The video that every statin user should watch
An interview with Dr Joel Kahn and Dr Barrie TanTheir discussion covers key points you need to know:
- CoQ10 is the powerhouse of the cells and essential for your body - particularly your heart - A study with over 800 000 participants found CoQ10 supplements reduced cardiac events by 32%!
- If you’re getting older you're making less CoQ10 – if you’re on a statin, you’re making way less CoQ10.
- The drop in CoQ10 when people take statin drugs is a biomarker for a drop in geranylgeraniol GG.
- Less GG means a patient taking a statin on no supplementation, theoretically puts their muscle maintenance, their vitamin K2 MK4 production and their coenzyme Q10 production at risk.
- A common result is tha tpeople who take statins often stop taking them because of a muscular problem or pain.
- Xtend-Quinol combines CoQ10 and GG Pure in one capsule - You can take a statin drug and, theoretically, you can protect your physiology from the “collateral damage” that statins can cause.
Note, this transcript has been lightly edited for easier reading.
Dr Kahn: Welcome everybody.
Sit still, get out a notepad, you're in for a high-energy treat at the Reverse Heart Disease Naturally Summit where this interview was recorded. I’m Joel Khan, cardiologist, bringing you an exciting interview.
First, let me give you some background on who our speaker is because you're going to say, “Wow, why are there such smart people on the planet", and "Thank goodness they're helping us in the medical world!”
This is Barrie Tan, PhD., known as Dr Barry to many people. He's got a PhD in chemistry from New Zealand, spent many years as a professor at the University of Massachusetts, and he has committed himself to researching plant nutrients and metabolism.
He’s certainly the world expert in vitamin E, he identified that there's a specific vitamin E called tocotrienols from an incredible plant in the Amazon called the annatto plant.
He's been an entrepreneur and has started up and advised companies. He's been on many media platforms and podcasts because he's lively and amazing!
Currently, he's president of a company in Massachusetts called American River Nutrition. I've had the pleasure of hearing him lecture and on interviews.
We did another amazing interview with Ivor Cummins, from Ireland, about a product that Dr Barrie Tan developed and patented, also from the annatto plan. You want to be sure to listen to this lecture in conjunction with the Ivor Cummins GG Pure lecture because we're going to talk about even more advances for heart patients.
The importance of CoQ10 for patients with heart disease
I just want to set it up for one more minute.
I have an active practice as a cardiologist – this means I have patients with serious heart disease, I have patients who come to find out if they have heart disease.
I have patients who are on statin cholesterol medication, I have patients not on a statin.
I have patients on coenzyme Q10 as a supplement, and I have patients not on coenzyme Q10.
We know from the science, and I can verify from my patients: if you’re getting older, you're making less coenzyme Q10 – CoQ10 is the powerhouse of your cells and the strongest fat-based antioxidant in the body.
If you're on a statin, you're making way less CoQ10. That’s because we know that statins block the production of this very important molecule that’s natural to the body called CoQ10.
Statin drugs, aging and low CoQ10 levels
I draw blood levels on CoQ10 for every patient I see. In my experience, if you're older, it's going to be low; if you're on a statin it's going to be incredibly low. If I supplement you with CoQ10, it goes up and people feel better.
The final statement is there is incredible data for conditions like congestive heart failure showing that coenzyme Q10 supplementation is a successful therapy - it has been studied in randomized double-blind studies.
800,000 people improve cardiac outcomes with CoQ10
There's data from northern Europe that if you're over 70 and you take CoQ10 your cardiac outcome is improved, and just recently in one of the largest vitamin company studies ever with over 800 000 participants coenzyme Q10 was found to reduce cardiac events by 32%!
So I hope you're excited that we've got a man here focusing on a solution if you're on a statin but you’re concerned or have problems and you're looking for statin relief.
Ok, Dr Tan, welcome
Dr Tan: Thank you for having me. You're great in what you're saying about statins, so I'm glad to be here.
Dr Kahn: You know, the truth is many people are pro-statin and anti-statin and we're not going to discuss that.
People are going to be on statins to get their cholesterol to the level consistent with the current scientific recommendations, but we want to avoid side effects: brain fog, muscle pain and potentially a blood sugar elevation and interruption of other pathways.
Dr Tan is the solution maker, so, let's start.
We've got this molecule you've identified in the Amazon have patented and are offering up to the public as a supplement called GG Pure that I discussed with Ivor Cummins.
What was going through your brain?
Was it something like, “I brought the world GG Pure for statin patients to support their metabolism and physiology I'm going to make it even better”?
Tell us about it.
Dr Tan: Let me tell you about my discovery of GG in the Amazonian plant annatto – I'll show you a picture of how annatto looks.
