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MANY PEOPLE WHO ARE interested in supplements to improve their well-being have heard of one compound that is gaining attention for potential
health benefits: coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). What exactly is CoQ10, and what role
does it play in maintaining good health?
Coenzyme Q10 is an important compound that is present throughout
the body. It is specifically located in the cells’ energy-producing machinery
known as mitochondria. CoQ10 has two major physiological functions. Its primary function is to participate in electron transfer and production of energy,
called oxidative phosphorylation, in the mitochondria. It also functions as a
fat-soluble antioxidant to help prevent cellular damage by free radicals.
Because CoQ10 is a critical component in energy production, it is found
in highest concentrations in those cells, tissues and organs that have high
energy requirements—e.g., muscle and cardiac tissue.
Potential heart-health benefits
Lecturers at the Fourth Conference of the International Coenzyme Q10
Association in Los Angeles in 2005 advocated the use of higher amounts of
CoQ10 in future clinical research for heart health, Parkinson’s disease and
other brain and nerve disorders.
In particular, experts believe CoQ10 should be further explored for its
benefits in protecting heart health. For example, clinical studies show that 75
to 120 mg of CoQ10 a day increases cardiac function, decreases overall need
for medication and hospitalization, and prolongs survival in people with various forms of cardiovascular disease. And a double-blind placebo-controlled
study showed that 120 mg of CoQ10 a day for 12 weeks reduced blood pressure in people with high blood pressure.
Use with statins
Statin drugs are widely prescribed to lower high blood cholesterol and
thus reduce the risk for heart disease. These drugs block cholesterol production in the body by inhibiting certain enzymes, including CoQ10. Therefore,
anyone taking a statin drug may want to discuss CoQ10 supplementation with
their health-care professional.
Other potential benefits
Experts are also researching potential benefits of CoQ10 for nerve health
and maintaining proper blood sugar levels. It shows promise in decreasing
symptoms in people with Parkinson’s disease and in decreasing migraines.
In addition to these health benefits, CoQ10 research in other areas of health,
including eyes, the skin and the immune system, is emerging. A
DO NOT READ THIS
ACCORDING TO The Best Book of Useless
Information Ever, by Noel Botham and The
Useless Information Society (Perigee, 2008),
approximately 55 percent of people yawn
within five minutes of seeing someone else
yawn. Reading about yawning makes most
Did it work? A
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
SCIENTISTS BELIEVE THAT food that’s
harmful to your heart is also harmful to
your brain. Likewise, heart-healthy foods
are good for your noggin. These are the
best foods for your brain:
• Fish (especially wild salmon, whitefish,
tilapia, catfish, flounder and mahi-mahi)
• Tomato juice and spaghetti sauce
• Olive oil, nut oils, fish oils, flaxseed,
• Real (cocoa-based) chocolate A
Source: From YOU: The Owner’s Manual: An Insider’s
Guide to the Body That Will Make You Healthier and Younger, (HarperResource, 2005) by Michael F. Roizen and
Mehmet C. Oz.
TYPICAL COQ10 DAILY DOSAGES
General health/antioxidant benefit: 60 to 120 mg Congestive heart problems: 300 to 350 mg
Family history of heart problems: 100 to 150 mg Parkinson’s disease: 1, 200 mg
Taking statin drugs: 200 to 300 mg