By: Pamela Egan, FNP-C CDE
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) can help treat and prevent diseases
Maintaining an adequate level of CoQ10 is essential for optimum health, however, many people, especially those on certain cholesterol lowering drugs or those with heart problems, are at risk of CoQ10 deficiency, sometimes with disastrous outcomes.
This nutrient functions as an antioxidant, is a coenzyme, and its major role is in energy production, and so is helpful in treating complaints of fatigue. It enhances the regeneration of vitamin E, reduces platelet stickiness and lowers blood pressure.
CoQ10 is most abundant in organs that require a large supply of energy, especially the heart, brain and liver, and in the immune system. Therefore, a low concentration of this nutrient is harmful to health in general.
Statin drugs are given to lower cholesterol, but they also lower CoQ10 levels in heart, liver, and bone tissue. CoQ10 is needed for healthy heart function, suggesting that statin drugs may be helping the heart in one way and harming it in another. There is quite compelling evidence that statin drugs can cause muscle injury, including cardiomyopathy and liver damage to as many as 1 percent of the people taking them. It is predicted that soon 36 million Americans will be taking statin drugs, putting 360,000 at risk of heart and liver damage. In addition, statin drugs have been associated with increased incidence of cataracts, cancers, nerve problems, and psychiatric problems. Deficiencies of CoQ10 are believed to be at least partly responsible. Patients should not stop taking their statin drugs, but should consider CoQ10 supplementation to prevent these negative effects.
CoQ10 is effective in the treatment and prevention of angina, coronary artery disease, arrhythmias, mitral valve prolapse, high blood pressure, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, periodontal disease, sun damaged skin, Congestive heart failure, cardiomyopathy, migraine headaches, chronic fatigue/fibromyalgia and now cancer.
For those challenged with cancer, CoQ10 supplementation can be helpful. It can help patients tolerate chemotherapy by acting as a powerful antioxidant, counteracting deadly free-radical molecules before they can wield harmful effects. It can also lessen the adverse impact of chemotherapy on immune function. Research suggests that CoQ10 may help chemotherapy drugs more effectively battle cancer via several fascinating mechanisms.
There is no optimum daily intake for coenzyme Q10. Generally 50 – 300 milligrams have been used in clinical trials and appear to be safe and effective. For more information please read Real Vitamin & Mineral Book by Shari Lieberman & the February ‘08 edition of Life Extension, Anticancer Effects of CoQ10.
The Essential Nutrition Pack by Egan Wellness Clinic is rich in CoQ10.
Pamela Egan, FNP-C, CDE is a board certified Adult & Family Nurse Practitioner, Certified Diabetes Educator & Clinical Specialist in Mental Health. She practices in Women’s Health with Kathy Posey, MD & can be reached at 985-867-1700 or www.pamelaegan.com.