If you were going to be stranded on a deserted island and could only take one nutritional supplement with you, CoQ10 would be an excellent choice. Known for its unparalleled support of heart health and the cardiovascular system, CoQ10 also plays a critical role in the production of cellular energy and keeping breast tissue healthy. And recently, exciting new findings from clinical research has shown that CoQ10 supports the health of the nervous system, too.
The reason CoQ10 provides nutritional support to so many different tissues, organs, systems, and cells is that it’s ubiquitous—found almost everywhere in the human body. CoQ10 works inside cellular structures or organelles called mitochondria. In high school biology, you may recall that mitochondria are like tiny power plants constantly churning out adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a highly complex molecule. Like the energy stored in the gasoline that runs our cars, the energy stored in ATP is used to run the human body. Because it fuels an enormous amount of activities 24 hours a day, our bodies need huge amounts of ATP. At any given instant, each one of our approximately 100 trillion human cells contains about one billion ATP molecules. And crucial to the production of ATP is CoQ10.
Our bodies make some of the CoQ10 we need, but researchers have discovered that as we age our CoQ10 levels naturally decline. We also acquire CoQ10 from certain foods, such as beef, sardines, and peanuts. If our diets don’t include these foods, however, our dietary sources may be inadequate. When our health is holding steady, our CoQ10 levels may meet our day-to-day needs, but during times of increased physical or emotional stress, our bodies may need even more CoQ10.
While CoQ10 is found everywhere in the body, the highest levels are found in cells that have increased energy demands. For example, if you looked at a single heart cell underneath a microscope, you’d see thousands of mitochondria. If you looked inside one of those mitochondria, you’d see CoQ10 hard at work making ATP. That is unless the heart cell came from a person taking a statin drug. Recently, doctors discovered that in the presence of the cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins, CoQ10 levels can be depleted. This means if you are taking a statin drug, such as Zocor, Pravachol, or Lipitor, your doctor has undoubtedly recommended that you supplement with CoQ10 to replace what will be lost.
Because it helps in the production of ATP, doctors have been recommending CoQ10 supplements to their patients in need of energy support. The results have been impressive— demonstrating that CoQ10 supports healthy cell rejuvenation, circulation, and cellular energy. Recently, 40 women took part in a clinical study to investigate the effect of supplemental CoQ10 on energy levels. The researchers gave half of the women CoQ10 and the other half placebos. After three months, the CoQ10 group’s exercise tolerance more than doubled.
However, CoQ10 doesn’t just help make ATP; it’s a powerful antioxidant, too, protecting us from harmful free radicals. Back to high school again, this time chemistry class. You might recall that an atom consists of a positively charged nucleus surrounded by negatively charged electrons. The electrons travel around the nucleus on a shell; each shell holding a specific number of electrons in the outer orbit. For the most part, when electrons are paired, they are stable and well-behaved—orbiting around the nucleus in peaceful harmony.
In the case of free radicals, however, the unpaired electron orbits alone, making it highly reactive. Because free radicals long to be stable, they roam around looking for electrons to steal. As the free radicals rob from paired electrons, they make more free radicals, and if they aren’t stopped, the result is a chain reaction capable of generating millions of free radicals in a matter of seconds. This free-radical frenzy results in damage to DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, the string of molecules that contains our hereditary material. During the normal process of cell replication, the damaged DNA is copied over and over again as new cells are made. Researchers have discovered that CoQ10 not only protects our DNA from freeradical damage, but acts as a free radical scavenger, removing the unstable molecules from our body. In clinical research, CoQ10 supplements have been found to provide superior antioxidant protection in healthy breast cells.
Possibly the most exciting CoQ10 research demonstrates its support of the nervous system. Made up of the brain, spinal cord,miles of nerves, and billions of nerve cells, the human nervous system is extremely complex. Because it requires huge amounts of uninterrupted energy, researchers have been studying CoQ10 and its effect on the nervous system. They have found that CoQ10 helps support healthy nerve/muscle coordination, healthy memory retention, as well as the regulation, integration, and coordination of on-going nervous system transmissions.
However, CoQ10 must actually get into the mitochondria of the brain and other nervous system cells in order to provide this support. To do this, it must be able to cross the blood-brain barrier. Located in the blood vessels supplying blood to the brain, the blood-brain barrier restricts what can and cannot leave the bloodstream and enter the brain. Only substances with certain solubilities or those that have a transport system can cross the blood-brain barrier.
Vitaline® Smart Q10™ is the first CoQ10 supplement proven to cross the blood-brain barrier and enter the mitochondria of not only brain and spinal cord cells, but heart cells, breast cells, and others. As the world’s most clinically studied CoQ10, Vitaline® Smart Q10™ has been used in research conducted at Harvard Medical School, the University of Texas Medical Center, the Institute for Biomedical Research in Austin, and the Veterans Administration Health Care System. Used in clinical trials funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health, Vitaline® Smart Q10™ has repeatedly met the strict standards set by leading researchers.
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