dementia,

  • Coenzyme Q10

    Coenzym Q10

    Dr. med. Heinz Lüscher

     

    Many people know Q10 from the advertising for anti-aging care products. But it would be a pity to limit Q10 to its effect on the skin. Q10 is basically needed by every cell in our body to ensure the energy supply. And it can do even more!

    What is Coenzyme Q10?

    Coenzyme Q10, also known as Q10, ubiquinone-10 or UQ, is a fat-soluble molecule that is similar in structure to vitamin K and vitamin E. Most people are familiar with Q10 from advertising for anti-aging products, so many think it is just a beauty product. However, it can do much more than ensure a firm skin, which is not bad at all.

    Cell-Energy

    Ubiquinone is a very important endogenous coenzyme that occurs in every cell of the body (ubiquitous = everywhere) and has a decisive influence on the formation of the universal body energy ATP (Adenosine Tri-Phosphate). Q10 is one of the crucial nutrients for energy production in the tiny but powerful mitochondria. These are the power plants that work for us in each and every one of our body cells. In the mitochondria, the energy we consume via carbohydrates, fats or proteins is converted into ATP together with oxygen and the power of water. This process, in which many other enzymes and vital substances are involved, is also called the respiratory chain. Coenzyme Q10 plays an important role in the last step of the respiratory chain. Most Q10 is needed by organs with high energy consumption such as the brain, heart, liver, kidneys, pancreas and, in sports, the muscles. However, Q10 is basically urgently needed by every cell in our body to ensure the energy supply.

    But it can do even more!

    Main effects of Q10

    • Promotes the formation of the cell energy ATP
    • Acts antioxidative
    • Stabilizes the cell walls
    • Stabilizes the walls of the mitochondria
    • Strengthens the immune system
    • Protects the nerve cells (neuroprotective)
    • Protects the heart muscle cells (cardioprotective)

    Q10 deficiency

    Even a Q10 deficiency of 25% causes damage to the mitochondria, the tiny cell organelles that produce ATP, which can lead to a noticeable loss of energy. In the course of life, the body's own production decreases continuously. With an increasing deficiency of Q10, the risk of disease also increases. One example is dementia: every brain cell has hundreds to thousands of mitochondria that depend on Q10! The lower the Q10 level, the greater the risk of dementia. Q10 also inhibits inflammation and intercepts free radicals (antioxidant), which is also important in the prevention of dementia.

    Sources of coenzyme Q10

    Q10 is the only fat-soluble antioxidant that can be produced by our body itself. However, this amount is too small, so we have to supplement Q10 with our food. However, there is no food that contains a particularly high amount of Q10, so a balanced diet is crucial. Most Q10 is found in the flesh of organs (e.g. liver), oily fish (e.g. sardines), nuts (e.g. pistachios), pulses, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, vegetable oils, cabbage, onions, potatoes, spinach, Brussels sprouts and broccoli. However, the coenzyme can be destroyed by boiling. Gentle preparation is therefore important.

    When is supplementation with Q10 indicated?

    Supplementation can be recommended as a preventive measure from the age of 50 onwards, especially if problems with reduced energy are already noticeable or if medication is taken which reduces the Q10 level as a side effect. By the way, nobody makes a mistake to be well supplied with Q10. The positive effects e.g. on brain and heart function and life expectancy are proven beyond doubt. If you take Q10 as a dietary supplement, bioavailability is highest when you consume fats at the same time.

    Q10 Predators - drugs

    The cholesterol-lowering statins (CSE inhibitors) and beta-blockers considerably reduce the Q10 level as a side effect, in the case of statins it can be over 50%. Tricyclic antidepressants also lower Q10 levels. Anyone who has to take statins because of high cholesterol (note: a level below 7.0 mmol/l is normal and does not need to be treated, a cholesterol level below 5.0 mmol/l is even more dangerous than too high a level!

    Are there side effects of coenzyme Q10?

    Q10 has no side effects in therapeutic doses up to 2400 mg/day! At even higher doses, which makes no sense therapeutically, diarrhoea and nausea can occur.

    What is the difference between ubiquinone and ubiquinol?

    Ubiquinol is the reduced form of ubiquinone (a reduction is a chemical reaction in which electrons are transferred from one molecule to another). Ubichonol and ubiquinone are 2 states of an identical substance.

    Dosage

    The dosage naturally depends on the disease and its severity, it is between 100 and 500 mg daily. The capsules are taken throughout the day before meals. A lower dose is sufficient for prophylactic replenishment of the Q10 level and is recommended for 3-6 months.

