Coenzyme Q10: Miracle Nutrient of the New Millennium
Arthur M. Echano, MD, ND, MACNEM
What is Coenzyme Q10?
CoQ10 (Ubidecaronene, Ubiquinone, Ubiquinone-50) is a vitamin-like substance (quinones) that is found in every cell of the human body. It is necessary in energy production in the 70-100 trillion body cells. It helps the enzyme system in the powerhouse of the cell (mitochondria) to release non-toxic, efficient energy.
Thinking of these cells as tiny engines, CoQ10 provides the spark that initiates the energy generating process within cellular mitochondria. CoQ10 and only CoQ10 can serve as this vital spark in the human bio-energy system. Without CoQ10 then, no energy can be produced by the mitochondria. Hence, life won’t exist.
Have research studies been done with CoQ10?
For a brief history, CoQ10 was discovered in the U.S. by Dr. Frederick Crane and his coworkers at the University of Wisconsin in 1957. A year later, its chemical structure was reported by Dr. Karl Folkers and his group at Merck Laboratories. Since then, Dr. Folkers has continued this pioneering research on CoQ10. In 1961, Dr. Peter D. Mitchell of the University of Edinburgh released his hypothesis on how CoQ10 works. For his significant contribution, he was awarded the 1978 Nobel Prize for chemistry.
Although discovered in the U.S., the Japanese were the ones who showed considerable interest in subsequent CoQ10 research. From 1963, Japanese scientists and medical doctors have done numerous scientific studies on this remarkable healing nutrient. No wonder then that Japan is the best source of A-1 grade CoQ10.
What are the health benefits of CoQ10?
This is a brief summary of the possible uses of CoQ10 based on scientific studies:
Aging & Life Extension: Retards the aging process, functions as an antioxidant and has life extension potential.
a) Stabilizes heart beat in arrhythmic patients, prevents atherosclerosis, improves prevents the oxidation of LDL cholesterol.
b) Normalizes blood pressure in hypertensives, vastly improves the condition ofpersons with cardiomyopathy & assists the heart to function normally in the presence of blood clots.
c) Improves the heart’s ability to survive & produce energy in hypoxic (low oxygen) situations: high altitudes, clogged arteries, blood clots, high fat blood level, angina.
d) Reduces the viscosity of blood in persons with ischaemic heart disease.
e) CoQ10 deficiency is observed in cardiovascular patients.
f) 91% of heart attack victims improve within 30 days from initial attack with CoQ10!
Cells: CoQ10 is found in almost every cell of the body.
a) Alleviates peptic ulcer, protects the lining of the stomach & facilitates the
Elimination of Candida albicans.
b) Concentrates in the pancreas.
Excretory System: CoQ10 concentrates in the kidneys.
a) Increases the life expectancy of patients with cancer of the breast, lung, larynx, pancreas & prostate.
b) Doubles the body’s immune function & protective levels of antibodies.
c) Increases the body’s resistance to viruses, alleviates allergies & asthma.
d) HIV positive persons with low CoQ10 levels progress more rapidly to full blown AIDS than those with optimal CoQ10 levels.
a) Improves athletic performance by increasing the body’s production of energy via Adenosine triphosphate (ATP), involves in the conversion of carbohydrates into energy both in sedentary & athletic persons.
b) Part of the electron transport system, increases stamina & alleviates the impaired aerobic function that is associated with fatigue.
c) Increases oxygen supply to the mitochondria & prevents the accumulation of excess ketones (ketosis).
d) Prevents the LDL peroxidation by free radicals & alleviates obesity by reducing weight where a deficiency of CoQ10 exists. Obese persons are often deficient in CoQ10.
e) Alleviates diabetes mellitus. Many of the complications of diabetes are exacerbated in CoQ10 deficiency.
f) Concentrates in the liver.
a) Dramatically halts the progression of periodontal disease (e.g. gingivitis) and can totally heal the damage already done including the regrowth of previously atrophied tissue.
b) Counteracts the immune system tissue degradation that occurs in gingivitis.
c) Concentrates in & is involved in the movement of muscles. Supplementary CoQ10 reduces the extent of damage caused to the muscles by intensive exercise & athletic performance.
d) Alleviates muscular dystrophy. Muscular dystrophy patients are usually deficient in CoQ10.
a) Helps to prevent nerve damage that leads to Parkinson’s & Alzheimer’s.
b) Alleviates multiple sclerosis & schizophrenia.
