Co-enzyme-Q-10 or Co-Q-10 is an essential component of the mitochondria, the energy producing units of the cells of the body. It is involved in the production of ATP which is the fuel that runs all body processes. The role of Co-Q-10 is similar to that of the spark plug in a car engine.
Langsjoen is an expert in congestive heart failure and disease of the heart muscle. Speaking at an international conference on anti-aging held in Las Vegas in December 1996, he presented the results of his ongoing research since 1981. In one 1994 study, 424 patients with six different types of cardiac disease treated with Co-Q-10 were shown to have improved heart function, enhanced quality of life and decreased medication requirements.
Langsjoen believes his research refutes the common assertion that a stiffening of the heart muscle is irreversible.
But the father of co-enzyme-Q-10 research and the world's leading researcher on co-enzyme-Q-10 is without a shadow of a doubt, Dr. Karl Folkers, now in his nineties. In fact, Folkers was presented the highest award of the Anti-Aging Academy of Medicine at the conference.
In 1958, Folkers was the first to elucidate the structure of co-enzyme-Q-10 and worked tirelessly to prove its benefit in heart disease as well as many other conditions. Folkers biopsied heart tissue from patients with various heart diseases and showed Co-Q-10 deficiency in 50 to 75 percent of cases. He also proved the effectiveness of Co-Q-10 in treating seriously ill congestive heart failure patients unresponsive to any other treatment.
Dr. Steven Sinatra, author of A Cardiologist's Prescription for Optimum Wellness , (Lincoln Bradley, 1996) says that as a traditionally trained cardiologist he was not the least bit open to nutritional therapies, but after reviewing the research, he started to use it in his practice. He has now treated over one thousand patients with co-enzyme-Q-10, with excellent results.
Sinatra points to over 50 major research articles published in reputable journals on the use of Co-Q-10 in cardiac related diseases, especially congestive heart failure and cardiomyopathy (a disease affecting the heart muscle). Researchers estimate that if doctors gave co-enzyme-Q-10 to 1,000 patients with congestive heart failure for one year, it could reduce hospitalization for the condition by twenty percent.
Although some cardiologists are using it, Sinatra adds, the vast majority either know nothing about it or have a bias against it because it is not a drug. Dr. Langsjoen and Sinatra have formed a national coalition of cardiologists to disseminate information on Co-Q-10.
Co-Q-10 is bright yellow bordering on orange in colour and is available in capsules or tablets at health food stores. It is best absorbed in soft gelatin capsules that contain an oil base. Otherwise it is wise to take it with olive oil or flax seed oil. The dosage ranges from 30mg to 300mg with the usual dosage being 30mg three times a day. Although its safety during pregnancy and lactation has not been proven, it has an excellent safety profile, with no serious side effects with long term use.
Research has also shown Co-Q-10 is a useful adjunct in the treatment of gum disease, muscular dystrophy and diabetes. It also is an immune stimulator and antioxidant. It can reduce the heart toxicity of cancer drugs like adriamycin. It has caused a partial remission in a small number of breast cancer patients. It is also very useful in the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia.
Co-Q-10 is one of the top six written prescriptions in Japan. If we pay attention to the Japanese experience, we will improve the health of many chronically ill patients and reduce health costs as well.
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