Patient Feedback Stimulates A Review
In the last month I have had two patients comment on energy and CoQ10. One lady was one of my recovered breast cancer patients and the other was a patient that carries a familial risk in that area. They were both on physiological doses of CoQ10, when for various reasons they discontinued it for a period of a few months. In retrospect, they both said that they had noticeably more fatigue in that time frame, and when they restarted their CoQ10 supplementation they noticed revitalization, a very noticeable improvement in overall energy.
Research Confirms A Connection
These patient experiences are important, and in keeping with findings by the Karolinska Institute in breast cancer research. Many years ago they found that when physiological doses of CoQ10 were added to a comprehensive supplemental program for terminal breast cancer patients, an unexpected number of them went into sustained remission, and in the remainder, the cancer progression was appreciably reduced. So now let me tie the two together so it makes sense. Later we can talk about CoQ10’s role in the areas of increased energy, heart health, anti-oxidant activity, skin health, dosage, and some meds that interfere with CoQ10 production.
CoQ10, Cancer Physiology And Energy Production
Healthy cells fulfill their energy requirements via oxidative Phosphorylation, or the use of oxygen. CoQ10, as an electron donor, plays a major role in the process. When cells can’t make sufficient energy using oxygen, they switch to making energy by ‘burning’ sugar. It’s called glycolysis. If a cell makes its energy via glycolysis for a protracted period, that cell becomes confused and begins to function disharmoniously with the surrounding cells. If that continues long enough, the risk of genetic aberration and cancer increases exponentially. This was first published in the early part of the last century by Otto Warburg, M.D., Ph.D., so it isn’t new information. What is new information is the research by Professor Brian Peskin (google Brian Peskin and prepare to get excited) explaining why cells most commonly switch from oxidative energy production to the burning of sugar (glycolysis). Obviously, we want to keep our cells using oxygen, and CoQ10 helps the body do that.
President Nixon’s “War on Cancer” was lost a long time ago, which is why you don’t hear about it any more. With cancer, the obvious approach to reduced the numbers has to be prevention, and anything that reduces cells switching their energy production to glycolysis is a big step in the right direction.
How Do You Know If You Need It?
As we age we make less CoQ10. It starts to decline in our twenties, and many people are functioning at critically low levels by the time they are in their 50’s. I take a bottle of CoQ10 (100mg per pill) every year to see if I can notice an increase in energy, and I haven’t yet. The original research suggested that you should be able to tell the difference if you took a 30 mg pill of CoQ10 a day for a month, but the latest research suggests that the proper test dosage is 100mg a day. The lay literature is suggesting everyone over 30 needs to supplement with CoQ10, but I don’t support that position. I have numerous patients in their 30’s and 40’s who notice energy increases when they take 100mg of CoQ10 every day, but I also have numerous patients who are in their 50’s and 60’s who test themselves regularly and appear to not need it yet, myself included. Of course, as the body ages, needs change, so eventually we will all benefit from supplementing CoQ10, but why spend money supplementing CoQ10 if you don’t need it yet?
Let’s Not Forget CoQ10 And The Heart
Initially, CoQ10 was lauded for its role in cellular respiration, and because the heart uses more energy than other organs the thrust of research was in the cardiovascular direction with emphasis on increased energy production. Use of CoQ10 in heart disease, especially congestive heart failure, has been routine in Japan for over a decade. Most of the CoQ10 research has been done overseas, and American M.D.’s tend to overlook it because it wasn’t done here, however, that seems to be changing with time. My dearest friend, who recently passed away, couldn’t walk from a restaurant to the car without stressing his heart, but after taking CoQ10 he could walk around the block with no problems at all. For those with congestive heart failure it can be a miracle pill.
The Most Recent Findings
The latest truly important research with CoQ10 is the discovery of its neuro-protective role in Parkinson’s Disease, Huntington’s, Alzheimer’s, Freidreich’s ataxia, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). A lesser discovery is CoQ10’s ability to protect skin from oxidative damage, and it is now found in many natural skin care products such as wrinkle defense creams and skin toners.
A big problem with CoQ10 is that its production is hampered by certain medications, most notably the Statin drugs used for lowering cholesterol. It is imperative that everyone taking Statins must additionally supplement CoQ10. A number of cardiologists have written books on this subject but mainline cardiologists have been slow to respond. Birth control pills can also block the production of CoQ10, so young women taking those pills and experiencing fatigue should try supplementing with CoQ10 to see if it makes a difference.
As more supplements are made in Asia, quality becomes a question that should be on every purchasers mind. There is no good cheap CoQ10. That’s unfortunate, but true. Preventics professional quality CoQ10, 100mg, normally sells for $66.00 for 30 capsules. We discount them to $33.00 a bottle to make them more affordable.