CoQ10 Enhances the Function of these Substances
a) Hormones: CoQ10 facilitates insulin production by the pancreas.
b) Immune System Chemicals: CoQ10 significantly increases the body’s production of IgG antibodies.
c) Kreb Cycle Chemicals: CoQ10 facilitates mitochondrial ATP production.
d) Drugs: Improves the effectiveness of beta blockers, reduces the toxic side effects of Doxorubicin & increases the potency of Doxorubicin in its ability to kill cancer cells by 200%.
e) Vitamins: Helps to regenerate Vitamin E.
If CoQ10 is vital to life, how come it is not a household name yet?
When Dr. Folkers gave his acceptance speech in 1987 after receiving the prestigious Priestley Medal of the American Chemical Society for his research on CoQ10 & other nutrients, he made a comment that although CoQ10 works and is safe, the reason behind its obscurity is promotional or marketing in nature. In short, being considered as a food supplement & therefore non-patentable, not many pharmaceutical companies were interested in the commercial distribution of this wonderful nutrient.
Are medical doctors aware that such a supplement (CoQ10) with enormous potential health benefits exist?
Sad to say, even medical doctors are not familiar with CoQ10? According to Dr. Peter Langsjoen, M.D., The answer to this question is found in the fields of politics & marketing and not in the fields of science or medicine. The controversy surrounding CoQ10 likewise is political & economic, as the previous 30 years of research on CoQ10 have been remarkably consistent and free of major controversy.
Although it is not the first time that a fundamental and clinically important discovery has come about without the backing of a pharmaceutical company, it is the first such discovery to so radically alter how physicians must view disease. While the pharmaceutical industry does a good job at physician education on their new products, the distributors of CoQ10 are not as effective at this.
Are all CoQ10 the same?
Unfortunately not. With the vast scientific experience of the Japanese in CoQ10, a good source of pharmaceutical grade CoQ10 is from Japan. Worldwide, there are only few companies that can manufacture A-1 grade CoQ10. The purity of the raw material is an important consideration as far as quality is concerned.
Properly sourced CoQ10 (Japan) and an efficient delivery system like phosphates (which increases its absorbability many times over oil-based CoQ10) are the keys to a superior quality finished product. According to a newsletter released by Vitamin Research Products, Inc. of USA, If a product (CoQ10) is being sold at a price that seems to be too good to be true, it probably is.
What is special about CoQ10 from Japan?
There are basically two types of CoQ10 according to source. The more common inexpensive form is the synthetic type. The other type is the more expensive natural CoQ10, derived from fermented algae. While the chemical configuration of both the synthetic and the natural forms of CoQ10 are similar, the effects are not. Why so?
Algae-derived natural CoQ10 has more hydrogen proton power (from the sun) than normal hydrogen proton making it capable to carry more electrons. These extra electrons are available to be donated to unstable oxygen molecules known as oxidants or free radicals. With potential free radical damage neutralized by these electrons, cellular integrity is preserved. There is then a slowing down of the aging process.
The best way to test the effectiveness of CoQ10 is through performance. After all, it is efficient cellular energy production resulting in less free radicals or oxidants produced that will prevent potential cellular oxidative stress and free radical damage. And this non-toxic, efficient energy production may become evident during ergometry testing. A person’s performance in ergometric testing when subjected to a programmed exercise or physical stress can give us a clue as to mitochondrial function or dysfunction. Which of course is related to CoQ10 sufficiency or deficiency.
Who should take CoQ10 and what is the right dose?
Considering the dual role of CoQ10 as an energy carrier and an
antioxidant, and with the numerous environmentally-derived oxidants (free radicals) that deplete our antioxidant reserves, every adult and those with specific health problems mentioned above should think of CoQ10 supplementation.
Being fat-soluble, it is poorly absorbed in the gut, so it should be taken AFTER meals! For preventive measures, the usual dose is 10-30milligrams (mg) per day. To correct CoQ10 deficiency, experts suggest from 60-200milligrams (mg) daily. As absorption rate differs from one person to another, finding the right dose is a challenge. The normal blood (serum) CoQ10 range is 0.32-0.88 micrograms (mcg) per milliliter.
Is CoQ10 safe?
Purified CoQ10 is a very safe dietary supplement. The only reported side effects after a megadose of CoQ10 are gut-related like nausea. It takes several weeks of regular daily intake before health benefits may be observed. Drug interactions are minimal if any.