Coenzyme Q10 is not a prescription drug. It’s found in most health food stores in Sacramento and elsewhere, can be bought online, and is naturally made by the body. As the body ages, usually the production of coenzyme Q10 gradually goes down. Now scientists in a new study have finally admitted that Coenzyme Q10 decreases all cause mortality by half in randomized double blind trial, explaining how CoQ10 is the “first drug to improve heart failure mortality in over a decade.”
Yet if you go into almost any HMO in Sacramento, chances are you may get a physician who either hasn’t heard of it as a nutritional supplement for older adults or tells you, “but it’s not natural.” You could reply, “but the body does make it naturally.”
Locally, in Sacramento and Davis, the University of California, Davis studies the effects of CoQ10. See the sites, “Clinical Research Studies – UC Davis Health System” and “First comprehensive paper on statins’ adverse effects released.”
A paper co-authored by Beatrice Golomb, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and director of UC San Diego’s Statin Study group cites nearly 900 studies on the adverse effects of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins), a class of drugs widely used to treat high cholesterol. CoQ10 has been put to the test at UC Davis for a variety of conditions.
The result is a review paper, published January 27, 2009 in the on-line edition of American Journal of Cardiovascular Drugs, that provides the most complete picture to date of reported side effects of statins, showing the state of evidence for each. The paper also helps explain why certain individuals have an increased risk for such adverse effects.
Statins lower Q10 levels because they work by blocking the pathway involved in cholesterol production – the same pathway by which Q10 is produced. Statins also reduce the blood cholesterol that transports Q10 and other fat-soluble antioxidants.
The loss of Q10 leads to loss of cell energy and increased free radicals which, in turn, can further damage mitochondrial DNA, according to Golomb, who explained in the January 27, 2009 e! Science News (Health & Medicine) article, “First comprehensive paper on statins’ adverse effects released,” that loss of Q10 may lead to a greater likelihood of symptoms arising from statins in patients with existing mitochondrial damage – since these people especially rely on ample Q10 to help bypass this damage.
The latest 2013 study on CoQ10 reports that it decreases mortality across the board
Sometimes as people age, they may need to supplement it. In the latest May 25, 2013 study, scientists in Europe, in Lisbon actually, reported that coenzyme Q10 decreases all cause mortality by half, according to the results of a multicenter randomized double blind trial presented on May 25, 2013 at an annual meeting of the Heart Failure 2013 congress. It is the first drug to improve heart failure mortality in over a decade and should be added to standard treatment, according to lead author Professor Svend Aage Mortensen (Copenhagen, Denmark).
Heart Failure 2013 is being held from May 25-28, 2013 in Lisbon, Portugal. It is the main annual meeting of the Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology. You also can check out the site of the European Society of Cardiology. If your personal physician still hasn’t read much about it, you can inform your doctor that CoQ10 is made by the body. It’s not some synthetic drug. But you don’t want to overdose on it either.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) occurs naturally in the body and is essential to survival
CoQ10 works as an electron carrier in the mitochondria, the powerhouse of the cells, to produce energy and is also a powerful antioxidant. It is the only antioxidant that humans synthesize in the body.
CoQ10 levels are decreased in the heart muscle of patients with heart failure, with the deficiency becoming more pronounced as heart failure severity worsens. Statins are used to treat many patients with heart failure because they block the synthesis of cholesterol, but these drugs also block the synthesis of CoQ10, which further decreases levels in the body.
CoQ10 improves the symptoms of patients with heart failure
Double blind controlled trials have shown that CoQ10 improves symptoms, functional capacity and quality of life in patients with heart failure with no side effects. But until now, no trials have been statistically powered to address effects on survival, according to the May 25, 2013 news release, “First drug to improve heart failure mortality in over a decade.”
The Q-SYMBIO study (2) randomised 420 patients with severe heart failure (New York Heart Association (NYHA) Class III or IV) to CoQ10 or placebo and followed them for 2 years. The primary endpoint was time to first major adverse cardiovascular event (MACE) which included unplanned hospitalisation due to worsening of heart failure, cardiovascular death, urgent cardiac transplantation and mechanical circulatory support. Participating centres were in Denmark, Sweden, Austria, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, India, Malaysia and Australia.
