Thursday, September 13, 2012
CoQ10 is Not Just for Heart Health
So what is CoQ10? Well its a naturally occurring nutrient that is responsible for producing our energy at a cellular level in our mitochondria (the cell's powerhouse for energy production) and is also responsible for reducing oxidation which is the main source of aging. Due to many dietary and genetic factors of Americans, our bodies don't have nearly enough CoQ10 because we don't eat enough in our diet and our bodies lose the ability to convert it to its usable form as we age. Recent research has shown that CoQ10 levels and conversion of ubiquinol to ubiquinone may begin to lower as early as your 20s! CoQ10 supplementation is usually supplied in ubiquinol form which must be converted to ubiquinone before being able to be used in the body, however since we lose this ability with age we need to make sure we are supplementing our diets with the usable ubiquinone formation. AlignLife has reformulated our CoQ10 supplement with the usable form of ubiquinone and will be releasing this product in the next few months.
What does it help with? CoQ10 has been shown to have a high protective effect against heart disease and has also been shown to help keep artery walls flexible. A recent study published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Disease found that a combination supplementation of aged garlic extract and CoQ10 for a year showed a 4 fold protection against progression of coronary artery plaquing or atherosclerosis and also helped to lower C-reactive protein. Coronary artery plaquing is the main culprit responsible for heart attack and stroke while C-reactive protein is associated with systemic inflammation in many different diseases. Another study published in Nutrition this year found this same combination effective for artherosclerosis prevention and progression even in fire fighters with high occupational stress levels.
Another recent study looked a fibromyalgia patients and found that CoQ10 levels were lower than normal and could be responsible for mitrochondrial dysfunction. This August 2012 study was published in Nutrition and reported oral supplementation with CoQ10 showed benefits for reducing clinical symptoms of fibromyalgia, restoring mitochondrial function, decreasing oxidative stress, and increased energy production in the mitrochondria. The researchers suggested that CoQ10 supplementation could be an alternative therapy for fibromyalgia!
Parkinson's disease is associated with a progressive disorder of the brain that affects the deterioration and death of nerve cells and also decreased levels of dopamine, an essential neurotransmitter (brain hormone) that is responsible for controlling movement and gut function. Researchers have found protein clumps in the brain, brain stem, and the olfactory nerves of these patients and have been looking into oxidation as a culprit of the progression of this disease. A 2012 study published in the Journal of Neurologic Science found that CoQ10 deficiency was associated with significantly greater odds of developing Parkinson's Disease and should be explored as a potential marker for oxidative stress in patients suffering from this disease. Unfortunately not much research has been done on this interaction, however a review of current literature has found that there was a small and significant improvement in Parkinson's patients with the use of CoQ10.
Glycemic control is an important factor for diabetics and those suffering from metabolic disorders such as Syndrome X and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). A 2012 study looking at the effects of CoQ10 supplementation has found that supplementation improves glycemic response by improving insulin secretion and there is NO adverse side effects!!
So how much should you take? Well this is a loaded question because depending on what you're using it for the research is suggesting numbers in a large range from 100mg -1200mg/day so I'd highly recommend talking to a doctor that is up to date on the research and would be able to make more personalized suggestions for prevention, protection, or alternative treatments for the above mentioned conditions. In food sources the highest levels of CoQ10 are found in fish, organ meats such as liver, kidney, and heart, and the germ of whole grains, however the content varies based on the diet of those food sources and the way those foods are prepared.
If you'd like schedule a nutritional consultation in the Peoria area to discuss recommendations for your specific needs or have further questions about CoQ10's role in your health, please feel free to call my office at 309-689-6200 to setup an appointment.