We use it for coloring cheeses; if you look at the color here this is a very unusual fruit with no flesh. The seed looks like the flesh, but it’s actually a decoy so that the birds and frogs would consume them.
I found out that the thing that protects the color is this compound, vitamin E tocotrienol.
What does that have to do with GG? GG is required for the entire synthesis of this vitamin E molecule. I'm not here to talk about tocotrienols now, but I knew when I was looking at the plant that the color is not destroyed it must be a powerful antioxidant.
First I discovered tocotrienol, so I extracted it from the plant I saw I still had one or two percent in the bottom of the pot. I didn’t know what it is so it was a purely accidental find.
Then my chemistry mind came into play and I thought, oh, this is a compound called geranylgeraniol - why is this compound needed?
Then I thought, wait a minute, the entire molecule of tocotrienol has GG embedded in it - human beings cannot use GG to make tocotrienols. This same compound, GG, that makes tocotrienols in the plant makes many other things in the plant that are also needed in the human body.
Three reasons we need GGIn the human body is GG is required for the synthesis of at least three things:
- the synthesis of skeletal muscle protein, myopathy skeletal muscle protein synthesis, think sarcopenia
- the synthesis of CoQ10
- the synthesis of Vitamin K2-MK4
GG’s role in heart health
I gave you three big reasons GG is needed, but I'm here because you are a cardiologist, so for the cardiology aspect the synthesis of skeletal muscle protein and the synthesis of CoQ10 is very important.
Statins, GG and muscle problems
The role of GG in the human body – even if you are not taking a statin drug – is simply to make muscle. Some 30 to 40 percent of our body weight is muscle so, as we grow older if we put on more weight it is the increase in fat that masks the muscle loss, which can disguise sarcopenia.
Statins, GG and CoQ10
And if you add in the statins that so many people are taking to control cholesterol then the situation is compounded because the statin drugs that inhibit cholesterol synthesis also disrupts the same pathway that makes GG; this is why when people take statins they also have muscle problems.
Actually, the drop in CoQ10 when people take statin drugs is a biomarker for a drop in GG, because when GG drops there isn't enough to make CoQ10.
If you ever see people that have low CoQ10 because of statins (or not because of statin) you will immediately say that they're going to have heart problems.
That’s correct, but they probably have low CoQ10 because, over time, the body is not making enough GG.
Statins, GG, calcium and vitamin K
So you can also suspect if they don't make enough GG they're going to have muscle problems, CoQ10 problems and when people have a drop in vitamin K2, they probably have calcification arterial sclerosis. That's to do with MK4 and MK4 absolutely needs GG for its synthesis otherwise MK4 cannot be synthesized in our body.
Dr Khan: I so appreciate your incredible knowledge and your enthusiasm. I just want to repeat that so I can demonstrate to the world I understand it.
Why GG is important
As we age, we make less coenzyme Q10 and produce less of this compound you found at the bottom of the test tube while you were playing around with vitamin E tocotrienols called GG.
But if we add a statin cholesterol-lowering medication, which will be needed for many people – about 40 million Americans I think is the statistic – it's only going to accelerate and the process is going to speed up.
But it's not just that you're blocking the production of CoQ10, you just told us we're going to block the production of muscle protein synthesis in the skeletal muscles and Vitamin K2 MK4.
MK4, just in case people didn't catch that, is a version of vitamin K2, and you don't want to block the production of vitamin K2 it may accelerate the calcification of your arteries. Some people are taking vitamin K2, but we certainly don't want to block the production of vitamin K2.
Combining GG and CoQ10 for maximum benefits
So you take this amazing idea and there's so much beautiful science, but why have you worked to bring to the public, and I'm excited as a cardiologist, a combination that we're going to call right now Xtend-Quinol, that is GG plus a version of CoQ10 that's the best version of CoQ10 called ubiquinol.
You’ve put them together in a capsule and what was your thinking? How could that be even better?
Barrie Tan: Thank you, excellent question Dr Khan.
The first thought as far as any cardiac support is concerned clearly is CoQ10, because the heart has the highest amount of CoQ10 of any of our organs. This is probably because of the absolute necessity for the conversion of ATP energy (a discovery for which the Nobel Prize was given in 1978) and the heart does not go to sleep so it has to have CoQ10.
So I thought adding GG to CoQ10 would be good. First, CoQ10 is an albatross of a molecule. It's very large hard and to get in to the cells, so I need the CoQ10 to be in a place that is more bioavailable to absorb better.
The reduced form of CoQ10 called ubiquinol, the oxidized form is ubiquinone, they are a redox pair, which means that they go from each other. However, if you have the reduced form (ubiquinol), it’s absorbed better. So, I need the reduced form, and it is the form that the body needs.
