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Coenzyme Q10

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Coenzyme Q10

One of the most important coenzymes discovered-CoQ10-has been compared to a spark plug in a car. Just as a car cannot function without that initial spark, the human body cannot function without CoQ10.

One of the most important coenzymes discovered–CoQ10–has been compared to a spark plug in a car. Just as a car cannot function without that initial spark, the human body cannot function without CoQ10.

Our cells need energy to keep us alive and functioning properly. Enzyme molecules speed up chemical reactions that produce this vital cellular energy. All enzymes require assistance from coenzymes–CoQ10 is one such coenzyme.

CoQ10 is also a powerful antioxidant and can offset damage caused by free radicals, which are the “loose cannons” in our cellular system. These highly reactive molecules damage healthy cells and have been linked to a wide variety of illnesses, including heart disease and cancer. CoQ10 can actually directly destroy free radicals. By enhancing cellular energy and reducing free-radical damage, CoQ10 can help prevent and treat a variety of health conditions.

Keep Your Heart Healthy

The scientific evidence regarding CoQ10 supplementation and heart health is impressive. Over the past several decades, clinical research has demonstrated CoQ10’s effectiveness in the following conditions:

  • arrhythmia
  • high blood pressure
  • heart toxicity due to doxorubicin (a chemotherapy drug)
  • congestive heart failure
  • cardiomyopathy
  • mitral valve prolapse
  • angina

In addition, CoQ10 supplementation may lower the incidence of congestive heart failure when using cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins. Research indicates that statins significantly lower blood levels of CoQ10. Congestive heart failure may be due in part to a CoQ10 deficiency.

Researchers at the East Texas Medical Center emphasize: “As physicians, it is our duty to be absolutely certain that we are not inadvertently doing harm to our patients by creating a widespread deficiency of a nutrient [CoQ10] critically important for normal heart function.”

Since statins are known to deplete CoQ10 levels, it makes sense to take a CoQ10 supplement if taking a statin medication. The PDR for Nutritional Supplements (Thomson Healthcare, 2006) recommends that individuals taking cholesterol-lowering drugs also take 30 to 100 mg of CoQ10 daily.

Slow Parkinson’s Disease

A fascinating area of study regarding CoQ10 involves patients with Parkinson’s disease, a nervous disorder causing tremor, weakness, rigidity, and eventual paralysis. Studies indicate that Parkinson’s patients have lower than normal levels of CoQ10. In the Textbook of Nutritional Medicine (Third Line Press, 1999), Melvyn Werbach, MD, recommends 300 to 600 mg of CoQ10 daily for patients with Parkinson’s. Several published studies have demonstrated that CoQ10 supplementation can slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease.

Look and Feel Younger

A mixture of factors can accelerate aging. The combination of free-radical activity and decreased cellular energy in particular is a dangerous one-two punch that can lead to premature aging and a variety of illnesses. CoQ10 can help protect cells, thereby reducing the signs of aging. In addition, CoQ10 can protect the body from illnesses associated with aging including heart disease, cancer, periodontal disease, and type 2 diabetes.

Author and integrative pharmacist Sherry Torkos explains, “Although I am not aware of any studies specifically evaluating length and quality of life associated with CoQ10 usage, several studies have confirmed CoQ10 as a powerful antioxidant and protector of optimum mitochondrial function, which we know will help optimize healthy aging.”

The host of benefits that CoQ10 provides the human body is undeniable–it truly is the spark plug of life, keeping us healthy and helping us to look and feel great.

Dosage range: 30 to 100 mg daily

Therapeutic dosage: 300 to 600 mg daily

Contraindications: None

Interactions:

  • Helps reduce side effects of chemotherapy drug doxorubicin
  • Prevents deficiency when taken with statin drugs
  • Helps offset side effects of beta blockers
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