Coenzyme Q10 Improves Circulation by Helping eNOS

Tuesday, June 28, 2011
By: Byron J. Richards,
Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist
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The endothelial cells that line the inside of your arteries are the Achilles’ Heel of your circulatory system. This thin protective coating is only one cell thick and if it gets compromised then arterial health declines. Your endothelial cells are also regulators of how your arteries function, especially in terms of blood pressure.  A new study indicates that coenzyme Q101 is a best friend to your endothelial cells.

When your circulation is in a state of stress or tension it is typical that too much inflammation is going on. The hallmark of this situation is an elevation in blood pressure that is concurrent with an elevation of unfriendly and inflammatory nitric oxide (iNOS).  Not only does this unfriendly iNOS set off free radicals that injure your endothelial lining, iNOS also injures your LDL cholesterol (oxidized cholesterol), setting up the situation wherein these cholesterol fragments are absorbed into your arteries in the places that your endothelial cell lining has been damaged – helping to cause hardening of your arteries and dangerous plaque.

The flip side of the unfriendly iNOS coin is the very friendly eNOS (endothelial nitric oxide).  This compound relaxes your vascular system.  It has been believed for several years that Q10 supplementation can enhance eNOS production in humans, as I wrote about in my article, Coenzyme Q10 for Heart, Kidneys & Blood Pressure.  However, exactly how Q10 did this was not understood.

The new study is a detailed human endothelial cell study evaluating precise biological action of Q10. It found that Q10 prevented the free radical cascade associated with damaged LDL cholesterol, lowering the unfriendly iNOS will directly boosting the friendly eNOS.  It blocked activation of the core inflammatory gene signal known as NF-kappaB while preventing the production of adhesion molecules that enable damaged LDL cholesterol to stick to your arteries and form plaque. The molecular picture of how Q10 works to promote arterial health is now much clearer and this information lends support to previous human studies indicating Q10 is helpful to your heart and arteries. 

I recently reported that you can condition eNOS production to be more efficient by doing aerobic exercise, actually building up a highly protective eNOS saving account. Nutrients that facilitate the production of eNOS are thus helpful in combination with exercise for a maximum benefit, especially important to any person trying to actually fix a blood pressure problem. In addition to Q10 other nutrients like grape seed extract, resveratrol, and quercetin have been shown to help boost eNOS levels.


Referenced Studies:
  1. ^ Q10 Boosts eNOS to Help Circulation  J Nutr Biochem.   Tsai KL, Huang YH, Kao CL, Yang DM, Lee HC, Chou HY, Chen YC, Chiou GY, Chen LH, Yang YP, Chiu TH, Tsai CS, Ou HC, Chiou SH.

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