Twenty-four million Americans are taking it, but if you ask the average person, they’ve never heard of it. That’s why I call CoQ10 the miracle supplement nobody knows about.
I’ve been taking 1 CoQ10 for 13 years and counting.
I’m in my 60’s and I feel like I’m in my 30’s.
That’s why I take it.
I started taking it originally as nutrition for my heart and brain. But I was really amazed at the energy it provided as a “side benefit”.
CoQ10 lives in the mitochondria of almost every cell in your body. They’re the engines that produce energy inside of your cells. The cells of certain vital organs like your brain, heart, kidneys and liver have more CoQ10 because of the critical functions they perform.
Every cell has from 500 to 2000 mitochondria. The mitochondria take carbohydrates and fats that you consume, combine them with oxygen and make something similar to high octane fuel to stoke your vital organs and muscles. CoQ10 is sort of like the carburetor that helps in the mixing process. VRROOM!
If there was one supplement I couldn’t live without, it’s CoQ10. If I had to give up every other supplement I take… and could only choose one… it would be CoQ10.
It’s that important to me and it’s that important to you. The difference is, you just don’t know it yet.
CoQ10 is an enzyme, a nutrient, a vitamin like substance. Its full name is Co Enzyme Q10. You’ll also hear it referred to as ubiquinone because biochemist found it to be ubiquitous or widespread within many living organisms.
By the way. *Throughout this article you’ll hear me refer to CoQ10 and Ubiquinol. Please be aware that they’re the same thing but in different forms.
Now, here’s the thing.
Your body manufactures it in plentiful supply up until around the age of 20. At that point the amount your body makes starts to decline quite rapidly as you get older.
Not having enough CoQ10 contributes to a lack of energy. You hear people jokingly say, “I’m just getting old.” Well, they’re right, but in many cases, they’re getting older much quicker than they have to.
Lack of energy contributes to the aging process. When you don’t have much energy, your muscles weaken and you become less active. When you become less active your body’s vital organs don’t work as well as they should. When your vital organs don’t work like they should you open yourself up to sickness and disease and on and on and on…
Coronary artery disease, diabetes, Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s, high blood pressure, cancer, strokes.
There’s a domino effect.
A lack of Coq10 can be said to contribute to all of these.
Does that mean if you take CoQ10 you won’t get any of these diseases? No.
But, what it does mean is – when you have adequate amounts of CoQ10, your body is more likely to be healthy and a healthy body is able to ward off disease and damage from free radicals. Not to mention all the extra energy you’ll have.
A Brief History
In 1957 a biochemist and Ph. D. named Fred Crane was working as an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin’s Enzyme Institute. He and his team were involved in researching the mysterious biomechanical sequence involved with cellular energy production.
While they felt they could “partially” put the sequence together, something was missing. And it was Fred’s job was to find the missing link.
While working with beef hearts, Crane discovered a yellowish substance that he determined was a quinone. Quinones are a family of organic compounds that have to do with energy conversion.
Feeling like he was on to something, Crane had a sample sent to a gentleman named Karl Folkers, another Ph. D. who was working for Merck, Sharpe and Dohme in New Jersey.
Folkers confirmed that the substance was a quinone as Crane had suspected and was indeed the missing link they were looking for. Then in 1978 British biochemist Peter Mitchell, Ph. D. won a Nobel Peace Prize in chemistry for describing the process of cellular power production. Needless to say, Coq10 was a critical part of the process that helped them confirm the biomechanical sequence involved with cellular energy production.
Prior to that, in 1972, Folkers and an Italian researcher, Gian Paolo Littarru, M. D., made a critical discovery when they uncovered that people with heart disease were deficient in guess what… CoQ10.
For a number of years after this discovery, much of the research was around the heart and cardiovascular system. More recently scientist have found promising uses of CoQ10 against cancer, disorders of the brain and muscles as well as its potential with “antiaging”.
At The Heart Of The Matter
Peter Langsjoen is a Texas Cardiologist and has worked with over 10,000 patients. He says that CoQ10 is the “backbone” of his practice and that he couldn’t even imagine practicing medicine without it. He also believes “Using CoQ10 is like watering a dry plant. And it’s that powerful. The sicker the patient, the more striking the results. It’s most powerful therapeutic application is for any impairment in heart muscle function because the heart uses such a huge amount of energy. That’s where you see the very dramatic lifesaving changes.”
I mentioned earlier that the vital organs have more mitochondria than other areas of the body because of the critical functions they perform. The heart muscle itself accounts for 25% of all the mitochondria in the body.
So, that oughta tell you how important it is for your heart to have the necessary amount of CoQ10. Remember… as the heart goes, so goes the rest of the body.
In one of their reports, Karl Folkers, and both Per and Peter Langsjoen talked about a study with 11 candidates for heart transplants. One of them was a 64 year old African American male whose coronary disease was considered inoperable. After taking CoQ10 for six months his condition had improved so dramatically that Dr.’s placed NO limitations at all on his activities.
Think about that. His heart was in such bad shape that he was on the list to receive a heart transplant and six months later, without any type of surgery, his doctor put no restrictions on any type of activity.
And all he did was start consuming CoQ10.
Folkers said, “Even if you treat a patient with a conventional drug, the CoQ10 deficiency still remains. There is no cardiovascular drug that can do for the human body what CoQ10 can do.”
Considering that Per and Peter Langsjoen are both M.D.’s who were trained to use traditional pharmaceuticals in treatment of heart disease, that’s an incredible statement.
So why aren’t more doctors recommending CoQ10?
Well, one of the big reasons it that big pharma doesn’t promote it. Hmmm…
It’s not something like a drug that is patentable. And if it’s not patentable, yeah… you guessed it, big pharma can’t make any money from it. In case you didn’t know, the pharmaceutical companies are not in the business of health care. They’re in the business of “managed sickness”.
More sickness, more drugs, more money.
Another reason is, in the fields of chemistry and biochemistry, CoQ10 is no longer revolutionary since its discovery in 1957. However, it’s application for use in modern medicine for the most part “is” revolutionary and for that reason there is sort of a natural push-back from the status quo.
In many cases drugs address the symptoms of your illness but don’t address the reason why you’re sick. Uncovering and addressing the reason you’re sick is managed health care.
Don’t get me wrong, there is a place for drugs. If it weren’t for certain drugs some people wouldn’t be alive, have their eye sight or many other things we take for granted. But as a society, we are way, way, way, over prescribed.
The Cholesterol Lowering Myth And Statin Drugs
Over 40 years ago, before his death in 1980, former Merck CEO, Henry Gadsen told Fortune Magazine about his dream to expand Merck’s market for drugs to even the healthy people. Well, in a lot of ways his dream has come true. Especially when it comes to cholesterol lowering drugs, commonly known as statins.
These drugs now generate over $30 billion dollars annually and estimates indicate that as many as 30 million people may be on these drugs.
It used to be no big deal when you went in for your annual physical and your cholesterol was around 300, keeping in mind that other factors were normal. Since the creation of statin drugs, it seems like doctors are doing whatever they can to get your cholesterol lower than 200. It doesn’t seem like they even consider related factors such as blood pressure and other heart health indicators.
My wife had this experience when her Dr. put her on a statin drug without any trial period or other testing and after two weeks told her she would need to be on it for the rest of her life. She did a little research and found a new doctor who suggested she address any cholesterol concerns with diet and exercise.
I guess if you see enough of your patients have heart attacks, or die, after you’ve put them on a statin drug to decrease their chances of a heart attack, you start to recognize that sumthin’ aint right.
Here’s the problem. For the most part, statins reduce your cholesterol so little it’s almost ridiculous.
Not only that, they deplete whatever small amount of Coq10 your body is making and most doctors don’t even tell you that. That, however, is slowly changing as more and more cardiologist are seeing the negative effects of statins without supplementing with CoQ10.
Keep reading and I’ll show you why.
So, they’re putting you on a drug to lower your cholesterol which at the same time is robbing your heart of its energy and causing the muscle of the heart to stiffen.
In addition, because it’s robbing you of your good cholesterol, there’s a good chance you could become diabetic. What?
And they call that health care?
The Greek philosopher, Epictetus wrote; appearances are of four kinds:
1) Things are as they appear to be
2) They neither are, nor appear to be
3) They are, but do not appear to be
4) They are not, but appear to be
In a seminar on heart disease given to a number of audiences the following question was posed: Would you take a drug every day for 5 years if it…
A. Lowered your chance of having a heart attack by 33%.
B. Lowered your chance of having a heart attack from 3% to 2%, a difference of 1%.
C. Saved one person in one hundred from having a heart attack, but there was no way to tell in advance who that person would be.
About 80-90% of attendees usually raised their hands for “A”.
Usually about 20% responded to B and C.
The funny thing is. A, B and C are all the same answer.
Here’s why. There are RELATIVE numbers and ABSOLUTE numbers.
Let’s say you’re an average person with no heart issues, and risk factor for a heart attack was 3%. If you took a drug for 5 years and reduced your risk factor by 33%, your risk would now be 2%. 33% of 3 is 1.
33% is the RELATIVE number. 1% is the ABSOLUTE number.
Several studies have indicated that when patients are given the ABSOLUTE number they are less likely to choose a drug. The RELATIVE numbers are just a way of presenting the numbers to make you think their drugs do more than they really do.
When it comes to heart disease and high blood pressure, the best these types of therapies have ever been known to do is provide a 1% decrease in the risk of a non-fatal heart attack.
While these drugs do have their place in particular circumstances, they aren’t for the healthy.
Don’t be a fool… or fooled by the numbers.
Save yourself some money. CoQ10 can provide the nutrition and energy your heart needs. Exercise and a diet rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, apple cider vinegar, as well as fish oil can help clean plaque from your arteries and put you on a much healthier path.
What About High Blood Pressure, Diabetes And Stuff?
We know that as you age you become depleted of CoQ10. We also know that with age comes a stiffening and thickening of the heart muscle which is considered normal.
Dr. Peter Langsjoen believes it’s the deficiency of CoQ10 that causes the heart muscle to stiffen. As a result of that, adrenaline is released which then causes high blood pressure. He did an informal study with 16 older patients at his clinic, none of whom were taking CoQ10. Images of the echocardiograms showed they all had stiffening of the heart muscle which is typical for people their age. After being treated with CoQ10 the stiffening subsided in all of them.
In addition, after treating hundreds more of his clinic’s patients with high blood pressure for three to six months with CoQ10, they’ve been able to “normalize” their blood pressure. Not only that, their heart muscle stiffness and elevated heart rate were also normalized.
Langsjoen believes that high blood pressure may not have to be a consequence of age.
Dr. Stephen Sinatra, a Connecticut cardiologist who has worked with CoQ10 with his heart patients for over 20 years says he’s been able to slowly reduce their cardiac medications by half.
Many diabetes patients are obese, have elevated blood sugar and may have high cholesterol. As a result, many of them are put on you know what… statin drugs, to lower their cholesterol. Unfortunately, many patients become Type II diabetic as a result of being put on statin drugs such as Crestor and others. As I just explained, statin drugs decrease or stop production of CoQ10. **What happens is, the lack of cellular energy messes up insulin signaling and can result in chronically elevated insulin levels leading to diabetes.
Since CoQ10 is the life source of cellular energy, it’s critical that patients with this condition be supplementing with CoQ10.
A Boost To Your Immune System
So, we’ve talked about what CoQ10 can do to strengthen your heart and protect your heart against heart attacks. We’ve also talked about what it can do for those who are recovering from a heart attack or are taking statin drugs to lower cholesterol. We’ve spoken about how critical it is in prevention of Type II diabetes for those that are taking statin drugs.
Since, it is the fuel that stokes the furnaces of your body’s cells, it may not come as a surprise that it also shores up your immune system.
Studies have shown that people who take CoQ10 are sick less often. If they do get sick, it’s not as severe and they are able to get well quicker.
There are stories of reduction in size of breast cancer tumors in women and in some cases complete disappearance of the tumors.
People with cancer may want to consider the following reasons for taking CoQ10:
- Because it is a major antioxidant, it helps combat free radical activity that leads to degenerative diseases including cancer.
- While chemotherapy is used to try and eliminate cancer, it’s widely destructive to your internal organs. It also produces free radicals and severely weakens the immune system. Some chemotherapy drugs are said to contribute to poisoning of the heart by causing oxidative stress and reducing the body’s ability to produce CoQ10.
- By increasing your cellular energy, you increase the power of your immune system to fight disease
- While your body’s ability to produce CoQ10 naturally decreases with age, there seems to be an age-related relationship with your immune system being able to combat disease when levels of CoQ10 are too low
- Cancer seems to occur more in the elderly whose immune systems are not as responsive without a little help
The Link Between Gum Disease And Heart Disease
When I first heard about a link between gum (periodontal) disease and heart disease, I didn’t get it.
How does what’s going on in your mouth have anything to do with what’s going on in your heart?
Here’s the answer.
There are 85 million Americans with some sort of heart disease. There are 200 million Americans with a form of gum disease. Research show that those with gum disease are twice as likely to acquire heart disease.
What researchers speculate.
The bacteria present in gum disease is the same bacteria present in heart disease.
It works like this.
Bacteria from around the teeth cause the gums to become inflamed. During your normal routine of eating, chewing and brushing, bacteria break off and enter the bloodstream.
The natural response from the body to this is for the arteries to become inflamed. This means they start to swell. This is because the good guys, armies of white blood cells, are rushing to the area to see what they can do to help. Unfortunately, the bacteria latch onto fatty deposits in the bloodstream and start to cause blockage which leads to the arteries becoming hardened. At this point there’s danger of the artery becoming blocked by these deposits or pieces of hardened placque breaking off and blocking the artery leading to a heart attack or a stroke.