Then I need to add in GG, because GG is required in the body for the synthesis of CoQ10. The entire tail of CoQ10 that our body miraculously makes is two and a half times the length of the GG tail.
This is the first time we've ever made a supplement to help make CoQ10.
So I need GG in there to assist in the process to make CoQ10.
Right now, there's nothing else out there to help the body to make CoQ10 except GG. The ring of the GG, that's tyrosine, one of the 20 essential amino acids, but the tail is not an amino acid, it requires GG. If someone takes a statin, it inhibits it and then inhibits CoQ10 and, not surprisingly, CoQ10 and GG levels drop. When I combine GG and CoQ10 together, it encourages the body to absorb the CoQ10 (ubiquinol, the necessary form).
GG and statin side effects
People who take CoQ10 are already people who know about the side effects of taking statins. The way that these statin problems can be reduced would be to make sure that you have enough GG. Often people who take statins stop taking them because of a muscular problem; GG will be able to circumvent the possibility of muscle problems.
Clinical trials on GG
It does it so well that we're now conducting a head-to-head trial in Texas Tech University in Lubbock whereby people who are on statins under a cardiologist's care and have myopathy and will be given GG to see if the GG would reverse the problem of myopathy. That study won't be finished until end of this year, but if I get the data then that would be solid evidence.
People who are on statins under a cardiologist’s care and have myopathy and will be given GG to see if the GG would reverse the problem of myopathy.
In animal studies it is already consistently shown that the myopathy caused in animals on statins is because of a lack of GG.
The formula for Xtend-Quinol
Dr Khan: Wow, so again, breaking it down make sure I understand.
You could have picked off the shelf a form of CoQ10 called ubiquinone, which many people buy if you turn your bottle around and read the label.
But you picked the preferred, better absorbed, more potent version of CoQ10 called ubiquinol which is why this product is called Xtend-Quinol, and that's what you added to GG Pure.
A statin patient case study
If you are a patient taking [a statin] on no supplementation, theoretically your skeletal muscle protein synthesis their vitamin K2 MK4 production and certainly your coenzyme Q10 production are at risk.
So if we have a patient taking 40 milligrams of Lipitor [a statin Brand name] on no supplementation, theoretically their skeletal muscle protein synthesis their vitamin K2 MK4 production and certainly their coenzyme Q10 production are at risk.
They may or may not feel bad but their physiology may be interrupted and we all live in the medical world with that concept : First Do no harm - primum non-nocerec.
But by combining the preferred version of coenzyme Q10 (ubiquinol) and GG Pure in one capsule called Xtend-Quinol you've got basically statin relief, statin aid, statin helper.
You can take your statin drug and theoretically – and we'll all await this Texas Tech study – you can protect your physiology from “collateral damage”; I think that would be a good term, as we know many drugs have collateral damage, they have the potential for side effects.
We're not claiming we just cured anything but you're supporting beautiful biochemistry and beautiful physiology.
A quick medical history of statin side-effects
Statins and muscle damage
Dr Tan: That is correct, we first knew that statins have a side effect of muscle damage as early as 1988, about two years after the introduction of the first statin, Mevacor, because of the rhabdomyolysis that was published in New England Journal of Medicine.
Then if you fast forward another 20 years, in the famed JUPITER study, also published in New England Journal of Medicine, they noticed that Rosuvastatin, which is Crestor, worked to help people to control cardiovascular risk - we know statins do this exceedingly well.
Statins, diabetes and blood sugar
Towards the end of the study they reported that statins also make sugar levels creep up. That was in 2008 and the FDA said that should be in the label in 2012. It took another 10 years for people to pin down the biochemistry: why did statins cause a diabetes onset?
They figured it out when they published last year and the reason is this: when we eat food, sugar levels go up. Then insulin is produced in the pancreas and as insulin goes up, the sugar levels come down. So, normally, after two hours the sugar comes down. But if you take a statin, over time, this is not so.
The background to this is that the American Diabetes Association said every diabetic should be taking statin drugs because they have three times the chance of having cardiovascular risk. From that perspective that the statin recommendation is good.
But, ironically for diabetics, taking statins means that over time blood sugar slowly creeps up. The reason is because insulin can chaperone the sugar to the cell wall, but the insulin does not actually get inside the cell wall. Instead, as the insulin brings the glucose to the, the cell will bring the glut4 protein – it’s a glucose transporter – to grab the sugar and take it in.
Glut4 is a protein and it requires GG for its synthesis. So if you inhibit GG it cannot make the glut4 so that means that the sugar is almost getting a home run but cannot get to the fourth base because the glut4 is not bringing it in.
I didn't do the study, but I'll gladly send that paper to you, it was just published in the last three months. It’s a shocking thing!
