CO Q10, How to boost levels by 4 X plus

Coenzyme Q10, (COQ 10) is a nutrient that occurs naturally in the body and plays a key part in metabolizing energy from food. It is essential in the production of energy in your body, and is found in large concentrations in those tissues that use a lot of energy, such as your heart. It has a whole host of health benefits associated with it, particularly in the area of heart disease, but current research is also showing its application in other areas such as those below:

* Migraine prevention – a 2002 study reported that 61% of patients treated with CoQ10 as a migraine preventive reported 50% fewer migraines at the end of three months. * Chronic fatigue – those deficient in CoQ10 reported higher levels of energy when supplementing withthan those with deficient levels of the enzyme.

* Hypertension reduced – patients with high blood pressure taking CO Q10 were compared to similar patients on heart medication and were found to have exactly the same reduction in levels – without the side effects of the drugs. * Heart transplants patients benefit – patients given CO Q10 regularly before their surgery were found in a 2004 study to have a significant improvement in functional status, clinical symptoms, and quality of life.

* Parkinson’s Disease damage reduced – only a small study has been undertaken so far, but it appears that patients with the highest levels of CO Q10 showed significantly less impairment to their motor functions than those on lower doses.

* Statins – those taking statins often show a low rate of CO Q10 and may be advised to supplement as these drugs work to block cholesterol and have the potential to block the production of CoQ10 and reduce levels further.

As we get older, the levels of CO Q10 we naturally produce in the body tend to be less, for a number of reasons. There may simply not be enough CIO Q10 in our diet – we get it mostly from oily fish, meat and whole grains – or we can no longer effectively produce or synthesize adequate amounts of it ourselves. Further factors include the external effect of illness, and stress

Now it appears there is another way of increasing your CO Q10 levels, and it’s absolutely free. It’s our old friend exercise that is the key factor, as a recent study from the Lancisi Heart Institute in Italy has shown. They divided their subjects into four groups:

* Group one received 100 mg of supplemental CoQ10 three times each day

* Group two received the same, plus supervised exercise five times each week

* Group three received a placebo

* Group four received a placebo and participated in the same exercise routine as group two.

They were supervised for four weeks, and the results were very positive for the combination of exercise and CO Q10. Those in Group one, who just took the supplement had their blood levels of CoQ10 boosted four-fold – which is impressive in itself. However, those who were in Group 2 had their levels raised even further while there was no difference at all for Groups 3 and 4.

As the greatest concentration is found around your heart, it makes sense to have some aerobic exercise that will make that muscle work harder. Good brisk walking, or take a look at the health tips what I think is an ideal form of exercise for everyone, regardless of age or fitness.

Statins – Saint or sinner?

July 2, 2008 by  
Filed under Food & Nutrition, Health, Natural Medicine

Many of you will have heard of Patrick Holford, the UK’s leading nutrition expert, and I have known him for many years. Indeed I edited his Optimum Nutrition magazine for a while and always find what he has to say of interest.

The topic of statins has come up a lot recently, particularly when I have been giving talks on natural health, and there seems to be a lot of confusion. This is not surprising because every year there is always a ‘new’ wonder thing that will help us stay health without much willpower on our part, but will bring fairly large profits to the people manufacturing it.

Cynical? Maybe, but when you have written about health for as long as I have you see the cycle of celebration, doubt, debunking and then quietly disappearing for many so called ‘miracle’ cures.

New health guidelines issued recently say all adults aged 40 to 75 should be assessed for risks, including smoking, weight and blood pressure and those with at least a 20 per cent increased chance of a heart attack over the next 10 years should be offered treatment, usually statins. Patrick Holford takes a different view and completely disagrees with the routine prescribing of these drugs. I think what he has to say is important so I am quoting him directly here, and leaving you to make up your own mind.

“Statins work by blocking the production of cholesterol, which is a perfectly normal substance, and in the process, stops the body producing Co-Q10, a vital heart nutrient, causing harmful side effects. This was confirmed in research published last month in the journal Nature. As a consequence, statins are far from harmless.

The notion that cholesterol is linked with heart disease goes back over fifty years, along with the idea of bringing cholesterol levels down with a low fat diet to protect the heart. But both of these ideas have been strongly challenged. For example, plenty of studies show that only 50% of people who develop heart problems have high cholesterol, while a study in the BMJ in 2001 found no link between changing fat in the diet and heart disease.

The best known side-effect of statins involves muscles problems. The probable reason for this is that they stop the production of Co-Q10 which is found in all cells (especially those of the heart muscle) and is vital to energy production. In one study of 14 healthy people, 10 developed heart rhythm abnormalities when given statins. This, say some researchers, could explain the muscle weakness and also the memory loss some people experience.

Some practitioners recommend that anyone taking statins should also supplement with Co-Q10 and a warning on statin packets is now mandatory in Canada, saying that CoQ10 reduction ‘could lead to impaired cardiac function’.

In fact the closer you look, the more questionable the benefits become. You might assume that taking prophylactic statins would mean that you would live longer overall. But that isn’t what the studies show. The total number of heart attacks drops slightly but then the risk of dying from other things goes up slightly, so overall life expectancy stays the same.

How can you avoid statins? By doing everything you can to keep your heart healthy. You do that by the well- known – but little enough practiced – regime of eating well with plenty of fruit, vegetables and wholegrains in your everyday diet. Make sure you also include foods that are high in heart-protective Vitamin E, such as beans, olive oil and eggs and reduce the amount of sugary foods, refined carbohydrates and keep your stress levels as low as you can.

Instead of an expensive drug, try lowering your cholesterol levels and heart disease risk by raising your ‘good’ HDL cholesterol and lowering ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol. A simple, inexpensive way to do that is take a supplement of niacin (vitamin B3), and to further help prevent cardiovascular disease it is suggested that you include a CoQ10 supplement of around 90mg a day. The COQ10 will also help those who are already on statin drugs and wish to stay on them.

If you would like to know more about Patrick Holford’s work, his new book ‘Food is Better Medicine Than Drugs’ would be a good place to start. You can read about it here: Food Is Better Medicine Than Drugs: Your Prescription for Drug-free Health