Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Vitamin 101 Continues.....

My first choice in discussing vitamins (and I will use vitamins/supplements/minerals interchangeably for convenience) is one that is close to my heart…hah! Coenzyme Q 10 is an enzyme produced by the body that helps with energy production and supports heart health. I know that everyone is concerned about cancer these days, but heart disease kills more women than all cancers combined. Interestingly enough, cancer led me to CoQ10.

I underwent treatment for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma several years ago, and I was diagnosed with diastolic dypsnea (shortness of breath) as a result of chemo. Not wanting to let cancer "win" another organ system, I began researching and found that the chemo had impacted the mitochondria of the cell. The mitochondria are the energy powerhouses at the cellular level. Further digging revealed that CoQ10 worked at the mitochondrial level to repair and restore. CoQ10 has been used extensively in Japan for years for heart health and has a strong safety record. Also, in patients who are taking statins for cholesterol, CoQ10 levels in the body are decreased and taking supplemental CoQ10 can sometimes help relieve side effects.

Back to the diastolic dypsnea….after taking CoQ10 for several weeks and a return to the cardiologist, I no longer had the diagnosis. While my cardiologist was not willing to give CoQ10 the credit, I am not willing to stop taking it. My heart health is great, the side effect profile of CoQ10 is minimal (usually mild stomach upset at most), it does not accumulate in the body, and, according to Mayo Clinic, there is good scientific evidence to support the use of CoQ10 for heart failure and high blood pressure. The list of other potential benefits of CoQ10 ranges from decreased cancer risk to better eye health and even anti-aging (!) benefits.

As for me, I will continue my 100 mg of CoQ10 daily….without dypsnea. I generally suggest this dose for all aged 45 years and older as the levels of CoQ10 in the body decrease with age.

Healthy living with John Hollis Pharmacy!

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