Study Reveals the Importance of CoQ10 for General Health

Enzymes are vital biochemical catalysts that help create metabolic activities without becoming part of an end product. CoQ10 or coenzyme Q10 is an adaptable enzyme that works in cooperation with other enzymes involved with producing ATP in each cell’s mitochondria, the source of energy for all one’s biological functions.

A study at Harvard Medical School, recorded April 22, 2013, in the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), provided an association with low blood level CoQ10 to critical illness and aging.

The study involved 32 critically ill patients compared to 18 healthy control subjects. Its purpose was to determine if low CoQ10 plasma readings were common to only critically ill patients with septic shock (SS), the life-threatening event of low blood pressure from overwhelming infection, or if lower CoQ10 plasma levels were common to all seriously ill patients.

Thirty-two critically ill patients were checked, some with SS and others without SS against the average CoQ10 plasma levels of the healthy subjects.

Although the SS CoQ10 level average was the lowest, the seriously ill CoQ10 serum levels were significantly lower than the control group without critically ill patients, establishing an association between serious or critical illness and low CoQ10 levels.

The study, “Critical illness is associated with decreased plasma levels of coenzyme Q-10: A cross-sectional study” concluded:

“Decreased plasma CoQ10 levels are not specific to patients with SS [septic shock], but rather observed in a broad range of critically ill patients. In critically ill patients, CoQ10 insufficiency may be associated with various conditions; age may be a risk factor.”

It’s easy to see how co-enzyme, CoQ10, which diminishes with aging or other toxic and external DNA damaging influences, has to be replenished in order revitalize mitochondrial production of ATP and other functions.

How to Supplement CoQ10 – To Ubiquinol or Not To Ubiquinol

There are divided opinions among health experts who advise CoQ10 supplementing as ubiquinone or as ubiquinol. Supplements that are labeled CoQ10 are actually ubiquinone.

But some say ubiquinone has to be converted to the more active form of ubiquinol to support the processes of ATP production and other aspects of cellular respiration. However, CoQ10 experts disagree with those notions.

Supplements labeled as ubiquinol are the reduced form of ubiquinone. Reduced simply means the ubiquinone is converted to what is considered the more bioavailable ubiquinol in the supplement itself.

It is recommended for folks whose normal ability to convert ubiquinone to the active ubiquinol may be impaired. But how much of this information is simply a marketing?

Biochemist experts say when ubiquinone supplements, which are labeled simply as CoQ10, are consumed, almost all of it, at least 90 percent, is immediately converted into ubiquinol and transported through the bloodstream.

Then the antioxidant ubiquinol is oxidized back to ubiquinone to restart the CoQ10 cycle. That is the role of CoQ10, to cycle back and forth between ubiquinone and ubiquinol.

The term “reduced” CoQ10 as applied to ubiquinol simply means it has been cycled through beforehand. This may be necessary for a few whose health has deteriorated beyond making that conversion.

But is it really necessary? Ubiquinol is a considerably more expensive supplement. Apparently, the main difference between the two is marketing and cost.

Dr. Stephen Sinatra, an outspoken critic of statin drugs and the saturated fat high cholesterol hoax, recommends saving your money.

He states, “… as a cardiologist who has been studying and using CoQ10 for 30 years, I have yet to see solid evidence to back up the claim that the pricier ubiquinol form is the best form of CoQ10. Through my research and clinical experience on heart vitamins, I’ve found that ubiquinone gives you the same benefits at a much lower cost.”

The Japanese medical system was a leader in using CoQ10 for regenerating heart health among its cardiac patients a few decades ago. Since then, the ubiquinone version of CoQ10 has had decades of success with cardiac patients in Japan and elsewhere.

Now it is recognized as vital for kick-starting mitochondria ATP production throughout the body and preventing chronically critical bad health.

Here’s what Dr. Richard Passwater, Ph.D. has to say about the CoQ10 ubiquinone – ubiquinol confusion after his discussion with other biochemist researchers:

The correct nomenclature is that word “coenzyme Q-10” can have either of two meanings. It can mean either the compound ubiquinone or the family of compounds of the CoQ10 cycle in its entirety. CoQ10 does not refer to ubiquinol alone nor does it refer to the general antioxidant activity of ubiquinol alone. When referring to ubiquinol alone, it may properly be called “reduced CoQ10.

The independent antioxidant activity of ubiquinol outside of mitochondria is not CoQ10 activity. Such antioxidant activity outside of electron transport is very important in the body, but this is an additional benefit of ubiquinol and not part of ubiquinol’s role in CoQ10 cycle activity in its unique role of energy production. This independent extra-mitochondrial activity of ubiquinol is not “the active form of CoQ10.

It’s apparent that one needn’t feel left out if he or she doesn’t have the budget for monthly ubiquinol purchases, regardless of who promotes it. Ubiquinone, commonly known as CoQ10 (coenzyme Q10) is simply a vitally important supplement that will work for most of us in many ways.


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