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Hypothermia and coQ10 improve cardiac arrest survival
A study reported in the American Heart Association Journal Circulation has found that the administration of coenzyme Q10 (coQ10) combined with mild hypothermia increases survival and could improve neurologic outcome following cardiac arrest.
Hypothermia has been recently demonstrated in clinical trials to reduce nerve cell damage and improve survival after cardiopulmonary rescuscitation (CPR). It is believed to protect the brain by reducing oxygen consumption and slowing the erelase of excitotoxic neurotransmitters and reactive oxygen species. Coenzyme Q10 is a compound made in the body that decreases with age, and has also been shown to have a neuroprotective and cardioprotective benefit.
In the current study, 25 patients received 250 milligrams liquid coQ10 eight hours after cardiac arrest and CPR, followed by 150 milligrams coQ10 three times per day for five days, and 24 patients received a placebo solution. All participants underwent 24 hours of hypothermia during which their core temperature was maintained at 35 degrees Celsius.
After three months, seventeen of the 25 subjects who received coenzyme Q10 were alive compared to 7 who received the placebo. Thirty-six percent of the group who received coQ10 were considered to have a good neurologic outcome compared to 20 percent of the placebo group. Additionally, S100 protein, a marker for cerebral injury, was significantly lower in the group who received coQ10. No adverse effects were attributed to coQ10 administration.
In the discussion of their findings, the authors remark that the optimal dose of coenzyme Q10 per day is uncertain, and note that 1200 milligrams per day provided greater neuroprotection than 600 milligrams per day in the trial of coQ10 in Parkinson’s disease patients. They suggest future trials in which coQ10 is combined with other neuroprotective agents, such as those that target inflammatory pathways.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) can be synthesized in the body, but individuals with periodontal disease, hypertension, or cardiovascular diseases are frequently deficient.
The following examples exemplify the breadth of CoQ10's credits:
- CoQ10 therapy is associated with a mean 25.4% increase in exercise duration and a 14.3% increase in workload (Sacher et al. 1997).
- The frequency of angina attacks, a squeezing or pressure-like pain in the chest, usually provoked by exercise, decreases by about 53% during CoQ10 supplementation (Murray 1995).
- CoQ10 has been reported to lower Lp(a), a powerful predictor of cardiac health (Singh et al. 1999; Health Concerns 2002). To read more about Lp(a), consult the section (in this protocol) dedicated to Newer Risk Factors.
- CoQ10 inhibits oxidation of LDL cholesterol. CoQ10 accomplishes this by attaching to LDL particles circulating in the bloodstream. Were there more riders (CoQ10) than carriers (LDL) the oxidation of LDL cholesterol would be less worrisome (Thomas et al. 1995; LEF 2000).
- CoQ10's antioxidant activities extend to protect the cells and lungs of smokers. By aiding oxygen delivery, reducing platelet aggregation, and hampering free-radical activity, the brain and heart have significantly greater protection. In addition, current data provide direct evidence for an interactive effect between exogenously administered vitamin E and CoQ10 in terms of uptake and retention, and for a sparing effect of CoQ10 on vitamin E. Vitamin E, in turn, plays a pivotal role in determining tissue retention of exogenous CoQ10 (Ibrahim et al. 2000).
- Hypertensive patients demonstrated a significant improvement while supplementing with CoQ10. Before treatment with CoQ10, most patients were taking from 1-5 cardiac medications. During the study, overall medication requirements dropped considerably: 43% stopped between 1-3 drugs. Typically, diastolic and systolic blood pressures drop by about 10% with CoQ10 therapy (Langsjoen et al. 1994; Lam 2001).
- Periodontal disease, a risk factor regarding heart health, responds to CoQ10 supplementation. Gingival pocket depth, swelling, bleeding, redness, pain, exudates, and looseness of teeth were significantly improved using 50 mg of CoQ10 a day (Wilkinson et al. 1977; Murray 1996). The herbs goldenseal and echinacea should accompany CoQ10 supplementation to further reduce oral infection.
- For the dieter, CoQ10 is good news (Murray 1996). Together with a well-planned diet and exercise program, CoQ10 assists in shedding unwanted pounds.
- CoQ10's ability to energize the heart is perhaps its chief attribute. The heart is one of the most metabolically active organs in the body, pumping approximately 2000 gallons of blood through 65,000 miles of blood vessels, beating 100,000 times each day (American Heart Association 2002). According to Decker Weiss, N.M.D., the heart requires large amounts of uninterrupted energy to fuel this unbelievable performance. The mitochondria (supplying 95% of the body's total energy requirement) are represented in large numbers (up to 2000 per heart cell).
- In addition to energy supply, CoQ10 is an important defense system in tissues and muscles, particularly those having large numbers of mitochondria. As the mitochondria produce energy to fuel cellular functions, a plethora of free radicals results (Treatment and Research Newsletter 1998). Heart cells have more CoQ10 than any other cells, a supply critical to ATP production, cardiac function, and free-radical protection (Guyton et al. 1996; Porth et al. 1998).
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Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) has long been considered an essential nutrient for cardiac health because of its role in boosting cellular energy. When CoQ10 is orally administered, it works its way into the cells' mitochondria (the cells' powerhouses) where it helps to convert fats and sugars into energy. Thus, scientists have focused on its critical role in heart function. But, further studies have identified CoQ10's other important role: as a neuroprotective agent.
The brain also needs a tremendous amount of energy to function properly. And, since CoQ10 is one of the most efficient mitochondrial energy enhancers, it is logical to expect that this energy-enhancing nutrient could play a role in brain function.
It is a fact that CoQ10 diminishes with age. This means mitochondrial energy decreases accordingly, leading to what is now being referred to as "mitochondrial disorders" or simply put, sub-optimal health, as cellular energy and function are compromised.
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CoQ10 is an essential component of the respiratory cycle of the cell that takes place in the mitochondria and generates ATP, the cell’s energy currency.
Orally administered CoQ10 goes directly to the mitochondria where it works to regulate the oxidation of fats and sugars into energy—an important function since the natural production of CoQ10 declines with advancing age. When the body has an ample amount of CoQ10 the mitochondria can work most efficiently throughout the entire body, in cells everywhere, including the most densely populated area, the heart.
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