Coenzyme Q10 (Salem Health: Cancer)
Cancers treated or prevented: All, particularly breast cancer
Delivery routes: Orally as a pill (capsule or tablet) or intravenously (IV injection), the latter in animal studies
How this substance works: Coenzyme Q10 was first isolated from beef heart mitochondria (energy-producing structures in the cell) by Dr. Frederick Crane in 1957. A year later, Karl Folkers determined the exact structure of coenzyme Q10. Coenzymes are cofactors upon which the relatively large and complex enzymes absolutely depend in order to function. Coenzyme Q10 acts as a coenzyme for at least three mitochondrial enzymes in addition to enzymes in other areas of the cell. Mitochondrial enzymes are crucial for the production of high-energy adenosine triphosphate (ATP), upon which all cellular activities depend; coenzyme Q10 acts as a coenzyme for several of the key enzymatic energy-generating steps in the cell. It also serves as an antioxidant vital to its clinical effects. Studies in animals found that coenzyme Q10 boosts the immune system and may be helpful in fighting certain infections and cancer. Since some conventional cancer therapies such as drugs and radiation therapy destroy cancer cells by producing free radicals, researchers are trying to find out whether coenzyme Q10 in conjunction with traditional cancer treatments may affect the outcome.
Side effects: While no serious side...
(The entire section is 286 words.)
Coenzyme Q10 (Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine)
Coenzyme Q10 is a fat-soluble nutrient also known as CoQ10, vitamin Q10, ubidecarenone, or ubiquinone. It is a natural product of the human body that is primarily found in the mitochondria, which are the cellular organelles that produce energy. It occurs in most tissues of the human body; however, the highest concentrations are found in the heart, liver, kidneys, and pancreas. Ubiquinone takes its name from a combination of the word ubiquitous, meaning something that is found everywhere, and quinone 10. Quinones are substances found in all plants and animals. The variety found in humans has a 10-unit side chain in its molecular structure. Apart from the important process that provides energy, CoQ10 also stabilizes cell membranes and acts as an antioxidant. In this capacity, it destroys free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can damage normal cells.
CoQ10 is used extensively in Canada, Western Europe, Japan, and Russia to treat congestive heart failure. It is available as a prescription medication almost everywhere it is sold, although it is sold over-the-counter as a nutritional supplement in the United States. Some studies have shown it to be effective for as many as 70% of patients with congestive heart failure. It appears to improve patient health...
(The entire section is 1393 words.)