Research Links Coenzyme Q10 and Cancer Therapy Benefits

Sunday, June 07, 2009 by: Deanna Dean
Tags: CoQ10, health news, Natural News

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(NaturalNews) For all its broad health benefits there is still yet another exciting role for Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) that offers promise for those challenged with cancer. CoQ10 is a naturally occurring compound found in every cell in the body where it plays a critical role in the mitochondria that burn or oxidize food for fuel. Levels of CoQ10 decline as we age which leads to speculation that certain diseases and aging are a result of this diminished enzyme.

The scientific community is taking another look at CoQ10 due to encouraging evidence that suggests CoQ10 has a positive impact in battling cancer. If a patient chooses chemotherapy drugs, rather than less harmful alternative treatments, it appears the drugs are more effective battling cancer if CoQ10 is added as a supplement, even though irreversible damage is inflicted from the toxic drugs. One of the reasons chemotherapy doesn`t cure more cancer is because there are inherent toxicity limits to the dosage administered. While cancer is being eradicated by high dosage chemotherapy treatment the overwhelming damage to healthy cells and permanent immune suppression can be severe enough that treatment must be discontinued or the patient is left to face fatal infections.

For example, Adriamycin (doxorubicin) is in a powerful class of anthrachcline chemotherapy drugs that kill cancer cells, but has side effects so lethal that at high doses vital heart muscle is damaged.

However a fascinating study was done by researchers in Italy who tested children with leukemia or lymphoma. One group was given chemotherapy treatment with anthrachcline drugs and a CoQ10 supplementation, while another group was treated without CoQ10. Exciting results showed children in the CoQ10 supplemented group demonstrated "a protective effect of CoQ10 on cardiac function." Is it just coincidental that the majority of heart failure patients have a CoQ10 deficiency in their heart muscle or that several studies have shown cancer patients have a CoQ10 deficiency? Moreover is it too far a reach to wonder if CoQ10 by itself might be a component in cancer`s ultimate demise.

Biochemical researchers at the Post Graduate Institute of Basic Medical Sciences in Madras, India were intrigued by that same thought and conducted studies successfully showing that CoQ10 and other vitamins could manage cancer even before chemotherapy was begun and could actually prevent healthy cells from undergoing malignant changes.

Inspired by these results, Japanese researchers at the National Cancer Center Research Institute in Tokyo wondered if CoQ10 could even prevent cancers from beginning and proliferating? They used a deadly carcinogenic chemical, azoxymethane, to induce colon cancer in rats. For one month the animals were fed a defined unsupplemented diet, while another was fed a diet containing CoQ10. The results were remarkable. At the first signs of colon cancer in the rats, they found the cancer was less than half that in the unsupplemented group. This led scientists to conclude, "CoQ10 may be an effective chemopreventive agent against colon carcinogenesis."

The National Cancer Institute says laboratory and animal studies indicate that CoQ10 makes the body better able to resist certain infections and types of cancer and that analogs of CoQ10 (similar CoQ10 nutrients) may stop cancer cells from growing.

Integrative medicine advocate, Andrew Weil, advises his devotees to take 300 mg. of CoQ10 daily as a possible hedge for survival in breast cancer patients, basing his recommendation on two reports from the 1990s by a Coenzyme Q 10 manufacturer in Denmark. The trial was conducted on 32 breast cancer patients who had highly effective results that kept them from losing weight and free from usual levels of pain while five of them had tumor regression from their daily dose of vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and CoQ10. But because the test lacked proper parameters no definitive conclusions can be drawn.

There are also anecdotal reports that CoQ10 supplementation increases survival of patients with cancers of the pancreas, lung, colon, rectum and prostate.

CoQ10 has proven itself as a tissue-protecting antioxidant molecule enhancing brain and cardiovascular health. Now it seems this multi-faceted enzyme`s role may have expanded to be a key nutrient in the battle to kill cancer cells and protect healthy cells from undergoing malignant damage.

To your health,
Deanna Dean

Life Extension 2009 Collector`s Edition/ Julius Goepp, MD
Nutrition Action Health Letter, May 2009/ Worth the Cost/ David Schardt
Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Fourth Edition, CoQ10, Phyllis A. Balch, CNC National Cancer Institute

About the author

Deanna Dean is the Wellness Director for Your Health Coach, a company dedicated to health and wellness education.
Dee is a Wellness & Weight Loss Coach, a Certified Natural Health Professional, is pursuing an ND degree-Naturopathic Doctor, is a certified Raw Chef, certified in Dietary Guidelines from the Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research, former Personal Trainer, Yoga and Fitness Studio Owner, TV and Radio Guest, Health Columnist.
Deanna develops customized programs to enhance the health of her clients, educates, and coaches dieters for safe weight loss.

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