But the effect is highly dependent on which preparation you buy, as there are huge quality differences. Most consumers are not aware of this.
The groundbreaking Danish study, Q-SYMBIO, was the cover page story in media across the globe last year. It showed that supplements of a compound called Q10 could nearly halve the risk of dying from heart failure while increasing heart muscle strength substantially. The study was headed by a renowned Danish cardiologist from Copenhagen University Hospital, and the team of researchers specifically chose a Danish Q10 preparation for the simple reason that it was the only one that could document superior bio-availability. This is extremely important for the outcome of this type of research.
Several manufacturers take credit
The great news about Q10's importance for heart health was received extremely positively among doctors and people with impaired heart muscle function or individuals who were simply interested in preventing future heart problems. The news was also welcomed by manufacturers of Q10 supplements who spotted a great opportunity to boost their sales of Q10.
But there are pitfalls and it is important to underline that the results of the Q-SYMBIO study cannot be attributed to other Q10 preparations. It is only the product used in this specific study that can rightfully claim to have a documented positive influence on heart failure.
In terms of quality differences, there are a few things that need to be explained:
- The thing that determines the effect of any given Q10 preparation is the bio-availability of the active substance. If it is not absorbed in the body, the preparation will not have any effect
- The single most important factor for bio-availability is how the manufacturer treats the Q10 raw material. Technically, two competing manufacturers can use the exact same raw material and still end up with two different results. In other words, it is not sufficient to state that a preparation contains Q10 of superior quality, as this is absolutely no guarantee that the ingredient is effectively absorbed in the body.
- The Q10 preparation that was used in the Q-SYMBIO study is exposed to a unique heating treatment as part of the manufacturing process. This prevents the Q10 molecules from aggregating in large, insoluble crystal formations, which they are naturally inclined to do. These crystals cannot penetrate the intestinal membrane and enter the bloodstream so it is vital to prevent it from happening.
- The preparation that was used in the study is able to document that it is effectively absorbed in the bloodstream. This is the main reason why it was used not only in the Q-SYMBIO study but also in the Swedish KiSel-10 study that is published in the International Journal of Cardiology (2012).
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