CoQ10: The Biochemical Sparkplug

Words: Dr Richard FIRSHEIN

CoQ10 [Co-enzyme Q10], a naturally-occurring substance that our body produces, is more than a biochemical sparkplug.

It is a nutraceutical found naturally in the body. It helps to convert food into energy. It is a powerful antioxidant. It tends to deplete as we age — especially after 40. So, one ought to ‘make up,’ not just ‘make-do’ — to keep it ticking.

As you’d know, the body’s energy factories called mitochondria are at work inside each of our 30 trillion cells, every minute, turning oxygen into pure energy. CoQ10 holds the key to this process. Not only does it assist in ‘fuelling’ the body, it also ‘pumps’ our body with unique antioxidant effects.

Prevents Free Radical Damage

A study shows that CoQ10 is better at preventing the dangerous free radical damage, caused to arteries by ‘bad’ [LDL] cholesterol, than vitamin E, a superantioxidant, that is evidenced to protect the heart. CoQ10, like vitamin E, is equally and, perhaps, also more helpful in treating and preventing all kinds of cardiovascular problems — from arrhythmias to heart attacks and even congestive heart failure.

Dr Karl Folkers, PhD [1906-1997], was a scientist at the University of Texas at Austin, US. He is described as the ‘father’ of CoQ10 research. He consistently proved, for over 25 years, in dozens of ground-breaking studies that CoQ10 protects the heart from failure — by keeping its energy levels high.

The best part is this nutraceutical doesn’t just keep the heart pumping. Through its profound energising ability, it helps treat illnesses as diverse as diabetes and chronic lung disease.

One study also shows that CoQ10 can reduce tumours associated with breast cancer. What is more, for those of us who are in good health, CoQ10 can improve fitness by increasing our exercise endurance.

The ‘Wow’ Enzyme: In A Nutshell

Cancer. A study in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications reported that in 32 patients suffering from high-risk breast cancer and treated with 90mg of CoQ10 daily, six had partial tumour regression.

Cholesterol. When LDL [bad] cholesterol becomes oxidised, it creates free radicals, which collide with — and, cause serious damage to — the walls of the arteries. CoQ10, a proven antioxidant, protects LDL from the harmful peroxidation process. CoQ10 has also been shown to be beneficial for patients taking cholesterol-lowering drugs, such as lovastatin, which actually interfere with the body’s CoQ10 production.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease [COPD]. A study in Clinical Investigations reported that eight weeks of CoQ10 supplementation at 90mg notably improved respiratory performance in individuals with chronic lung disease, such as emphysema.

Diabetes. Research shows CoQ10 supplements of just 30-60mg a day could decrease significantly fasting blood sugar levels in diabetic individuals.

Heart. CoQ10 is a perfect supplement for any problems with your heart — from angina [chest pain] to coronary artery disease. A study by Dr Folkers found that 72 per cent of individuals with cardiovascular ailments had a CoQ10 deficiency. It is evidenced that this supernutrient is particularly useful for heart failure, perhaps because a depletion of CoQ10 may lead to lowered cellular energy and a weakened heart. A study reported that of 34 patients with congestive heart failure, 82 per cent showed improved cardiac function after taking 100mg of CoQ10 a day for six weeks.

Hypertension. A study of patients with high blood pressure demonstrated that taking CoQ10, in addition to anti-hypertensive medications, over a period of approximately four months, reduced the need for such drugs.

Periodontal Disease. Low levels of CoQ10 have been found in the gum tissue of patients with periodontal disease. Parallel studies indicate that patients with gingivitis witnessed a reduction in their condition after taking CoQ10 at 50mg, a day, for three weeks.

Dr RICHARD FIRSHEIN, DO, is the Founder-Director of The Firshein Center for Comprehensive Medicine in New York City. He is a leading innovator and authority in the field of preventative and nutritional medicine, integrating Western and Eastern medical practices. He is Board Certified in Family Medicine and has served as professor of family medicine. An internationally recognised leader in the field of integrative medicine and healthy aging, a cancer researcher, prolific author and writer, Dr Firshein has written several ground-breaking books, including the bestselling Reversing AsthmaYour Asthma-Free ChildThe Nutraceutical Revolution and The Vitamin Prescription [For Life]. This article is ©Dr Richard Firshein.

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