On looking over my 150+ Eagle columns, I was surprised to learn that I have not done one on coenzyme Q10. Two of the columns mention it in passing - #19 Cholesterol – Essential for Life (6 July 2009), and #29 Drug-Induced Nutritional Deficiencies (14 Sept 2009). These as well as all 159 columns are accessible through my website (see below).
Coenzyme Q10 is an enzyme essential for the production of ATP in the mitochondria of every cell in our body. ATP is the only fuel that our muscles (including the heart – arguably our most important muscle!) and the brain can use for energy. Other functions of CoQ10 include:
• It works as an antioxidant, protecting lipids and proteins from oxidation.
• It has the ability to regenerate vitamin E.
• It increases survival in patients with congestive heart failure from 25% (with conventional therapy) to 75% (with conventional therapy and coQ10).
• It provides effect relief for some migraine headaches.
• It can lower blood pressure in people with hypertension.
• It shows promise in treating periodontal disease and gingivitis.
Coenzyme Q10 is also known as ubiquinone (from the same root as ubiquitous) because it is found in every cell of the body. Our bodies’ ability to synthesize it decreases with age so supplementation is required to keep it at levels for optimum health. CoQ10 is fat soluble so supplements in an oil based gel cap are better absorbed. Our ability to convert the oxidized ubiquinone form to the active reduced ubiquinol form also decreases with age, so ubiquinol is the preferred form for everyone over 40.
CoQ10 supplementation is especially important for anyone taking a statin drug for cholesterol management. Statins work by blocking a liver enzyme that not only produces cholesterol but also coenzyme Q10 (which probably explains their common side effects of fatigue, muscle pain and weakness).
For more information on this or other natural health topics, stop in and talk to Stan; for medical advice consult your licensed health practitioner.