Roughly 610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year, about one in every four deaths, according to a recent study. Heart disease remains the single leading cause of death in America, resulting in over 40% of all healthcare investments.
With healthy nutrition and moderate exercise, however, it is possible to promote or restore healthy heart function as nutrition and moderate exercise reduce chances of heart-related issues. There are key nutrients that work better than others in nourishing the heart.
Below is important heart health nutrition from PERQUE Integrative Health:
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) or “ubiquinone” is located in small amounts in a variety of foods, and is synthesized in all tissues from the amino acid tyrosine. CoQ10 was first isolated from beef heart mitochondria by Dr. Frederick Crane in 1957(2,3). During that same year, Professor Morton of England defined a compound obtained from vitamin A deficient rat liver to be the same as CoQ10(4). In 1958, Professor Karl Folkers and coworkers determined the precise chemical structure of CoQ10, synthesized it, and were the first to produce it by fermentation.
CoQ10 is an important factor in mitochondria energy production. The mitochondria are the power stations of our cells. The electron transport energy system in the mitochondria can create more energy – in the form of ATP – than any other energy-producing system in the body. However, without CoQ10 ATP production is greatly diminished. Without ATP there is no cellular energy. Without cellular energy there is cell death. CoQ10 is therefore essential for life.
CoQ10 and the Heart
CoQ10 is known to be highly concentrated in heart muscle cells due to the high energy requirements of these cells. For example, congestive heart failure (from a wide variety of causes) has been strongly correlated with significantly low blood and tissue levels of CoQ10 (5). The severity of heart failure correlates with the severity of CoQ10 deficiency (6). The progression of heart failure can be slowed significantly by reversing CoQ10 deficiency. In the heart, CoQ10 is responsible for:
– Increasing energy production in the heart
– Increasing the heart’s ability to contract
– Lowering blood pressure
Production of CoQ10 is known to reduce with age and because of certain dietary deprivations like the lack of good fats. Additionally, medications such as statin drugs canreduce CoQ10 production typically by about 50%. Statin medications also carry a lot of side effects. So, it makes sense for anyone on statin medication to supplement with CoQ10 for natural and safe cardiac support (7).
CoQ10 Absorption and Uptake: Micellization
CoQ10 is lipophilic (fat loving) rather than hydrophilic (water loving). This means it is not soluble in water and therefore harder to bring into the body. While some recommend taking dry CoQ10 with a fat source (e.g. olive oil or peanut butter) to facilitate uptake that is likely to produce only minimal improvement in absorption (5% – 10%) at best. Some utilize chemical solvents such as propylene and ethylene glycol to deliver CoQ10 into cells. These aren’t suitable methods of providing the body a proper amount of CoQ10.
A more effective method of delivering meaningful amounts of CoQ10 is through a process called micellization. This advanced delivery method disperses active CoQ10 into tiny droplets of oil for vastly improved uptake. The choice of oil used makes a difference in uptake as well. Other oils such as soy bean oil, peanut oil and other hydrogenated oil actually retard rather than facilitate the CoQ10 uptake. Oils with high gamma oryzanol content, such as rice bran oil, can deliver a 3 to 6-fold increase in CoQ10 uptake.
Ubiqinone or Ubiquinol
Initial industrial reports and studies suggested that the body utilizes the reduced form of CoQ10 (ubiquinol) better than the oxidized form (ubiquinone), however the findings have not been so consistent and solid.10 When giving ubiqinone in the micellized method as in PERQUE Mito Guard Plus, optimum absorption is facilitated.
Statins and CoQ10
Statins are a class of medicines that are frequently used to lower blood cholesterol levels. These medications are able to block the action of an enzyme called HMG CoA reductase11 that is necessary for making cholesterol in the liver. Due to this action, they also inhibit the body’s ability to make its own CoQ10. Supplementation of CoQ10 is therefore critical in anyone who is taking statins.
Healthy people who want to maintain a high level of health with advancing years might need 60 mg/day. Someone who wants to enhance heart or brain healthfulness and function might need 100-1200 mg/day for a period of a month or two until the health of the heart or brain has been efficiently and effectively restored. CoQ10 intake may then be reduced to a maintenance level of 60 to 300mg/day, depending on individual need.
- CDC, NCHS. Underlying Cause of Death 1999-2013 on CDC WONDER Online Database, released 2015. 2. Langsjoen, Peter H. Introduction to coenzyme Q10 (web)
- Crane F L, Hatefi Y, Lester R I, Widmer C. Isolation of a quinone from beef heart mitochondria. In: Biochimica et Biophys. Acta, 1957; 25: 220-221.
- Morton R A, Wilson G M, Lowe J S, Leat W M F Ubiquinone. In: Chemical Industry, 1649, 1957.
- Folkers K, Vadhanavikit S, Mortensen S A. Biochemical rationale and myocardial tissue data on the effective therapy of cardiomyopathy with coenzyme Q10. In: Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., U.S.A., 1985: 82(3); 901-904.
- Mortensen S A, Vadhanavikit S, Folkers K. Deficiency of coenzyme Q10 in myocardial failure. In: Drugs Exptl. Clin. Res. 1984; X(7): 497-502.
- Langsjoen P H, Langsjoen J O, Langsjoen A M, Lucas L A. Treatment of statin adverse effects with supplemental Coenzyme Q10 and statin drug discontinuation. Biofactors. 2005; 25(1-4):147-152.
- Elisaf M, Bairaktari E, Katopodis K, Pappas M, Sferopoulos G, Tzallas C, Tsolas O, Siamopoulos KC.Effect of L-carnitine supplementation on lipid parameters in hemodialysis patients.Am J Nephrol. 1998;18(5): 416-4219. Xiang D, Sun Z, Xia J, Dong N, Du X, Chen X. Effect of L-carnitine on cardiomyocyte apoptosis and cardiac function in patients undergoing heart valve replacement operation. J Huazhong Univ Sci Technolog Med Sci. 2005; 25(5):501-504.
- Ryo K, Ito A, Takatori R, Tai Y, Arikawa K, Seido T, Yamada T, Shinpo K, Tamaki Y, Fujii K, Yamamoto Y, Saito I. Effects of coenzyme Q10 on salivary secretion. Clin Biochem.2011 Jun;44(8-9):669-74.
- Richard Deichmann, MD,*Carl Lavie, MD,†and Samuel Andrews, MD‡ Coenzyme Q10 and Statin-Induced Mitochondrial Dysfunction. Ochsner J. 2010 Spring; 10(1): 16–21.
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