CoQ10 halved the risk of MACE, with 29 (14%) patients in the CoQ10 group reaching the primary endpoint compared to 55 (25%) patients in the placebo group (hazard ratio=2; p=0.003). CoQ10 also halved the risk of dying from all causes, which occurred in 18 (9%) patients in the CoQ10 group compared to 36 (17%) patients in the placebo group (hazard ratio=2.1; p=0.01).
CoQ10 treated patients had significantly lower cardiovascular mortality (p=0,02) and lower occurrence of hospitalizations for heart failure (p=0.05). There were fewer adverse events in the CoQ10 group compared to the placebo group (p=0.073).
Professor Mortensen explained in the news release, First drug to improve heart failure mortality in over a decade, “CoQ10 is the first medication to improve survival in chronic heart failure since ACE inhibitors and beta blockers more than a decade ago and should be added to standard heart failure therapy.”
He added, “Other heart failure medications block rather than enhance cellular processes and may have side effects. Supplementation with CoQ10, which is a natural and safe substance, corrects a deficiency in the body and blocks the vicious metabolic cycle in chronic heart failure called the energy starved heart.”
CoQ10 is present in food, including red meat, plants and fish, but levels are insufficient to impact on heart failure
CoQ10 is also sold over the counter as a food supplement but Professor Mortensen said: “Food supplements can influence the effect of other medications including anticoagulants and patients should seek advice from their doctor before taking them.” Remember that the drug industry ‘hates’ when you buy supplements in a health food store because it takes money away from the huge prescription drug industry.
The doctor loses money when you buy nutritional supplements from a store because then you don’t get to go in for an office visit and pay the doctor and then pay the drug company for a prescription. However, if you’ve already had a health exam and talked to your doctor who is trained in nutritional supplement use and how much of a ‘dose’ you need of the supplement to be in balance, then at least you can add complementary and integrative or functional medical evaluations to your routine of health management.
The mantra usually is one drug is added on top of another drug until they pile up high, each to manage the side effects of the other. So sometimes you and your doctor need to talk about what’s the best for your health. Could it be looking at the cause of your condition and getting at the root of it with what your individual body needs? Are you needed a supplement or not? And can a supplement replace a prescription drug with side effects? Find out the answer.
Patients with ischemic heart disease who use statins could also benefit from CoQ10 supplementation. Professor Mortensen said, according to the news release, “We have no controlled trials demonstrating that statin therapy plus CoQ10 improves mortality more than statins alone. But statins reduce CoQ10, and circulating CoQ10 prevents the oxidation of LDL effectively, so I think ischemic patients should supplement statin therapy with CoQ10.” Your best move would be to read all you can about what CoQ10 is used for, how much usually is given, and what form is better for you as an individual, if your condition allows it — the ubiquinol form of Coq10 or the ubiquinine form?
Find out which is better for you and above all, talk to doctors trained in nutritional supplements for your particular condition. Also you may wish to check out the sites, “Ubiquinol Found More Effective than Ubiquinone – Mercola.com,” “TotalHealth Magazine – Is Ubiquinol All It’s Cracked Up to Be?” and Choosing a CoQ10 Supplement: Ubiquinol or Ubiquinone?
Ubiquinol is more bioavailable than the dry powdered forms of ubiquinone that have been widely commercially available. In a head-to-head single-dose study, oil-based ubiquinol was found to be 60 percent better absorbed than powdered ubiquinone, and that percentage may increase with longer-term supplementation. However, ubiquinol’s increased absorption over ubiquinone powder is not entirely surprising, given the fact that CoQ10 is primarily lipid-soluble, so it needs to be in the presence of oil to be absorbed.
So check out the facts about it before you talk to your doctor about your condition and how much you’ll need, if your doctor says your condition would be helped. Also see the study, “Effect of various food additives and soy constitutes on high CoQ10 absorption.” (2010) 64(4), 613-620. See, “TotalHealth Magazine – Is Ubiquinol All It’s Cracked Up to Be?”
You may also want to check out another form of CoQ10, BioQ10 SA. See, “BioQ10 SA – A New Form of Coenzyme Q10 for Advanced Absorption.” It had superior absorption to powdered CoQ10 regardless of whether the ingredient was provided as powder in a hard capsule or suspended in oil in a soft capsule.
That’s a clear advantage for manufacturers, because it allows them the flexibility to include BioQ10 SA in chewable products, hard capsules, granules, powders, or tablets. You’d also want to know about the long-term changes in human plasma concentration of different types of CoQ10 products.