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Coenzyme Q10 is an energy coenzyme that plays an essential role in mitochondrial electron transport, and is thus fundamental for energy production in our cells -an essential part of the electron transport chain used to make ATP, which is synthesized and used by every cell in the body.
Coenzyme Q10 is also an antioxidant. Its ability to quench free radicals helps maintain the structural integrity and stability of cell membranes (including intracellular membranes). It further serves to reduce oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol.
Evidence suggests that the most important antioxidant activity of Coenzyme Q10 involves regeneration of Vitamin E. CoQ10 is also called ubiquinone, a name that signifies its ubiquitous (widespread) distribution in the human body. Highest levels of Coenzyme Q10 are found in the heart, liver, kidney, and pancreas.
CoQ10 supplementation has been shown to have therapeutic benefits for several diseases. Some of the best-documented effects involve cases of heart failure, ischemic heart disease, certain muscular dystrophies, hypertension, and periodontal disease.
CoQ10 is synthesized in all cells of the body (but particularly liver cells). It is also absorbed from the foods we eat. Major sources of dietary CoQ10 include meats, fish, and vegetable oils (particularly soybean, sesame, and rapeseed oils). Vegetables are generally low in CoQ10, with the exception of spinach and broccoli.
As aging occurs, the body's ability to synthesize CoQ10 diminishes significantly. Deficiencies may also result from reduced assimilation from dietary sources.
Coenzyme Q10 supplements are generally considered safe and are best absorbed by the body when taken with foods. The usual maintenance dose is 10-30 mg per day, although higher doses are used therapeutically for the treatment of heart and blood vessel disease.
For additional information (including a list of references), please refer to the Coenzyme Q10 technical bulletin at http://www.usana.com/dotCom/company/science/components.
CoQ10 Deficiency and Heart Failure
- Dr. Ray Strand
Not only have numerous investigators established the normal blood levels of CoQ10; they have identified what seems to be a direct correlation between the severity of heart failure and the correlating depletion of CoQ10. Significantly decreased amounts of CoQ10 have been noted in periodontal disease, cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Deficient levels of CoQ10 have been most clearly established, however, in the blood levels of patients with congestive heart failure and cardiomyopathy.4
CoQ10 deficiency can be the result of several conditions: a poor diet, impairment of the body's ability to synthesize CoQ10, and/or the body's excessive utilization of CoQ10.
Investigators in the early 1980s began trials in which patients took CoQ10 supplements. Over the past twenty years, interest has continued to mount and numerous clinical studies have tested the results of CoQ10 in cardiomyopathy and congestive heart failure patients. No fewer than nine placebo-controlled clinical trials have taken place around the world. Eight international symposia have been held on the biomedical and clinical aspects of CoQ10, at which physicians and scientists from eighteen different countries presented more than three hundred papers.4
The largest of these international studies was the Italian Multi-Center Trial by Baggio and Associates, which involved 2,664 patients with heart failure. In this particular study nearly 80 percent of the patients improved when they started taking CoQ10, and 54 percent of these patients had major improvements in three major symptom categories.5 Put simply, studies and real-life examples show that CoQ10 is an enormously helpful supplement in treating patients with life-threatening heart conditions. While it doesn't cure them, it certainly hinders the progress of the disease.
For additional information (including a list of references), please refer to the boron technical bulletin at http://www.usana.com/dotCom/company/science/components.