We have reached the point where the discussion turns to the practical side of things. Once the thinking is done we must put into practice what we have learned. Right off the top the need for a disclaimer is paramount: Nothing in this article should be construed as advice on dietary or supplemental modalities. You should consult your physician or a trusted health care provider for your specific needs. In the interest of stimulating a great conversation between you and your health care provider the words that follow should be your guide.
The miracle of Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
One of the main issues surrounding statin drugs is how it inhibits the production of a key enzyme known as CoQ10. Devastating adverse health effects have been associated with CoQ10 deficiencies and has been recognized by some parts of the medical community in the U.S. and more widely in Europe and the Far East. Many people are familiar with the term “CoQ10” but do not have a firm grasp of what it is and how vital it is to our hearts so let’s discuss it.
CoQ10 is a powerful vitamin-like substance produced by virtually every cell in the body. It has many functions that prove to be vitally important to the body. One of those functions is converting our food into fuel for our cells to use. When we eat good, wholesome foods and CoQ10 is present in the cells in adequate supplies our energy levels rise. The science of the process in which CoQ10 does its work is actually intriguing but we will skip the detailed lesson and just say without it we would have a hard time getting much of anything done. Because the heart is such a dense muscle that is always active it is one of the top CoQ10 producers in the body and rightfully so. Beating on average 2.5 billion times during a person’s life the heart requires a wealth of energy. Statins interfere with the production of some enzymes including CoQ10 robbing the heart of significant amounts of energy. To add insult to injury as we age we tend to produce less and less of this powerful enzyme naturally setting us up for exponential energy lose and poor cardiovascular production.
Another function of this miracle enzyme is blood pressure modification. It has proven itself to be an awesome way to reduce blood pressure without harmful side effects. A meta-analysis of clinical trials conducted in 2007 by F.L. Rosenfeldt et al (Coenzyme Q10 in the treatment of hypertension…) found overwhelming, across the board evidence that significant reductions in blood pressure took place among test subjects taking the supplement when compared to the control group (who did not take CoQ10 at all). Since 1974 doctors in Japan have prescribed CoQ10 to patients who experience congenital heart failure. Further studies in the U.S. showed a marked increase of heart function and vitality in people suffering from severe (class III and class IV) cardiomyopathy. These were people who were given just a year or two to live because they were that sick until CoQ10 supplementation began.
In addition, CoQ10 is a wonderful antioxidant. Oxidative stress, especially as it relates to LDL cholesterol, is a major cardiovascular concern. Remember that cholesterol in and of itself is not the boogey man but oxidized pattern B LDL cholesterol is. Coenzyme Q10 steps in and helps to prevent oxidation of patter B LDL helping to stop the type of cardiovascular stress that plague so many people. A healthy non-inflammation inducing eating plan along with CoQ10 supplementation can make all the difference in having excellent heart health especially if the person is experiencing poor cardiovascular health at the moment.
Where to find it
Typically CoQ10 tends to be found most prevalently in the organ meat of animals such as the kidneys, liver and heart. This is the most natural way to get it from outside your own body. The problem is enzymes tend to breakdown very readily when exposed to high heat even for short periods of time. The alternative to consuming organ meat (especially if you are vegetarian) has to be in the form of a supplement.
CoQ10 supplements are out there but it is imperative you can trust the source. There is no need to consume anything that is of low quality in the hopes that it will be beneficial. High quality CoQ10 that is readily bioavailable is a must. Seek advice from a knowledgeable source when determining what you might like to use.
There is a distinct correlation between CoQ10 deficiency and poor, sometimes fatal, heart function. So much so that the evidence of years of studies should be splattered across the headlines daily warning us about the deficiency and how to overcome it through supplementation. Medically speaking it is a very cheap and efficient way to reduce mortality and morbidity from cardiovascular issues especially in comparison to drugs and surgery that both carry ill side effects while draining personal and institutional coffers worldwide.
Originally this was supposed to be the last article in the series but there are other nutrients that should be discussed that would be of great benefit to cardiovascular health. With that thought in mind one or two additional articles may be necessary for the sake of thoroughness.
Sources: The Great Cholesterol Myth (Bowden and Sinatra)