Energy starvation in the immune system? Immune system cells starved for energy? There is a very plausible theory that chronic heart failure is a disease caused by the energy starvation of the heart muscle cells. Lacking adequate Coenzyme Q10 – an indispensable component of the human cell respiration and oxidative phosphorylation process – the heart muscle cells produce less ATP than is needed to supply the cells with energy. (A concomitant theory holds that Coenzyme Q10, in its reduced form, also protects the heart muscle cells against oxidative damage.)
Does Coenzyme Q10 supplementation improve exercise capacity? Do we know? In 2016, Professor Julio J. Ochoa and his colleagues at the University of Granada in Spain conducted an exhaustive review of the published literature about the Coenzyme Q10 supplementation and exercise. The researchers did database searches and found 372 journal articles about Coenzyme Q10 and exercise. An amazing number.
Variation in the Coenzyme Q10 and exercise studies
Of course, the results of the studies reported in the 372 journal articles varied quite a bit for a variety of reasons:
Last month, I wrote brief summaries of some of the best articles that have been published on this website. This month, I want to present summaries of several more good q10facts.com articles about the health benefits of Coenzyme Q10 supplementation. The information in all of these articles is based on clinical study results published in peer-reviewed bio-medical journals. In each summary, there is a link to the original article.
Fewer hospitalizations with Coenzyme Q10
In the Q-Symbio study, 420 chronic heart failure patients on conventional heart failure medications were randomly assigned to an adjuvant Coenzyme Q10 treatment group (n=202) or to a placebo control group (n=218). In the study, Dr. Svend Aage Mortensen and his fellow researchers wanted to test the hypothesis that the condition of the energy-starved heart could be improved by the use of Coenzyme Q10 supplementation.
In this article, I look back over the past 80 q10facts.com articles and pick out my favorites. Together, these articles give a good picture of what I have tried to present on this website: documented results from scientific studies of the absorption, safety, and efficacy of Coenzyme Q10 supplements in the form of ubiquinone. At the present time, there simply is not the same quality or quantity of research results related to the use of Coenzyme Q10 supplements in the ubiquinol form.
Coenzyme Q10’s therapeutic value
This article summarized the clinical research evidence for the use of Coenzyme Q10 as an adjunctive therapy for the following patients:
Coenzyme Q10 is a marvelously versatile natural substance. It is essential for cellular energy production, and it is an important lipid-soluble antioxidant. Its use as a daily supplement in conjunction with conventional medicines can give heart patients valuable health benefits.
In a 2015 review article, Professor Dr. Roland Stocker of the Medical College, University of New South Wales, in Sydney, Australia, and colleagues evaluated the potential therapeutic value of Coenzyme Q10 supplements:
- for heart failure patients
- for patients with high blood pressure
- for ischemic heart disease patients
- for cardiac surgery patients
- for patients taking statin medications
We want to look at the evidence presented in this review article [Ayer 2015].
Recently, some readers have written in asking what my problem with the ubiquinol version of Coenzyme Q10 supplements is. Let me try to answer that question. I don’t think that I have a problem with ubiquinol itself. I have great respect for ubiquinol’s utility as a lipid-soluble antioxidant. The problem that I have tried to address on q10facts.com is the misleading nature of the marketing claims and the stretching of scientific facts in many of the marketing claims for the ubiquinol products.
One theory to explain the process of aging is that there is an accumulation of oxidative damage through the years. Oxidative damage is the damage to cells and DNA and lipids that occurs as a result of an excess of reactive oxygen species (also called free radicals) beyond the body’s ability to neutralize the harmful free radicals. The free radical theory of aging presupposes higher free radical production and lower antioxidant protection in older adults. In accordance with this theory, the use of supplements with antioxidant effects such as Coenzyme Q10, selenium, vitamin C, vitamin E, and various carotenoids and flavonoids is desirable.
A 2014 study has shown that greater fitness among older adults is associated with the following health benefits:
- higher levels of plasma Coenzyme Q10
- lower levels of lipid peroxidation (degradation of lipids)
- lower levels of cholesterol
The study participants – 19 men and 24 women – had an average age of 71 years. The data from the study show that physical activity in the senior years can increase plasma concentrations of Coenzyme Q10 and can reduce the presence in plasma of a well-established bio-marker for oxidative stress [Del Pozo-Cruz 2014].
Coenzyme Q10 and oxidative stress
In the daily course of our using food and oxygen to make energy, we produce dangerous by-products called free radicals. Exposure to radiation and environmental toxins also produces harmful free radicals in our bodies.
NQO1 gene? … NQO-1 enzymes? … I don’t remember reading or hearing about the NQO-1 gene in all of the years that I have been taking Coenzyme Q10 supplements. But, for Dr. William Judy, the NQO-1 gene seems to be one of the three or four Q10 questions that he has been most preoccupied with for several years.
NQO-1 gene important in the biochemistry of Coenzyme Q10
NQO-1 is used as shorthand for both the gene and the oxidoreductase enzymes that the gene codes for. The NADPH-Quinone Oxidoreductase-1 gene – to give it its full name – is the gene that codes in humans for the production of enzymes that reduce quinones to hydroquinones.
What is becoming more and more apparent about the absorption of Coenzyme Q10 nutritional supplements? I have been putting together the information that I have been reading and hearing. Here is what seems to be the case:
Raw material Coenzyme Q10: not the big difference maker
The Coenzyme Q10 raw material from the biggest producers of the dry powder crystalline substance seems to be comparable to a high degree. There seems to be equivalency of quality in the Coenzyme Q10 raw material. What counts is how the maker of Coenzyme Q10 supplements processes that raw material.