There are a few situations that produce a knee-jerk reaction when it comes to supplements matched to conditions.  Milk thistle and liver issues.  Vitamin D and bone health.  Magnesium and fish oils for diabetes.  But what about heart disease?

Of course, lifestyle changes are the best way to deal with or avoid any chronic disease in the long run.  Sometimes, poor lifestyle choices have been going on for too long and have damaged physiology enough that lifestyle changes alone will not be enough to turn health around.  This happens very commonly with the adrenal glands, where years of stress have depleted the adrenals ability to recover without nutritional support.

Regular readers of Dr. Bogash’s Rantings know that I hold the mitochondria in reverance.  The little “powerhouse of the cell.”  The little organelle within the cell that helps to generate energy for a cell.  And this “energy currency” is adenosine triphosphate, or ATP.  There are some billion or so reactions that occur in our body EVERY SECOND, and each one of these requires a molecule of ATP to get the job done.  Some tissues, like fat, use very little energy.  Others, like the heart, our muscles and our brain, use much more.  

Imagine that.  As you sit here reading this, your brain is requiring mass amounts of energy just to process the information.  Your pumping heart is in the same situation, requiring constant energy to beat for a lifetime. 

So what does this mean?  It means that each cell of the nervous system and the heart requires thousands of mitochondria just to generate the energy needed for a brain or heart cell just to perform it’s basic functions.  And each of these mitochondria are little factories churning out ATP for the brain and cardiac cells to use at an enormous rate.  Evidence has been present for several decades now that the protection and nutritional support of the mitochondria needs to be an integral part of avoiding, reducing the severity of many chronic diseases.

One nutrient that is essential for porduction of ATP is Coenzyme Q10, or Co10.   The other term is ubiquinone, meaning that it is ubiquitous – it is present in all of our cells.  Its presence is absolutely essential for our cells to make energy as well as protecting against free radicals. So taking it from the supplement standpoint can help protect the brain and the heart as they start to produce more and more ATP and the subsequent free radicals.  Coenzyme Q10 can help quench those free radicals.

This particular study took CoQ10’s benefits one step further, looking at 150 mg CoQ10’s ability to lower markers of oxidative stress in patients with >50% blockage in one of the major coronary arteries.  Researchers found that this approach lowered levels of MDA in these patients.  While this does not correlate directly with protecting the patient from further cardiac damage, it certainly adds more weight to the evidence of CoQ10 protecting the heart.

From a dosage standpoint, in general more is better.  However, coenzyme Q10 is an expensive supplement. Generally, 100 to 400 per day fits into most to people’s budgets.  Clinical studies have used doses of up to 1,200 to 2,000 per day, which is about $200 to $300 a month.  A little prohibitive for most people.

James Bogash

For more than a decade, Dr. Bogash has stayed current with the medical literature as it relates to physiology, disease prevention and disease management. He uses his knowledge to educate patients, the community and cyberspace on the best way to avoid and / or manage chronic diseases using lifestyle and targeted supplementation.