(Health Secrets) The beneficial effects of ubiquinol on children with autism has been demonstrated for the first time. A research team has just found that ubiquinol therapy improved symptoms in children with autism, in several areas of functioning.
Autism is a spectrum of neurodevelopmental disorders that typically manifests before a child reaches the age of four year. Autism disrupts the communication system of the child and this disruption manifests in a variety of ways, including behavior problems, hyperactivity, destructiveness, self-harm, aggression, and sleep and eating disorders. The causes of the disease are not well understood, however oxidative stress and antioxidant status may be an important factor.
The study, published in the journal Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity involved 24 children aged 3-6 who were diagnosed with autism using DSM IV criteria, and assessment with the Childhood Autism Rating Scale. Concentrations of CoQ10 and supporting nutrients were measured before and after three months of supportive therapy with ubiquinol, with a twice-daily dose of 50 mg. Data from parents was also collected concurrent to the study.
Findings showed that ubiquinol improved autism symptoms in the following percentages at a CoQ10 total plasma level of 2.5 micromoles:
- Communication with parents 12%
- Verbal communication in general 21%
- Playing games with children 42%
- Sleeping 34%
- Food rejection 17%
Ubiquinol is reduced CoQ10
Ubiquinol is relatively new, and is the reduced form of the CoQ10 supplement that has been on the market for many years. CoQ10 is a critical component of human metabolism and a dynamic nutrient that moves between two states, the oxidized ubiquinone that is available as CoQ10, and ubiquinol. While in the ubiquinol state, its ability to be assimilated into the human body is increased, and it develops the additional feature of being a first class antioxidant.
Due to its critical role in metabolism, the body is able to make CoQ10 on its own, although a small amount of CoQ10 is also obtained from the diet. Although it naturally occurs in all cells, CoQ10 is particularly concentrated in tissues having high energy requirements like the heart, liver, lungs, and skeletal muscles. Smaller amounts are centered in the brain, kidneys and intestines, and the rest is in general circulation for use as needed.
Within each cell at least half the amount of CoQ10 is centered in the mitochondria, the furnace of the cell. This is where food is turned into energy, and this is where the final stages of CoQ10 synthesis occur.
The cycling action of CoQ10 helps it achieve its metabolic goals. Ubiquinone (unreduced CoQ10) picks up electrons and becomes ubiquinol. Ubiquinol then releases electrons and becomes ubiquinone, and the cycle repeats. Kevin Connolly Ph.D. says the ability of CoQ10 to move electrons around is a “fundamental step in the production of energy, in the regeneration of antioxidants in cells membranes, and in the construction of other important biological molecules.”
The electrons moved about by CoQ10 aid in the chemical reactions that allow broken down sugars, fats and amino acids from food to be burned as fuel in the mitochondria, and to produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the actual chemical energy that powers working cells. Without adequate amounts of CoQ10, cellular workings grind to a halt. It is clear that both ubiquinone (sold as CoQ10) and ubiquinol (the reduced form) are essential to the process.
In its antioxidant role, CoQ10 works with vitamin D, lycopene and beta-carotene to prevent LDL oxidation by giving up electrons to other oxidized molecules in order to regenerate them. This process results in the conversion of ubiquinol back into ubiquinone.
Since ubiquinol is a form of CoQ10 that can convert into ubiquinone, all the benefits of CoQ10 as ubiquinone are available in ubiquinol supplements with the additional benefits that are provided only by ubiquinol, including its ease of assimilation into the body and super antioxidant status.
What else can ubiquinol do?
Numerous investigations of CoQ10 have been conducted since its discovery in 1957. Most have centered on its applications for cardiovascular health. In addition to those dealing with chronic heart failure, CoQ10 has been studied for its role against exercise-induced angina, hypertension, and recovery from heart attack. Deficiencies of CoQ10 have been implicated in cellular energy dysfunctions and neurological degeneration.
CoQ10 is a powerful anti-inflammatory. Scientists have found that it inhibits lipopolysaccharide induced pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines.
Although there is strong anecdotal evidence of the effectiveness of ubiquinol as a preventive and treatment for cancer, reseachers are in the early stages of investigating pathology in the mitochondria. One of the most interesting recent studies highlighted evidence that impaired oxidative metabolism may be a significant factor in the development of breast cancer.
Other studies have shown that CoQ10 has an effect on angiogenesis, the process of setting up a blood supply. Cancers become particularly threatening when they have been able to set up their own blood supply. CoQ10 significantly inhibited angiogenesis in rats by decreasing the ability of tube formation, migration, and invasion in endothelial cells. As a result, the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor was decreased, leading the researchers to conclude that CoQ10 may be used as a therapeutic agent to decrease neovascularization in several diseases, including solid tumors.
Supplementing with ubiquinol becomes more important as people age
Declines in ubiquinol result in less cellular energy and diminished protection against oxidative stress. This stress produces free radicals that can damage proteins, fats and DNA, allowing degenerative diseases to get started.
Studies have reported dramatic decreases in CoQ10 levels and increased oxidative stress associated with the aging process and with many age-related conditions. Healthy people in their 20s readily produce all the CoQ10 they can use and efficiently convert it into ubiquinol. This ability becomes hindered as years go by through metabolic demands and oxidative stress. The decline in endogenous production of CoQ10 and the ability to convert it into ubiquinal is apparent in 40 year olds.
For people age 40 and older, supplementing with ubiquinol is important for supporting and maintaining cardiovascular, neurological and liver health. Supplements of ubiquinol may restore healthy levels of CoQ10 in plasma and organs for more efficient energy production, resulting in increased energy and stamina as well as better overall health. And because it is a powerful antioxidant, ubiquinol offers defense against oxidative stress and age-related conditions. Restoring this vital nutrient to optimal levels can result in people experiencing the energy levels they had when much younger.
Both CoQ10 and its reduced form, ubiquinol, become bioavailable when dissolved in fat, so supplements should always be taken with dietary fat, such as coconut oil, butter, coco butter, olive oil, avocado or oily fish such as salmon.
For more information: