Do you have high cholesterol? Here’s what you should know about Ubiquinol 29



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Heart health is a serious topic in Australia – cardiovascular disease kills one Australian every 12 minutes. More than 5 million Australians experience high cholesterol, with 2.8 million Australians taking statin medication to control cholesterol levels. If you are one of the 2.8 million taking statins, there’s a good chance your doctor may have mentioned Ubiquinol (the active form of CoQ10) supplements. If you’re wondering what the fuss is all about, or what in fact Ubiquinol does and how it relates to statins, leading cardiologist Dr Ross Walker has the top five things you need to know about Ubiquinol.

Ubiquinol is found naturally in your body

Ubiqunol plays a vital role in keeping cellular energy production at its peak and is essential for a healthy heart. Ubiquinol is the active form of CoQ10, which is one of the most powerful antioxidants found naturally in every living cell of the human body. However, as we age, Ubiquinol levels in our body start to decrease, contributing to a loss of energy and stamina. This is compounded by free radical activity, which reduces cellular energy levels and causes cell damage through oxidation.

High levels of Ubiquinol are found in healthy hearts

In addition to providing energy for our cells, Ubiquinol is an antioxidant which acts to balance oxidative stress by helping to control free radicals, as well as help maintain healthy LDL cholesterol levels in healthy people. Unfortunately, as we age, stress or over exert ourselves mentally and physically the natural levels of Ubiquinol in our body decline. So from about the age of 30, we may need to replenish our Ubiquinol levels.

It comes in two forms

CoQ10 has two forms: the oxidized form, named Ubiquinone (conventional CoQ10), and the reduced form which is Ubiquinol (the active form of CoQ10). More than 90 % of the CoQ10 in the plasma of a healthy individual is found in the reduced form, Ubiquinol, the form of CoQ10 that is readily synthesized by the human body. Whilst Ubiquinone must be converted into Ubiquinol in order to be used in the body, Ubiquinol does not require any conversion process, making it much easier for your body to immediately absorb and reap the benefits.

It can assist with statin symptoms

Approximately 2.8[i] million Australians take statins to lower their LDL cholesterol levels. Statins are an integral part of treating cholesterol issues in Australia- countless studies show that statins can reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke by 20%.

However, this does not mean there isn’t room for evidence-based supplementation that can complement a statin prescription.

One particular side effect that is common amongst statin-takers is statin-induce myopathy, a condition where once experiences muscle tension, weakness and pain as a result of taking statins. In a 2012 study, [ii] researchers found that patients who were taking statins and supplemented with Ubiquinol experienced a reduction in muscle pain by up to 54% and a reduction in muscle weakness by 44%.

There is also a growing body of research providing evidence that Ubiquinol supplementation can assist in lowering levels of LDL cholesterol with consistent use. A 2011 study[iii] studied the effect of Ubiquinol supplementation on lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol plasma levels and found both a reduction in LDL cholesterol and an increase in CoQ10 levels within the body of each subject.

It can strengthen your heart

Researchers at Christian Albrechts University found that Ubiquinol is highest in healthy hearts and lower in failing hearts. The study investigated the link between levels of CoQ10 and a protein that is produced by an unhealthy heart. When heart failure develops or worsens, the heart produces a protein called N-terminal-pro-BNP (NT-pro-BNP). The levels of this protein increase as heart failure symptoms worsen and decrease as the condition stabilises. The study found that high levels of NT-pro-BNP are closely linked to low levels of Ubiquinol (the reduced form of Co-enzyme Q10). This is one of the reasons that I recommend Ubiquinol to any of my patients who may have a predisposition to heart disease, or are already experiencing heart-related concerns.

There are many national brands that make products that contain Ubiquinol.

Ask your health practitioner or local pharmacist for the best product for you.

Guest Contributor

  1. My husband was allergic to statins and ended up with rabdomyelitis (his whole body tissued) Drs wouldn’t believe me when I reported symptoms. Ruined his kidneys etc, suffice to say it took 12 years at least off his life. I am also allergic to most cholesterol lowering medication and suffered acute anaemia from one in particular. ALWAYS question and check yourself when starting new medication.

  2. I went off statins. Probably shouldn’t have been on them in the first place as even though my cholesterol was 6.2 my chances of having a heart attack were less than 7%. I tried a lot of different ‘natural’ products. Then I went onto a product called Red Yeast Rice 600 with COQ10. My cholesterol went down to 4.1 in 2 months. I could only buy it over the internet. If you are thinking of changing get the tablets not the powder as it is not supposed to work. Have been on this for well over a year.

  3. This from the Mayo Clinic Use cautiously in people who are taking warfarin. CoQ10 may reduce the effectiveness of warfarin.

    CoQ10 may increase the risk of bleeding. Caution is advised in people with bleeding disorders or taking drugs that may increase the risk of bleeding. Dosing adjustments may be necessary.

    Use cautiously in people who have skin disorders. CoQ10 may cause skin itching and rashes.

    Use cautiously in people who have stomach disorders. CoQ10 may cause nausea, upset stomach, and vomiting.

    Use cautiously in people who have mitochondrial disorders. CoQ10 may worsen mobility.

    Use cautiously in people who have headache or migraines. CoQ10 may cause headache.

    CoQ10 may affect blood sugar levels. Caution is advised in people with diabetes or low blood sugar, and in those taking drugs, herbs, or supplements that affect blood sugar. Blood sugar levels may need to be monitored by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist, and medication adjustments may be necessary.

    CoQ10 may cause low blood pressure. Caution is advised in people taking drugs or herbs and supplements that affect blood pressure.

    Use cautiously in people who have thyroid problems or those taking thyroid agents. CoQ10 may affect thyroid hormone levels and interact with thyroid agents (such as Synthroid®).

    Use cautiously in people who take heart rate-regulating agents. CoQ10 may affect heart rate.

    CoQ10 may also cause abnormal breathing, back pain, bronchitis, changes in attention, changes in sperm motility, cholesterol, chest pain, constipation, coughing, diarrhea, dizziness, fainting, falling, fatigue, flu-like symptoms, fungal skin infection, gas, head pressure, hearing loss, heart attack, heartburn, heart dysfunction, indigestion, insomnia, irritability, light sensitivity, loss of appetite, low energy, lung inflammation, muscle pain, night sweats, reduced g-force tolerance, respiratory tract infection, runny nose, sinus inflammation, sore throat, stomach pain, trembling, urinary infection, and viral infection.

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  4. I have no problems with cholesterol but I have never eaten a lot of junk..give me a bag of grapes and I am happy..and don’t go telling me grapes are bad for me too lolol

  5. Always worries me that taking a supplement of something that the body uses/produces naturally, is contra indicated with so many pharmaceuticals. I go with the dr that advised introducing the supplement slowly, while testing for results thereby allowing the body to balance itself. Started my mum on a liver supplement (liquid ) had to reduce her warfarin dose by 1mg &her liver function tests now show normal, which,considering the number of medications she’s on is very good. She is 87

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