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Coenzyme Q10—Life Giving Cellular Energy For Your Heart and Entire Body!

CoQ10 also fights heart disease … Alzheimer’s … and other deadly diseases.

There’s a good chance you’ve heard about the supplement Coenzyme Q10—also known as CoQ10 or ubiquinone. Maybe you heard about its tremendous health benefits from health magazines, or on TV, or even from friends.

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And these health benefits are very real and have been well documented in peer-reviewed medical literature. But still, not nearly enough people are taking advantage of this amazing dietary supplement. If you are over the age of 40 or are taking a statin drug, CoQ10 simply MUST be a part of your supplementation program. Read on to find out why …

Your body’s natural “perpetual energy” machine

The common currency of all life is energy. Nothing happens without energy. The simplest one celled amoeba needs energy to survive … your cells, you don’t breathe. You don’t think. You don’t play. Without cellular energy, you die.

Your body produces energy inside tiny, specialized energy-generating structures in the cell called mitochondria. (The singular is “mitochondrion.”)
Mitochondria produce energy by taking a molecule of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and chopping off one of the three phosphate groups. This makes adenosine diphosphate (ADP) and releases a lot of energy for the cell—and ultimately for the rest of your body.

When this reaction is over, the cell has some ADP and a phosphate group left over. These molecules would be waste products if it weren’t for a clever recycling system involving CoQ10.

CoQ10 works with an enzyme in the mitochondria to reattach the phosphate to the ADP. This produces ATP once again. And the cycle starts over. It’s like a perpetual energy process … as long as there is energy put into the system (in the form of food) and CoQ10.


One happy consequence of CoQ10’s part in this recycling is that it becomes a powerful antioxidant in the process.

So as you can see, CoQ10 is crucial in the energy cycle in your cell. Without it, your cells produce no energy … and there is no life.

Once scientists understood this critical role CoQ10 plays in cells, they began looking at CoQ10 levels in people with serious diseases like heart failure, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes. What they found—while not surprising—had tremendous impact.

Coenzyme Q10 and the mitochondrial theory of disease and aging

It’s natural to want to find the causes of life-threatening diseases. If we know the causes—the reasoning goes—we can do something to protect ourselves.

For many years, “exogenous” or outside causes were primary suspects. For example, tuberculosis is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Yellow fever by the yellow fever virus. Polio by poliovirus. And measles by rubeola virus.

It all fit nicely … until the killers of modern life came under scrutiny. What causes heart disease? High cholesterol perhaps. Then why do over half the men who have heart attacks have perfectly normal cholesterol?

Cancers present even deeper puzzles about their origins. Are they caused by radiation … or pollution … or viruses … or some other, yet-to-be-discovered agent? And why do some people get these diseases while others—in similar environments and circumstances—get away free from them?

So scientists at the forefront of disease research have been looking inside the human body for causes of the modern-day killers. They’re looking all the way inside the cell right down to the mitochondria.

CoQ10 research has provided insight into pathways modern diseases use to gain a foothold in your body. It works like this: Patients with serious life-shortening diseases like heart failure, cancers, neurological diseases, and a host of other conditions have lower CoQ10 levels.1

This makes sense when viewed in the context of your body’s need for energy for all its systems to work at peak performance … especially the immune system.

An immune system depleted of energy is an immune system that cannot protect your cells from attack … attack by environmental toxins, viruses, carcinogens, LDL cholesterol, and free radicals.

This discovery of reduced CoQ10 levels in sick people launched another line of research looking at CoQ10 as a possible supplement to ease the severity and effects of these diseases. The results are astonishing.

Now, before we talk specifically about the findings, I’d like you to consider the implications this research has on you … even if you’re the “healthiest person on the block.”

About the only way researchers have to study effects a supplement has on preventing a disease in humans is to see how research subjects with the disease respond to it. There is no ethical way to administer a supplement like CoQ10 to a healthy person and then trying to cause the disease in them.

“An immune system depleted of energy is an immune system that cannot protect your cells from attack …”

So by studying the positive effects of CoQ10 on sick subjects—as well as looking at animal studies—let us draw rational conclusions about how CoQ10 could provide protection against those same diseases.

Please, keep this vital piece of your health puzzle in mind as we go on.

How CoQ10 battles a rogues’ gallery of today’s most deadly killers

Heart failure and cardiovascular diseases

The number one killer in America today? Heart disease. And some of the earliest research on Coenzyme Q10—as well as some of the most recent—has centered on heart disease—with a special focus on congestive heart failure.

Because cardiac cells have a huge energy requirement, healthy heart tissue has a high concentration of CoQ10. On the other hand, diseased heart tissue has been shown to have significantly lowered levels of CoQ10.

These levels are especially depressed in the case of congestive heart failure.2 The severity of heart failure correlates directly with the severity of CoQ10 deficiency.3

Since the early 1980’s—when CoQ10 became readily available in large enough quantities to use in clinical tests—numerous studies have demonstrated its ability to improve heart function. One of the most significant trials was a multicenter study in Italy.

This study involved a total of 2,664 patients with congestive heart failure diagnosed at least 6 months prior to the study. The patients were administered between 50 and 150 mg of CoQ10 orally, with 78% receiving 100 mg/day.4

The results showed unequivocally that the patients had fewer symptoms and better response to testing after three months of treatment.

These results are borne out by another Italian study, this one a yearlong, double blind, placebo-controlled trial of 641 patients. In this study, the researchers concluded:

“Our results demonstrate that the addition of coenzyme Q10 to conventional therapy significantly reduces hospitalization for worsening of heart failure and the incidence of serious complications in patients with chronic congestive heart failure.”5

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Editor's Note:

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This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Always consult with a physician before embarking on a dietary supplement program.

