Following its discovery in 1957 by scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the medical and health communities have been optimistic about the benefits of coenzyme Q10, hailing it as a natural chemical that could help treat and prevent everything from age-related diseases and gum problems to neurological diseases and low-energy disorders. Since then, scientists have worked for decades to uncover coenzyme Q10’s role in the electron transport chain and in the development, prevention and treatment of certain diseases.
Coenzyme Q10, also called ubiquinone – a derivative of the Latin word ubique, meaning “everywhere,” is required by every human cell. As such, it is crucial to the chemical reactions that produce cellular energy. Essentially, coenzyme Q10 is a fat-soluble vitamin-like substance that also holds the properties of an antioxidant, inhibiting the oxidation of molecules.
One of the best analogies for coenzyme Q10’s importance in our body’s reactions compares the chemical to the spark plugs found in every automobile. By igniting oxygen and producing energy, coenzyme Q10 ensures that abnormal oxygen molecules do not form and that our internal engines continue to run smoothly. Without this cellular energy, which estimates say accounts for as much as 95 percent of the human body’s energy production, our hearts and blood vessels may be affected.
Due to links between oxidation and diseases such as cancer, neurological disorders and heart disease, there has been an increase in clinical trials relating to this chemical as it become more widely available in large quantities.
Coenzyme Q10’s effect on neurological disorders
Research indicates that high dosages of coenzyme Q10 can help patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease ease their symptoms. In one study, patients who had been diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s and were showing at least three primary symptoms were able to record significant improvements within five years of enrollment in the program. Study participants who took the largest daily doses of coenzyme Q10 showed 44 percent less decline in motor movement, mental functioning and their ability to carry out daily activities.
Coenzyme Q10 has also been studied in relation to neural dysfunction and the metabolic imbalances that scientists believe could be at the core of causing these conditions. Since a strong metabolism has been linked to brain health in number of studies, antioxidants have been proposed as a potential treatment for these disorders. In clinical trials, coenzyme Q10 has been shown to ameliorate mitochondrial dysfunction and has been proposed as a potential treatment to related illnesses.
Adding coenzyme Q10 to patient diets
While coenzyme Q10 is beneficial to the body, it exists in relatively low quantities in the foods we eat. For example, fatty fish, peanuts and organ meats such as liver, kidney and heart, are all sources of coenzyme Q10. But, to get 30 miligrams (mg), far less than the 1,200 mg given daily to successful Parkinson’s study patients, patients with neurological conditions would need to eat one and a half pounds of peanuts or two pounds of beef daily. In addition, for this antioxidant to be processed, our bodies need other essential vitamins such as B6, B12 and folic acid.
Obtaining Q-10 products for treatment
With a combination of dieting and nutritional supplements, patients can increase the levels of coenzyme Q10 in their body. Armed with this beneficial vitamin and antioxidant, patients may see relief from the symptoms of certain diseases. Even healthy individuals are encouraged to seek out foods with coenzyme Q10 due to their beneficial qualities.
At International Nutrition, we offer a wide line of nutritional supplements that feature coenzyme Q10. From chewable daily tables to syrups and gels, individuals who have decided to try and improve their health by adding more of this vitamin to their diet under the guidance of their physician can find a number of affordable choices.