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Health Benefits of Coenzyme Q10

By Jerry Shaw

Coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10, has been recommended for everything from asthma, gum disease and chronic fatigue syndrome to high blood pressure, heart disease and cancer. The compound is made naturally within the human body. Coenzyme Q10 was discovered in 1957 and has undergone countless studies for decades in countries throughout the world. Its positive effects are promising, but its benefits remain controversial. So studies are continuing.


The National Cancer Institute stated the body can use CoQ10 to protect cells from damage that might lead to cancer. Animal studies have shown it helps the immune system work better and helps the body resist infections and certain cancers, according to the institute, which also points out studies in breast cancer patients have resulted in patients improving with CoQ10 treatment. However, more research is needed. The NCI notes that clinical trials have shown the compound helps protect the heart from side effects of drugs used to treat cancer.


Researchers at the University of Western Australia in Perth found that CoQ10 improved blood pressure when used by people with type 2 diabetes. The study, published in the November 2002 issue of the "European Journal of Clinical Nutrition" tested 74 subjects and showed it also helped control blood glucose levels.


Proponents say it can work in helping sufferers of age-related macular degeneration, an eye disorder that often results in loss of vision in older adults. Advocates also believe that CoQ10 supplements may slow down, but not cure, Alzheimer’s disease. The 2011 "Journal of Alzheimer's Disease" reports that CoQ10 improved behavior and decreased damaging plaque area of the brain in Alzheimer's patients. The authors state that it is a promising treatment for Alzheimer's disease.


Preliminary evidence suggests CoQ10 may reduce angina, the chest pain from clogged heart arteries, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. It may improve exercise tolerance in those patients, but more studies are needed, the clinic stated. Some data suggest that CoQ10 can help children with heart valve disorders. Preliminary research reveals the possible benefits of CoQ10 in the treatment of gum disease when taken orally or placed on the gums.


Although normal levels of CoQ10 may be reduced in the body in people with the HIV virus, it has not yet been proven if compound supplements would have any effect on the disease. Clinical researchers also say there is evidence that CoQ10 can help in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, but better-designed trials are needed, according to the December 7, 2011 issue of "The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews."


The Bastyr Center for Natural Health reports that there is “fair evidence” that CoQ10 treatment may help in the prevention of migraine headaches. Some people praise the effects of CoQ10 in improving exercise performance. There may be possible benefits in the treatment of asthma and symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome when used with other therapies. It seems clear to observers that there is promise in the use of CoQ10 to treat various disorders. Only time and more research will tell.

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