Coenzyme Q 10 (CoQ 10)

September 24, 2017

 

I am sure you've heard CoQ10 mentioned in conversations and online, especially if you are taking statins to lower your cholesterol. So what is it?

 

CoQ10, is an enzyme and antioxidant found in cells of animals, plants, and bacteria that supports cellular function.  CoQ10 is utilized in many different ways, particularly in that it helps convert food into energy.  CoQ10 is also known as coenzyme Q, CoQ, Ubiquinone, Ubiquinine-Q10, Ubidecenone, and Vitamin Q10.  While CoQ10 is found throughout the body, it is concentrated in tissues that perform high levels of metabolism - activities such as the liver, kidney, pancreas, and heart.

 

CoQ10 plays many cellular roles, but its most known as an energy transfer molecule for the electron transport chain to synthesize ATP (adenosine triphosphate).  Most functions of cells and tissues are dependent on ATP creation and storage for energy and as a precursor to DNA and RNA (genetic material) in every cell in the body, making CoQ10 an essential molecule.

 

In addition to energy transfer for ATP synthesis, CoQ10 is an antioxidant, which protects the body from damage caused by harmful molecules and CoQ10 has been shown to assist the immune system. [1]

 

Clearly CoQ10 is essential for cellular and body function and getting enough from your diet is important.  CoQ10 is naturally present in small amounts in a wide variety of foods, but levels are particularly high in organ meats such as heart, liver, and kidney, as well as beef, soy oil, sardines, mackerel, and peanuts.  A well balanced diet usually will provide the body with enough CoQ10, but certain conditions may cause the need for supplementation and as we age CoQ10 levels decrease. 

 

What ailments and conditions can benefit from increased CoQ10?

Heart failure:  CoQ10 reduces cardiovascular deaths, hospital stays for heart failure, mechanical support, cardiac transplants, and all causes of mortality associated with heart failure. [2]

 

Cancer.  Researchers found low CoQ10 blood levels in people with myeloma, lymphoma, and cancers of the breast, lung, prostate, pancreas, colon, kidney head, and neck.  Replacement of CoQ10 helps the immune system and may be useful as a secondary treatment for cancer.

CoQ10 may keep the antitumor drug Doxorubicin from hurting the heart.  Addition of CoQ10 to traditional treatment of women with breast cancer showed improvement. [3]

 

Diabetes.  CoQ10 improved blood glucose levels, but did not show any changes for HBA1c levels.  It also helped to control blood pressure in diabetics. [4]

 

Immune system:  A 2017 systematic review looked at CoQ10 and its role in immune functions, particularly its impact on C-reactive protein (CRP), intelukin-6 (IL-6), and TNF-alpha.  Seventeen studies were analyzed, which showed that supplementation with CoQ10 can reduce circulating CRP , IL-6, and TNF-alpha.  [5]

 

Fibromyalgia:  CoQ10 helps to improve pain and fatigue symptoms. [6]

 

Muscle pain, myopathy:  CoQ10 has also been indicated in relieving some statin-induced myopathy conditions.  Statins severely deplete our body's natural levels of CoQ10.  A Columbia University study found that within 30 days, levels of CoQ10 can be decreased by half. [7,8]

 

Aging:  After the age of 30, natural levels of CoQ10 begin to diminish.  By the age of 50, this depletion of CoQ10 continues to accelerate and by age 70 your natural CoQ10 levels may be 50% lower than they were when you were a young adult. [9]

 

Based on results from these recent studies and many past studies, CoQ10 appears to have very positive effects on a wide-range of health issues.

 

Preliminary clinical studies also suggest that CoQ10 may:

  • Improve immune function in people with HIV or AIDS

  • Increase sperm motility, improving male fertility

  • Be used as part of the treatment for Parkinson disease

  • Improve exercise ability in people with angina

  • Help prevent migraines.

Since CoQ10 is fat-soluble, it is better absorbed when taken with a meal that contains fats or oils.

 

Therapeutic effects may not be seen until 8 weeks of consistent supplementation.

 

There have been no serious side effects reported of supplementation with CoQ10. [1]

 

For more information on achieving a healthier lifestyle and the benefits of various natural supplements, please schedule an appointment with Dr. Koganski at 215-750-7000 or at www.newtowninternalmedicine.com

 

References:

[1]  Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10): In Depth. National Institutes of Health. https://nccih.nih.gov/health/supplements/coq10. Published June 23, 2016.

[2]  Mortensen SA, et al. The effect of coenzyme Q10 on morbidity and mortality in chronic heart failure: results from Q-SYMBIO: a randomized double-blind trial. JACC Heart Fail.2014;2:641–649. doi: 10.1016/j.jchf.2014.06.008.

[3]  National Cancer Institute (2012). Coenzyme Q10 (PDQ) - Health Professional Version. Available online: http://cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/cam/coenzymeQ10/healthprofessional.

[4]  Stojanović M, Radenković M. A meta-analysis of randomized and placebo-controlled clinical trials suggests that coenzyme Q10 at low dose improves glucose and HbA1c levels. Nutrition Research. 2017;38:1-12. doi:10.1016/j.nutres.2016.12.001.

[5]  Fan L, Feng Y, Chen G-C, Qin L-Q, Fu C-L, Chen L-H. Effects of coenzyme Q10 supplementation on inflammatory markers: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Pharmacological Research. 2017;119:128-136. doi:10.1016/j.phrs.2017.01.032.

[6]  DePierro F, et al. Role for a water-soluble form of CoQ10 in female subjects affected by fibromyalgia. A preliminary study. Role for a water-soluble form of CoQ10 in female subjects affected by fibromyalgia A preliminary study. December 2016.

[7]  Norata GD, et al. Statins and skeletal muscles toxicity: From clinical trials to everyday practice. Pharmacological Research. 2014;88:107-113. doi:10.1016/j.phrs.2014.04.012.

[8]  Tatjana Rundek, Atorvastatin Decreases the Coenzyme Q10 Level in the Blood of Patients at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke.Arch Neurol. 2004;61:889-892.

[9]  Wada H.Redox status of coenzyme Q10 is associated with chronological age.J Am Geriatr Soc. 2007 Jul;55(7):1141-2.

 

 

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