Breakthrough With CoEnzyme Q10
Coenzyme Q10 has been called the miracle nutrient of the 21st century. It can up your energy, build your heart, improve your immunity, promote weight loss, and support a longer life. Plus, this supplement can control periodontal disease, normalize blood pressure, overcome infertility, help balance blood sugar, and more.
How is this possible? Coenzyme Q10 is necessary for the production of energy in every cell in our bodies. In addition, CoQ10 is an important fat-soluble antioxidant that protects both the brain and the cells’ energy generators from free radical damage.
Each of our cells contains tiny energy generators called mitochondria. The mitochondria produce 95 percent of our total energy needs, and they can’t make energy without coenzyme Q10. If levels decline by 25 percent, major ill health and disease are the result. A 75 percent deficiency is fatal.
Here’s the miracle, when CoQ10 is used to correct a deficiency state, there is an overall rejuvenating effect on the entire body.
There are ten coenzyme Q compounds found in nature. Only coenzyme Q10 is present in humans.
As early as our twenties, our ability to synthesize CoQ10 begins to decline. In our 30s, we may begin to experience a decrease in energy and a general deterioration of our health.
This is the time to start taking CoQ10 supplements. Athletes need to begin supplementation far earlier because of their increased energy output.
Topic: Coenzyme Q10
In a controlled study, CoQ10-deficient individuals unable to lose weight on 650 calories a day were given 100 mg of CoQ10. At the end of nine weeks, the CoQ10 group showed an average loss of 30 pounds while the nondeficient groups lost only 13 pounds. The researchers theorize that at least half of all overweight persons might benefit from using CoQ10 as a diet adjunct. (More inside.)
Breakthrough with CoQ
• Energize Your Body
• Strengthen Your Heart
• Control Periodontal Disease
• Revitalize Your Immune System
• Enjoy Special Antioxidant Benefits
CoQ10 Can Do All This And More, Look Inside….
Supplemental CoQ10 not only improves the quality of life…, it also saves lives.
—Stephen T. Sinatra, MD, FACC, The Coenzyme Q10 Phenomenon
Coenzyme Q10 has been called the miracle nutrient of the 21st century. It can energize the body, strengthen the heart, revitalize the immune system, control periodontal disease, normalize blood pressure, overcome infertility, reverse the effects of aging, and more.
How is this possible? Coenzyme Q10 is necessary for the production of energy in every cell in our bodies. In addition, CoQ10 is an important fat-soluble antioxidant that is uniquely able to protect the cells’ energy generators from free radical damage.
Each of our body’s cells contains tiny energy generators called mitochondria. The mitochondria produce 95 percent of our total energy needs, and they can’t make energy without coenzyme Q10. If levels decline by 25 percent, major ill health and disease are the result. A 75 percent deficiency is fatal. On the other hand, when CoQ10 is used to correct a deficiency state, there is an overall rejuvenating effect on the body.
While there are ten coenzyme Q compounds in nature, the last one, (aptly named) coenzyme Q10, is the only one present in humans. During our youth and young adulthood, our livers can synthesize CoQ10 from any of the other CoQs in food. As early as our twenties, this ability begins to decline. By the time we are in our 30s, we may begin to experience a decrease in energy and a general deterioration of our health. This is the time to start taking CoQ10 supplements. Athletes have increased energy output and need supplementation far earlier.
A Wealth of Heart Health
Thousands of studies have shown that CoQ10 is an indisputable heart remedy. It has been used successfully to treat a wide variety of cardiovascular disorders from angina and arrhythmia to congestive heart failure and high blood pressure (a leading risk factor for heart disease). Since more CoQ10 is found in heart tissue than in any other muscle of the body, it is not surprising that deficiencies are commonly found in heart patients.
Working with a Japanese colleague, Dr. Karl Folkers found that CoQ10 deficiencies exist in the heart tissue of about 75 percent of all heart patients.1 These patients consistently had 25 percent lower CoQ10 levels than healthy people. From this, Dr. Folkers concluded that CoQ10 deficiency results in heart disease. The good news is that using CoQ10 as a dietary supplement has healing effects in these patients.
