Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that occurs naturally in all parts of the body. The body needs some cholesterol to work properly. But if there is too much cholesterol in the blood, it can stick to the walls of the arteries. This is called plaque. Plaque can the arteries or even block them. High levels of cholesterol in the blood can increase the risk of heart disease. Cholesterol levels tend to rise with age. There are usually no signs or symptoms that indicate high blood cholesterol, but it can be detected with a blood test. Chances of having high cholesterol would include if family members have it, being overweight or eating a lot of fatty foods.
Coenzyme Q10’s benefits are due to the following two attributes. First, Co-Q10 is an important fat-soluble antioxidant that is uniquely able to protect the cells’ energy producing machinery, known as mitochondria, from free radical damage. Second, coenzyme Q10 is necessary for the production of energy in all cells of the body.
A study published in the journal IUBMB Life investigated whether Co-Q10 supplementation could reduce cholesterol levels through gene expression patterns. The researchers recruited 53 healthy males with an average age of 30 and were randomly supplemented with the reduced form of Co-Q10 (ubiquinol, Q10H2) at 150 mg daily for two weeks. The results were a 4.8-fold increase in CoQ10 plasma levels after supplementation. Gene expression patterns involved in inflammation, cell death and cell differentiation was identified. A 12.7 percent reduction in LDL cholesterol levels was reported. â€œQ10H2 induces characteristic gene expression patterns, which are translated into reduced LDL cholesterol levels and altered parameters of [red blood cell production or] erythropoiesis in humans,â€ the scientists concluded.
Schmelzer C, Niklowitz P, Okun JG, et al. Ubiquinol-induced gene expression signatures are translated into altered parameters of erythropoiesis and reduced low density lipoprotein cholesterol levels in humans. IUBMB Life Jan2011;63(1):42-8.