Cholesterol and CoQ-10

New cholesterol guidelines issued: The Journal of the American Medical Association; May 16 2001;285:2486-2497 as reviewed on in Issue 223 - May 26, 2001. New federal guidelines for managing cholesterol issued in the US will increase the number of Americans who are treated for high cholesterol--either by diet or drugs--by roughly 36 million, People with high cholesterol are said to be at risk for heart disease, the leading cause of death in the US.  About 500,000 Americans die of heart disease each year.

Their recommendations include: Patients should consume no more than 7% of calories from saturated fat rather than the previous recommendation of 10%. Adults are advised to consume no more than 35% of calories from total fat, up from the previous recommendation of 30%, provided that the main source is unsaturated fat, which does not raise cholesterol levels. The new target for cholesterol is less than 200 mg a day versus the previous target of under 300mg. HDL level of less than 40 mg/dl is considered to be a risk factor for heart disease, as opposed to 35 mg/dl. Healthy adults should also have a lipoprotein analysis, which measures triglycerides, total cholesterol, LDL and HDL cholesterol once every 5 years. Women are advised against choosing hormone replacement therapy (HRT) as a replacement for cholesterol-lowering drugs. HRT does not appear to lower the risk for a major heart attack among postmenopausal women with heart disease and may increase the risk of stroke. Overall, the guidelines mean that 65 million Americans should make dietary changes to lower cholesterol, up from 52 million who are now candidates, and 36 million should be taking cholesterol-lowering drugs, compared with 13 million at present who are prescribed the drugs.

What has been done is that they simply raised the ante. By changing the "normal" range, more people will be put on cholesterol lowering drugs. After all, that is the answer, isn't it? If people can't lower their cholesterol by following the low-fat nonsense, (it actually raises the "bad" LDL), then they need to take these drugs to prevent them from falling prey to the number one killer in the US, heart disease. Nothing could be further from the truth. About one year ago, "experts" predicted that half the population would be taking these types of drugs. The big issue here is that these potent medications will be over the counter in the near future with a massive PR campaign to encourage people to swallow these potentially dangerous drugs. The amazing thing about these new recommendations is that they completely ignore the previously published evidence that is quite clear in documenting that the actual cholesterol level itself is not the most important risk factor but is actually the ratio between the level of total cholesterol and HDL. This ideal HDL/ cholesterol ratio should be higher than 25% and generally speaking the higher the better. The ideal triglyceride/cholesterol ratio should be below 2.0. Essential fatty acids show good response.

Consider Glucobalance, Flax Seed Oil and TriChol

There are likely to be some people who benefit from these drugs, but it is probably far less than 5% of the people who currently take them. These are individuals with total cholesterol above 350 who have inherited liver processing problems. If these individuals take the statin drugs however, they should also take Coenzyme Q10, which is important for heart health and, like cholesterol, is reduced when one takes these drugs. On CoQ10 and heart function, see reverse.
ow low do you want your cholesterol? If you did not know any better and just listened to the "experts" you would think cholesterol is an evil substance and that most of us would benefit from lowering our cholesterol as low as possible. Cholesterol is a vitally important substance that is responsible for building cell membranes and many of our hormones. If the level drops too low we are actually at increased risk. The literature shows that low cholesterol is associated with numerous problems such as aggressive behavior, stroke risk, depression, violence. Low cholesterol is also a good reason to look for cancer in the system. Cholesterol lowering drugs are expensive and suppress the immune system as well as CoQ10 production. Caveat emptor!

Facts on CoQ10 and the Heart from an audio tape, Current Research on Coenzyme Q10, 1996, A Clinical Practice Update by Alan Gaby, M.D. 
Coenzyme Q10 and Body Energy: CoQ10 is a component of the electron transport chain for making the body's basic chemical powerpak, ATP. Energy or ATP levels directly correlate with CoQ10 levels. The healing ability and health of organs (heart, etc.) or tissues (gums, etc.) clinically correspond to their levels of CoQ10. Serum levels of CoQ10 are below normal in people with immune conditions. Supplementing raises serum CoQ levels and shows improvement in the conditions in animal studies where the macrophages become more active and the immunoglobulin levels go up. In AIDS patients supplementing with CoQ10, the helper T-cells went up, and most experience a general overall improvement in well being, and have less opportunistic infections. 

The American Journal of Cardiology's study on patients with terminal cardiomyopathy (75% die within 2 years) showed 60% alive at 5 years when taking CoQ10. Their NY Heart Association classification improved by an average of one unit comparing heart rate on exertion and breathing, and heart capacity increased from 25% to 40%. Clinical Investigator reported several hundred with congestive heart failure given 150 mg CoQ10 for 1 year to have 38% fewer hospitalizations for congestive heart failure and 60% fewer for pulmonary edema, a more severe manifestation of CHF. This is significant because 90% are dead within 10 years. While vasodilators prolong life by allowing the heart not to pump as hard, CoQ10 improves the bioenergetics of the heart. 
Medications and CoQ10.

Adriamycin, a common chemo-therapeutic used for lung and certain female cancers, causes an irreversible cardiac toxicity and it can be administered until such takes place. There is evidence that this toxicity is mediated by a depletion of CoQ10 dependent enzymes. In one study, 7 patients on Adriamycin, given 100 mg of CoQ10, were able to receive even higher doses of Adriamycin, yet none of these developed cardiotoxicity as did all the 7 controls. Nor does CoQ10 interfere with the anticancer effect of Adriamycin. 

Beta blockers used to take the load off the heart and for hypertension, also interfere with CoQ10 production. Thus for some of the side effects of beta blockers are malaise, congestive heart failure, etc. CoQ10 not only offsets these side effects, but is shown to have good clinical indications for these very conditions. Hypertension studies using 50 mg to 200 mg of CoQ10 clinically, the higher amounts taking less time, showed lowering of systolic an average of 18 mm of mercury and diastolic 12 mm of mercury.
Lovastatin and several other cholesterol lowering drugs function by inhibiting the mevalonic acid pathway, the same pathway which produces CoQ10. Humans and animals taking these drugs show lower levels of CoQ10, which is one of the most important of cardiac nutrients. Supplementing with 10 to 30 mg of CoQ10 protects the heart being protected by Lovastatin.
CoQ10 is being used in studies with cancer, Muscular Dystrophy, (both cardiac and skeletal function improve), gastric ulcers especially due to hypoxia in older people, diabetic blood sugar control, athletic performance improvement, etc.
CoQ10 is beneficial with myocardial ischemia, LDL protection, allergies, antioxidant capabilities, oxygenation of bio-membranes, protecting sub-mitochondrial particles, essential arterial hypertension. The benefit of the Biotics Research's emulsified form of CoQ10 is about three times that of the non-emulsified dry forms.