1 In the 1970s, the Japanese perfected the industrial technology to produce pure CoQ10; ten years later, it was introduced as a nutritional supplement.
In the 1980s, physician and CoQ10 researcher Emile G. Bliznakov, MD, wrote, “Patients who were hardly able to move because of congestive heart failure…are able once more to look to a new, active future through CoQ10.”2 Ten years later, well-known cardiologist Stephen T. Sinatra, confirmed these observations from his experience of treating thousands of heart patients.
2 In 1986, with co-author Gerald L. Hunt, Emile G. Bliznakov, MD, wrote the original popular work on CoQ10, Miracle Nutrient Coenzyme Q10.
Here are some examples of the benefits of CoQ10 supplementation in reestablishing heart health:
• 80 patients took CoQ10 for 12 weeks. For 71 participants, blood was pumped more efficiently, shortness of breath was reduced, and muscle strength was increased.
• 12 patients with advanced congestive heart failure and a poor response to conventional treatment were given CoQ10 for seven months. They then reported feeling less tired, having an increased tolerance for activity, no longer experiencing shortness of breath at rest. Their hearts worked less hard and pumped more blood.
• 34 patients with severe congestive cardiomyopathy received CoQ10 daily. After two years, 62 percent had survived compared to only 25 percent of similar patients receiving conventional treatment.
The last condition can be so severe that the afflicted must remain sedentary. In this case, supplementary CoQ10 can improve the heart’s performance and strength without exercise. It follows that CoQ10 supplements would be a good idea for any sedentary person.
In a landmark study published by the American Journal of Cardiology (1985), researchers reported the effects of CoQ10 in the treatment of angina pectoris. In this disease, constricted arteries are not able to deliver enough oxygen to the heart during emotional excitement or exercise. After only four weeks of CoQ10 supplementation, the number of attacks was halved.
Blood pressure has been lowered without the use of medication by simply supplementing with CoQ10. One typical study shows the subject average as 141/97 being lowered to an average of 126/90 after only two months of supplementation.
This wonderful nutrient is not only useful for treating heart disease and high blood pressure, it can also be utilized to protect the heart from further damage, improve the effects of heart surgery, defend the heart from potentially toxic drugs, and improve heart function. Of course, it is useful in maintaining heart health.
Unfortunately, after many years of availability and ample scientific verification, coenzyme Q10 is still not widely used medically, and heart disease remains the number one killer of Americans.
Very few individuals, if any, reach their potential maximum life span; they die prematurely of a wide variety of diseases — the vast majority being “free radical” diseases.
— Denham Harman, MD, PhD, Free radical pioneer
Oxygen is necessary to life. When oxygen molecules breakdown in the body, oxidation results. The fractured molecules are called “free radicals”. They form as a natural by-product of metabolism. In healthful circumstances, young, sound individuals produce enough antioxidants to neutralize free radicals. On the other hand, junk foods, alcohol, tobacco smoke, air pollution, radiation (including over-exposure to sunshine), over-the-counter and prescription medications, infections, poisoning (e.g., breathing gasoline fumes), and all other stressors can result in excessive free radical production. Excessive production also results from strenuous exercise, putting athletes and even weekend warriors at risk of free radical damage.
If excessive free radicals are not neutralized by antioxidants, they injure cells, interfere with enzyme processes, and damage DNA. Among the many antioxidant supplements, CoQ10 is ideal because it neutralizes free radicals before they do their damage.
Another special effect of CoQ10 is its ability to inhibit the interaction of fatty acids with oxygen.3 Small amounts of fatty acids are always found in the cell membranes and in the blood. When these vulnerable fats are oxidized, our cells lose their fluidity. One result is wrinkled skin.
3 Outside of our bodies, the interaction of food oils and oxygen is called rancidity. Oxidation doesn’t happen only to fats. It also occurs when a freshly cut apple or peach begins to brown and when rust forms on unprotected iron.
