Coenzyme Q10 Vitamins Wilmington DE
Ask the Doctor—Taking Coenzyme Q-10 before Surgery
By Dan Lukaczer, ND
Q I was told I should take coenzyme Q10 before surgery. Should I?
A That is fairly nonspecific advice. I’m not sure I’d make such a general recommendation, but it does seem that coenzyme Q10 (co-Q10) may be very helpful in certain populations with certain surgeries. Co-Q10 is a nutrient that is produced in small amounts by the body and also is found in some foods such as fish and organ meats. It plays a key role in helping the body convert food into energy and also acts as an important antioxidant. Because the body can produce it, co-Q10 is not considered an essential nutrient. In some instances, however, extra intake may be quite advantageous.
Because co-Q10 has the potential to improve energy production in the mitochondria of cells, some researchers thought it might be useful in older patients undergoing cardiac surgery. Their reason was that the aging heart has a diminished capacity to recover from stress. To test their hypothesis, patients undergoing elective cardiac surgery were chosen at random to receive oral co-Q10 (300 mg/day) or placebo for two weeks prior to their operations. Results showed those receiving co-Q10 had increased levels of the nutrient in their blood, heart muscle and isolated mitochondria, compared with levels seen in placebo patients.
The result was that oral co-Q10 before cardiac surgery improved the efficiency of mitochondrial energy production and post-operative heart function, as well as reduced intraoperative myocardial damage and shortened hospital stays. These kinds of results suggest co-Q10 might help recovery if taken by middle- to older-age people before any type of cardiac surgery.
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