Should all men take CoQ10 for heart health? I'm also wondering about the source of CoQ10 since many brands claim that they're made from the finest Japanese raw material. Since Japan has mad cow disease, I'm concerned that the "raw material" in CoQ10 may come from cattle? -- Anonymous

CoQ10, more precisely Coenzyme Q10, is a natural substance found in most foods that improves use of oxygen at the cellular level, particularly in heart muscle cells. Coenzymes are compounds that interact with enzymes helping them perform their biochemical functions in the body.

Coenzyme Q10 is beneficial for heart health in many ways. It helps protect LDL cholesterol from oxidation, maintain healthy blood vessels, reduce the risk of plaque rupture, and support optimal functioning of the heart muscle. CoQ10 may also help lower blood pressure and strengthen cardiac muscle in patients with heart failure. Some studies suggest that it also increases aerobic endurance, but that remains to be scientifically confirmed.

I often recommend CoQ10 to people with diabetes (who are at greater than normal risk of cardiovascular disease). And I believe it maintains the health of gums. Research shows that high doses (300 mg per day) increases survival in women with breast cancer.

CoQ10 is fat-soluble and should be taken with a meal containing fat for best absorption. The best form to take is a softgel capsule. I get 30 mg of CoQ10 daily in the Polaris Antioxidant formula and an additional 60 mg in a softgel and recommend it to anyone with a family history of heart problems or otherwise at risk for cardiovascular disease. I see no reason why an otherwise healthy man or woman--should not take CoQ10 preventively.

As for your concern that CoQ10 imported from Japan might expose you to mad cow disease which has been found among cattle there, I can only tell you that the U.S. government has banned import of most products derived from cattle in countries where mad cow disease has been reported. You should have no trouble verifying that CoQ10 supplements on the market are from plant sources.

Dr. Andrew Weil

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