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Why Aren’t You Taking CoQ10?

By now, you've probably heard Dr. Mike preach everything there is to know about the amazing benefits of CoQ10.

However, some of you may still have questions about the supplement and wonder why it's SO great.

Co-enzyme Q10 is an enzyme co-factor found within your body that is necessary for your cells' basic functions.

CoQ10 has been used for many years as a natural way to aid in treating heart failure, cancer, high blood pressure, Parkinson's disease, and diabetes, and extending your life span overall.

Even though it's been used in the holistic community for many years, recently it's been making its way into modern medicine. A great deal of doctors are finally catching on to the amazing benefits CoQ10 has to offer and are recommending it to many of their patients.

So, why aren't you taking it?

Dr. Mike reviews the clinical benefits of Coq10, as well as how it can help ease migraines, heart, stroke, MS, and Parkinson's and extend longevity.

RadioMD Presents:Healthy Talk | Original Air Date: March 30, 2015
Host: Michael Smith, MD

Anti-aging and disease prevention radio is right here on RadioMD. Here's author, blogger, lecturer and national medical media personality, Dr. Michael Smith, MD, with Healthy Talk.

DR MIKE: So, recently, I did a survey of some family and friends and some church friends of mine—about 50 people total—and I asked them how many of them took supplements. About 50 people total. About 65% said they took supplements, but when I started asking about specific nutrients, I thought this was kind of surprising. Only about 10% take CoQ10 and about half of my friends and family members that were surveyed had never really heard of CoQ10. As a matter of fact, a couple of them were taking CoQ10 and they really didn't know why. It turns out, they were on a statin drug that lowers cholesterol. So, their doctor told them. I don't want to sound like a broken record, but I guess I have to because I think that's way too low. I consider CoQ10 to be one of my four foundational supplements. Right? I've got a multivitamin, the Omega 3 oils, probiotic and, of course, CoQ10. I guess I was assuming more people who take supplements would be taking CoQ10 and they're not. So, let's talk, again, why I think it's important to take this foundational nutrient.

First of C, the full name is coenzyme Q10. What does that mean? It means that it's not an enzyme, but it helps enzymes. Coenzyme. A partner with enzymes. The mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell where food energy and oxygen come together to make ATP, adenosine triphosphate. That's your energy currency for the cell. It's a high energy molecule. When you break it up, it releases energy to drive cell function. There are several steps, a series of steps, chemical reactions, that occur to make ATP and they're run by enzymes. There are several enzymes that are involved in the production of energy currency. CoQ10 helps those enzymes. If you take CoQ10 out, those enzymes can't work as efficiently and you're not going to make near as much ATP as the cell actually needs. That's why it's so important.

It turns out CoQ10 is also just a good antioxidant. Now, I know there was a study recently and I talked about this study, questioning CoQ10 as an antioxidant, but that was just one study. As of now, based on other studies, CoQ10 is also a really good antioxidant. So, it's a nutrient that supports health mitochondria function, healthy ATP production and it's an antioxidant. Very, very important. That's why I consider it foundational.

It turns out, as we get older, we lose the amount of CoQ10 in our cells. You know, I think the classic way that more and more people understand the way that CoQ10 is depleted is when you take, as I mentioned before, the statin medications. Statin drugs, Lipitor is the big one out there. Crestor is a drug that I actually worked on at AstraZeneca several years ago and these statin medications deplete C. That's why doctors, more and more, they should be, at least, giving CoQ10 with statins. But, it turns out, it's not just statin that depletes C, just the aging process does. As a matter of fact, one study concluded that statins can reduce plasma CoQ10 levels by 40%, but normal aging by 72%.

So, just getting older you lose C. I had a question recently by a listener, "Why do I always talk about losing things as we get older?" We lose hormones. We lose antioxidants. Now, I'm telling you we lose C. That's because the cells that produce these compounds and these hormones just aren't able to function as well. That's why we lose the ability to produce and maintain these important nutrients like C.

So, now, let's go back to taking CoQ10 on a daily basis as a foundational nutrient. There are two basic forms of CoQ10 on the market, ubiquinone and ubiquinol. You definitely want to do the ubiquinol form. That's the form that absorbs up to 8 times better than the original ubiquinone. There's even an added ingredient that I know Life Extension uses and I'm not sure if others companies do this, but it's called shilajit.

It's peat moss or it's a compound from peat moss that's been known for centuries as a vitality nutrient. Turns out when you add shilajit to C, you deliver more of the CoQ10 to the mitochondria. So, you get more delivery to the actually target organelle in the cell called the mitochondria. So, at Life Extension, we talk a lot about CoQ10 with shilajit. Of course, it's the ubiquinol form of C. So, yes, I think you should be taking the ubiquinol form of C. Whether or not you do it with shilajit or not, that's up to you. I, personally, do. I like the combination and I, again, I consider it a foundational nutrient. I tease people sometimes when I do lectures and I've said this before. You know, looking out, maybe there's 100, 150-200 people and I'll make a broad statement like, "I know how everybody's going to die."

I know that sounds kind of morbid, but I'm setting up a message here. But, I know how everybody is going to die. Eventually your cells stop making energy. Now, why they do that, that's different. That could be from cancer, heart disease, whatever. But, the how is, you stop making cell energy. When that happens, the heart fails, the muscles fail, the nerves fail, the brain. I mean, it just fails and so, as a matter of fact, most of the original longevity research looked at loss of cell energy production. I mean, it makes sense. If we're dying off, if our cells are dying and eventually we die, it must mean we're not functioning and so maybe we're losing our energy connection.

So, you know, that's why it's foundational. It really goes to living healthy, living healthier longer. But, you know, it's not just about longevity. I mean, CoQ10 has all kinds of benefits. Let me just review some of the benefits to the heart. We know that heart failure patients, for instance, for a variety of reasons. It could be past infections, past heart attacks, valve problems. Whatever it is. In some cases, peoples' hearts don't pump out the blood as well as it should. That's known as ejection fraction. It's the fraction of blood that is actually pumped out to the body and as your heart becomes weaker and weaker, even just with age, that ejection can drop. Well, several studies support CoQ10 in increasing ejection fractions.

As a matter of fact, there was a review that investigated 19 different clinical trials looking at CoQ10 and heart failure and what they found was that CoQ10 supplementation across the board, in all of these 19 human clinical studies significantly improved ejection fraction, on average of about 4-5%. I mean, maybe 4-5% doesn't mean anything to you, but as a medical doctor, an increase of 4-5% in ejection fraction is significant. It can be the difference of not being able to get out of bed and being able to get out of bed and do something. It still baffles me a little bit why CoQ10 is not a part of the standard regimen for heart failure patients.

There was another, really, what I consider ground breaking study, published in the European Journal of Heart Failure. It was called the "Q-Simbio Trial". "Q" standing for CoQ10 and this was a 10-year study that showed the following results. Again ,a 10-year study called "Q-Simbio". It showed that people who took 100mg of CoQ10 were significantly less likely to die from heart failure, significantly less likely to die from any cause, significantly less likely to have a major adverse cardiac event during the study period compared with controlled subjections. One hundred milligrams of C.

So then, preparing for this little review about CoQ10 and my frustration of why my friends and family members aren't listening to me, obviously, I did a quick PubMed search. I just put in CoQ10 and I could pull up several human clinical studies showing CoQ10 supporting nerve and brain disorders, muscle disorders, mood disorders, chronic fatigue syndrome, heart disorders, obviously, and digestive disorders. Ubiquinol C, at least 100mg a day, is foundational.

This is Healthy Talk on RadioMD. I'm Dr. Mike. Stay well.