Most doctors are pretty quick to point out the faults in alternative medicine. But when it comes to their own limitations, they seem to be wearing blinders.
For example, most M.D.s don’t think twice before giving out nutritional advice… even though they’re technically not qualified to do so.
The typical background for a registered dietician is a 4-year degree in nutrition, dietetics, or a related field as a first step. That pretty much blocks out most M.D.s.
U.S. News & World Report found less than a third of U.S. medical schools provide the minimum suggested class time in nutrition. Which is a measly 25 hours. Over four years of medical school.
So, when doctors bash supplements – which they often do – take it with a grain of salt. Nutrition is not an area of expertise for most doctors.
Case in point? The one nutrient every adult over 50 should probably take for their heart.
Your Heart Is a Machine… and Machines Need Fuel
Your heart is a pump. A fantastical one, but a pump nonetheless. And, like all machines, your pump needs care and maintenance. And fuel.
Proper care and maintenance include regular exercise, keeping your weight down, getting plenty of sleep, etc. Fuel is simpler. It’s just one thing: ATP.
ATP (adenosine triphosphate) is fuel for every muscle in your body. And your heart is one big muscle.
Your body uses a process called “cellular respiration” to make this fuel. And cellular respiration takes place in tiny structures called mitochondria. In simple terms, these little energy factories take glucose (sugar) and oxygen and convert it to fuel – ATP.
Your muscles – including the heart – are packed with mitochondria when you’re young. But, as you get older, some of these energy factories begin to shut down. And your energy supply begins to drop.
One key reason? As you age, your body makes less CoQ10.
CoQ10 Fights the Effects of Age
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10 for short) is a vitamin-like substance that plays two key roles in your mitochondria. First, it’s critical to the electron transfer process. No electron transfer, no ATP production.
Second, CoQ10 is also a key antioxidant.
You see cellular respiration produces free radicals. Think of them as the carbon dioxide you breathe out during your respiration cycle. Except this is happening on the cellular level.
CoQ10 is uniquely positioned to boost your energy levels. Because it makes energy production possible… and neutralizes the dangerous byproducts of the process.
The age-related drop in CoQ10 puts you at a disadvantage. Your body responds by shutting down some mitochondria. Your cells produce less energy. And your muscles – including your heart – become less efficient.
This change is gradual. And reversible. Because CoQ10 supplements can make a difference. Just take a look at a few of the studies on CoQ10 published since the end of 2015…
Recent Research: CoQ10 Offers Multiple Heart-Health Benefits
- July 2016 – Diabetics who took CoQ10 for just 8 weeks had lower levels of key markers of inflammation than those taking a placebo.
- March 2017 – Taking CoQ10 improves antioxidant status in dialysis patients.
- June 2017 – A study published in the journal Heart Vessels reveals the potency of CoQ10. Heart patients admitted to the hospital with low CoQ10 levels were far more likely to die than those with higher CoQ10 levels.
- July 2017 – Doctors in China review 14 clinical trials on CoQ10 in heart failure. They find taking CoQ10 lowers the risk of death and boosts exercise capacity.
Earlier studies show equally impressive results. Like a study published in 2004 in The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery.
In this study, patients facing heart surgery fared better if they took CoQ10 before their operations. Cellular respiration improved, and they showed fewer markers of free radical damage.
Taking CoQ10 is easy. It’s readily available, safe, and not too expensive. But you need to know a couple of details before you start taking it…
How to Get the Most Out of CoQ10
Not all CoQ10 supplements are created equal.
To begin with there are two forms of CoQ10. Ubiquinone is the traditional supplement form of this nutrient. But it’s not very bioavailable.
You’ll absorb far more of the ubiquinol form – I’ve seen number from 6x to 8x more. But ubiquinol is traditionally less stable. A Japanese doctor – Dr. Kaneka – discovered a way to stabilize ubiquinol. So the words “Kaneka Ubiquinol” on the product label generally assure maximum potency.
Second, CoQ10 supplements don’t stay in your system for long periods. You’ll probably get the biggest benefit by splitting your dose between morning and evening.
Taking 50 mg to 100 mg twice a day should deliver enough CoQ10 to boost your overall levels. And to provide your heart with an extra layer of defense.
If you’re taking any medications, check with your pharmacist to see if there are any conflicts. I say “pharmacist,” because drug interactions is another area most doctors aren’t fully qualified to address.
About the Author: Jason Kennedy is a celebrated investigative health writer and the author of The X-Factor Revolution and Beyond the Blue Zone. With over 10 years of experience working with today’s leading alternative and anti-aging doctors, Jason shares his insider status and access to the latest breakthroughs with thousands of readers from around world.
Colino, C., “How Much Do Doctors Learn About Nutrition?” US News & World Report. Dec 7, 2016.
Mirhashemi, S.M., et al, “The effects of coenzyme Q10 supplementation on cardiometabolic markers in overweight type 2 diabetic patients with stable myocardial infarction,” ARYA Atheroscler. Jul 2016; 12(4): 158-165.
Rivara, M.B., et al, “Effect of Coenzyme Q10 on Biomarkers of Oxidative Stressand Cardiac Function in Hemodialysis Patients,” Am J Kidney Dis. Mar 2017; 69(3): 389-399.
Shimzu, M., et al, “Low circulating coenzyme Q10 during acute phase is associated with inflammation, malnutrition, and in-hospital mortality in patients admitted to the coronary care unit,” Heart Vessels. Jun 2017; 32(6): 668-673.
Lei, L. and Liu, Y., “Efficacy of coenzyme Q10 in patients with cardiac failure: a meta- analysis of clinical trials,” BMC Cardiovasc Disord. Jul 24, 2017; 17(1): 196.
Rosenfeldt, F., et al, “Coenzyme Q10 therapy before cardiac surgery improves mitochondrial function and in vitro contractility of myocardial tissue,” Jrnl Thorac Cardiovas Surg. 2004; 129(1): 25-32.
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