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Dr. Meaghan and Wendy conversate about the research of CoQ10, information and physiology behind (Coenzyme Q10). This essential chemical is involved in every cellular process in the body because of its role in energy production, enhanced blood flow, and protection of blood vessels.
The research is a bit conflicting, but there are three populations that especially seem to benefit from supplementation of CoQ10; fibromyalgia, after a heart attack, and statin drug users.
Dr. Meaghan Kirschling,
DC. APRN. RN. MS
Coenzyme Q10, aka CoQ10, is an extremely interesting molecule that our body needs for various pathways and processes. It is produced in our body, but the research and information behind whether we should supplement with CoQ10 are still highly debated in the medical world. CoQ10 is a major factor in energy (ATP) production in our body. Mitochondria, the powerhouse of the cell that is responsible for producing cellular energy, relies on CoQ10 to make energy. It is also known that CoQ10 crosses the blood-brain barrier, so we know that the brain thrives on CoQ10. This molecule also plays a role in decreasing free radicals in the body and acting as an antioxidant. It has been shown to decrease oxidative stress and possibly be a key to anti-aging
Because it plays such an intricate role in these important processes in the body, over 350 human studies, have been done in the past five (5) years on CoQ10. Even with this amount of research, the clinical guidelines are still not clear.
CoQ10 has been studied with some promising results with many different diseases including high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, cardiovascular health, neurological and brain conditions, energy levels, and overall health and wellness especially when it comes to anti-aging. The research is still undecided, but there are definite findings that I have incorporated into my clinical practice due to strong research.
We do know that CoQ10 helps to increase energy, enhance blood flow, and protect blood vessels. Therefore, the three patient populations that seem to benefit the most from CoQ10 are fibromyalgia, individuals after a heart attack, and people on a statin drug. One group of people that I highly recommend supplement CoQ10 is statin drug users. It has been proved that statin drugs, due to their mechanism of action, drastically deplete CoQ10 levels and this might be linked to some of the side effects of the drug. Therefore, it is crucial to replenish the levels. Because of what research shows, I also do recommend it for anyone that has had a heart attack, had a family history of heart disease, and fibromyalgia.
There are two main forms of CoQ10 that are available for supplementation. These two forms or ubiquinone and ubiquinol. The debate continues with CoQ10 regarding whether one form is better than the other and there is no clear guideline. We do know that Ubiquinone is the oxidized version and Ubiquinol is the reduced form of CoQ10. It is believed that because of the chemical composition of ubiquinol that there is an observed enhanced bioavailability of this version of CoQ10. Therefore, most sources state that supplementation of ubiquinol is recommended because it exhibits greater bioavailability than ubiquinone.
It is also not so clear about the dosage. Most research shows that 90-200 mg will help to reach a therapeutic dose. Looking at the research studies, though, they often use 200-400 mg doses. Therefore, I usually recommend 100-200 mg of CoQ10 in the ubiquinol form.
Some of the promising effects reside in both who is taking CoQ10 and the continuing research behind the molecule. As we continue to research this molecule, we find more and more benefits. Also, we now have started to study a synthetic form of CoQ10 called Idebenone. This drug has been studied for its neurological benefits with certain diseases like Alzheimer’s, cognitive concerns, muscular dystrophies, and Friedrich’s ataxia. The research looks promising, but the drug is not approved yet for these indications in North America and Europe. Idebenone can also be used as cream for anti-aging due to its antioxidant effects on the skin. The fact that CoQ10 is now being studied as a pharmaceutical shows the possible potential of this molecule for health, wellness, and anti-aging.
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