Cholesterol is a form of fat. Free radicals interact with low density lipoproteins (LDL or “bad” cholesterol). This leads to plaque formation in the arteries, narrowing them, and inviting cardiovascular problems. Vitamin E is a well-known inhibitor of LDL oxidation. CoQ10 interacts with used vitamin E, such that it is once again useful in our bodies. The combination of vitamin E and CoQ10 is especially important to heart health.
Our bodies retain extra supplies of CoQ10 where they are needed most: the heart, the liver, and the immune system. CoQ10 supplementation is a way to give the immune system a boost. According to the National Cancer Institute, animal studies have shown that coenzyme Q10 helps the immune system work better and enhances the body’s ability to resist certain infections and types of cancer.
In a study comparing antibody production in young and aging mice, the young mice produced 300 units of antibodies and the old mice only about 130. When treated with CoQ10, aging mice increased their production to 240 units, nearly double.
Similar results have been found in limited human studies. Chronically ill patients took 60 mg per day for 1-2 months. The CoQ10 supplementation was associated with a significant increase in antibodies. Researchers concluded that CoQ10 supplementation may prevent the immune suppression which commonly occurs with chronic illness.
Further experiments have demonstrated that CoQ10 can reduce the number and size of chemically induced tumors in mice. Since human tumors manifest in the same way as mouse tumors, scientists anticipate the human response to CoQ10 to be equally beneficial. CoQ10 has already been used with Adriamycin, a chemotherapy agent, to reduce its side effects, which include weakening of the heart muscle.
It is no surprise that the staying power of the immune system makes it possible for some people to “age better” than others. A decrease in immune competence is a major symptom of aging and — as scientists are discovering — so is CoQ10 deficiency. Coenzyme Q10 has extended the lifespan of laboratory animals up to 56 percent.
One amazing study involved 100 old mice.4 Two groups of mice lived identical lives of mousey luxury, except one group received CoQ10. The untreated mice had the anticipated symptoms of old age and began to die off at the expected rate. However, the CoQ10-treated mice did not age normally. They were bright-eyed and active with glowing coats.
4 Mice are defined as old when they are at such an advanced age that all their body functions are declining, including the ability to synthesize CoQ10.
By week 28, seventy percent of the controls had died and 60 percent of the treated mice were still alive. By week 36, all the controls had died while 40 percent of the CoQ10 mice were “alive and active…most displaying no observable signs of aging at a time when they should have been severely geriatric.” Ten percent were still “thriving” by week 56. In week 82, having lived about 150 human years, the last mouse finally went to mouse heaven.5
5 This experiment was replicated twice to authenticate the results. The findings were presented in 1980 at the 4th International Congress of Immunology in Paris, and published in Biochemical and Clinical Aspects of Coenzyme Q, Volume 3, 1981.
Antioxidant researchers believe that free radical oxidative stress is the most compelling theory of aging. CoQ10 combats free radicals in an important way: Whereas a lack of oxygen in the cells causes a decline in energy levels, an overabundance results in the formation of free radicals. CoQ10 has the capacity to normalize both conditions by either adding or removing oxygen from a biologically active molecule. It protects the cells against free radicals while maintaining their required oxygen levels. The good news is that supplementary CoQ10 makes it possible to provide the body with youthful levels of this “miracle nutrient”.
Here is a brief overview of other areas of supplemental CoQ10 effectiveness.
• Dental health: Gum disease is basically a bacterial, inflammatory process. When a flagging immune response is marked by CoQ10 deficiency, even the most severe cases have resulted in renewed oral health with supplementation. Taking 120 mg of CoQ10 twice daily will bring results within three months.
• Overweight: Overweight may also represent a CoQ10 deficiency connection. Some obese people have only half the fuel burning capacity of lean people. By improving energy production with supplemental CoQ10, calorie-burning may be enhanced, yielding weight loss. (See cover quote.) Dr. Sinatra’s patients have had weight loss results with a daily intake of 120 mg CoQ10, 400 mcg of chromium picolinate, and a multi vitamin-mineral formula.
