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We are grateful to Anne Marie Rasmussen from Canada who has written about :Co-Enzyme Q10
Co-Enzyme Q10 is a natural product which is used by some Cavalier King Charles Spaniel breeders as a supplement when their dogs develop heart murmurs. While there has been little testing of this product in dogs, there is empirical evidence that it is helpful in managing Mitral Valve Disease. There is considerable on-going study into Co-Enzyme Q10 in humans and so far the research is showing that it is helpful in treating cardiac problems as well as peridontal problems. It is now being prescribed as a medication in the treatment of cardiac disease in humans.
I have included some research that I have found on the subject and hope that it may be found to be useful to some.
Q-10 is an essential component of the mitochondrial membranes. The mitochondria are intracellular structures that manufacture ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) the basic energy molecule. They extract about 95% of the total energy from foods you eat, use the food molecules' stored chemical energy to pump protons across the mitochondrial membrane, and produce energy from carbohydrates and lipids in nearly every cell of your body. Since coenzyme Q-10 plays a critical role in this process, sufficient amounts must be available to sustain life itself.
More CoQ-10 is found in the heart tissue than in any other muscle of the body. Dr. Karl Folkers, University of Texas (Austin), recognized as the father of CoQ research in the U.S., together with Japanese co-worker Tatsuo Watanabe compared blood samples from 100 patients suffering from CHD (coronary heart disease) with a control group of the general population with no diagnosed heart problems. The CoQ levels for the cardiac sufferers were significantly lower: 25% less than those of healthy subjects. Through time Dr. Folkers conducted his own thorough studies and reviewed Japanese studies. He found that heart tissue was deficient in CoQ-10 in about 75% of all heart victims and that therapeutic effects were reported in at least 70% of all people using the supplement.
Your heart beats 70 times a minute, 100,000 times a day, and pumps the equivalent of 2,500 - 5,000 gallons of blood per day through some 60,000 miles of blood vessels. With each beat, blood travels as far as your big toes and back again, nourishing trillions of cells within your body. Since the demands upon your hearts' energy are so great, current research supports the supposition that heart disease may be connected to insufficient CoQ-10.
According to Dr. Roger Williams of the University of Texas: "It has been found that Co-Enzyme Q-10, a vital link in the metabolic machinery of living cells, is often deficient in the heart tissues of cardiac patients, while in the tissues of patients who's hearts are healthy (biopsy specimens), this deficiency does not exist.
" High blood pressure, the "silent killer" because its victims often have no symptoms, kills over 60,000 people a year and is directly related to more than 250,000 deaths from stroke and cardiovascular disease. High blood pressure contributes to conditions such as arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and atherosclerosis (cholesterol plaques on the artery walls), both of which are major causes of heart attack. By helping bring blood pressure down, CoQ-10 may significantly reduce the risk of heart at tack and cardiovascular disease.
It appears that this wonderful nutrient is not only useful for treating heart disease and high blood pressure but it can also be utilized to protect the heart from further damage, improve the effects of heart surgery, protect the heart from potentially toxic drugs, and even work as a preventative. In addition, as far back as 1975 experiments showed CoQ-10 to be effective in reversing gum disease. An amazing 30-40% of all Americans have chronic gum disease. As many as 32 million will lose teeth, face pos sible facial disfigurement and worse.
At the forefront in CoQ-10 periodontal research is Dr. Edward G. Wilkinson, an Air Force dentist. In his research, Dr. Wilkinson and his team took tissue samples from over 120 dental patients with periodontal disease. These showed a marked deficiency of CoQ-10. Supplements not only stopped the progress of the disease but initiated what the scientists described as "extraordinary healing tissue healing in five days which would ordinarily be expected in 10-15 days.
Dr. Wilkinson states, "Periodontal tissues are deficient in CoQ-10 when they are diseased and appear to require more CoQ-10 to heal. I believe persons suffering from periodontal disease could benefit from coenzyme Q-10 as an adjunct to routine periodontal therapy." Recent research has shown that periodontal disease is not localized in the gums but is a generalized disease with a heavy involvement of the immune system. Another reason for the success of CoQ-10 treatment of gum disorders is its proven ability to stimulate immune response. Our bodies retain extra supplies of CoQ-10 where they are needed most. Major repositories are the heart, the liver and immune system.
CoQ-10 is an immunostimulating agent that brings extra energy to the cells of the immune system. The extra energy revitalizes the cells so that they can do a better job defending our bodies. Specifically CoQ-10 does not stimulate the production of new cells in the immune system nor does it attack microorganisms. It increases the immunocompetence of the existing cells.
