by Alison Heath
This is an edited version of an article that appeared in the July 2000 issue of M.D. News magazine.
There’s a lot of attention focused on the incredible health benefits of ubiquinone, commonly known as coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). British researcher R.A. Morton derived the name from the root word ubiquitous (exists everywhere). CoQ10 is indeed omnipresent and without it we could not exist. Through bioenergetics CoQ10 performs the action of boosting the immune system. Working on the sub-cellular level as an integral part of the mitochondria, CoQ10 is responsible for generating approximately 95 percent of the energy required by the human body.
CoQ10 can be found throughout our bodies, but the amount varies within each organ. The heart and liver contain the highest concentrations. Our livers manufacture this powerful antioxidant from the food we eat, connecting lesser CoQ’s (CoQ10 or CoQ7 etc.) to create the CoQ10 our bodies need. As we age, suffer stress or injury, our ability to manufacture CoQ10 diminishes and our internal energy crisis begins.
Many double blind studies have been published on CoQ10 since 1957 when the American scientist, F.L. Crane and his team first identified and extracted CoQ10 from the mitochondria of a beef heart. The Japanese facilitated the study of CoQ10 by fermenting and extracting CoQ10 from microorganisms. This endless self-replicating process provided an inexpensive source of CoQ10. In the early 1980s the Japanese Ministry of Health and Welfare officially approved CoQ10 for use as an inotropic agent for congestive heart failure. On April 14, 1986, Dr. Karl Folkers, a pioneer in CoQ10 research, was awarded the Priestly Award. This prestigious award was bestowed on Dr. Folkers in recognition of superior accomplishment in chemistry and medicine for work with CoQ10, B6, and B12.
Today in Japan, CoQ10 is used in numerous medical procedures and commonly prescribed to patients. While this amazing antioxidant is rapidly gaining popularity as a food supplement in North America, it is important to be aware that not all CoQ10 products on the market are the same. Some contain levels of CoQ10 that are too low to be of any benefit. Some contain lesser CoQs (CoQ1 to CoQ9) and will not relieve the CoQ10 deficiency. Dr. Emile G. Bliznakov, MD, President and Scientific Director of the Lupus Research Institute, and Gerald L.Hunt wrote The Miracle Nutrient: Coenzyme Q10. They point out that CoQ10 has no side effects, is not toxic and will only be used by the body if required. They recommend advising one’s health practitioner if CoQ10 is to become a daily addition to the diet. Extensive research results suggest a minimum daily dosage of at least 10 mg to 30 mg with serious CoQ10 deficiencies responding to dosages up to and over 100 mg. Simply adding this nutrient to our diet, without even including exercise, can turn our health around.
Alison Heath has been added full spectrum nutrition in her diet since 1987. During her many years of work in Information Technology, she has devoted much of her time to the health sector, including homeopathic clinics and hospitals. She recently held the position of president and CEO for InfoMedQue Inc., an Internet information service for the health sector in Quebec. Her regular column titled “The Natural Path” was created to provide medical practitioners who read M.D. News magazine with information on another approach toward health and well-being.