CoQ10 May Save your Life
Not long ago on our local radio station WATD we talked about why taking CoQ10 supplements may help you live longer and how it also prevents certain side effects from common cholesterol-lowering drugs. The response was overwhelming. I was born with a hole in my heart and have been taking this supplement for years. I recently found out the hole had healed its self….can’t say it’s because of CoQ10, but it didn’t hurt. You’ll also see CoQ10 in beauty products being touted as anti-aging.
CoQ10 is a fat-soluble vitamin-like substance present in every cell of the body and serves as a coenzyme for several of the key enzymatic steps in the production of energy within the cell. For example, because CoQ10 is essential for energy production, it helps your heart pump more efficiently. Researchers have found that this incredible supplement treats heart disease, increases energy levels, boosts the immune system and provides antioxidant benefits. It also functions as an antioxidant which …is important in its clinical effects.
It is naturally present in small amounts in a wide variety of foods but is particularly high in organ meats such as heart, liver and kidney, as well as peanuts, soy oil, sardines, mackerel, and beef. To put CoQ10 in perspective regarding dietary habits, one pound of sardines, two pounds of beef, or two and one-half pounds of peanuts, provide 30 mg of CoQ10.
If you want to use it therapeutically, obviously a supplement would be the wise choice, unless you really love sardines. It has no known toxicity or side effects. CoQ10 is also synthesized in all tissues and in healthy individuals normal levels are maintained both by CoQ10.intake and by the body’s synthesis of CoQ10. We all have CoQ10 in our bodies…which we lose as we age.
How does CoQ10 help if you’re on a statin? Statins (or HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors) are a class of drugs used to lower cholesterol levels by inhibiting the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase. Unfortunately, your body’s CoQ10 production is dependant on the very thing that statins inhibit. While you do something potentially helpful by reducing your cholesterol, you do something definitely harmful by reducing your body’s pool of CoQ10.
“The heart is usually the first to feel statin associated CoQ10 depletion because of its extremely high energy demands. Physicians are seeing this as cardiomyopathy and congestive heart failure but chronic fatigue is also being reported and we must remember that every cell in the body is dependent upon adequate energy reserves.” (from Dr. Duane Graveline, MD)
One important clinical study, for example, found that people who received daily CoQ10 supplements within 3 days of a heart attack were significantly less likely to experience subsequent heart attacks and chest pain. In addition, these same patients were less likely to die of heart disease than those who did not receive the supplements. (from UMM.edu )
In fact, after reviewing 12 clinical studies, researchers concluded that CoQ10 has the potential to lower systolic blood pressure by up to 17 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure by 10 mm Hg, without significant side effects. (from UMM.edu )
Taking CoQ10 supplements can correct the deficiency caused by statin medications without affecting the medication’s positive effects on cholesterol levels. Plus, studies show that CoQ10 supplementation may decrease the muscle pain associated with statin treatment.
Medications that can lower the levels of CoQ10 in the body include statins for cholesterol , including atorvastatin (Lipitor), lovastatin (Mevacor), pravastatin (Pravachol, and simvastatin (Zocor), fibric acid derivatives for cholesterol, including gemfibrozil (Lopid), beta-blockers for high blood pressure, such as atenolol (Tenormin), labetolol (Normodyne), metoprolol (Lopressor or Toprol), and propranolol (Inderal), and tricyclic antidepressant medications, including amitriptyline (Elavil), doxepin (Sinequan), and imipramine (Tofranil). (from UMM.edu )