We each have about 60 trillion cells in our bodies and every one of them needs energy in order to perform the important tasks they need to carry out every day. Our body needs nutrients in order to help cells to grow and repair when they become damaged, make biochemical’s such as neurotransmitters and hormones, as well as make our immune system strong enough to avoid the development of chronic diseases. Coenzyme Q10 plays a crucial role in this process as we can see from the following basic benefits of this nutrient.
- CoQ10 helps in the replacement of old or damaged mitochondria so that our cells can stay healthy for as long as possible.
- CoQ10 acts as an antioxidant to protect the nucleus of the cell and the mitochondria from free radical damage from toxins like pesticides and air pollution.
- CoQ10 works in the energy centers in our cells called the mitochondria to facilitate the energy production process. Most enzymes play this role as facilitators.
CoQ10 for the prevention and reversal of disease
Some organs in our bodies need more energy than others because they are required to work 24/7: the brain, the heart, the liver and the kidneys are good examples. Other body parts like skin, muscles and bones get a chance to rest and thus need much lower levels of mitochondria and energy. If there is not enough energy being produced for the most important organs then they can become weak and damaged over time. Here are some examples from clinical studies about how CoQ10 has been able to play a key role in the prevention and even the reversal of certain illnesses.
- Several clinical studies have been able to prove that Parkinson’s disease can be significantly slowed down using high doses of CoQ10.
- Several clinical trials have been shown to help patients prevent and even reverse heart disease using CoQ10 as part of a nutritional protocol.
- In a very famous clinical trial 50 percent of patients with kidney disease were able to be taken off of their dialysis after taking 180 mg of CoQ10 for three months.
These, and other similar studies, have proven the ability to reduce the need for surgery, replace or reduce the need for prescription medications as well as reduce the need for expensive medical treatments. Although these studies appear in many medical journals there is still resistance for the use of CoQ10, and other proven nutrients, due to lack of education, influence from the drug industry, and resistance from insurance companies and hospitals.
It is difficult to achieve therapeutic levels of CoQ10 from food alone because the best sources are red meat and dairy. The Harvard Food Pyramid does not support high amounts of these foods, so the best source for CoQ10 is usually supplementation.
Doctors like Stephen Sanders recommend the ubiquinol form as apposed to the ubiquinone form due to its superior absorption. And Life Extension Magazine has published an article indicating that selenium is a good partner for CoQ10 because it helps to produce and accumulate more of this impressive nutrient.
CoQ10 and Heart Diseases
There is also evidence that CoQ10 may have “significant cardiovascular protective effects” that could help prevent CVD, the world’s leading cause of death, reports a recent study published in Cardiovascular Pharmacology: Open Access.
While these are exciting findings, messaging to patients about CoQ10, particularly in the popular media, is often confusing, leading to less than optimal results and poor supplement choice.
Recent studies suggest that CoQ10, either alone or combined with other therapies, may be beneficial for the following conditions. However, as with all supplements, patients should consult their medical provider before taking CoQ10 to check if it’s appropriate for them.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD). Recent studies show that CoQ10 supplements can significantly increase HDL-C and ApoA1 levels, even in people taking statins, and may help reduce risk for CVD. CoQ10 supplementation also lowers levels of inflammatory biomarkers shown to be risk factors for CVD, such as high-sensitivity C-reactive protein. Finally, low CoQ10 levels have been associated with greater tissue damage to the heart during a heart attack and the brain during stroke.
Statin-related muscle symptoms. Although statin therapy can significantly reduce heart attack and stroke risk, up to 28 percent of patients quit treatment within six months due to side effects, such as muscle aches and weakness. In a 2015 randomized clinical study published in Medical Science Monitor, 74 percent of statin users with muscle symptoms reported reduced pain after taking CoQ10 twice a day for 30 days, versus zero improvement in the placebo group. The researchers concluded that combining statin therapy with CoQ10 supplements could lead to higher compliance with treatment.
Heart failure (HF). CoQ10 was hailed as “the first new drug to improve heart failure mortality in over and decade” after a multi-center randomized study of 440 patients found that taking it reduced deaths in patients with severe HF by half, compared to a control group. The researchers tracked the patients for two years. The study was presented at the Heart Failure 2016 congress in Lisbon and later published in Journal of the American College of Cardiology Heart Failure.
After a heart attack. In a randomized clinical trial, patients who received CoQ10 soon after a heart attack had a much lower rate of subsequent cardiac events over the next year than a control group (25.6 percent versus 44 percent). About half the patients in both groups were also taking a statin medication, prompting the researchers to report that, “treatment with CoQ10 in patients with recent heart attack may be beneficial in patients with high risk of atherothrombosis, despite optimal lipid lowering therapy.”
High blood pressure. In an analysis of 15 clinical studies, researchers reported that CoQ10 has the potential to lower systolic blood pressure (the top number in a blood pressure reading) by up to 18 mm Hg and diastolic pressure by 11 mm Hg without significant side effects.