In The News: CoQ10 Proves Its Worth Again

Heart To Heart: News & Tips For A Healthy Heart

New research on the supplement CoQ10, recently published in American and European medical journals, shows that it increases survival rates and decreases hospitalizations for people being treated for heart failure. CoQ10 (also called Coenzyme Q10, among other names) is a powerful antioxidant and acts as an essential factor in the heart’s energy production. In the past, clinical studies have provided evidence of its value as an adjunct treatment for angina, congestive heart failure, arrhythmia, and hypertension (high blood pressure). In addition, researchers have found that statin drugs deplete CoQ10, and so it has been suggested that people taking these cholesterol-lowering drugs should also use CoQ10 to support healthy heart function.

CoQ10 (also called Coenzyme Q10 and ubiquinone, among other names) is a powerful antioxidant and acts as an essential factor in the heart’s energy production. A naturally occurring and powerful antioxidant nutrient, it retards free radical formation in biological systems, and resembles vitamin E and vitamin K in chemical structure. Biochemically, it functions much like vitamin E in that it participates in antioxidant and free radical reactions. 

NOW AVAILABLE FROM NYBC’S ONLINE CO-OP:
Jarrow Formulas’ Q-Absorb, available in two strengths, utilizes a “completely natural proliposome lipid soluble delivery system clinically shown in humans to increase Co-Q10 levels up to 400% – three to four times better absorbed than chewable Co-Q10 tablets.” Price: $21- $29.

Douglas Labs’ Cardio Edge* employs plant sterols (phytosterols) from soy, Sytrinol (a proprietary extract of polymethoxylated flavones and tocotrienols from citrus and palm fruits), and pomegranate extract. Their Ultra Coenzyme Q10 ($121.60) has 60 chewable tablets with 200 mg CoQ10 combined with 500 mg lecithin.

* Note: Prices on Douglas Labs’ products are considerably lower for NYBC members!

The study lasted for two years and compared heart failure patients taking 100mg CoQ10 three times per day with patients who were not taking the supplement. By the end of the two-year period, the CoQ10 group showed a significantly lower rate of hospitalization for heart failure, significantly better functional capacity, and a significantly lower rate of death from cardiovascular disease.

NYBC has stocked CoQ10 since our founding, and has recently expanded its offerings. We’re happy that we’ve been able to provide this important supplement at discounted prices to our members over the years, and we’re happier still to see this new research strengthening the case for a supplement that already had a considerable amount of evidence demonstrating its benefit for heart health.

Here are some additional NYBC suggestions for cardiovascular health. All are based on our reading of the always-evolving research on nutrition and nutritional supplements:

Eating fatty fish (such as wild salmon) once or twice a week is an excellent approach to maintaining cardiovascular health; however, regular supplementation with fish oil can also provide the omega-3 fatty acids (called DHA and EPA) that have been closely linked to cardiovascular benefit. Note that supplements, when properly purified, avoid the problem of mercury contamination, a concern for those who eat sea food regularly.

Niacin, a B vitamin, is still one of the best agents for supporting cardiovascular health. In a long-term study, it was associated with lower risk of cardiovascular disease and death related to cardiovascular disease. (Don’t be misled by some recent reports about Niacin’s lack of effect, which only appeared in a study using a particular form of the supplement together with a statin drug.) The main drawback of Niacin is that it may cause flushing and itching, which make it difficult or impossible for some to take. Starting with a low dose of about 100 mg and working up to about 1,000 mg per day may minimize this reaction.

Other helpful agents include carnitine (which may lower triglycerides), pantethine (a B vitamin) and phytosterols, such as those in Douglas Labs’ CardioEdge.

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MS Sufferer Improves Dramatically

Here is a terrific YouTube post by Dr. Terry Wahls. She is a person living with secondary, progressive multiple sclerosis (MS). By 2008, she could not walk more than a short way with two canes. At this point, she began a journey into understanding how her disease progresses and ways in which diet and supplements can have an impact on that disease. Check out the video and see her remarkable results–one of the always remarkable and inspiring TED talks series!

CoQ 10, gum disease and cardiovascular health

Yes, your dentist is right: brushing with a good toothpaste (such as one with baking soda), flossing, and regular checkups can keep your smile bright–and also, very importantly, can help prevent gum disease. But did you know that the supplement CoQ 10 has also been found effective in fighting gum disease?

First, a few words about gum disease: the most widespread form, afflicting up to 30% of adults, is gingivitis, an inflammation and bleeding around the teeth that accompanies plaque buildup. If left unchecked, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, which is characterized by more severe infection and abscesses around the teeth, and tooth loss.

As early as the 1970s it was recognized that CoQ10 could counteract gum disease, and quite quickly. Research found that CoQ10 doses of 50 mg – 75 mg a day halted deterioration of the gums and promoted healing, often within days of beginning therapy. In a carefully controlled trial, 50 mg per day of CoQ10 was notably more effective than placebo in reducing symptoms of gingivitis after three weeks of treatment (Wilkinson EG et al, 1976).