    Recommendations

    Liquid Q10 in soft gel capsules is best absorbed in the intestine. Preference should be given to natural products and not synthetically produced ones. The Q10 Vida, produced with a patented lipid-based process, is very well absorbed in the intestine and the plasma level is significantly higher than with other products during 24 hours. Therefore I gladly recommend this product.

    Here is the study:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19284181

    Coenzyme Q10 may cause a have a preventive or curative effect:

    Chronic fatigue/weariness

    • Problems of concentration
    • Burnout
    • Depression
    • Dementia/Alzheimer's
    • Parkinson
    • Common infections
    • Obesity
    • ALS
    • Treatment with statins or beta blockers
    • Age over 50
    • Breast cancer under tamoxifen treatment
    • Diabetes
    • Chronic inflammation (e.g. arthritis)
    • Fertility disorders
    • Fibromyalgia
    • Cardiovascular diseases
    • Migraine
    • multiple sclerosis
    • Renal insufficiency
    • Periodontosis

    Further clinical studies

    More than 5000 studies about Q10 are published on pubmed.org

    The most important ones:

    Download Coenzym Q10 Article as a PDF

  • Omega-3-Fettsäuren / Krill-Oil

    Omega-3 fatty acids in krill and fish oil

    Dr. med. Heinz Lüscher

     

    Omega-3 fatty acids play an important role in various functions in the organism and therefore have a very wide range of applications in the prevention and treatment of various diseases. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential, so it is imperative that the requirement is covered by the diet. The biologically most active omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA are contained in high quantities in fish and krill oil.

    What are Omega-3-fatty acids?    

    Omega-3-fatty acids belong to the so-called unsaturated fatty acids and are essential for the organism. This means that they cannot be produced by the human body itself and must therefore be taken in with food. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in various plants, algae and above all in fatty sea fish and krill: as αlinolenic acid and its derivatives.

    α-linolenic acid (also known as ALA) is found in vegetable oils such as linseed or rapeseed oil, in the lesser-known oils from the chia and perilla plants, and in algae, walnuts and leafy vegetables. This fatty acid is the precursor of the biologically most active omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). EPA and DHA are mainly found in oily sea fish, krill and certain types of algae. The human body can convert ALA into EPA and DHA, but only to a limited extent.

    What is the purpose of omega-3 fatty acids?

    Omega-3 fatty acids fulfil a variety of functions. They are important for various metabolic processes, are components of the cell membrane and play an important role in the growth and development of children, even in the womb.

    Omega-3 fatty acids protect the heart

    A healthy cardiovascular system ultimately benefits all organs! Omega-3 fatty acids protect against cardiovascular diseases and their consequences. In human studies, the following effects have been shown for EPA and DHA:

    They have an anti-arrhythmic effect (prevent cardiac arrhythmia) both at the level of the atrium and the ventricle.

    • They stabilise unstable vascular areas that could otherwise cause myocardial infarction ("unstable plaques").
    • They slow down the progression of changes in the coronary vessels and thus have a preventive effect on coronary heart disease (CHD).
    • They lower triglyceride levels, which can pose a risk of thrombosis or arteriosclerosis, and improve blood flow.
    • They inhibit platelet aggregation ("clumping" of blood platelets).
    • They have many other beneficial effects on vascular function, blood pressure and inflammatory mediators.

    Omega-3 fatty acids are important for the brain

    Long chain unsaturated fatty acids such as EPA and DHA are very important for normal brain function. How well nerve cells work depends, among other things, on the proportion of omega-3 fatty acids in the cell membranes. This is why omega-3 fatty acids are extremely important for the brain development of the unborn child and babies. In the case of neurological diseases such as AD(H)S, it is also important to ensure a high intake of omega-3 fatty acids. People suffering from AD(H)S often have low omega-3 levels (1). However, symptoms such as concentration and attention disorders, excessive impulsiveness or inner restlessness can be significantly reduced by appropriate omega-3 intake. It has been found that the dose of EPA in particular is crucial for the positive effects to occur. Meanwhile, there have been numerous studies on omega-3 fatty acids in AD(H)S and possible effects on those affected (2).

    Omega-3 fatty acids can further reduce the risk of dementia, such as Alzheimer's disease. It has been observed that people who eat an omega-3-rich diet are less likely to get Alzheimer's disease. High levels of EPA and DHA are related to increased brain volume.

    Omega-3 fatty acids support the immune system

    Omega-3 fatty acids have a positive effect on acute but also chronic inflammation. The topic of inflammation, as well as the influence of omega-3 fatty acids on it, is highly complex! In short and simple terms, the aim of inflammation is actually to eliminate harmful stimuli (e.g. the penetration and spread of pathogens that cause illness). Inflammatory processes can get out of balance and chronic inflammation can develop, as is the case with many chronic diseases, e.g. autoimmune diseases. Omega-3 fatty acids together with vitamin D help to regulate the immune system, which can influence the number of white blood cells (immune cells). So-called macrophages (giant eating cells) have receptors for omega-3 fatty acids. If they dock to these receptors, they block the inflammation inside the macrophage. They also influence the inflammation by promoting basic building blocks for various inflammation-dissolving substances. This explains how omega-3 fatty acids work against excessive inflammatory processes in the organism.

