Co Enzyme Q10 (Part 3)
This edition we take a closer look at disease processes that can indicate a need for CoQ10 supplements with other complementary compounds.
All chronic disease starts with changes to normal cell chemistry. The biochemistry of our cells is ridiculously complex. I once saw an attempt of a scientist to visually display all the main cell chemistry and it looked like a road map of New York. Countless millions of chemical reactions and processes occur every second. When these collectively work normally, the cell is healthy and healthy cells make healthy tissue and healthy tissue makes for a healthy body.
Actually, there are only a handful of ‘first causes’ of changes to normal cell chemistry that cause disease. Putting aside pathogens like bacteria and viruses and strictly genetic causes there are a few dominant disease processes.
Our cell Mitochondria are our internal engines that take the energy from food and finally change this into the form of energy our bodies need. There is a complex multi-step process that targets hydrogen in food to eventually free this to make energy.
At the end of the line is an amazing enzyme in cell mitochondria called ATP synthase which is powered by hydrogen electrons to generate ATP (adenosine triphosphate) to provide the energy for countless processes. Even the actual process of separating the hydrogen from food chemicals uses ATP. Everything ultimately is dependent on ATP.
Like any engines whether chemical or mechanical they have potential weaknesses. Some diseases can damage delicate mitochondrial processes. For example, studies show that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome weakens the processes that make ATP resulting in significantly less energy made than in healthy people. This will seem pretty obvious to people like me who have had CFS.
A common source of mitochondrial dysfunction are increases in free radicals from faulty cell energy chemistry. The worst offender is a nitrogen radical called peroxynitrite created by increased production of nitric oxide. The problem is that these faulty changes cause a sort of vicious cycle where the faulty chemistry causes changes that create a semi-permanent dysfunction.
The result is always tiredness but other symptoms are determined by the type of active disease. For example mitochondrial changes occur in different autoimmune diseases and neurodegenerative disease result in quite different types of tissue damage. In MS it is nerves, in Polymyalgia it is skeletal muscle, in Rheumatoid Arthritis it is joints.
So what are the solutions? Surprisingly at the very top is a review of vitamin D status as many illnesses are affected by low vitamin D. For example research shows that low vitamin D levels correlate to increased levels of inflammatory chemicals such as TNFα associated with many inflammatory problems especially autoimmune disease.
The second thing we do is to address fatty acid balance by removing inflammatory fats such as Omega 6 rich seed oils and animal saturated fats. We then boost anti-inflammatory oils such as Omega 3 and monounsaturated oils.
The third step is to cover off a base level of all micro nutrients through a good diet and base supplements. I usually start with my Cell-X multi-mineral/vitamin/antioxidant complex. I often add extra Magnesium to relax damaged nerves and tissue.
However the most important component of nutritional therapy is adding a cocktail of mitochondrial nutrients. These help to increase energy output, support flagging energy processes and reduce free radical damage my actively targeting the free radicals that damage delicate energy systems.
I formulated my MTQ10 to bring targeted nutrients into mitochondria and then to protect mitochondria from abnormal free radical damage.This is my most potent energy formula.
We start with high grade CoQ10 as Kaneka Q10® to help energy production. This is essential for transporting electrons to ATP synthase. Acetyl l Carnitine (ALC) can be useful as this is the carrier for larger fat molecules into mitochondria for energy. ALC can also be helpful for those trying to lose weight or for those on higher fat paleo-type diets.
R-Alpha lipoic acid and N acetylcysteine (NAC) help to control free radicals and regenerate other antioxidants. NAC is very important as it helps regenerate glutathione which is critical to detoxify the liver. Alpha lipoic acid is brilliant to help with problems that affect nerves. Make sure your Alpha Lipoic acid is the bioactive ‘R’ form. The ‘S’ form is much less effective.
B complex vitamins are used at almost every stage of the energy processes and folic acid, B6 and B12 are critical to our detox processes to get rid of toxic compounds such as homocysteine. The key with B vitamins is to get the right balance for best results.
Some botanical antioxidants have dual roles as both potent free radical scavengers and as anti-inflammatory agents. These include the grape antioxidants ActiVin® from grape seeds and Resveratrol. Curcumin from turmeric is a potent anti-inflammatory agent that works in the same processes as some anti-inflammatory drugs.
All these compounds are included in my MTQ10 formula. If your energy is depleted I suggest that you combine Vitamin D, Cell-X, and MTQ10 with Omega 3 fish oil. This combination is excellent for energy or to support body processes weakened by autoimmune or neurological problems.
A combination of a great diet and these beneficial supplements can make a real difference in life quality for those with these types of inflammatory problems. Give me a call if you need personalised advice or some more information.
John Arts (B.Soc.Sci, Dip Tch, Adv.Dip.Nut.Med.) is a nutritional medicine practitioner and founder of Abundant Health. If you have questions or need help you can contact John 0800 423559. You can email John at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that the health advice given through this column is for general educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any health problem. © John Arts 2016