References

  1. Langsjoen, PH. Introduction to Coenzyme Q10.
    http://faculty.washington.edu/ely/coenzq10.html

  2. Folkers K., Vadhanavikit S., Mortensen S.A. Biochemical rationale and myocardial tissue data on the effective therapy of cardiomyopathy with coenzyme Q10. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., U.S.A., vol. 82(3), pp 901-904. (1985).

  3. Mortensen S.A., Vadhanavikit S., Folkers K. Deficiency of coenzyme Q10 in myocardial failure. Drugs Exptl. Clin. Res. X(7) 497-502. (1984).

  4. Baggio E, Gandini R, Plancher AC, Passeri M, Carmosino G., Italian multicenter study on the safety and efficacy of coenzyme Q10 as adjunctive therapy in heart failure. CoQ10 Drug Surveillance Investigators. Mol Aspects Med. 1994;15 Suppl:s287-94.

  5. Morisco, C.; Trimarco, B.; and Condorelli, M. Effect of coenzyme Q10 therapy in patients with congestive heart failure: a long-term multicenter randomized study. Journal of Molecular Medicine, Volume 71, Supplement 8, August, 1993.

  6. Folkers K, Langsjoen P, Willis R, et al. Lovastatin decreases coenzyme Q levels in humans. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1990 Nov;87(22):8931-4. 

  7. Langsjoen, PH. Introduction to Coenzyme Q10.
    http://faculty.washington.edu/ely/coenzq10.html

  8. Langsjoen, PH. Introduction to Coenzyme Q10.
    http://faculty.washington.edu/ely/coenzq10.html

  9. Jolliet P, Simon N, Barré J, Pons JY, Boukef M, Paniel BJ, Tillement JP. Plasma coenzyme Q10 concentrations in breast cancer: prognosis and therapeutic consequences. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther. 1998 Sep;36(9):506-9.

  10. Lockwood K, Moesgaard S, Hanioka T, Folkers K. Apparent partial remission of breast cancer in ‘high risk’ patients supplemented with nutritional antioxidants, essential fatty acids and coenzyme Q10.Mol Aspects Med. 1994;15 Suppl:s231-40.

  11. Singh RB, Niaz MA, Rastogi SS, Shukla PK, Thakur AS. Effect of hydrosoluble coenzyme Q10 on blood pressures and insulin resistance in hypertensive patients with coronary artery disease. J Hum Hypertens. 1999;13(3):203-208.

  12. Turunen M, Wehlin L, Sjoberg M, et al. beta2-Integrin and lipid modifications indicate a non-antioxidant mechanism for the anti-atherogenic effect of dietary coenzyme Q10. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2002;296(2):255-260.

  13. Tran MT, Mitchell TM, Kennedy DT, Giles JT. Role of coenzyme Q10 in chronic heart failure, angina, and hypertension.Pharmacotherapy. 2001;21(7):797-806.

  14. Shults CW, Oakes D, Kieburtz K, et al. Effects of coenzyme q10 in early Parkinson disease: evidence of slowing of the functional decline.Arch Neurol. 2002;59(10):1541-1550.

  15. Sándor, MD, P. S. et al. Efficacy of coenzyme Q10 in migraine prophylaxis: A randomized controlled trial. Neurology 2005;64:713-715.

  16. Gaby, Alan R. Coenzyme Q10 for chronic renal failure. Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, Oct, 2005. 

  17. Ishrata, Tauheed, et al. Coenzyme Q10 modulates cognitive impairment against intracerebroventricular injection of streptozotocin in rats Behavioural Brain Research. Volume 171, Issue 1, 15 July 2006, Pages 9-16.

  18. Hodgson, J.M., et al., Coenzyme Q10 improves blood pressure and glycaemic control: a controlled trial in subjects with type 2 diabetes.Eur J Clin Nutr, 2002. 56(11): p. 1137-42.

  19. Hanioka T, Tanaka M, Ojima M, Shizukuishi S, Folkers K. Effect of topical application of coenzyme Q10 on adult periodontitis. Mol Aspects Med. 1994;15 Suppl:s241-8.

  20. Roland Stocker, Ph.D. Possible Health Benefits of Coenzyme Q10. Linus Pauling Institute. 

  21. Bowry V.W., Mohr D., Cleary J., Stocker R. (1995) Prevention of tocopherol-mediated peroxidation in ubiquinol-10-free human low density lipoprotein. J Biol Chem 1995 Mar 17;270(11):5756-63.

  22. Ingold K.U., Bowry V.W., Stocker R., Walling C. (1993) Autoxidation of lipids and antioxidation by alpha-tocopherol and ubiquinol in homogeneous solution and in aqueous dispersions of lipids: unrecognized consequences of lipid particle size as exemplified by oxidation of human low density lipoprotein. Proc Natl Acad Sci U.S.A. 1993 Jan 1;90(1):45-9.

  23. References quoted in: Langsjoen, PH. Introduction to Coenzyme Q10. 
    http://faculty.washington.edu/ely/coenzq10.html

  24. Roland Stocker, Ph.D. Possible Health Benefits of Coenzyme Q10. Linus Pauling Institute. 

  25. Bliznakov, Emile G. M.D. Wilkins, Ph.D. David J. Biochemical and Clinical Consequences of Inhibiting Coenzyme Q10 Biosynthesis by Lipid-Lowering HMG-CoA Reductase Inhibitors (Statins): A Critical Overview. Presented in part at the 13th International Symposium on Drugs Affecting Lipid Metabolism, Florence, Italy, May 30-June 3, 1998.

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