CoQ10 – The Ubiquitous Enzyme That Powers Your Heart

coenzyme q10I knew something big had happened when I saw that my patient was taking 100 mg of CoQ10.

At the time the normal dose was 30 mg, a number arrived at with cost in mind rather than being the best dose.

So, I thought, the Japanese company who had pioneered the production had ramped up volume somehow and pulled the price down!

This was seriously good news.

Why?

Because CoQ10 is a crucial nutrient with many exciting health building benefits in the body but it was new to the supplement industry and they were struggling with producing the amount needed at anything like an affordable price.

CoQ10 is found in every cell of your body. We can make it and we also find it in food.

And cells that are doing a lot of work have more. Since the heart has to work 24/7 it needs and has lots of CoQ10 powering the mitochondria – the power plants in the cells of the heart; similar for the liver and kidneys which also have to function continuously and need a continuous supply of energy.

Because without that energy you feel weak, listless and literally do not have the energy you need to move, to run your body properly or to live a healthy lifestyle.

Co enzyme Q10, to use its full name, helps your cells produce energy from a special carbohydrate in a process called cellular respiration. This requires oxygen to happen and makes 95% of the energy the cell needs to work properly.

CoQ10 (pron. “co” as in code+”cue” to rhyme with clue, + “ten”) has the ability and flexibility to exist in different forms; one called ubiquinol and another ubiquinone.

Both words come from the word “ubiquitous” because every cell in the body has some coQ10.

The ability to take different shapes and forms is essential for CoQ in its role in energy production and while doing to act as an anti-oxidant and to do so right in the inner recesses of the cell and in the membranes of the cell.

It is fine and indeed essential to take vitamin C and vitamin E to act in the blood and in the spaces outside our cells but we also need a special “inner protection” too to guard and protect both the membranes around our cells and those precious areas inside the cell where the nucleus is with our precious genetic information and where the energy power plants –  the mitochondria are.

Coenzyme Q10 does this special job and in one of its forms helps recycle vitamin E in the body making it go further and provide more anti-oxidant protection.

Health Benefits of CoQ10

While it is worth short-listing CoQ along with vitamins C,D and E and taking a maintenance dose of say 100 mg a day, preferably in the ubiquinol form there are particular health conditions that cry out for a little help from CoQ.

The Heart and CoQ10

Coenzyme Q helps the heart and the whole circulatory system in many ways. First the heart muscles themselves are made of individual heart cells each of which needs a steady supply to keep it pumping. The common condition called Congestive Heart Failure benefits from supplementation with preliminary results from one study showing that the group of patients taking CoQ had half the deaths of the placebo or no coQ group.

Moreover there are good studies showing its power in cases of high blood pressure to reduce both systolic and diastolic blood pressures.

Even better CoQ protects LDL in your arteries from oxidising. This may seem just a technical issue but oxidation of fats and artery walls is crucial and again CoQ steps in with extra protection.

Cancer and CoQ10

Logically it should be worth it weight in gold with cancer because cancer cells are cells where proper cellular processes of energy production cannot occur. CoQ may enable full functioning and protect against growth but it is too early to say.

Similar with damage from Nuclear Radiation. CoQ10 helps to protect tissues from oxidative damage and can be a part of treating exposure to ionising radiation.

Some studies have also shown that we may add some years to our life due to the ability of CoQ to protect against oxidative damage of our chromosomes. Proved to work with some species, not yet for us.

Dental Health and CoQ

This was one of the earliest applications of CoQ that I read about. Dental health is basically gum health and helping tissues deep in pockets around the root of the tooth function healthily. Conditions like gingivitis benefit from supplementation.

Brain Health and CoQ

One of the most exciting uses of Coenzyme Q10 is to help cells in the brain struggling under inflammatory and toxic damage. If we can help these cells they may survive and our memories along with them. Mixed reports on this  – efffective in cases of migraines and maybe not in Parkinson’s or other cases of dementia but frankly it makes sense and cannot really harm so I’d include it as part of an overall holistic supplementation and anti-inflammatory diet

Dosage

This is a vitamin like supplement so there is little possibility of natural versions causing any side effects. In the press and the media we often encounter a storm of fake concern over the alleged harm due to an alleged vitamin. Closer inspection shows that the so-called vitamin to be a cooked up pharmacy drug designed to imitate a natural vitamin.

CoQ has been used by Doctors in huge doses that we could not even buy so taking 50 to 100 mg is safe for just about everyone with higher doses for people with more serious conditions working with an expert face to face.

People taking statins and beta blockers will need to take higher doses perhaps 100 mg morning and evening with food, but as I said these conditions need direct supervision with your family physician.

Buying CoQ10

There are a few options to bear in mind and I’ll show you what the alternatives are in each case. First you may wish to buy only the higher activity ubiquinol form of CoQ and here are some available versions at Amazon right here
Then you may wish to avoid taking “softgels”. These are made of gelatin and frankly I think they should have been replaced years ago so here are some vegetarian and vegan choices

I just wish there was one that ticked all the boxes!

Any uses of CoQ10 I have left out? Let me know and I’ll do my best to answer your questions.

Alex

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Alex Newell ND

I'm Alex Newell and I am a Physicist who retrained as an Osteopath and Naturopath when my own health began to decline in my 30's. In fact I kept training and asking questions and began writing books and blogging over the last few years. The purpose of this blog, naturaldetoxblog.com is to help those with an interest in Natural Health Care to improve their health and detox and chelate industrial chemicals out of the brain and body in a safe and effective way. Please feel free to ask questions and contact me

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