A recent study at Harvard Medical School found an association with low blood levels of Coenzyme-Q10 (CoQ10) and critical illness, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI).
The study sought to determine if low plasma readings were common to only critically ill patients with septic shock or if lower CoQ10 plasma levels were common to all critically ill patients.
According to MedLinePlus, â€œSeptic shock (SS) is a serious condition that occurs when an overwhelming infection leads to life-threatening low blood pressure.â€
Thirty-two critically ill patients were checked, some with SS and others without SS against the average CoQ10 plasma levels of the healthy subjects. Although the SS CoQ10 level average was the lowest, those who were critically ill without SS didnâ€™t fare much better. It was significantly lower than the control group.
The study, â€œCritical illness is associated with decreased plasma levels of coenzyme Q-10: A cross-sectional studyâ€ concluded that â€œdecreased plasma CoQ10 levels are not specific to patients with SS, but rather observed in a broad range of critically ill patients. In critically ill patients, CoQ10 insufficiency may be associated with various conditions; age may be a risk factor.â€
The What and Why of CoQ10
CoQ10 availability is a factor of age. The bodyâ€™s ability to produce or recycle it starts declining around age 20. By 80 years of age the ability to produce it is virtually non-existent.
It is a non-protein vitamin-like compound that assists enzymesâ€™ metabolic production in cellular mitochondria for adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which provides energy for bodily functions.
This ATP process depends heavily on oxygen, without which cells cannot create sufficient ATP and are forced to adapt to fermentation for their energy.
CoQ10 as ubiquinone is the oxidized form that is ubiquitous in every cell of the body. It needs to be converted to ubiquinol, the active antioxidant form to be part of the ATP production cycle. CoQ10 is fat soluble. So taking it with foods that contain fats is advised. CoQ10 was first identified in 1957. It caught on heavily among the Japanese, especially among those with heart disease issues.
CoQ10 health benefits
Although CoQ10 is ubiquitous, as the terms ubiquinone and ubiquinol imply, it tends to be attracted to organsâ€™ cells that require more energy to function properly, such as the kidneys, liver, pancreas and heart. So anyone having difficulties with those organs could try supplementing CoQ10.*
CoQ10 is especially important as one ages in order to remain healthy enough to enjoy the â€œGolden Years.â€ A sufficient amount to gain health benefits is typically 90 to 150 mg daily.*