For DEEP IMMUNE SUPPORT, Coenzyme Q10 with Lipase augments the cellular energy available to immune cells; improves natural killer cell activity; and shields immune system tissues from oxidative damage.
Coenzyme Q10 has crucial roles for deep immune function. A deficiency in this vital nutrient can have catastrophic effects on immunity, resistance, and vitality. Co10 provides deep immune boosting via several distinct actions:
- It supports immune cell energy production and nourishment. By generating more energy at the cellular level, healthy immune system cells can repair damage, rid themselves of toxins more easily, and make better use of nutrients, so they work more efficiently.
- CoQ10 decreases the likelihood of exaggerated inflammatory responses, which could worsen auto-immune conditions, by normalizing a gene signal for inflammation.
- The natural killer (NK) cell activity of the innate immune system is improved by Coenzyme Q10.
- CoQ10 protects macrophages, a major type of immune cells, from being damaged by their own innate mechanisms intended for microbial destruction.
- It functions as a potent antioxidant in cell membranes and lipoproteins of immune system tissues.
- CoQ10 shields immune cells from free radical damage, and prevents oxidative injury to the complex communication pathways of the immune system.
- Also CoQ10 is capable of regenerating antioxidants like vitamins E and C, which themselves protect immune system tissues from oxidative damage, in addition to neutralizing free radicals directly.
CoQ10, or ubiquinone, is a powerful fat-soluble antioxidant produced naturally in the human body, and found in the mitochondria of every cell and tissue. The name ubiquinone is derived from its ubiquity. It a key part of the Krebs Cycle, which generates energy for all body processes from food breakdown.
CoQ10 is a crucial cofactor in the synthesis of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a molecule cells use as their main energy source. The immune system is highly dependent on CoQ10, as immune tissues and cells have high metabolic rates and require ample energy resources and a good supply of CoQ10.
Various factors such as aging and stress can lower the body’s levels of CoQ10. Then the ability of cells to regenerate and withstand stress declines, a downward spiral. Declining CoQ10 levels are one of the most accurate biomarkers of the aging process. A deficiency of CoQ10 can be one reason that older people find their energy flagging. Although CoQ10 is found in meat, fish and whole grains, the amounts are not enough to supply sufficient CoQ10 to the body.
As well as its vital roles for energy generation from carbohydrates and fat, and antioxidant protection and neutralizing free radicals, coenzyme Q10 is also needed by the integumentary tissues: Gums, skin and hair require it for optimal nourishment. After about age 40, the body’s ability to synthesize CoQ10 declines and a deficiency can develop. The thymus gland, which has a central role for developing the immune system in youth, declines in adulthood. It appears that lower thymus activity is linked with a decline in CoQ10 production, both of which can impede the immune system. So CoQ10 becomes an even more important immune supporter when we are older.
Coenzyme Q10 is the only fat-soluble antioxidant present in all cell membranes. It is one of the most significant lipid antioxidants that protects the fatty layers of membranes, and also DNA. CoQ10 is a powerful weapon preventing the generation of free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS), which are associated with oxidative damage, immune impairment, and chronic degenerative diseases.3 CoQ10’s antioxidant actions neutralize free radicals, and may reduce or prevent some of the tissue damage they cause.
Since its discovery in 1955, CoQ10 has been the subject of much clinical research. Peter Mitchell, a British biochemist, received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1978 for illuminating how biological cellular energy cell transfer occurs with CoQ10. A comprehensive review published in the Slovak Republic looked at the nourishing actions of CoQ10.1 This review covered the history, biology, and more than 81 studies that confirmed its energy production roles, antioxidant activity, and immune support benefits.
Coenzyme Q10 can help to improve deep immune function by reducing the oxidative damage promoted by saturated fats. Cellular breakdown that occurs every day, and more in the aging process, can result in cell degradation products that can injure several compartments of immune system. In a 2012 crossover study, 20 elderly subjects were randomly assigned to receive one of three diets over 4 weeks: 1, the Mediterranean diet rich in plant foods and good unsaturated oils; 2, Mediterranean diet supplemented with CoQ10; and 3, a diet heavy in saturated fatty acids. The results showed that CoQ10 boosted immunity, and reduced oxidative damage to DNA and cellular injury.
