From the Research Notes of Andrea Farrell, Contributing Author, Diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease.
CoQ10 is a vitamin-like essential component of the mitochondria, an organelle found in virtually all cells. CoQ10 helps your cells’ mitochondria to generate adenosine triphosphate (ATP), your body’s energy currency. In fact, the body cannot function without CoQ10. Therefore, it’s no surprise that organs with the highest energy needs like the heart, liver and kidneys all contain large amounts of CoQ10.
Ubiquinol is a fat-soluble molecule that’s stored in the liver and fatty tissue and provides the necessary amount of energy that your heart needs to function properly. Research shows that CoQ10 helps to maintain normal cholesterol levels and heart muscle strength and support the health of blood vessel walls. The heart is one of the most metabolically active organs in our body and thus a deficiency in CoQ10 usually affects the heart first. It is important to note that pharmaceutical treatment with statins (cholesterol lowering medications) can inhibit CoQ10 activity and lead to a serious deficiency.
This nutritional supplement is considered contraversial and is now being investigated to see whether or not it lives up to its reputation that many practitioners believe; that it is one of the most important supplements in a Parkinson's disease treatment protocol and may actually slow down the progression. Its role in energy production and prevention of cellular death that has been proven especially when it comes to cardiovascular health, makes me think, 'What can I lose? '
In a well-conducted trial it was found that 1200 mg of CoQ10 a day might be helpful (could they get any more vague?). However this was not proven and a newer trial is underway using much higher doses. Less than 1200 mg a day was not effective in the earlier trial.
Because of all this testing, doctors have been advising their patients that, at the present time, taking this supplement for neuro-protection has no proven value and your insurance company will not pay for CoQ10 because its not considered a 'drug'.
But some research has found that the level of CoQ10 is substantially lower in the mitochondria of the people with PD and that a CoQ10 deficiency can increase the risk of dopamine cell death in the substantia nigra region of the brain.
It boils down to this being your decision. I personally take 200 mg two to four times a day, with meals (sometimes I forget that third and forth time) and I think that I have a much more over-all feeling of wellness. But then really, feeling well is mainly all in our head.
Next time, let’s talk about how you can help your bodies get rid of that toxic load and how we can use integrative medicine to help you heal to the best you can be.