The Importance of COQ10 in Improving Hypertension and Preventing Heart Failure

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a compound found naturally in the energy-producing centre of the cell known as the mitochondria. CoQ10 is involved in making an important molecule known as adenosine triphosphate (ATP) which serves as the cell’s major energy source and drives a number of biological processes, including muscle contraction and the production of protein. It is a very popular supplement in the UK, partly for its ability to boost energy, enhance the immune system, and as an antioxidant.

Clinical research reported in the journal Biofactors has now indicated that patients with congestive heart failure that were supplemented with the active form of coenzyme Q10 (ubiquinol) improved ejection fraction by 39%. Ejection fraction is a critical marker of heart function used to determine the volume of blood pumped by the heart through the vascular system. CoQ10 is essential to convert nutrients to energy and power the cellular engine, and natural production in the body declines with age.

The study conducted at the East Texas Medical Center focused on patients with advanced congestive heart failure that were classified as Stage IV, the most severe form of the disease. Patients were supplemented with 580 mg of the ubiquinol form of coenzyme Q10 daily to increase plasma blood levels by a factor of four.

The researchers found “the improvement in plasma CoQ10 levels is correlated with both clinical improvement and improvement in measurement of left ventricular function.” Prior to CoQ10 supplementation, most of the participants were considered critically ill and confined to bed or a wheel chair. After being given ubiquinol, patients typically improved to the point they were able to carry on a productive lifestyle.

This is a serious problem that affects as many as one in three adults and high blood pressure is closely associated with coronary artery closure due to plaque formation and arterial stiffening as the normally elastic vessels require more pressure to fully circulate blood to the body. The result of a study published in the journal Nutrition and Metabolism found that coenzyme Q10 supplemented along with other potent antioxidant nutrients (vitamin C, vitamin E, and selenium) significantly increased small and large arterial elasticity that led to lower blood pressure and risk of a heart attack.

Subjects in this study received 60 mg of CoQ10 for a period of six months along with moderate amounts of the other nutrients. In addition to improved arterial elasticity, researchers found a significant decline in HbA1C blood sugar levels and an increase in protective HDL cholesterol levels. The authors of the research concluded that the CoQ10 nutrient antioxidant cocktail “has beneficial effect on glucose and lipid metabolism, blood pressure and arterial compliance in patients with multiple cardiovascular risk factors.”

Or in other words, they made a real difference to the patients’ health.

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.

Celebrate Sardines!

Although National Sardine Day falls on the 25th of November 2008, yes really, I thought I would encourage you to look ahead and plan for later in the year to celebrate this remarkable fish. The humble sardine isn’t something people usually rave about, but in terms of the health benefits per square inch they really are quite something. Whether you opt for the fresh fish, delicious grilled and stuffed with lemon, or the tinned variety in oil – not sauce – they are packed with inexpensive, high- yielding health benefits and nutritional value.

For such a small fish they can have a big impact as they contain substances that are proven to benefit your skin, joints, memory, and even boost your energy. Sardines are rich in omega 3 fatty acids — the crucial long chain variety you can only find in seafood, not vegetable matter high – and also have good levels of calcium and vitamin D.

Sardines also contain high levels of Coenzyme Q10 which is essential for so many important functions in the body. It is a supernutrient that’s great for heart health, energy, immune support, and healthy brain function. It is also an effective antioxidant and has been used for decades in Cancer treatment.

CoQ10 is also very important for cardiovascular health as it has many of the antioxidant properties of vitamin E. Inadequate levels of CoQ10 have been linked to heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis and arrhythmias. In addition, CoQ10 is believed to lower blood pressure, prevent the oxidation of low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL), and help with irregular heartbeat. CoQ10 is also good for the teeth and gums, helping to fight oral infection.

Sardine sandwich anyone?