Coenzyme Q10 (Co Q 10)
This article on Co Q 10 Benefits is Contributed by Rylen Feeney, Practitioner of Oriental Medicine at Blossom Clinic.
Co Q 10 the Antioxidant
Coenzyme Q10 is also known as Co-Q10 (Co Q 10) or ubiquinione. “Ubiquinone because it is ubiquitous –it exists everywhere in the body.”[i] Co-Q10 is a powerful antioxidant, vitamin like substance that is literally found in every living cell in our bodies. Its actions are similar in effect to Vitamin E, yet it is not considered a vitamin because it can be synthesized directly in our bodies, in particular in the thymus gland. However production decreases steadily and dramatically as we age. Co-Q10 catalyzes a chain of chemical reactions in the mitochondria, that create adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a compound that yields the energy needed by the cells to function. It is essential for providing the energy necessary to carry out bodily functions effectively. It aids in circulation, stimulates the immune system, increases tissue oxygenation, and has vital anti-aging effects. Recent research has found that supplemental Co-Q10 has the ability to counter histamine and therefore may also beneficial to those with asthma, allergies and upper respiratory disease.
Heart Health and Co-Enzyme Q10
Most of the research done on Co-Q10 has been done on its role in heart health. The research results have been remarkable. Several studies have shown it to be very effective in the treatment of angina, with no side effects. Many human studies have indicated that this nutrient may protect the heart from damage due to a heart attack, and furthermore these studies suggest that Co-Q10 reduce the amount of tissue damage that occurs during an open-heart surgery. In Japan considerable research and large scale studies have been done that have shown supplementation of Co-Q10 is extremely effective at improving the symptoms associated with congestive heart disease. Co-Q10 was given both alone and with conventional medicine, and no side effects were reported. Dosages were between 100-300mg each day. One study was able to improve symptoms in patients who had not improved with standard diuretic and digitalis therapy. Furthermore both animal and human studies have suggested thatCo-Q10 supplementation is helpful in the treatment of arrhythmia, even in patients on psychotropic drugs. Co-Q10 may also be used in the treatment of mitral valve prolapse and the resulting fatigue by reducing myocardial thickness. Studies have shown that it significantly protects LDL (bad cholesterol) from oxidizing and lowers serum cholesterol levels, while at the same time it raise the HDL (good cholesterol) that helps protect against heart disease. In several controlled studies 100-200mg of Co-Q10 taken daily lowered both the systolic and diastolic blood pressure, without any additional medication or dietary changes. In Japan Co-Q10 is widely used. More than 12 million people in Japan are reportedly taking it for treatment of heart disease and high blood pressure.[ii]
Co-Q10 and Periodontal Disease
Co-Q10 has also been shown to be effective in treating periodontal disease. Researchers at Osaka University in Japan gave patients with gum disease 60 mg. a day of Co-Q10 or a placebo, and no other treatment. After 8 weeks, the group taking the Co-Q10 showed marked improvement in their gums, including a reduction in discomfort and inflammation.
Co Q-10 and Chemo
It has been regularly used to reduce the side effects of chemotherapy. Promising new research in Europe by Dr. Karl Folkers, who has been studying Co-Q10 for nearly 40 years, took thirty two breast cancer patients who were treated with conventional therapy, but were high risk for recurrence and gave them high doses of Co-Q10 (over 300mg) daily. After twenty-four months all were still alive, when at least six deaths would have been expected. Six of the women showed a partial remission of the tumor and two had complete regression of their tumors.
C0-Q10 and Chronic Fatigue
Co-Q10 appears to have other uses as well, in particular in the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFIDS) and immune dysfunction. One study showed that many patients with these problems had significantly lower levels of Co-Q10 compared with healthy subjects. Supplementation with Co-Q10 dramatically improved many of the symptoms associated with CFIDS, including headaches, sleep disturbances, prost exercise fatigue, and chronic fatigue. It is also being used in the treatment of schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis and diabetes, and stomach and duodenal ulcers.
Food sources of Co-Q10
Food sources of Co-Q10 are found in beef hearts, chicken hearts, sardines, mackerel, peanuts and spinach, but the length of storage, processing, and cooking significantly reduces it. Co-Q10 is oil soluble and an oil or liquid form is preferable. Not all products are equal in quality. The color should be dark bright yellow to orange. It should be kept away from heat and light. A good quality brand will contain a small amount of Vitamin E to help preserve the Co-Q10. Dosage should be between 60 – 300mg daily. 60 for a condition such as periodontal disease, 100-200mg in heart conditions, and 300mg or more in cancer. Even in high doses, (600mg or more), Co-Q10 has resulted in few adverse side effects. There have been some reports of gastrointestinal upset, loss of appetite, nausea and diarrhea.
[i] The Real Vitamin & Mineral Book 2nd Edition; Shari Lieberman, PhD and Nancy Bruning
[ii] Prescription for Nutritional Healing 2nd Edition; James F. Balch, M.D. and Phyllis A. Balch, C.N.C
1. Earl Mindell’s Supplement Bible; Earl Mindell, R.Ph., PhD
2. Earl Mindell’s Vitamin Bible for the 21st Century; Earl Mindell, R.Ph., PhD
3. Nutritional Influences on Illness, A Sourcebook of Clinical Research; Melvin R. Werbach, M.D.