Coenzyme Q10 is a small, organic molecule intimately involved with energy utilization in the mitochondria – the biosynthesis of ATP, GTP and UTP from foods. CoQ10 is not readily available in significant amounts most sources and should be supplemented to maintain adult health.
Coenzyme Q10, also known as ubiquinone, is a fat-soluble, water insoluble coenzyme normally synthesized in the body in small quantities. This coenzyme is absolutely required for the proper function of mitochondria and lysosomes; these are subcellular organelles, partitions, within every living cell. CoQ10 is an integral component of the electron transport chain within mitochondria, gathering reducing power from several enzymes of the fatty acid and Krebs cycles and passing this reducing power to important cytochromes of the electron transport pathway. This eventually ends with reduction of atmospheric oxygen to water and the biosynthesis of ATP from ADP and phosphate6 (which is why we breathe). As humans age, the amount of CoQ10 synthesized by cells decreases dramatically and the decline affects all organs of the body2. It is wise to begin supplementation of this nutrient well before old age to keep a large number of viable mitochondria and lysosomes in each cell. Some clinical reasons follow:
Because CoQ10 plays a central role in the production of ATP, supplementation with CoQ10 has been shown beneficial for heart health and skeletal muscle health. Muscle samples from aged patients before and after hip surgery displayed significant improvement in the fiber type composition – towards younger type muscles - for those7 on CoQ10. In a 6 year study of 500 patients with histories of CVD, 250 taking statin drugs and 250 controls, those taking the statin drug exhibited both reduced plasma cholesterol and lower CoQ10 concentrations8. The results were not surprising but importantly, the investigators also found this significant drop of plasma CoQ10 did not encourage more cardiovascular problems within the statin group, who did better than the control group (those not taking medication). Another study followed two matched groups of patients who had all suffered acute myocardial infarctions; results demonstrated the numbers of serious events, including death, were reduced significantly in the group taking 120 mg CoQ10/day9. We can reconcile these superficial conflicts by suggesting while statin drugs are beneficial, the combination of CoQ10 along with statin therapy is even better for those with CVD. This is also consistent with studies of myopathy for those taking statin drugs where some patients complain of skeletal muscle aches and pains – a possible effect of low CoQ10 levels in muscles. Patients with well-developed atherosclerosis8 exhibited much less fatigue when taking CoQ10 than not. Clinicians might be advised to enquire if the patient is currently taking statins if unexplained lower back, hip or leg pains persist despite therapy. Symptoms often respond to CoQ10 and/or vitamin D3 supplementation.
A recently discovered, exciting benefit of CoQ10 supplementation has been reported for those suffering Parkinson’s Disease (PD). This is a disease of the central nervous system which has been linked to decline in the viability and number of neural cell mitochondria and possibly with CoQ10 levels. When people first diagnosed with PD were supplemented with large amounts of CoQ10 (either 600 or 1200 mg/d) the progression of the disease appeared to slow, as shown by a double-blind, placebo-controlled, 16-month study10. Recent reports indicate CoQ10 might be protecting human dopaminergic neurons from ROS damage induced by agents such as inorganic iron11. The authors suggest CoQ10 to be as important a preventative against mitochondrial damage and cell death as glutathione. (As of yet there appears no strong connection between statin usage and induction of PD.)
Evidence is mounting that CoQ10 might be effective in treating some migraine headache conditions, too12. A small, open label study of chronic migraine patients with 150 mg CoQ10/day showed a drop in attacks to less than ½ after 3 months of therapy13. Again, nutritional CoQ10 is suggested to relieve headache pain by supplementing an adult deficiency, hence reducing mitochondrial and lysosomal damage and cell apoptosis.
A new role of CoQ10 is being explored as the proton donor for lysosomes. These are organelles responsible for digesting damaged enzymes and membranes within all cells. Lysosomes are synthesized from the endoplasmic reticulum and are responsible for cell “housekeeping”. Impairment of lysosomes leads to accumulated cell debris in older cells and reduced cell efficiency. Lysosomes run at lower pH than the cytoplasm and CoQ10 provides the necessary protons14 to lower lysosomal pH for digestive enzymes.
Suggested Usage:As a dietary supplement, take 1 or more capsules daily or as directed by your health professional. Since CoQ10 is fat-soluble, it is important to take with a little dietary fat in a meal, to aid transport into the bloodstream.
Individuals taking anti-coagulant medications, such as warfarin, should consult with their health professional before use.
KEEP OUT OF THE REACH OF CHILDREN
• A potent antioxidant; helps maintain healthy mitochondrial and lysosomal levels of CoQ10*
• An anti-aging nutritional*
• Helps offset the decline of CoQ10 levels for those individuals taking HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (prescription medications [statins] to reduce serum cholesterol levels)*
• Helps avoid the pro-inflammatory state by limiting ceramide release from membranes under oxidative stress – ceramides initiate activation of caspases (proteolytic enzymes) leading to cell death (apoptosis)*
• Large amounts (300 mg/day) may be therapeutic for relief of migraine attacks*
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food And Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
|CoEnzyme Q10||100 mg||*|
*Daily Value not established
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Reference: ConsumerLab.com, Magnesium Supplement Reviews and Quality Ratings, Posted 5/19/09
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ConsumerLab.com, New Product Review: Multivitamin and Multimineral Supplements, Posted 4/1/09
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Reference: June 22, 2007, FDA @ http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/dscgmps7.html