Then I thought, wow, so if people are not checking this it could be a problem.
I talked to my cardiologist – I'm taking a statin because my cholesterol is very high – I actually had to ask my doctor, can you please measure my sugar?
Then he said, well, what do you want to do, Mr Tan? If you don't take a statin then you have this cardiovascular problem, so you just have to live with your sugar levels. I'm trying to figure out how to live with my sugar and perhaps for me, GG may be the answer.
Dr Khan: Wow, so that's fascinating, and if people didn't know Dr Tan is not an anti-anything. Just get your product information insert that comes with any statin and it'll mention a few potential side effects, like every other pharmaceutical drug. One is inducing pre-diabetes and even pushing people into the diabetic range.
Many people are aware of that, but some people have been wondering "Why is my hemoglobin A1c up?" and "Why did my doctor say my fasting blood is sugar up?" and they never connected it to their Lipitor, Crestor, Zocor or Provisacor, those are the brand names, of course it's almost all generic drugs.
GG and insulin resistance
So if you can really influence this insulin sensitivity by this great combination you've created that we're calling Xtend-Quinol that will provide the CoQ10 and in this case GG Pure to offset insulin resistance.
I hope the Nobel Prize committee is waiting and has your cell phone number because that is huge! I mean primum non-nocere (first do no harm) give the best drug for cholesterol-lowering and a supplement to lower the risk of side effects. I mean, what an incredible contribution.
Dr Tan: Well, thank you so much. For me this is a blessing if with all this if I can make what GG can do to the human body then it would be the best time for me to retire. My wife said, you probably will never retire!
Remember, this was an accidental find – I figured out that what protects the color in the annatto plant was a tocotrienol, this is the remaining two percent in the bottom of the pot and the test tube and then I decided to look.
GG is essential for plants
The next time when you eat a vegetable, if you see anything green – just about everything in a plant is green, chlorophyll – it has to have a GG molecule.
If you see any color like beta-carotene lutein, lycopene all these wonderful things people talk about, they cannot be synthesized without GG. So, it's absolutely required for the existence of the plant.
GG is essential for humans
In humans, GG is required for three things, probably more:
- CoQ10 synthesis, which is good for energy and as an antioxidant
- Vitamin K2 MK4 synthesis - you sweep the calcium from soft tissue to the hard tissue so that you can have bone health but not leaving it in the artery or the kidney or the gall bladder
- and the last one, which is biggest of them all, the required synthesis of skeletal muscle protein requires GG
GG: The anti-aging supplement
So even if it's for no other reason, even if you’re not taking any medication GG is actually an anti-aging supplement.
Bisphosphonates and osteoporosis
Now I'm going to throw this and the last thing in. There's an anti-osteoporosis drug for post-menopausal women are called bisphosphonates. It's a good thing, you bring the calcium to the bone. If you read carefully on the side-effect of bisphosphonate it cause necrosis of the jaw.
Why? The necrosis of the jaw is because the bisphosphonates land on the jaw and then it cause the jaw to die. The reason that the jaw dies is because they inhibit a protein that desperately requires GG to make.
We shouldn’t take GG for granted
GG has so many implications in our body it's shocking. I know it's not cardiovascular, but GG is actually an anti-aging thing. Our body quietly makes it to make other things so it is taken for granted – it just has to be there – but until there's a manifestation of a disease people will never care about GG.
That’s why I'm trying to bring the biochemistry to bear so that people care about this GG.
Xtend-Quinol for statin users
Dr Khan: Well I think a lot of people that have watched this and a lot of people are going to tell their friends and relatives that Dr Barrie Tan has created a statin-relieving compound, a statin protection-compound, a statin aid compound that we're going to call again Xtend-Quinol.
Dr Barrie Tan has created a statin relieving compound…that we're going to call Xtend-Quinol that combines the best kind of coenzyme Q10 for heart support and the best kind of GG Pure for all these body-wide biochemical advantages
It combines the best kind of coenzyme Q10 for heart support and the best kind of GG Pure for all these body-wide biochemical advantages and I think the future is bright and beautiful.
Let's just say thank you to Dr Tan.
Dr Tan: Thank you, Dr Khan, you are wonderful to bring this kind of message to the listeners out there. They need alternative medical doctors and cardiologists like you to bring the message to the people so thank you very much for doing what you're doing.
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Dr Khan: I'll simply say I would think the pharmaceutical industry would actually thank you too because so many people are hesitant to start a statin. I'm not encouraging that opinion, many people are.
If we can spread the word then you can take what you need for your heart support according to your medical team or your Cardiology team and take a supplement to protect you, to shield you [from the negative side effects of statins].
We're going to produce Xtend-Quinol as a shield for those on a statin I mean what a great thing you've done, so again, thank you.