And there’s more: research from the just past few years has highlighted a surprising connection between gum disease and cardiovascular disease. One study found that 91% percent of patients with cardiovascular disease also suffered from moderate to severe gum disease (Geerts SO et al 2004). Researchers now believe that the inflammation associated with gum disease triggers the release of pro-inflammatory chemicals into the bloodstream, which provokes a systemic inflammatory response. It’s also very suggestive that many of the same factors that increase the risk for heart disease also increase the risk for periodontal disease, including C-reactive protein (CRP), fibrinogen, and cholesterol (Wu T et al 2000).

So here’s your bonus: CoQ 10 has a good track record of helping fight gingivitis and preventing the progression of gum disease. But, by fighting off gum disease with this supplement and all the other means mentioned above, you may also be reducing your cardiovascular risk. Isn’t that something to smile about?

NYBC stocks CoQ10 in several formats. See the entry below, which also provides detailed recommendations for use of this supplement:

COQ 10

CoQ10 with statins

Researchers studying the effects of the cholesterol-lowering statin drugs over the last decade found that patients taking statins were likely to also have lowered levels of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), a coenzyme naturally produced in the body and important to the function of organs such as the heart. Further study has also indicated that supplementing with CoQ10 while taking statins can reverse the deficiency and limit the side effects.

A few facts and recommendations about CoQ10:

CoQ10 functions inside cells to make energy; the highest amounts of the coenzyme are found in the heart, liver, kidneys and pancreas. The muscles of the heart are especially sensitive to CoQ10 deficiency.

Statins act by inhibiting an enzyme, HMG-CoA reductase, that is responsible for synthesizing both cholesterol and CoQ10. So statins seem to simultaneously decrease cholesterol and CoQ10 levels.

A 2004 report in the American Journal of Cardiology found that 70% of people in a study group taking the statin Lipitor showed heart muscle weakness after six months. This weakness was reversed by taking CoQ10.

CoQ10 has also been studied for these statin side effects: muscle pain and weakness, fatigue, memory loss, shortness of breath and peripheral neuropathy.

A common recommendation for those taking a statin: supplement with 100 mg CoQ10 softgel twice daily, in the morning and at noon. Avoid insomnia by taking it early in the day. Be sure to consult your doctor about the possibility of CoQ10 interacting with any blood thinner you may be taking.

Reference: Marc Silver et al. Effect of atorvastatin on left ventricular diastolic function and ability of coenzyme Q10 to reverse that dysfunction. American Journal of Cardiology. Volume 94, Issue 10 , Pages 1306-1310, 15 November 2004.

See the NYBC entries for more details:

http://nybcsecure.org/product_info.php?cPath=47&products_id=317
(Jarrow 100mg CoQ10 Qsorb)

or

http://nybcsecure.org/product_info.php?cPath=47&products_id=357(Douglas Labs 200mg chewable tablet formula)

CoQ10 for heart health

Clinical studies have shown repeatedly that CoQ10 has potent abilities to assist the heart muscle, and as an adjunct treatment for angina, congestive heart failure, arrhythmia, hypertension (high blood pressure), and drug toxicity. In Japan, it has been widely used, and over several decades, for these types of heart health issues, and that’s one reason why its potential effectiveness and safety profile are at this point quite well characterized.

Research has also shown that as cellular levels of CoQ10 decrease, HIV disease progresses. Other studies have documented CoQ10’s immune restorative qualities, including restoration of T cell function. Many people with HIV find that CoQ10 is an important nutrient to aid in detoxification if one uses nucleoside analogs (AZT ddI, ddC, d4T, etc.), or other toxic drugs. (For example, studies have shown clear benefit when used with a heart toxic chemotherapy drug called adriamycin.)

In addition, we’ve seen widely circulated the recommendation, based on various levels of evidence, that people taking statin drugs—used to manage cholesterol—also take CoQ10. (Levels of CoQ10 in the blood are notably depleted when using this class of drugs, and there is potential for metabolic disruptions in the body as a result.)

A 2007 pilot study showed relief of muscle pain (myopathy) in people taking statins who also took 100mg/day of CoQ10. However, we have also found recommendations for higher dosages (200mg/day or more) for a variety of heart-related conditions.

For further details, see NYBC’s entry on Q-sorb Plus 100mg (Jarrow), specifically designed for enhanced absorption.

See also other forms of CoQ10, at both higher and lower dosages and in combination with other supplements, at
http://nybcsecure.org/index.php?cPath=47

Care for your Heart

CATIE has an excellent review of heart health, abstract below. It reviews the risk factors, methods for assessing heart health and means to help reduce risk of heart attack and stroke. There is a special emphasis on issues affecting people living with HIV.

