When the heart stops, other systems fail almost instantly. Simple life changes that benefit heart health, include losing/maintaining weight, eating healthily, staying active, reducing our cholesterol and blood pressure … and taking supplements, says Jacqueline Rizo, Content Co-Ordinator, Stratum Nutrition
The heart, a vital organ in our bodies, beats about 2.5 billion times in an average lifetime. It functions all day, every day, pumping slightly less than 2000 gallons of blood per 24 hours for the average person. It is one of the most essential organs in terms of keeping the human body alive.
The term “cardiovascular” refers to the structures and processes within the circulatory system, which comprises the heart as well as the blood vessels that carry nutrients and oxygen to the tissues of the body and remove carbon dioxide and waste from them. Cardiovascular disease occurs when there is damage or dysfunction in the heart or blood vessels.
Cardiovascular diseases are conditions that affect the heart and blood vessels and include arteriosclerosis, coronary artery disease, heart valve disease, arrhythmia, heart failure, hypertension, orthostatic hypotension, shock, endocarditis, diseases of the aorta and its branches, disorders of the peripheral vascular system, and congenital heart disease.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and stroke is the fifth.1 Together, heart disease and stroke, along with other cardiovascular diseases, are among the most widespread and costly health problems facing the nation today — accounting for approximately $320 billion in healthcare expenditures and related expenses annually.2 Fortunately, they are also among the most preventable.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is vital for cellular energy and cardiovascular health. Found in almost every cell of the body, CoQ10 is a fat-soluble, vitamin-like substance that helps to convert food into energy.
A powerful antioxidant that protects against damage from toxic free radicals, CoQ10 is produced by the body and is also found in many foods, with higher levels occurring in organ meats such as the liver or kidneys, as well as sardines, mackerel, chicken, cauliflower, broccoli and asparagus.
CoQ10, the third most consumed nutritional supplement after fish oil and multivitamins, is a compound that is synthesised by the body.3 CoQ10 is a member of the coenzyme Q family of compounds and also known as ubiquinone because they are ubiquitous in living cells. CoQ10 is the most common form in humans.
CoQ10 plays a central role in cellular energy production. It is directly involved in the creation of ATP in the mitochondria of all cells. CoQ10 also functions as a powerful antioxidant in cell membranes and lipoproteins.
In addition, CoQ10 regenerates other “used up” antioxidants (vitamin E and vitamin C), restoring their antioxidant activity in the body.
With age, CoQ10 levels naturally decline, accompanying the age-related reduction in energy metabolism observed in liver, heart and muscle tissue.4 The use of certain statin medications can also reduce bodily CoQ10 levels.5
Research suggests that CoQ10 may be a beneficial supplement to take for additional support with many cardiovascular and metabolic conditions. The dosage of CoQ10 researched for cardiovascular health support ranges from 100–300 mg daily.
CoQ10 supplements can help to support healthy cholesterol (HDL) levels, which is known to be an indicator of good cardiovascular health. CoQ10 supplementation has also been shown to help support healthy levels of CRP, a biomarker used to identify cardiovascular health risk.6
Low levels of CoQ10 have been linked to poorer cardiovascular health outcomes.
CoQ10 supplementation made great leaps when 2-year multicentre randomised study of 420 patients found that CoQ10 supplementation reduced mortality in patients with severe heart failure by half (compared with a control group).7
In an analysis of 12 clinical studies, researchers reported that CoQ10 was able to support healthy blood pressure levels. A meta-analysis of 17 small trials also supports the ability of CoQ10 supplementation to support healthy blood pressure.8
A 2012 meta-analysis examining the results of five small randomized controlled trials in 194 subjects in total found that supplemental coenzyme Q10 (150–300 mg/day for 4–12 weeks) resulted in a clinically significant 1.7% increase in flow-dependent endothelial-mediated dilation.9
The typical dose of CoQ10 supplements is 100 mg/day; however, the absorption of different CoQ10 formulations varies widely. CoQ10 is strongly lipophilic (insoluble in water) and best absorbed with fat in a meal.
CoQ10 supplements are available as tablets (chewable and non-chewable), capsules and softgels containing oil suspensions of CoQ10. The bioavailability of powdered CoQ10 in many products is very low. Formulations of CoQ10 solubilised in oil possess superior bioavailability.
VitaSperse CoQ10 is a unique, water-dispersible microemulsion of CoQ10 that combines two techniques that are proven to enhance absorption in the body: emulsification and micro-sized particles.
It has been clinically shown to increase body levels of CoQ10 and can be consumed on its own as liquid drops, included in any ready-to-drink formula or added as an antioxidant to any cosmetic.
All VitaSperse ingredients start with reverse osmosis water and only food-grade components are used. Lecithins and non-ionic surfactants are the main building blocks of the VitaSperse microemulsion.
Then, a preservative system is added, depending upon the specific use and any customer preferences (it can be used for topical formulations, for example, although a different preservative system is required to be cosmetic compliant).
The production process itself will encapsulate/protect nutritional actives, but additional ingredients can be included for added stability to support functional ingredients.
Next, the mixture is processed through a high shear microfluidiser. High shear forces produce a uniform dispersion of incredibly small particles encapsulated by lipids.
Because these particles are so small and carry a charge, they stay suspended in water by way of Brownian Motion (think dust motes floating in air); as such, VitaSperse dispersions will stay suspended in a product indefinitely.
VitaSperse CoQ10 has been shown to increase bioavailability compared with traditional forms of CoQ10. Different forms of CoQ10 were put through a simulated gastric digestion, after which CoQ10 uptake into cells (Caco-2) was measured.
Products tested were chewable tablets, a softgel containing a solubilised CoQ10 and a gamma-cyclodextrin CoQ10 complex in liquid and dry form. The greatest accumulation of CoQ10 in cells occurred with Hydro-Q-Sorb (CoQ10 gamma-cyclodextrin complex) with an uptake of 739%, closely followed by Liquid-Q (VitaSperse CoQ10) with an uptake of 693%.10