    A team of researchers from the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena and the Harvard Medical School in Boston has published study results on this topic in the journal "Nature Communications". The cellular mechanisms of the dissolution phases of inflammation are described in detail:

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-017-02538-5

    For these reasons, the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA are attributed a high therapeutic effect in numerous chronic degenerative and inflammatory diseases. They are generally recommended to accompany autoimmune and cancer diseases. For example, in the autoimmune disease multiple sclerosis, the damaged myelin sheaths, which in the healthy body protectively surround the nerve fibres, can be at least partially rebuilt with omega-3 fatty acids and coenzyme Q10.  However, people who suffer from recurrent infections can also counteract them with omega-3 fatty acids.

    Possible uses of omega-3 fatty acids

    • Cell structure
    • Strengthening the immune system
    • Chronic inflammatory diseases
    • Autoimmune diseases
    • Prevention or improvement of cardiovascular diseases such as arteriosclerosis, heart attack, angina pectoris, coronary heart disease, thromboses and embolisms.
    • Neurological diseases (dementia, Alzheimer's, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's, AD(H)S, Asperger's syndrome, autism)

    The HS-Omega-3 Index

    HS stands for "High Sensitivity" or "Harris Schacky" (Prof. Dr. Clemens von Schacky Head of Preventive Cardiology, University of Munich and Prof. Dr. W.S. Harris). The omega-3 index provides information about the content of the two omega-3 fatty acids EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and is measured together with 24 other fatty acids in the red blood cells (erythrocytes) using a patented and standardised procedure, which allows an exact statement to be made. Good values are between 8% and 11%, but too low values are very common. A low HS-Omega-3 Index means a high risk of cardiovascular diseases and their consequences.

    Nutrition Recommendation

    Experts recommend including fatty sea fish in the menu twice a week. As "landlocked" people, we are usually not used to this, but even if you are a sea fish lover, the choice of fresh, suitable and not heavy metal-laden fish can be very limited. Therefore it may be appropriate to choose a high quality fish oil or krill oil as a dietary supplement.

    What is the difference between krill oil and fish oil?

    Fish oil does have higher concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids than krill oil. However, the omega-3 acids in krill oil can be better absorbed by the body. This is due to the fact that the omega-3 acids in fish oil are only present in fat-soluble form (bound to triglycerides). In krill oil, on the other hand, they are fat and water soluble because they are bound to phospholipids. This has an effect on the tolerance, digestion and absorption of the oil.

    What speaks for krill oil - what fish oil?

    • The ratio between omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids is 3 times higher in krill oil than in fish oil.
    • Unlike fish oil, krill oil contains natural astaxanthin. However, there are also high-quality fish oil on the market to which astaxanthin is added.
    • Krill is at the beginning of the food chain. This means that there is hardly any accumulation of heavy metals and other toxins in the animal's body. Fish, however, are higher up the food chain. The risk of enrichment is greater.
    • In contrast to fish, the risk of overfishing is very low for krill. The krill stock is estimated at around 500 million tonnes. No other species in the world produces more mass than krill. The total annual catch is about 200,000 tonnes, which represents less than 0.1% of the stock. Nevertheless, it is important to use only krill from sustainable sources.
    • Omega-3 fatty acids in high-quality fish oil are cheaper than those in krill oil.

    What is astaxanthin?

    Astaxanthin is a natural, reddish colouring agent that belongs to the carotenoids. It is mainly produced by green algae and is responsible for the red colouring of crustaceans such as krill, which consume these algae. Astaxanthin is a powerful antioxidant that helps the body eliminate dangerous free radicals. Astaxanthin does not only unfold its protective effect in the body, but also preserves the krill or fish oil during storage (e.g. in the capsule/bottle).

    What to look for when buying krill or fish oil?

    For environmental reasons, krill and fish oil should only be purchased from sustainable and controlled sources. Krill oil should be processed as soon as possible after capture. If a fish oil is preferred, it is important that it has been tested for heavy metals and, if applicable, cleaned appropriately.

    Dosage recommendations

    Fish oil: 1-2g omega-3 fatty acids daily

    Krill oil: 0.4-0.8g omega-3 fatty acids daily

    For better absorption, it is best taken with a meal.

    Download Omega-3/Krill-Artcile as PDF

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