Chemically, CoQ-10 belongs to a group of compounds called quinones. Quinones are brightly-colored cyclic compounds that also include vitamin K-1. Several quinones are biologically active as co-enzymes and are similar to certain vitamins. Vitamin E also has a quinone-like chemical structure.
CoQ-10 is found in every cell of the body, where it works at the subcellular level. CoQ-10 is found in the membrane of the mitochondria. The mitochondria is the sub-cellular powerhouse that produces 95% of the body’s energy needs through its involvement in protein synthesis and lipid metabolism. CoQ-10 pumps protons across the mitochondrial membrane helping in the formation of ATP, the basic energy molecule in the cell.
The action of CoQ-10 is vitamin-like instead of drug-like, so a rebuilding program is gradual. Supplementation is only effective when CoQ-10 is already deficient. It won’t give a super-boost if physical condition and bioenergetic level are adequate. Most people, however, will benefit from CoQ-10 supplementation, because of inadequate dietary sources and body functions that are not optimal. If there is a severe deficiency, it is possible for beneficial results to be felt in a few days. Moderate deficiency takes longer for results to be felt.
CoQ-10 assists in increasing energy for the bioenergetic process, especially in times of stress and fighting off illness and disease.
Bioenergetics, a term coined by leading CoQ-10 researcher, Dr. Ken Folkers, refers to the union of energy and life at the cellular level. Because CoQ-10 is found in every cell in the body, it benefits the entire body.
Dr. Folkers has conducted years of research into the role of CoQ-10 in the bioenergetics of human life. He stated that when levels of CoQ-10 in the body drop, 75% (meaning that there’s just 25% of the expected norm in the body), death results. A 25% deficiency leads to numerous kinds of diseases taking hold. Most CoQ-10 clinicians now report that these levels were too optimistic, meaning that disease and death can result with less deficiency of the co-enzyme than recognized by Folkers.
If you are interested in finding out what your CoQ-10 level is, you can ask a laboratory, which conducts the test, to measure the levels in a blood sample. However, it is not possible at this time to check the CoQ-10 levels of specific organs. So it is possible to have adequate levels in your blood but be deficient in certain organs.
The most research on CoQ-10 has been conducted in relation to the heart, since it has the greatest concentration of CoQ-10 in the body. The heart is a muscle that has tremendous working capacity. Just try raising and lowering your arm all day. The heart also has tremendous energy needs. When energy levels in the heart drop, disease and dysfunction result.
Dr. Folkers states, “I believe it is quite possible that cardiovascular disease may be very significantly caused by a deficiency of CoQ-10.” He adds that it can be treated by oral administration of CoQ-10. Experiments have found CoQ-10 deficiencies in three-fourths of cardiac victims. Healthy hearts, on the other hand, have adequate levels. Diseased hearts are revitalized when CoQ-10 supplements are used.
Heart-muscle fibers can lose their contractility- the ability to contract and then relax to normal length. When CoQ-10 levels are reduced, energy levels fall and the ability to contract is decreased. CoQ-10 supplements can increase and normalize cardiac levels.
Supplemental doses of 100 mg a day have been used for people suffering from congestive heart failure. This improves the general condition, increases physical capacity, and provides less difficulty in breathing, less tissue swelling, and less incontinence of urine at night. Supplementation may be long-term, even life-time, since dietary and metabolic conditions creating the deficiency may still exist.
In people suffering from heart attacks, CoQ-10 increases heart function and protects it from further damage from lack of oxygen. One study supplemented angina patients with 150 mg per day for four weeks. This resulted in a 50% decrease in angina attacks and a 50% decrease in the need for nitroglycerin medication.
CoQ-10 also helps to strengthen the heart without exercise, which is especially beneficial for people who lead sedentary lives. A study found that 69 mg for four to eight weeks results in a 35% increase in overall heart efficiency (measured by exercise bicycle endurance tests before and after).
Free Radicals and Immune System Support
One of the watchwords in health care today is “antioxidant.” Antioxidants support body functions by neutralizing free radicals, which can cause lots of damage in the body. CoQ-10 is a powerful antioxidant. Free radicals are peroxides, molecules containing harmful levels of oxygen. They damage the membranes of cells and mitochondria and can also damage the DNA and RNA in molecules, which can lead to improper manufacture of proteins. They can create more free radicals from the molecules they bump into, and more free radicals are produced as we age.
CoQ-10 can manipulate oxygen by adding or taking away oxygen from a biochemical combination, including free radicals. It can increase oxygen levels when necessary and reduce them if they threaten to reach toxic levels.
Free radicals put a drain on the immune system. They can cause the immune system to become exhausted and confused, leading to autoimmune diseases. Current research is focusing on CoQ-10’s beneficial effects in preventing and alleviating such diseases as AIDS, allergies, asthma, muscular dystrophy, lupus, schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s.
Have you ever heard the statement, “You’re only as young as your immune system?”
CoQ-10 assists in massive mobilization of cellular immune defenses and chemical killer production because it provides lots of energy. It also increases the phagocytic rate, which is responsible for removal of invading organisms from the bloodstream.
CoQ-10 also helps to protect ailing tissues undergoing surgery. For example, it helps prevent the injury and death of cardiac tissue during surgery. Also, CoQ-10 reduces the incidence and mortality in experimental animals with cancer (tumors of leukemia) by helping to prevent the highlytoxic side effects of potent anticancer drugs.
Nine out of ten Americans- that’s the statistic for the number of people in this country affected by gum disease. Another statistic states that 32 million people will lose their teeth now if they don’t get immediate attention. Bacteria-growing plaque and toxins are responsible for gum disease, and these toxins can enter the bloodstream. CoQ-10 can re-energize the gums and reverse the disease process locally and systemically through the immune system. Researchers have used 75 milligrams of CoQ-10 a day, even in “no hope” cases, resulting in extraordinary healing. Diseased gum tissue usually begins to heal in ten to fifteen days, though results have been seen in five days!
CoQ-10 may also prove to be the “ideal” diet aid: speeds up a sluggish metabolism without damaging the rest of the body. This hasn’t been entirely proven yet, but it is thought to function by mobilizing and utilizing excess fat supplies. It has been found, however, that some people who are unable to burn fat efficiently and stay within their normal weight range have lower levels of CoQ-10. With a CoQ-10 deficiency, the problem might be some inability to utilize energy, which is where CoQ- 10 comes in.
Sources of CoQ-10
The body can produce CoQ-10 from CoQ-1 through CoQ-9 or it can obtain it from foods. Various amounts and types of co-enzymes Q-1 to Q- 10 are found in most food sources. The process of manufacturing CoQ-10 takes place in the liver. There, side-chain atoms are stripped away from the basic CoQ molecule and are then reassembled to a CoQ molecule to add up to CoQ-10. However, the body’s ability to produce CoQ-10 declines with age.
If you are wondering where CoQ-10 supplements come from, the Japanese, who have been using CoQ-10 for years, found an inexpensive, self-replicating process for producing CoQ-10 through fermentation of microorganisms, which is widely used today.
Maintenance doses of CoQ-10 are from 10-30 milligrams a day.
Extensive research in the United States, Japan, and Europe has not found any toxicity for CoQ-10. Researchers have found that CoQ-10 in capsule form rather than tablet form is better utilized by the body. The bright yellow-orange color indicates a good source.
This information is for educational purposes only. Consult with a qualified health practictioner for all serious or persistant illness. Copyright © 2000 by Robinson & Horne, L.C., P.O. Box 1028, Roosevelt, UT 84066. This material may be duplicated for educational purposes only (not for resale)
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