• Infertility: About 6 million couples are unable to conceive. According to the American Urology Association, male infertility is involved 50 percent of the time. CoQ10 improves sperm motility and protects seminal fluid from free radical injury, both important components of men’s fertility. Along with a healthy diet, targeted supplementation for impaired reproductive function is important. Suggested supplements are a multivitamin-mineral formula and CoQ10, as well as vitamins C and E, zinc, and the amino acids n-acetyl-cysteine and arginine. In one study, fertilization rates were improved with only 60 mg of CoQ10 per day.
Other areas where CoQ10 supplementation shows promise include diabetes, neurogenerative diseases (e.g., Alzheimer’s), AIDS, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, skin damage, and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Sources and Supplements
Dr. Sinatra contends that functioning on low levels of CoQ10 is like running a high octane engine on low octane fuel. Meats and fish, especially mackerel and sardines, are very high in CoQ10. Other rich food sources include cereals brans, peanuts, dark green vegetables like spinach and broccoli, soybeans, and soy and sesame oils.
CoQ10 supplementation only works if there is a deficiency of coenzyme Q10. Once we pass 40 most of us are deficient. From that point, we can get our CoQ10 needs met only preformed from food or from CoQ10 supplements. In addition, aging, poor eating habits, infection, stress, and strenuous exercise affect our ability to provide adequate amounts.
FYI: People taking statin type cholesterol-lowering drugs (e.g., Lovastatin) compromise CoQ10 production in the body. Ironically, the very drugs which lower cholesterol endanger the heart.
There are no clinical studies providing information on the use of CoQ10 for prevention. However, if you are over 30, add CoQ10 to your supplement program. For healthy people, the usual dose is 30-60 mg once a day. Because CoQ10 is fat-soluble, improve absorption by taking it with a fat-containing food. In addition, some people experience a major increase in energy when they take CoQ10 supplements. This may lead to trouble sleeping. In this case, take the supplements during the day with food.
The ability of individual bodies to uptake CoQ10 varies greatly. Some patients attain good blood levels on 100 mg per day while others require 200-300 mg to attain the same levels. See sidebar “New CoQ4U” and Dr. Sinatra’s therapeutic recommendations on page 3.
Remember, coenzyme Q10 works like a vitamin not like a wonder drug. One to three months or longer may be necessary to saturate deficient tissues. Please note: Because the body no longer makes CoQ10, health status declines when supplements are discontinued.
Dr. Sinatra’s Therapeutic Recommendations
• 90 to 120 mg as a preventive in cardiovascular or periodontal disease and for patients taking statin drugs.
• 120 to 240 mg for the treatment of angina pectoris, cardiac arrhythmia, high blood pressure, and moderate gingival disease.
• 240 to 450 mg for congestive heart failure and dilated cardiomyopathy.
Note: For a severely impaired immune system, as in cancer, even higher doses of CoQ10 may be required.
A new form of coenzyme Q10 is on the market. This form is called ubiquinol while the standard form of CoQ10 supplements is ubiquinone.6 The new CoQ10 has unprecedented bioavailability, demonstrating blood levels eight times higher than the same dose of ordinary CoQ10.
When the body receives coenzyme Q10 as either food or supplement, most of it becomes ubiquinol. In fact, over 80 percent of the CoQ10 found in the body is in this form. As we age, not only do we produce less CoQ10, our bodies become less efficient at converting it to the active ubiquinol form.
It is not surprising that studies indicate better absorption of ubiquinol than of ubiquinone. Further, new form ubiquinol increases and maintains blood plasma levels of CoQ10 by more than double that of the ubiquinone form. In one study, eight times as much ubiquinone was needed to achieve the same blood levels of CoQ10 as ubiquinol.
People with health conditions which indicate the therapeutic use of CoQ10 supplements are advised to use this advanced form. Ubiquinol supplementation insures that the body gets the desired levels of CoQ10 easily and rapidly.
6 FYI: Ubiquinone, ubiquinol, and ubiquitous have the same root. Ubiquitous means occurring everywhere simultaneously or omnipresent. The original discoverers of the substance found it everywhere in nature.
Nutrition News c2007 VOL XXXI, No. 7