Coenzyme Q10: The best of

Karl Folkers
Dr. Karl Folkers, the researcher who established the chemical structure of the Coenzyme Q10 molecule and who developed the biochemical rationale for the use of Coenzyme Q10 as an adjuvant treatment of chronic heart disease, called Coenzyme Q10 the “essential bio-nutrient.”

In this article, I look back over the past 80 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:

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Coenzyme Q10 and the NQO-1 gene

Coenzyme Q10 is a fat-soluble redox molecule that we produce in nearly all cells in the body. Once we reach our 20’s, our body’s synthesis of Coenzyme Q10 begins to decline with increasing age. But our need for Coenzyme Q10 continues, both in the process of producing ATP energy molecules and in the cells’ defense against harmful free radicals. Consequently, we need a good daily supplement.

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.

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Coenzyme Q10: It’s the formulation that’s important!

Woman making food
To stay as healthy as we can as late in life as possible, we need to eat properly. We also need a daily Coenzyme Q10 nutritional supplement. The Q-Symbio study and the KiSel-10 study have shown the heart health benefits of Coenzyme Q10 supplementation. Those studies show, moreover, that older adults benefit from a Coenzyme supplement based on the ubiquinone form.

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.

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Crystal-free Coenzyme Q10 supplements

Bill Judy Picture
Dr. Judy says that the crystal-free Coenzyme Q10 supplements with the ubiquinone form of CoQ10 dissolved in vegetables oils will give consumers the best absorption.

Dr. William Judy, the long-time Coenzyme Q10 researcher and founder and president of the SIBR Research Institute, makes the point that the absorption cells in the human small intestine cannot absorb Coenzyme Q10 crystals.  The absorption cells can handle Coenzyme Q10 only as single molecules.

Coenzyme Q10 raw material in the form of dry powder crystals
The Coenzyme Q10 raw material that Coenzyme Q10 supplement manufacturers purchase comes in the form of dry powder crystals.  These crystals are formed in the multiple drying stages of the purification of Coenzyme Q10.

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Coenzyme Q10 on prescription?

Mother and daughter
We know that the body’s production of Coenzyme Q10 begins to decrease with age once we reach our 20’s, and we know that Coenzyme Q10 plays an important role in both cellular bio-energetics and antioxidant protection. It just makes sense to supplement our diets with Coenzyme Q10 in an attempt to avoid heart failure later on in life.

For as long as I have been writing this blog, I have been wondering why cardiologists are not prescribing Coenzyme Q10 for certain classes of heart disease patients.  Two classes of patients come to mind immediately: chronic heart failure patients and patients taking statin medications.  Let’s look at the evidence for heart failure patients. (We can talk about patients on statin medications next week.)

Coenzyme Q10 and chronic heart failure
Chronic heart failure.  Heart failure.  It sounds scary.  It is scary.  The words “heart failure” do not mean that the heart has stopped working.  What heart failure means is some combination of the following conditions:

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Dr. Judy explains Coenzyme Q10 absorption

Bill Judy Picture
Dr. William Judy, founder and director of the SIBR Institute, is arguably the world’s leading expert on Coenzyme Q10 absorption. He has led numerous lab studies and animal studies and clinical trials on the absorption and effects of Coenzyme Q10 preparations.

We know that Coenzyme Q10 is an essential co-factor in at least three important processes in the body: cellular energy production, cellular and lipid antioxidant defense, and regulation of endothelial cell function. We know that our adult bodies produce less Coenzyme Q10 with increasing age, and we know that most of us cannot make up the difference through the food that we eat [6]. From the age of 40 on, we need a good Coenzyme Q10 supplement daily.  I asked Dr. William Judy what is involved in getting a good Coenzyme Q10 supplement.

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Coenzyme Q10 and migraine headaches

Headache -- woman
Studies show that teens and young adults suffering from migraine headaches are likely to have abnormally low blood levels of Coenzyme Q10. Coenzyme Q10 is an essential bio-nutrient that is important in the production of cellular energy and in the antioxidant protection of the cells.

On the website, there is a report of a conference paper presented by Dr. Suzanne Hagler of the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Headache Society in San Diego. Dr. Hagler reported that teens and young adults with migraine headaches are often found to have mild deficiencies of Coenzyme Q10, vitamin D, and the B vitamin riboflavin [1].

Mild Coenzyme Q10 deficiencies in young people
Interesting, I thought. Coenzyme Q10 is produced in all of the body’s cells except the red blood cells. The body’s production of Coenzyme Q10 rises until a person reaches his or her 20s, and, from then on, the bio-synthesis of Coenzyme Q10 declines steadily. By age 65, senior citizens may be producing only half as much Coenzyme Q10 as they did when there were 25 years of age.  Hence the need for a good Coenzyme Q10 supplement.

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Huffpost Healthy Living blog article about Coenzyme Q10

Older lovers
As we age, we produce less Coenzyme Q10, and we cannot make up the difference in the food we eat. For good heart health, we need a good Coenzyme Q10 supplement with documented beneficial health effects. Myoqinon and Bio-Quinone CoQ10 have been tested in gold standard clinical studies.

Last month, Dr. Joel Kahn published an interesting article on the Huffpost Healthy Living website.  The title of his blog article was “Heart Failure: New Hope with Supplement Therapies.”  The emphasis was on supplementation with Coenzyme Q10.  Dr. Kahn focused attention on the research results from the Q-Symbio study of the effect of Coenzyme Q10 supplementation on chronic heart failure patients.

Who is Dr. Joel Kahn?
For those of you who do not know who Dr. Joel Kahn is, let me take you briefly through his résumé:

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Q10: Known quality versus unknown quality?

Best quality picture
Which Q10 product on the American market is the best buy? You don’t know. But you can see which Q10 products have been tested for effect in gold standard studies.

My friends and colleagues ask me sometimes: is the Coq10 product that was used in the Q-Symbio study the best Coenzyme Q10 product?  And they are surprised when I don’t say, immediately, yes, yes, of course.  I am cautious.  I don’t want to claim to know something that I cannot know with certainty.  Could there be a better Q10 product on the market?  Possibly.  I don’t know for sure.    It’s best never to say never, right? But …

Q10 produced according to medicine standards
What I have found out is that the profile of the Q-Symbio Study CoQ10 treatment is unique.  The Danish producer, Pharma Nord, seems to be one of the few food supplement suppliers in the US that is producing a Q10 product according to medicine standards rather than food supplement standards.

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Coenzyme Q10 prior to heart surgery

Australia map
Coenzyme Q10 Research in a land down under. Teams of Coenzyme Q10 researchers at The Alfred teaching hospital in Victoria, Australia, have shown significant results, results that translate into fewer hospitalizations for the patients and into savings for the national health care system.

Professor Franklin Rosenfeldt, MD and Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons (Edinburgh), is an adjunct professor and cardiac surgeon in the Department of Surgery, Monash University,  a university based in Melbourne, Australia.  Dr. Rosenfeldt is also the administrative supervisor of The Integrative Cardiac Wellness Program at The Alfred, a tertiary teaching hospital in Prahran, (a suburb of Melbourne), Victoria, Australia.

Q10 research at The Alfred
The Alfred’s services include heart and lung replacement and transplantation as well as many other specialized services.  For 30 years, Dr. Rosenfeldt has been conducting cardiac surgery research at The Alfred.  His special research interest has been the protection of the heart against damage during heart surgery.  In this context, he has done much research on the role of Coenzyme Q10 and fish oil in the management of heart disease.

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