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Periodontitis increases the risk of myocardial infarction

- but may he helped with Q10

Periodontitis increases the risk of myocardial infarctionPeriodontal disease (tooth loss) affects most of us at some point. Because it is an insidious disease, it is important to set in with early prevention on several accounts. It is not a matter of saving your teeth and smile - your heart and cardiovascular system are also a target of the ailment.

People suffering from periodontal disease often lack Q10 in their gum tissue. This was shown as early as in 1971. In the meantime, numerous studies have demonstrated that supplements of Q10 have a positive effect on the feared disease. Because the body has difficulty with absorbing Q10 from supplements it is important to choose products that can document their bio-availability. It may also be a good idea to consider taking extra selenium, as this trace element optimizes the effect of Q10.

Q10 is a small coenzyme, which is important for the body's energy turnover, immune defense, and also works as an antioxidant. We produce most of our Q10 in the body, but the endogenous production starts to decrease in our twenties.

What is periodontal disease (periodontitis)?

Periodontal disease is a widespread disease that begins with inflammation of the gums (gingivitis). The condition is caused by dental residue (plaque) around the gum line where harmful bacteria produce toxins and tissue-eroding enzymes. When the immune defense reacts to this, chronic inflammation may develop in the gingival pockets.
The inflammation may disappear if the plaque is removed, but if the condition continues the inflammation will spread, eventually setting the stage for periodontal disease. The chronic inflammation also results in a free radical overload. Free radicals are aggressive molecules that attack the cells. The gingival pocket depth increases with the risk of tooth loss.

How can periodontal disease lead to myocardial infarction and atherosclerosis?

When we chew or brush our teeth, harmful bacterial may be released. The bacteria can migrate to the bloodstream via small lacerations in the mucous membranes. Normally, a well-functioning immune defense is able to fight off these bacteria. However, if the immune system is compromised, and there are one or several tears in the myocardial membrane or the heart valves, the bacteria can attach and create a potentially life-threatening heart condition that requires immediate treatment with antibiotics.
As mentioned, periodontal disease also leads to a massive release of free radicals that sets off a series of chain reactions in the body. It is also known that free radicals set the stage for atherosclerosis by attacking cholesterol in the bloodstream.
Niels-Erik Fiehn, an associate professor in microbiology at the University of Copenhagen, has investigated the correlation between the microflora of the oral cavity and the occurrence of myocardial infections.

Periodontal disease may lead to many non-oral diseases

Dentists across the globe have become increasingly aware that many chronic diseases are actually a result of infection and inflammation in, among other places, the mouth.

Q10 supplements may prevent periodontal disease from developing

American, Japanese, and Swedish studies have shown that Q10 supplementation may help delay periodontal disease and perhaps prevent the disease, altogether. Japanese scientists at the Nihon University Dental College conducted a study of 45 adults with slight to moderate periodontitis who were given either 150 mg of Q10 daily or placebo for two months. The study showed that the Q10-treated patients had reduced plaque levels, less bleeding from the gums, and reduced gingival pocket depth. Also, the study showed that the Q10-treated individuals suffered less from bad breath and had increased antioxidant activity in their saliva.

A Swedish study headed by the two dentists, Magnus Nylander and Marina Nordlund, revealed that daily supplementation with Q10 in the range of 30-100 mg strengthened the gums and reduced gingival bleeding, thereby reducing the risk for tooth loss. Q10 is believed to have several mechanisms against periodontal disease. One is to support the immune defense in controlling undesirable inflammation, the other is to serve as a powerful antioxidant that protects the gum cells against free radical damage. There is even a special toothpaste with Q10 that can support the effect of supplementation.

Q10 occurs in two forms that both require the presence of selenium

There are two main types of Q10 that are equally active.

The ubiquinone form is chiefly responsible for the body's energy turnover that takes place inside the cellular "powerhouses" (mitochondria).

The ubiquinol form is mainly active as an antioxidant.

Helped by selenium-containing enzymes, ubiquinone and ubiquinol are constantly converted from one form to the other, all depending on the body's needs. Theoretically, it makes no difference what form of Q10 you take in supplemental form.

Choose a documented preparation

What matters is that the body is able to absorb Q10 from a high-quality supplement so that the Q10 can reach the cells and their powerhouses. Once Q10 is absorbed in the blood, it gets converted from one form to the other, depending on the body's needs and only if there is selenium.

Taking selenium yeast with more than 30 different organic selenium species provides the widest variety of selenium compounds and is very similar to the variety found in a selenium-rich diet. It is important to choose a supplement that can document its bio-availability, both when buying Q10 and selenium.

Europeans get very little selenium

Selenium strengthens the immune defense, it is a powerful antioxidant, and it improves the effect of Q10. Fish, shellfish, and organ meat are good selenium sources. Many people don't eat a lot of these foods, and the European soil generally contains very little selenium. For that reason, the average European fails to meet the recommendations for daily selenium intake. Many Europeans get substantially less selenium than people in the United States, Canada, and Japan.

Always remember good oral hygiene

Although periodontal disease is not linked to pain, it is important to have your teeth checked on a regular basis. The dentist measures the depth of the gingival pockets and cleanses them. It is vital to maintain good oral hygiene after every meal, preferably with an electric toothbrush, and by cleaning the interdental spaces with a small special brush from the dentist or the pharmacy. Toothpicks and dental floss are also highly useful.
In the case of bad breath that is caused by bacterial plaque, it is a good idea is to complete the dental hygiene by gargling the mouth with a diluted solution of water and hydrogen peroxide. The solution, which is available from pharmacies, only kills the harmful anaerobic bacteria that live without oxygen and cause periodontal disease.


Yoshifumi Iwamoto et al: Clinical Effect of Coenzyme Q10 on periodontal Disease. Biomedical and Clinical Aspects of Coenzyme Q10. Elsevier/North-Holland Biomedical press

Collaborative research with Nihon University: Effect of the reduced form of Q10 (Ubiquinol) on oral environment in periodontal disease. Kaneka Corporation


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