Coenzyme Q10 improves natural killer (NK) cell activity. Natural killer white blood cells are components of the innate immune system. They reject and remove tumor cells and those infected by viruses. NK cells induce apoptosis: self-destruction in infected, damaged or abnormal cells. One well-known, 12-week Swedish study investigated the influence of CoQ10 on immune health in diabetes patients. Researchers examined the activity of natural killer cells and their ability to produce antimicrobial peptides in these individuals. Supplemental CoQ10 was found to normalize and improve NK cell receptor levels and to boost healthy NK cell activity.4
This study additionally discovered that Coenzyme Q10 decreased in the levels of important hBD2 peptides, which are anti-microbial but also trigger excess inflammation. Human beta-defensin 2 peptides are peptides that attack microbes, made by neutrophil white blood cells. Excess production of hBD2 peptides can be induced by inflammatory processes that follow microorganism contact with epithelial cells. Taking CoQ10 resulted in decreased levels of hBD2 peptides. This result suggested that Coenzyme Q10 balances immune responses, reduces the diabetes-related inflammatory processes, and curbs immune over-activity.4
Lipase is an important type of fat-digesting type of enzyme that significantly improves CoQ10 absorption. Lipase is naturally made by the pancreas. It is the main enzyme that breaks down the fats found in our diets into monoglycerides and pairs of fatty acids. Lipase actually comprises a group of enzymes that are essential for digesting triglycerides, fats, and oils that we eat, and transporting them into the bloodstream, and then into tissues where the fats are needed. A spectrum of lipase enzymes in the human gut work in a range of pH environments from the saliva down to the small intestine. Lipase is essential for strong cell membranes, and a lively metabolism.
Our uptake of Coenzyme Q10 is greatly improved by lipase. CoQ10 is poorly assimilated from the gut, because it is a large molecule that only dissolves well in fat, but not in water. Combined with lipase that is identical to the body’s own fat-digesting enzyme, CoQ10 is carried efficiently from the intestine into cells along with dietary fat, for maximum absorption.5
In our clinic, we pay careful attention to selecting a highly effective type of CoQ10 supplement, given that CoQ10 tends to be poorly absorbed, because it is a large molecule that does not dissolve well in water. We prefer an unusual combination that includes lipase. This fat-digesting enzyme helps to efficiently carry CoQ10 from the intestine into cells, along with dietary fat, for maximum absorption. Our patients taking CoQ10 with lipase report experiencing fewer colds and flus, increased energy, and improvements in auto-immune symptoms.
Recommendation: A daily dose of Coenzyme Q10 (as ubiquinone) 100mg, with Lipase 300 FIP, and optional Vitamin C (as calcium ascorbate) 150-200mg, Vitamin E (in the d-alpha form to maintain freshness) 50 IU. Take once or twice daily, with any meal including fat or oil, or as directed by your healthcare provider.
- Borekova, Martina, et al. “Nourishing and Health Benefits of Coenzyme Q.” Czech J. Food Sci. Vol 26.4 (2008): 229-241.
- Gutierrez-Mariscal SM, Perez-Martinez P, Delgado-Lista J, Yubero-Serrano EM, Camargo A, et al. (2012) Mediterranean diet supplemented with coenzyme Q10 induces postprandial changes in p53 in response to oxidative DNA damage in elderly subjects. Age 34: 389-403.
- Linnane, Anthony W., et al. “Cellular redox activity of coenzyme Q 10: effect of CoQ 10 supplementation on human skeletal muscle.” Free radical research 36.4 (2002): 445-453.
- Brauner, H., Lüthje, et al. “Markers of innate immune activity in patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus.” Clinical and Experimental Immunology, (2014) 177(2), 478-482.
- Bhagavan, Hemmi N., and Raj K. Chopra. “Coenzyme Q10: absorption, tissue uptake, metabolism and pharmacokinetics.” Free radical research 40.5 (2006): 445-453.
- Saini, Rajiv. “Coenzyme Q10: The essential nutrient.” J Pharm Bioallied Sci 3.3 (2011): 466-467.