There is an unrefutable link between immune system health and the individual aging process. It is the staying power of the immune system which makes it possible for some people to "age better" than others. Scientific studies have linked decreasing levels of CoQ-10 with human aging. These studies have also lead researchers to believe natural aging's decreasing levels of CoQ-10 may actually play a causative role in the process of aging itself, and correcting these deficiencies by taking supplements can be considered valid anti-aging therapy.
"You're only as young as your immune system," as Bliznakov and Hunt put it. A decrease in immonocompetence is a major symptom of aging and, as scientist are discovering, so is a CoQ-10 deficiency.
NEW STUDY ON CoENZYME Q-10
In a recent issue of The Journal of Optimal Nutrition (Vol. 2, Number 4), a study was published on 154 patients with heart failure so severe that no further conventional therapy was available (except possibly heart transplants). The researchers carefully monitored blood levels of coenzyme Q10, B vitamins and carnitine in these patients and found that deficiencies of vitamin B1 and B6 specifically caused cardiovascular dysfunctions. The levels of carnitine were significantly reduced in patients with dilat ed cardiomyopathy (50% below normal) and inflammatory myocarditis (80% below normal). In the study, coenzyme Q10 was supplemented and almost all of the 154 patients clinically improved. About half of the 154 patients were dying, but after 12 months 97% of them were alive, after 24 months 96% were alive and after 36 months 95% were alive. This survival data on coenzyme Q10 may be compared to data obtained from nine publications on conventional drugs that reported survival of 50-78% at 6 months and 35-65% at 12 months. This extraordinary survival on coenzyme Q10 was superior to conventional drugs and is explained by coenzyme Q10's indispensable role as a mandatory energy cofactor of myocardial function and contractility. Patients with less severe heart disease were treated with 100-150 mg a day of coenzyme Q10, while dying patients were given 150-225 mg a day. Dosages for patients increased whenever blood levels failed to reach 2 micrograms per milliliter and whenever new medications were added.
These patients were followed for up to 58 months. These 154 cases included ischemic cardiomyopathy (coronary artery disease), dilated cardiomyopathy, rheumatic cardiomyopathy, chemotherapy induced cardiomyopathy, and congenital cardiomyopathy. Ninety four percent of these patients improved by one class when treated with dosages of coenzyme Q10 ranging from 100 to 255 mg a day.
In studies published in the major medical journals, FDA approved cardiac drugs produce 50% improvements after 12 months and these studies are the basis for which cardiologists prescribe these medications. Yet none of these FDA approved drugs addresses the underlying cause of these various forms of heart disease, and none of these FDA approved drugs compares to the 97% success rate using high doses of coenzyme Q10.
International research data documents the safety and efficacy of coenzyme Q10 in treating heart disease over a 35 year period of time, far in excess of the very short-term trials in which FDA approved drugs are used to treat cardiomyopathy. An example of conventional medicine overemphasizing the benefits of FDA approved drugs was the 1987 Consensus Trial Study Group in which 50% of cardiomyopathy patients on the drug enalapril survived after 12 months, yet studies show that 95% of cardiomyopathy patients survive after three years~when taking pharmacologic doses of coenzyme Q10. Coronary Disease
a.. Coenzyme Q10 has the ability to protect the heart during periods of ischemia (lack of oxygen).3 This lack of oxygen occurs in heart disease and is usually caused by narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries. Ischemia can also occur during medical procedures such as open heart surgery, coronary bypass and angioplasty, and is responsible for causing serious physical symptoms such as angina, heart failure, and sudden death.
b.. Recent medical studies have reported that pretreatment with Coenzyme Q10 minimizes the myocardial injury caused by heart bypass surgery and improves heart function compared to patients not pretreated with Coenzyme Q10.8
c.. In one study 150 mg per day of Coenzyme Q10 reduced the frequency of anginal attacks by up to 46% while improving the capacity for physical activity in patients with angina.
Congestive Heart Failure
a.. Several clinical trials have recently shown that when patients with heart failure are treated with Coenzyme Q10 for months to years, serious complications such as pulmonary edema and ventricular arrhythmia are reduced in frequency. The number of hospitalizations is reduced and survival is increased.10
b.. Another large clinical study involving 1715 patients concluded that a short period of treatment (4 weeks) with 50 mg per day Coenzyme Q10 improves shortness of breath, palpitations, cyanosis, edema, heart rate and blood pressure in patients with stabilized heart failure. The study's author concluded that a daily dosage of 50-100 mg increases contractile activity rapidly.13
c.. Patients with heart failure generally respond to Coenzyme Q10, as their tissues and blood have deficient levels of Coenzyme Q10 that results from inadequate cellular biosynthesis.11
d.. Myocardial tissue levels of Coenzyme Q10 can be significantly restored with an oral dosage of 100 mg per day for 5 months. Deficient tissue levels can be increased and may be normalized with proper compliance.
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