Posted before Dec-31-2007
The treatment of different cardiovascular diseases using supplements of coenzyme Q10 - also called ubiquinone - in the prophylactic and therapeutic role has generated a great deal of interest in the field of medicine in recent times. The compound called coenzyme Q10 is well known and is one of the many important enzymes in the body taking part in various essential biochemical pathways. This vitamin like compound is present in all cells and found mostly in the mitochondria, where it performs a vital role in the generation of cellular energy. One positive action of the ubiquinone is that it has been found to be the most effective biochemical compound capable of preventing the oxidation of LDL- low-density lipoprotein cholesterol also known as bad cholesterol. This action of the compound can result in the prevention of atherosclerosis in the body of susceptible individuals. The levels of ubiquinone are significantly lower in certain groups of people compared to other individuals. This has been proven in several clinical controlled studies, where it has been demonstrated that patients affected by congestive heart failure and those affected by other types of cardiovascular diseases had much lower amounts of the CoQ10 in the cardiac tissues. In such individuals, the use of ubiquinone supplements as low as 100 mg daily led to a significant improvement as far as the disease was concerned. These tests confirm the importance of ubiquinone in the treatment of cardiac disorders. Based on these results, many countries have adopted supplements of ubiquinone to treat heart disorders. For example, the treatment of congestive heart failure in Japan these days involves supplements of ubiquinone. The use of CoQ10 supplements to treat congestive heart disease is also likely to find approval in other countries soon.
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One pernicious effect of strokes and cardiac arrests in the body is that it leads to the release of many free radicals, accompanied by the destruction of vital tissues in a phenomenon called ischemia - reperfusion - this is what can prove fatal to the person suffering from the ailment. It has been found that high CoQ10 levels in the body of patients suffering from a congestive heart failure or stroke will result in less tissue damage. These results have also been supported by the clinical studies of Japanese medical researchers who discovered that the use of ubiquinone supplements immediately before and following an open heart surgery often results in the prevention of a reperfusion injury. This is very good news as such an injury is one of the most common physical complication following open heart surgery in patients. In other clinical tests carried out at different laboratories, it has been found that people affected by disorders like chronic stable angina, or mitral valve prolapse or even arrhythmias - an irregularity in the heart beat - can benefit greatly from ubiquinone supplementation.
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In other clinical studies, the use of coenzyme Q10 has resulted in the successful treatment of different types of heart muscle diseases that tend to affect the pumping capacity of the heart - these disorders are collectively known as cardiomyopathies. In these clinical studies patients suffering from cardiomyopathies were given as little as 100 mg a day of ubiquinone supplements for about twelve months - it was found that such low dose supplements resulted in improved pumping capacity known as an increased ejection fraction, there were other benefits as well, all the patients in the study also reported that they were able to breathe better and all of them showed increased muscular strength and higher energy levels. Hypertension or elevated blood pressure may also be treatable using supplemental CoQ10 according to the results of some clinical studies conducted in several places; if safety issues are resolved, than ubiquinone could be an easy to get and beneficial addition to the treatment for hypertension - which is already a major lifestyle disorder of the modern world. In one clinical study that involved one hundred and nine long term hypertension affected patients who were already using many different antihypertensive drugs, ubiquinone supplements at 225 mg per day led to significant improvement in the functional status of the patients. The supplement permitted half of the patients under study to stop using the majority of the drugs meant for reducing the blood pressure. The ubiquinone supplementation also led to an average decrease in the systolic blood pressure of most of the patients, with patients on average registering a fall from 159 to 147 mm Hg. The diastolic pressure also fell from a high of 94 to 85 mm Hg in most of the patients. Clinical studies held in Japanese just some time ago, have proven these results to be true and hence, ubiquinone supplements are a potential remedy for hypertension.
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Different effects of ubiquinone have also been investigated in many laboratories worldwide. In clinical studies conducted on human test subjects at the University of Ancona, Italy, it was found that CoQ10 when used as a supplement induced a lowering in the levels of the hormone epinephrine - better known as adrenalin - as well as lowering the levels of other catecholamines in the blood of the tested subject. The ability of ubiquinone to lower elevated blood pressure is thought to be partially connected to its effect on the hormone adrenaline. In addition, the ability of the CoQ10 to lower the chances of certain forms of arrhythmias is also possible due to its effect on the amount of the hormone adrenalin in the blood.
The human body produces coenzyme Q10 and it is used mainly in energy production at the cellular level. Ubiquinone can also be obtained from the diet. All organ meats in particular are rich sources for this compound.
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Ubiquinone levels in the human body vary with age. Typically, the ubiquinone levels peak when a person is twenty years of age. The levels tend to progressively fall off as one grows older. Therefore, a seventy year old man or women will have about fifty per cent less ubiquinone in his or her heart muscles compared to a twenty year old man or woman. This is a significant factor in the weakening of the heart with age.
Clinical scientists who have conducted human trials using supplemental CoQ10 believe that supplements may benefit many people. They say that older individuals and individuals involved in strenuous physical exercise can easily develop a deficiency of ubiquinone - such people can be helped with supplemental ubiquinone according to the researchers. The clinicians suggest doses of 30 mg a day to be sufficient for maintaining health. The dosage requirement will be much higher if the supplements are used to support the treatment of different diseases - provided such diseases respond to ubiquinone. Doses of ubiquinone are best used as supplements when consumed following a meal that contains fat. It can be of the greatest benefit if the ubiquinone supplement is taken with soy or vegetable oil - such fatty foods significantly aid in the absorption of the compound within the digestive system.
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As ubiquinone is part and parcel of the biochemical makeup of the human body; ubiquinone supplements do not generate any side effects. The supplements of CoQ10 are rapidly absorbed in the stomach without any apparent disruption of normal biochemical pathways. Till date, there have been no reports of toxic effects even for daily dosages higher than 300 mg in individuals who use them. It is wise to be on the safe side, however, as very high doses of any compound are not without effects, especially in the long term. Supplemental CoQ10 use particularly in women who are pregnant or lactating may not be without risk though reports are yet to confirm the existence of any threat. As more clinical data comes out in the future, treatment strategies and dosages will no doubt change.