Should I take Co Enzyme Q10?

Waikato News - - HEALTH - John Arts

Co Enzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a vi­ta­min-like sub­stance essen­tial for life. While we nor­mally make all the CoQ10 we need, some peo­ple be­cause of age, health prob­lems or med­i­ca­tions can ben­e­fit from tak­ing ex­tra good-qual­ity CoQ10.

CoQ10 is essen­tial to make the en­ergy our bod­ies need. The fi­nal stage of mak­ing en­ergy needs CoQ10 to shut­tle the hy­dro­gen needed to gen­er­ate en­ergy. If your lev­els of CoQ10 are low this can be felt as low en­ergy, weak mus­cles and gen­eral fa­tigue. CoQ10 is also an ex­cep­tional an­tiox­i­dant pro­tect­ing cells and fats from free rad­i­cals. The most im­por­tant an­tiox­i­dant func­tion is to pre­vent ox­i­da­tion of choles­terol as it cir­cu­lates in the body. This is a crit­i­cal part in our nat­u­ral de­fences against block­ages in heart ar­ter­ies and other blood ves­sels.

The most com­mon rea­son for CoQ10 sup­ple­men­ta­tion is for those us­ing choles­terol low­er­ing (statin) med­i­ca­tion. The side ef­fects of statins are so com­mon that they are a di­ag­nos­able dis­ease called statin my­opa­thy. The most com­mon side ef­fects are mus­cle stiff­ness, pain and weak­ness. This can also cause gen­eral fa­tigue which of­ten feels like a lack of mo­ti­va­tion.

Statins ef­fec­tively in­hibit the enzyme needed to make choles­terol. This enzyme (HMG-CoA re­duc­tase) is also needed to make CoQ10. Block­ing this enzyme re­duces choles­terol but also CoQ10 by as much as 50 per cent.

Drug com­pa­nies are well aware of this prob­lem and hold patents for com­bin­ing CoQ10 with statins. Un­til such drugs are avail­able I rec­om­mend those on statins sup­ple­ment with 100-200mg of nat­u­rally fer­mented CoQ10. The mar­ket is now flooded with low-cost semi-syn­thetic CoQ10. Most peo­ple make all the Co enzyme Q10 (CoQ10) they need. Some how­ever should take ex­tra as a sup­ple­ment. CoQ10 is made in your liver from the same en­zymes that make choles­terol. This is why drugs that re­duce choles­terol can re­strict CoQ10 by as much as 50 per cent.

This can re­duce the amount of en­ergy pro­duced es­pe­cially in mus­cles, nerves and or­gans. This is why I rec­om­mend peo­ple on choles­terol med­i­ca­tion take 100-200mg of high grade, rapid ab­sorp­tion CoQ10 daily. Be aware that the mar­ket is now flooded with low cost semi-syn­thetic CoQ10 made from tobacco waste. These tend to be higher doses at much lower prices. I re­cently spoke to a client who had ex­pe­ri­enced a lot of mus­cle pain and stiff­ness while on statins. Af­ter just a month on high grade CoQ10 the pain had com­pletely gone and is now able to tol­er­ate the med­i­ca­tion with­out side ef­fects. I gen­er­ally find it takes 1-2 months to re­store mus­cle func­tion and en­ergy.

What makes CoQ10 unique is its abil­ity to ac­cept and do­nate elec­trons. This en­ables CoQ10 to move hy­dro­gen elec­trons within your cell mi­to­chon­dria to make the en­ergy your body re­quires. In­ad­e­quate CoQ10 lev­els re­duces en­ergy out­put and this is felt as tired­ness and of­ten as mus­cle weak­ness.

This abil­ity to carry elec­trons also makes CoQ10 an ex­cel­lent an­tiox­i­dant. It can do­nate to free rad­i­cals their miss­ing elec­trons pre­vent­ing them from steal­ing elec­trons lead­ing to cell and tis­sue dam­age. In par­tic­u­lar it pro­tects cir­cu­lat­ing LDL choles­terol from be­ing dam­aged by free rad­i­cals. This is the first step in the process of form­ing plaques that block ar­ter­ies.

■ John Arts (B Soc Sci, Dip Tch, Adv Dip Nut Med) is a nu­tri­tional medicine prac­ti­tioner and founder of Abun­dant Health Ltd. For ques­tions or ad­vice con­tact John on 0800 423559 or email john@abun­dant.co.nz. Join his full weekly news­let­ter at www.abun­dant.co.nz.

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