Fact Sheets

HIV and cardiovascular disease: keeping your heart and blood vessels healthy
Summary

Cardiovascular disease affects the health of your heart and blood vessels and can lead to heart attacks or stroke. You may think that these are problems that affect only older people. However, emerging research suggests that HIV infection increases the risk for cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks and stroke, even in relatively young people. So, regular monitoring by your doctor of your overall and cardiovascular health should be part of your plan for living longer and living well. Getting on treatment for HIV is one of the best things you can do to stay healthy. This Fact Sheet has many additional steps you can take to reduce your risk for heart attacks, stroke and other complications.

This CATIE fact sheet addresses the potential of certain supplements to support cardiovascular health: Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil); niacin; carnitine; CoQ10; and chromium (subject of an interesting small study in Canada).

Read more about supplements for cardiovascular health at NYBC’s pages on “Cholesterol/Triglycerides” at
http://nybcsecure.org/index.php?cPath=35 and on “CoQ10” at http://nybcsecure.org/index.php?cPath=47 (includes practical suggestions for optimizing your use of CoQ10).

GABA Hey! Blood Pressure and Sleep

NYBC carries Pressure Optimizer and GABA Soothe to help manage a range of issues. Among them, the data below suggest a benefit for managing borderline hypertension (high blood pressure). A related item in the NYBC catalog, Theanine Serene, also has a fair amount of GABA along with green tea-extract theanine; this combination was designed especially as an anti-anxiety or anti-stress formula.

The second study below looked at a combo of GABA and 5-HTP and found some benefits for helping to get a restful sleep.

Shimada M, Hasegawa T, Nishimura C, Kan H, Kanno T, Nakamura T, Matsubayashi T. Anti-hypertensive effect of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-rich Chlorella on high-normal blood pressure and borderline hypertension in placebo-controlled double blind study. Clin Exp Hypertens. 2009 Jun;31(4):342-354.

Abstract
The anti-hypertensive effect of GABA-rich Chlorella was studied after oral administration for 12 weeks in the subjects with high-normal blood pressure and borderline hypertension in the placebo-controlled, double-blind manner in order to investigate if GABA-rich Chlorella, a dietary supplement, is useful in control of blood pressure. Eighty subjects with Systolic blood pressure (SBP) 130-159 mmHg or diastolic blood pressure (DBP) 85-99 mmHg (40 subjects/group) took the blinded substance of GABA-rich Chlorella (20 mg as gamma-aminobutyric acid) or placebo twice daily for 12 weeks, and had follow-up observation for an additional 4 weeks. Systolic blood pressure in the subjects given GABA-rich Chlorella significantly decreased compared with placebo (p < 0.01). Diastolic blood pressure had the tendency to decrease after intake of GABA-rich Chlorella. Neither adverse events nor abnormal laboratory findings were reported throughout the study period. Reduction of SBP in the subjects with borderline hypertension was higher than those in the subjects with high-normal blood pressure. These results suggest that GABA-rich Chlorella significantly decreased high-normal blood pressure and borderline hypertension, and is a beneficial dietary supplement for prevention of the development of hypertension.

PMID: 19811362 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

***
Shell W, Bullias D, Charuvastra E, May LA, Silver DS. A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of an amino acid preparation on timing and quality of sleep. Am J Ther. 2010 Mar-Apr;17(2):133-139.

Abstract
This study was an outpatient, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of a combination amino acid formula (Gabadone) in patients with sleep disorders. Eighteen patients with sleep disorders were randomized to either placebo or active treatment group. Sleep latency and duration of sleep were measured by daily questionnaires. Sleep quality was measured using a visual analog scale. Autonomic nervous system function was measured by heart rate variability analysis using 24-hour electrocardiographic recordings. In the active group, the baseline time to fall asleep was 32.3 minutes, which was reduced to 19.1 after Gabadone administration (P = 0.01, n = 9). In the placebo group, the baseline latency time was 34.8 minutes compared with 33.1 minutes after placebo (P = nonsignificant, n = 9). The difference was statistically significant (P = 0.02). In the active group, the baseline duration of sleep was 5.0 hours (mean), whereas after Gabadone, the duration of sleep increased to 6.83 (P = 0.01, n = 9). In the placebo group, the baseline sleep duration was 7.17 +/- 7.6 compared with 7.11 +/- 3.67 after placebo (P = nonsignificant, n = 9). The difference between the active and placebo groups was significant (P = 0.01). Ease of falling asleep, awakenings, and am grogginess improved. Objective measurement of parasympathetic function as measured by 24-hour heart rate variability improved in the active group compared with placebo. An amino acid preparation containing both GABA and 5-hydroxytryptophan reduced time to fall asleep, decreased sleep latency, increased the duration of sleep, and improved quality of sleep.

PMID: 19417589 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]