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Antioxidant Properties: Coenzyme Q10 is being used for a variety of products

June 1, 2000

Source: Nutritional Outlook

Coenzyme Q10 has emerged as a multi-purpose ingredient, appropriate for use in a variety of products. The largest body of research shows CoQ10 may be beneficial for the heart, as studies have identified CoQ10 deficiency in many heart patients. A study by the University of Texas found that patients being treated for congestive heart failure who took CoQ10 in addition to standard therapy had a 75 percent chance of survival after three years, while those using conventional therapy only experienced a 25 percent survival rate. In Japan, CoQ10 is an approved drug used for treating heart disease. Here in the US, CoQ10 is sold as a dietary supplement primarily for its antioxidant properties, according to Donald Blaine, general manager, Kyowa Hakko USA Inc., Aliso Viejo, CA, a leading supplier of natural CoQ10 worldwide.

CoQ10 is made in the body and can be found in almost all cells. But studies have found that as the body ages, its ability to produce CoQ10 decreases. While found naturally in food sources such as mackerel and sardines; organ meats like heart, liver and kidney; soy oil and peanuts, it takes large amounts of these generally fatty foods to get the needed amount. To create the amounts needed for supplementation, Kyowa Hakko products are produced through fermentation and extraction from microorganisms in standard industrial production. The process provides a natural CoQ10 equal to that found in the human body. "The process offers exceptional, consistent quality and cost effectiveness," says Blaine. "Fermentation also facilitates volume production and produces related availability advantages."

Product Lineup
A variety of products are coming to market to acquaint consumers with the various benefits of CoQ10. Advanced CoQ10, from Changes®, a Twinlab company, Hauppauge, NY, is part of the company's CardioCare lineup. The ingredient is delivered in a micelle-enclosed emulsion soft gelatin capsule and is deemed "ultra-absorbable" by the company. A double blind study showed CoQ10 in these types of capsules increases the overall amount of blood stream (serum) CoQ10 by 927 percent over regular hard gel capsules. Each capsule contains 50mg of CoQ10.

In addition to uses in supplements, CoQ10 is also being used in personal care products such as Nivea®'s Visage line of Wrinkle Control creams. According to Susan Savoie, vice president of marketing at Beiersdorf, Wilton, CT, makers of Nivea, the products represent a dramatic new advance in safely reducing wrinkles by harnessing the gentle power of CoQ10 to mimic one of the body's own natural wrinkle defenses. "Unlike other anti-wrinkle agents that work aggressively to strip away the top layer of skin to reveal a new layer below, Nivea Visage Q10 Wrinkle Control gives back a natural substance found in skin when you're young. Once you use Nivea Visage Q10 Wrinkle Control, it works naturally to enhance the skin's basic cell function," adds Savoie. Because the products include CoQ10 identical to that produced naturally by our bodies, Savoie asserts the formulation is well tolerated and quickly absorbed. Studies show that within 10 days of applying the Q10 Wrinkle Control, wrinkles were reduced by 34 percent.

For its toothpaste, Q-DENT, Q-Pharma, Edmonds, WA, calls upon CoQ10 for its antioxidant properties. "Over 70 percent of the adult population will get gingivitis at some point," says Jan Hess, PhD, president and CEO, Q-Pharma. "One brushing with Q-DENT applies approximately 1000 times the amount of CoQ10 normally present in gum tissue." A study examining the effects of CoQ10 placed directly onto the gums shows no irritation or side effects.

"These products [skin cream and toothpaste] help consumers become more aware of CoQ10 as an ingredient," says Blaine. "They cement CoQ10 in the mind of the consumer."

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