Q10 has been widely promoted for cardiovascular health for several decades, based on a variety of studies. In the new study various mechanisms of Q10 activity in the circulatory system are documented, indicating that supplemental intake of Q10, which is known to increase levels in your circulatory system, may be of extreme value to cardiovascular health.
LDL cholesterol, often termed “bad,” is vital to your health and transport of nutrition around your body. It forms plaque only if it is damaged; i.e., oxidized by free radicals or toxins. Because LDL cholesterol specializes in transporting fat-soluble nutrients, it often carries packages of tocotrienol E, carotenes, vitamin K, vitamin A, and coenzyme Q10 on board. These antioxidants can be called into action if the LDL transport vehicle encounters a hostile situation. Of course, if you are lacking intake of fat-soluble antioxidants your LDL cholesterol is readily oxidized, leading to accumulation in your arteries and increased risk for heart disease.
In the new study human endothelial cell cultures were exposed to oxidized LDL cholesterol. Q10 was shown to exert multiple benefits in this experimental situation that closely approximates what goes on in your circulation:
- Q10 demonstrated direct antioxidant activity, reducing the free radicals that were coming out of the oxidized LDL cholesterol, in turn making it less like a time bomb that your body tries to sequester in your arteries so as to prevent it from causing a chain reaction of additional damage in your circulation.
- Oxidized LDL causes an increase in inflammatory nitric oxide (iNOS) that triggers irritation and damage, as well as vascular constriction that leads to high blood pressure. At the same time oxidized LDL depletes the friendly nitric oxide (eNOS) that is needed to relax your arteries and keep the blood flowing to important places. Q10 did exactly the opposite, suppressing inflammatory iNOS, turning back on friendly eNOS.
- Oxidized LDL triggers excess activity of the core inflammatory gene signal known as NF-kappaB , in turn causing adhesion molecules to be released by immune cells, a key process that causes oxidized LDL to stick to the walls of your arteries. Q10 directly turned down excess NF-kappaB , blunting this critical step in plaque formation.
Q10 has long been known as a vital energy boosting nutrient for your heart. This study helps explain other important mechanisms of Q10 activity toward the goal of better cardiovascular health.
Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist