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Home  > Articles on Health  > Dr. Atkins on CoQ10

Dr. Atkins on CoQ10

The following article is an excerpt from Dr. Atkins' Vita Nutrient Solution:

CoEnzymeQ10 Ė The vital nutrient

"When I coined the word "vita-nutrient," I was thinking of coenzyme Q10 or CoQ10. It is neither vitamin (the body can make it from other nutrients) nor mineral nor amino acid, yet it is absolutely vital to our health and vital that we get enough of it. CoQ10 is essential to energy production in our every cell, allowing the cells to live longer. It is universally present in the body, so much so that science formally named it 'ubiquinone.'"

"Focused on their circumscribed methodology, early researchers never asked why a supposedly "nonessential" biochemical was ubiquitous. Fortunately some progressive investigators did ask, and they eventually learned the answer: In high enough amounts it performs an entire gamut of functions essential to optimum health. Nature, it seems, must want it to be made available to all part of our bodies."

"Far beyond producing energy, CoQ10 can protect the body from destructive free radicals and enhance our immune defenses making it extremely important to preventing and treating heart disease, diabetes, periodontal disease, high blood pressure, obesity, cancer and a growing list of neurological conditions. On top of all this, it may help put the brakes on the aging process."

"All the benefits on this laundry list are attainable- but only when we provide ourselves with an optimal amount of CoQ10, which can be attained only with supplements. Food contains only trace amounts, and our bodies manufacture it in sometimes adequate, but never optimal, quantities. Deficiencies, unfortunately, are quite common."

Health Starts with the Heart

"All organs with high energy demands need a lot of CoQ10, and the most important is the heart. At the beginning of 1990, some fifty studies around the world attested to CoQ10ís impact on cardiomyopathy, arrhythmia, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, mitral valve prolapse, and hypertension. When people who needed heart transplant took the nutrient, their conditions improved so remarkably that transplant surgery was no longer necessary. When administered following a coronary bypass operation, CoQ10 reduces recovery time. And three separate studies showed that when 100 mg was given daily to several thousand people suffering from heart failure, more than 75% displayed improvements in pulmonary function, edema, and heart palpitations Ė with no side effects. Nothing in mainstream cardiology comes close to this kind of success. I am at a loss to explain why CoQ10 is not prescribed routinely to every heart patient."

"Iím particularly impressed by CoQ10ís therapeutic strength in treating cardiomyopathy, a mixed bag of conditions impairing the heart muscle that collectively are the third most common form of cardiovascular disease. Cardiomyopathy often is the most life-threatening of all heart conditions, and itís probably the number one reason that people undergo a heart transplant operation. Supplementation improves the prognosis in so many instances that I think the condition is best described as a CoQ10 deficiency."

"Generous doses of CoQ10 have helped a clear majority of my cardiomyopathy patients, and several of them, who were on the waiting list for a donor heart, found that their old heart would do just fine. My experience is by no means unique, as the abundant research documents. In one study 87 percent of 126 cardiomyopathy patients displayed a noticeable improvements in heart function, again without adverse effects, after taking 100 mg per day."

"The virtual absence of side effects could arguably be CoQ10ís foremost advantage. Drugs merely mask symptoms; they donít solve the underlying problem, which for most heart disease is the continued presence of atherosclerotic plaque buildups that ultimately block blood vessels. Most cardiovascular drugs not only fail to deal with hardening of the arteries, but in many cases compound it, exposing people to even greater perils. CoQ10 in contrast, deals effectively with most of the factors that cause atherosclerosis."

"The heart is utterly dependent on CoQ10 to meet its constant energy needs; the muscle contains twice as much of the nutrient as any other organ or tissue in the body. People with heart disease have 25% less CoQ10 than their healthy counterparts. Should the deficiency reach 75%, some experts have speculated, the heart would stop beating."

"Perhaps this explains why lovastatin and the other overprescribed cholesterol-lowering drugs have such a mediocre record for saving lives: one of their side effect is inhibiting the bodyís natural ability to make CoQ10. One investigation documented six cases of cardiomyopathy that were caused by lovastatin. Cholesterol drugs are self-defeating in another CoQ10 related way. The ubiquitous quinone actually is a good antioxidant, helping to prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, considered to be the most artery-clogging substance of all. Because CoQ10 migrates naturally to the heart, some researchers suggest that it may be the most important of all antioxidants for preventing atherosclerosis."

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