Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10 (ubiquinone) is a powerful fat-soluble antioxidant that is used to treat heart disease, periodontal disease, immune problems and diabetes. It> appears to control the flow of oxygen within the cells as well as functioning as an antioxidant to reduce damage to cells by harmful free radicals. These effects are most beneficial in the prevention and treatment of heart diseases and cancer. Since CoQ10 levels decrease in people and pets as they age, supplementation of older pets may be needed, especially to correct the decline in immune system functioning.

Every cell in the body needs CoQ10, but there is no U.S. recommended Dietary Allowance since the body can manufacture CoQ10 "from scratch". We usually obtain only small amounts of this nutrient from food, as it is found in all animal and plant cells. However, it would be hard to get a therapeutic dosage from food.

In people, the best-documented use of CoQ10 is for treating congestive heart failure (inability of the heart to pump blood effectively) when taken along with conventional medications, not instead of them. People with congestive heart failure have significantly lower levels of CoQ10 in their heart muscle cells than healthy people.

CoQ10 may also help periodontal (gum) disease by reducing the size and improving the health of gum pockets, as well as decreasing inflammation, redness, bleeding, and pain. CoQ10 deficiency has been reported in gum tissue of 60 to 90 percent people with periodontal disease. In addition, about 80 percent of patients also have a low level of CoQ10 in leukocytes (white blood cells), which indicates the overall deficiency of CoQ10. Clinical studies have shown that patients who received 50 milligrams per day of CoQ10 improved 2 to 3 times faster than usual.

Immune System - Many chronic illnesses are associated with abnormalities of the immune system. Numerous studies suggest that cancer, heart disease, hypertension, allergies, anemia and chronic infections result from damaged immune system. Tissues and cells involved with immune function are highly energy-dependent and require an adequate supply of CoQ10 for normal function. In human studies, patients with heart disease, diabetes, or cancer were treated for long periods of time with CoQ10 (60 mg per day) and showed significantly improved immune function.

Dosages, Safety and Interactions The usual human dosages of CoQ10 is 50 to 150 milligrams per day. CoQ10 is generally well tolerated, and no serious adverse effects have been reported with long-term use. There are no known adverse interactions between CoQ10 and any drug or food. However, some cholesterol-lowering drugs adversely affect CoQ10 levels. Supplementing CoQ10 is often necessary to prevent the depletion of CoQ10 in body tissues while on these drugs.

CoQ10 is used in the body to transport and break down fat into energy. In people, CoQ10 levels were found to be low in approximately 50% of obese individuals. Supplementation with CoQ10 resulted in accelerated weight loss in overweight people. It may be of benefit in overweight pets and at the recommended dosage no side effects have been sees. Consult with your doctor about using CoQ10 to help in a weight-reduction program. In experiments in dogs, CoQ10 was seen to provide a protective effect against progression of heart disease.

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