Low levels of Coenzyme Q10 may increase the odds of developing cancer metastasis significantly
Abnormally low plasma levels of Coenzyme Q 10 have been found in patients with cancers of the breast,
lungs, and pancreas. In this study Coenzyme Q10 levels were measured in 117 consecutively diagnosed
melanoma that had not metastasized. Their level was checked against the level in 125
healthy volunteers. Patients taking Coenzyme Q10 or statin drugs and those with diabetes were not
allowed in the study. 32.5% of the patients had a metastasis during the observation period.
Coenzyme Q10 levels were significantly lower in the 117 cancer patients than in the 125 healthy
volunteers. Of the patients who developed metastasis, their Coenzyme Q 10 levels were substantially
lower than in the other cancer patients. If the cancer patients had higher levels of Coenzyme Q10 it
was about double the time before they suffered with a metastasis, and those in the lowest level group
had a 7.9 times increased odds ratio of developing metastasis. The research was performed at the
Department of Dermatology, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Rome, and is published in the
December 27th, 2005 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.
Commentary by Jerry Hickey, R.Ph.
Hopefully none of us will encounter an agent as destructive as mustard gas, but it is good for us
to note that these particular antioxidants are very lung friendly and that available oral supplement
levels have shown protective activity in research.
Free radical damage is a major culprit in causing blood vessel dysfunction (blood vessels cease to
open and close properly) and a major contributor to hardening of the arteries. Plant berry pigments
known as polyphenols are powerful antioxidants that decrease inflammation in blood vessel walls and
help restore natural vascular function. In this study scientists compared the ability of a
polyphenol rich extract from Aronia Berry, Bilberry, and Elderberry. Isolated coronary arteries were
exposed to chemicals in the lab that prevent them from relaxing or opening properly. Out of the three
berry extracts, Aronia berry was the most powerful for relaxing blood vessel walls and only Aronia
Berry or Bilberry extracts produced vasorelaxation in coronary arteries and Elderberry extract had
no effect. The berry extracts rich in anthocyanins (Aronia extract and Bilberry Extract) improve the
function of the endothelial cells lining blood vessel walls, improve the function of blood vessels,
and protect them from free radicals. These extracts could have significant beneficial effects in
vascular disease according to these researchers. The study was performed at the Indiana University
School of Medicine, in Fort Wayne and is published in the December 8th, 2005 issue of the Journal
of Applied Physiology.