What’s CoQ10 got to do with it?
When CoQ10 is coupled with a comprehensive program from your dental professional to reduce gum disease, it not only helps in recovery from the procedures, it helps eliminate the bacteria itself.
Just another way it helps protect your heart as an antioxidant and protector of your immune system.
How Much Should I Take?
At this point, if you’re not sold on the value of taking CoQ10/Ubiquinol to:
- provide the essential energy for your heart and brain that your body can’t adequately provide after age 20
- as an anti-aging supplement
- as an immune system booster
- protect your teeth from gum disease which can lead to heart disease
- lower your blood pressure
- protect your heart from the negative effects of statin drugs… then thanks for reading.
But… if you’re ready to take your health into your own hands and embark on a course of action that can reward you for the rest of your life, I applaud you.
Keep reading for some final tips.
Life is too short and too precious not to be shared with friends, family and loved ones for as long as possible.
Here are a few guide lines on how to take CoQ10.
If you’re over 40, take Ubiquinol. That’s the liquid form of CoQ10 that comes in a caplet. Regular CoQ10 is harder to absorb after 40. Since Ubiquinol is the reduced or already broken-down form, it’s absorbed much easier into the blood stream.
If you’re over 30, I think it makes sense to take at least 100 mg per day especially if you’re athletic.
For those over 40, Dr. Stephen Sinatra suggest 100 mg a day as a preventative dose. If you’re older and feel fatigued, he recommends up to 200 mg per day to help prevent heart attacks along with 200 IUs of natural vitamin E for women and 200-400 IUs for men.
CoQ10 is fat soluble so it needs to be taken with something fatty. The easy way to do this is to take it with a fish oil capsule. You should be taking fish oil for your heart and brain anyway. You can take it with a meal, with some butter… Mmmm… or a spoonful of coconut oil or olive oil. Even if you’re taking Ubiquinol, CoQ10 in its reduced form that’s more absorbable, it’s still fat soluble. Again, I think the easiest way to take it is with a capsule of fish oil/omega 3 or another healthy oil.
Based on all of its powerful benefits, I recommend taking it for the rest of your life. Why wouldn’t you?
If you’re taking 200 mg daily, Dr. Langsjoen recommends 100 in the morning and 100 at night.
It’s a good idea, if possible, to have your blood levels checked. Lots of times if you can get your doctor to include it in your blood work for your annual physical, your insurance company will pay for it. But check with your insurance company first. They’re going to want to know the blood work “codes” for the CoQ10 blood test that hopefully you can get from your doctor’s office.
To obtain therapeutic levels experts say your levels need to be between 2.5 and 3.5. This can only be obtained from sustained supplementation.
There are a wide range of costs when choosing a brand of CoQ10. Just because the price is lower does not mean it’s an inferior product, although some would argue with me about this. I’ve seen pricing for a month’s supply from $12 to $70. So, do some experimentation based on your budget. If you’re seeing a difference in your level of energy, you’ll know it’s working. By the way, this is not the same feeling you’ll get from an artificial stimulant like caffeine or coffee. You don’t need to be afraid of any jitters, anxiety, or not being able to sleep at night.
CoQ10 And Modern Medicine
As the American people have become more and more aware of alternative medicine, large hospitals have created “integrated medicine” clinics. These clinics take an approach that combines what they consider the best of two worlds. Drugs, to attack the symptoms of illness and nutritional supplements to help the body heal itself and eliminate the source of the illness or disease.
The late Karl Folkers, one of the original researchers of CoQ10, believed that supplementing with CoQ10 had enormous application in medicine in several areas including, brain disorders, cancer and heart disease. He said, “When you favorably affect the bioenergetics of your cells, the results show up in ALL tissues.”
I don’t know about you, but I’m still sold on CoQ10 being the number one supplement I couldn’t do without.
The powerful effect it has on helping the body rid itself of disease is one thing. But its:
- fortification of your immune system against illness
- protection against gum disease
- and cellular energy benefits make it, for me… impossible to do without.
1 When I use the words Coq10 or Ubiquinol throughout this article, I’m referring to the same thing. Ubiquinol is CoQ10 in its liquid or reduced form which makes it far easier to absorb. Most professionals recommend that if you’re over forty that you take Ubiquinol for this reason.
2 Chen CF. Does coenzyme Q10 play a role in the risk of new-onset diabetes due to statins? Int J Cardiol. 2016;225:260-1.