemoglobin production. They disrupt the production of sex hormones, corticosteroids, and bile salts. Statins also poison your mitochondria–your cells’ energy factories. And they even disrupt production of vitamin D, an all-important micronutrient.

All this happens simply by taking the No. 1 best-selling drug of all time!

But enough already.

What happens when you stop taking the drug?

Based on studies of actual muscle biopsies, muscles do not uniformly recover on their own. They need help. First and foremost, they need more coenzyme-Q10. Taking CoQ10 as a supplement will help reverse statin-induced mitochondrial damage. It also helps regulate normal cellular respiration.

But as I’ve said before, buyer beware.

Look for a CoQ10 supplement that says Ubiquinol on the bottle. Your body absorbs this chemically reduced form much more easily. If the bottle says “Coenzyme Q10” or “CoQ10,” it’s probably Ubiquinone–the less well-absorbed chemical form. I recommend taking 200 mg of Ubiquinol daily with a meal as part of a statin recovery plan. (For everyone else, I recommend just 50 mg a day.)

Also, strive to eat an apple every day. Or drink apple cider. Apples contain mevalonic acid. And CoQ10 is a byproduct of mevalonic acid. So, by boosting your mevalonic acid, you’ll naturally get more CoQ10 into your system, as well as other benefits.

You can also do a lot of good by taking a high-quality B complex vitamin. B vitamins can help reverse statin-induced neuropathy.

If you’ve been on a statin drug recently, you should also make sure to take some extra vitamin D. Statins deplete your levels of this critical nutrient. And a daily dose of 1,000 to 2,000 IU is safe for everyone.

Finally, after 12 years of research, I am convinced that South African red bush–like CoQ10–has a profound effect on supporting cellular respiration. It will help your body generate energy and water for proper hydration at the cellular level. And it should be part of any statin recovery plan.

In addition to these hydration benefits, new research shows that red bush directly benefits muscle tissue itself. This helps explain the plant’s amazing results when it comes to physical performance.

I personally helped develop a powdered red bush beverage called Red Joe. You can find it on this website.


1. “Statin adverse effects: a review of the literature and evidence for a mitochondrial mechanism,” Am J Cardiovasc Drugs 2008;8(6):373-418