for people ages 30-75 (full criteria)
Healthy Volunteers
healthy people welcome
study started
estimated completion
Principal Investigator
by Pam Taub, M.D. (ucsd)
Photo of Pam Taub
Pam Taub



The purpose of this study is to gain insight into the side-effects of statin consumption, and assess the ability of epicatechin (a compound in dark chocolate) to counteract or reverse these changes. The investigators' prior research has shown that epicatechin can improve skeletal muscle structure and mitochondrial (which gives us energy) structure.

Official Title

Effects of Epicatechin on Patients With Statin-induced Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Impaired Exercise Capacity


Patient Inclusion Criteria: 1. Must be between 30-75 years of age. 2. Must have a VO2max greater than 18 ml/kg/min(non-sedentary individuals). 3. Subjects with LDL>100mg/dL (or on drug treatment) 4. Subjects without a prior cerebrovascular event (example: stroke) 5. Subjects without a prior cardiovascular event (example: heart attack) Patient Exclusion Criteria: 1. Liver, thyroid, or kidney disease. 2. Currently taking drugs that interfere with statin metabolism (calcium channel blockers, colchicine etc.). 3. Acute or chronic infectious disease; autoimmune/inflammatory disease, cancer, COPD, anemia, diabetes, psychiatric illness. 4. Non-smokers, prior smokers, or illicit drug users with abstinence >1 year. 5. Subjects taking blood thinners (Coumadin, xarelto, pradaxa, Plavix, effient, apixiban, etc) will be excluded. If subjects are taking aspirin for routine prevention they will be asked to hold aspirin for 7 days prior to biopsy. Routine prevention means that the patients are taking aspirin to reduce their risks, but do not have established cardiovascular disease. 6. History of previous knee surgery and active history of knee pain or neuromuscular disease are exclusions as they are known to affect muscle structure and function. The study will be a double blind placebo controlled study where subjects will be randomized to either of two groups: 1. Simvastatin 40 mg + placebo once daily (statin only group) for 3 months 2. Simvastatin 40 mg + Epi 50 mg once daily (statin + Epi group) for 3 months


Statin Intolerance myopathy muscular weakness cramping fatigue Simvastatin Pure epicatechin capsules (50mg) Simvastatin (40mg) Statin only Statin and epicatechin


For people ages 30-75

Patient Inclusion Criteria:

  • Must be between 30-75 years of age
  • LDL>100mg/dL (or on drug treatment)
  • VO2 max greater than 25 ml/kg/min

Patient Exclusion Criteria:

  • Liver or kidney disease
  • Currently taking drugs that interfere with statin metabolism
  • Currently taking blood thinners
  • Acute or chronic infectious disease; autoimmune/inflammatory disease, cancer, COPD, anemia, psychiatric illness, insulin-dependent diabetes
  • smokers or illicit drug users
  • adverse cardiovascular event (ex: heart attack)
  • history of knee surgery or active history of knee pain


  • University of California, San Diego accepting new patients
    La Jolla California 92093 United States

Lead Scientist at University of California Health

  • Pam Taub, M.D. (ucsd)
    Pam R. Taub, MD, FACC, FASPC is Professor of Medicine at the UC San Diego School of Medicine in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine. She is the Founding Director of the Step Family Foundation Cardiac Rehabilitation and Wellness Center. Dr. Taub was responsible for all aspects of creating the center.


accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
University of California, San Diego
Study Type
Last Updated