The Multi-purpose, “Co-Q 10”  (ubiquinone)  Works On Many Systems.

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Supplements (nutriceuticals) are one of the more fascinating aspects of nutrition practice. They can demonstrate the medicinal and therapeutic value of certain nutrients because they are given in a somewhat controlled fashion.

I realize many folks out there are skeptical of supplement use, especially when you hear media reports with general statements proclaming they don’t help.  Many of these supplement reviews in the media are from research that are called, “meta-analyses”.   A meta-analysis looks at many studies to determine an overall trend.  Meta-analyses has their pros and cons.  They do not take into consideration the many variables that always come into play in nutrition research.  I look at individual independent research that may include: systemic reviews, randomized controlled trials, cohort studies, case-controls etc.   Plus, and a BIG plus, humans are all unqiue in their gut microbiome and in their genes, two variables which makes nutrition research nearly impossible to completely control for.  

Supplements and Heart Disease and the Media.

You may have heard one such media review last month talk about a meta-analysis done on supplements and heart disease and the botton line being, they don’t help. I’m skeptical of any “bottom line” that is claimed about a topic as complicated as nutrition, supplements or any system of the body. This particular review irked me more than others, becaue of their supposed sweeping conclusiveness. I’ve studied the independent research on heart disease and supplements and know otherwise.

And truthfully, if there is a bottom line in the field of nutrition, it leans more towards the drug industry not wanting supplements to succeed, unless they can patent one. Some drugs are beneficial but, so are some supplements.

Providing that a supplement shows strong evidence of safety, and there is evidence of benefit, then we must not overlook this information. Even case studies have value. I’ve seen too many patients benefit from targeted supplement use. Although, we must be cautious not to overuse supplements, we also must be careful not to overlook their beneficial use. And you can always stop taking a supplement if you feel it is not helping.

Understanding anatomy and physiology and system biology helps support the rationale for how a clinician determines and prioritizes supplement choices. Many nutrients affect multiple pathways in the body and ultimately affect many systems.

A poor diet, medications or a number of chronic conditions may increase your need for a particular supplement.

CoQ10 is one of my long time favorite supplements, though often under utilized.


Did You Know….the Multi-purpose, “Co-Q 10”  (ubiquinone)  works on many systems?

Most nutritionists are aware of CoQ 10. BUT few of my clients have been told about CoQ10 supplementation by their physician or other providers. I recommend CoQ10 supplementation for certain people because it may lower certain health risks. Many of my clients who take it, feel better.

Those who do feel better, notice a difference in their energy level vs. when they are not taking it.

This change in energy is not like that attained from a stimulant such as caffeine, but a more homeostatic energy change.

Energy can be one of those ambiguous, intangibles in life……when you have a little energy, it’s usually perceived as a plus, providing it’s not from a “jacked up” sympathetic nervous system.

Why would supplemental CoQ 10 have this effect?

Ubiquinones are a class of fat-soluble compounds that are involved with how the body utilizes energy in the mitochondria of the cell—specifically, the electron transport system. This reaction is happening all over your body to make ATP, so you can breath, read, write, move and live your life.

Food provides the calories or substrate for your body to produce ATP in your cells. Mitochondria and ATP are two big hints here why CoQ 10 is so important.

Mitochondria, as tiny as they are, are the energy production plants of the cell. Ubiquinol, the reduced and more active form of ubiquinone is directly associated with over 95 percent of the body’ cellular energy production …need I say more?

We want to protect our mitochondria and one way to do this is to maintain adequate levels of CoQ10.

Much of the earlier research on CoQ10 was with the heart and congestive heart failure. Heart cells have an ultra demand for ATP because they are working 24-hours/day constantly beating supplying blood to your cells;. They contain far more mitochondria than any other organ in the body.

Young, healthy bodies generally make enough CoQ10 but production slows down as we age and certain medications actually block the process.

Statin drugs are most well known for this feat. So, in the process of reducing cholesterol production, statins also impede CoQ10 production, not a helpful side effect. Other medications including blood pressure can lower CoQ10 too.

Newer research is showing benefit beyond the heart, protecting cells throughout the body; including improved glucose management, reducing inflammation and even managing migraines for certain people.

Some research shows benefit with relatively low dosages—100-200 mg/day.

People taking supplemental CoQ10 should monitor blood sugars and consider all medications; CoQ10 may interfere with drug thinning medications such as Coumadin.

CoQ10 supplementation carries low risk and modest to high benefit. Consider its use, especially if you are on a statin, are over 50 or have a chronic health condition or feeling “low energy”. A healthy mitochondria contributes to a healthy you.

Try one of my favorite CoQ10 products, Protocols for Life Balance, Ubiquinol (100 or 200 mg). Log into Fullscript, then search for product name. Also, listed under my favorites are other CoQ10 products.

Did You Know —Co Q 10 Research

  • Co Q10 can help and prevent migraines in certain people? See here

  • Co Q 10 can lower blood glucose in PCOS? See here

  • Co Q 10 has anti-inflammatory properties and can lower TNF-a and hs CRP. See here

  • Co Q 10 has positive effects on metabolic syndrome? See here

Cindy Carroll