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CoEnzyme Q10 - The Other Vitamin
Have you ever heard of "Vitamin Q" or "Vitamin CoEnzyme Q10"? The startling fact is that CoEnzyme Q10 is a vitamin essential to our very lives, yet very few of us have ever heard about it until recently. Discovered in 1957 by Dr. Fred Crane at the University of Wisconsin, CoEnzyme Q10 is a nutrient necessary to the functioning of every cell in our bodies. Levels of CoQ10 begin to decline around age 30 and steadily decrease with age, making supplementation increasingly important. Our bodies could not survive without CoEnzyme Q10, as it is necessary in the synthesis of ATP. If body levels start dropping, so does our general health; scientists have estimated that once body levels of CoQ10 drop below the 25% deficiency levels, many health problems begin to flourish, including cardiovascular problems, immune system depression, periodontal problems, lack of energy, and weight gain, and it may be a contributing factor to the aging process.
Quality is important. The highest quality CoEnzyme Q10 in the world is produced by Chemco, a Japanese company. The Japanese government oversees a rigorous 16 step manufacturing process; there is none better. Other sources of CoQ10 are often a dramatically lower quality.
The famous Harvard trained MD, Andrew Weil, whose books we strongly recommend, has listed CoEnzyme Q 10 as one of the four most important dietary supplements.
Preventative Value of CoEnzyme Q10 (CoQ10:
Numerous studies have shown that pre-treatment with CoQ10 helps heart patients come through open heart surgeries in better health and with shorter recovery times than those who have not been so treated. This is because CoQ10 possesses the ability to protect the heart during periods of aschemia, or oxygen deprivation.4 Miraculously, CoQ10 has helped cardiomyopathy patients to live well beyond their usual life expectancies. In a study performed in 1998, CoQ10 was shown to halve the total number of subsequent cardiovascular incidents in patients who had suffered myocardial infarctions (heart attack), as long as the CoQ10 was begun within three days of the infarction.
Perhaps more importantly, supplementation with CoQ10 has a preventative effect--preventative against lack of oxygen, and against certain heart medications. Yes, heart medications. Strange as it may seem, certain heart medications that are prescribed to reduce cholesterol levels actually block the production of CoQ10.
Additionally, researchers believe that CoQ10 prevents the oxidation of low-density lipoproteins (LDL; i.e., the "bad" cholesterol), making it an important supplement for anyone with high cholesterol. It is bound to the LDL by Vitamin E.
News About CoEnzyme Q10 And Parkinson's Disease
Many by now have heard about a recent study indicating that CoEnzyme Q10 can help reduce the effects of Parkinson's Disease. Here is the source of that information, and the details of the study:
Funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, conducted at the University of California at San Diego, and published in a recent issue of Archives of Neurology, the study demonstrates that CoEnzyme Q10 slows the progress of early-stage Parkinson's Disease.
Patients diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease for 5 years were divided into four groups and given varying amounts of CoEnzyme Q10 and Vitamin E. The four groups were as follows: 300mg of CoQ10, 600mg of CoQ10, 1200mg of CoQ10 or Placebo, all with Vitamin E (i.e., Vitamin E was used in all groups). The patients' improvement in mental function, motor ability and activities of daily living were dose dependent; those receiving 1200 mg of Co Q10 each day showed the greatest improvement (44% less decline in the above function categories as compared to the placebo group). Patients receiving the smaller amounts of Co Q10 did not fare as well as those in the 1200 mg group, but did better than those not receiving any Co Q10.
Why does CoQ10 help patients with Parkinson's Disease?
Researchers suspect that it has to do with improved mitochondria function. Mitochondria are the organelles in the body that generate energy; mitochondria in patients with Parkinson's Disease are depleted of CoEnzyme Q10. The CoEnzyme Q10 may also protect areas of the brain typically affected in people with Parkinson's Disease.
How Does CoEnzyme Q10 Work?
CoQ10 is also known as ubiquinone, a member of the quinone cyclic compounds such as Vitamins E and K. CoEnzyme Q10 can supply or remove oxygen from biologically active molecules. Every cell in your body contains many intercellular components called mitochondria, which produce 95% of the total energy of the body. CoQ10 is an integral part of the membranes of the mitochondria where it is involved in the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the basic energy molecules of the cell. Supplementing CoEnzyme Q10 aids in the body's cellular respiration and energy production; it's that simple.
Why Haven't I Heard Of CoQ10?
The answer to this question should probably be posted front and center on our home page. The answer is there's no money to be made from unpatentable substances. No money, no promotion. Learn this dictum of health education in the US, because what it means is that you, the consumer, must be proactive in maintaining your health. You must also be vigilant in your research, so as to avoid the pitfalls (e.g. the notorious fen phen).
Recommended CoQ10 Supplementation
Recent research suggests optimal daily supplementation for cardiovascular health should be in the amount of 1mg of CoEnzyme Q10 per every pound of body weight. For example, a 150 pound person should supplement with 150mg per day. The above referenced study on CoQ10 and Parkinson's Disease showed the greatest benefit when 1200mg of CoQ10 was taken daily.