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Tag: Heart Health

The Health Benefits of Coenzyme Q10

What is Coenzyme Q10 or CoQ10?

CoQ10, a shorthand for Coenzyme Q10, is also known as Ubiquinone, due to its ubiquitous presence in every cell of the human body. Because it also possesses vitamin-like properties, it is also sometimes called Vitamin Q despite not being technically a true vitamin. As a coenzyme, CoQ10 works in concert with enzymes of the body by accelerating the efficient metabolism of nutrients.

CoQ10 is abundant in energy demanding cells to support the function of the mitochondria, the powerhouse of the cell. The highest concentrations of CoQ10 are reportedly present in the heart, liver, kidney and pancreas. Tissue levels of CoQ10 may decline in people who are advancing in age.  Levels may not be enough when there is lack of intake of substances needed to produce CoQ10 and when the body is faced with increased requirements during illness.

CoQ10 also functions as a very powerful natural antioxidant that protect us against cell damaging effect of free radicals and various diseases.

Juan Hernandez-Camacho and his team of researchers from the Universidad Pablo de Olavide-CSIC-JA in Sevilla, Spain, and the National Institute on Aging and the National Institutes of Health in Baltimore, Maryland USA did a review of the studies done showing the numerous health benefits of CoQ10.

Role in cardiovascular health

The review discovered that daily supplementation with CoQ10 significantly helped in lowering elevated blood pressure. Short term daily treatment with CoQ10 was also seen to aid in the cardiac function of patients with heart failure. It improved ejection fraction (the fraction of blood being pumped by the heart per beat).  Furthermore, CoQ10 also improved the blood vessel function in patients with heart failure.

Role in metabolic health and diabetes

The review also reported that CoQ10 supplementation had a mild but significant capacity to lower fasting plasma glucose levels in patients with type 2 diabetes.

In terms of lowering blood cholesterol, some reports suggested that CoQ10 is very effective in reducing blood triglycerides and lipoproteins. It was also observed that CoQ10 supplementation may benefit patients taking cholesterol reducing drugs called statins by reducing its common side effects such as muscle pain and cramping.

CoQ10 relieves migraine

In a review published in StatPearls, researchers Britanny Sood and Michael Keenaghan also found CoQ10 to be beneficial in terms of alleviating migraine.

The study found that supplementation with CoQ10 was three times more likely to reduce the number of migraines than placebo. It was also observed that low levels of CoQ10 were seen in individuals with migraine. In the treatment process, patients with CoQ10 deficiency experienced fewer and less severe headaches. CoQ10 was also shown to decrease migraine frequency in adult migraine sufferers.

CoQ10 and exercise performance

It was also found that supplementation with CoQ10 can help increase stamina during exercise, reduce fatigue, and improve exercise performance. CoQ10 was shown to decrease pain, fatigue, and morning tiredness in patients with fibromyalgia, a musculoskeletal disorder characterized by fatigue and problems in sleep, mood and memory.

Multivitamin preparations with CoQ10 are readily available in drugstores allowing anyone to enjoy its health benefits. It should always be remembered that a doctor must be consulted before taking any vitamins and food supplements.


Hernández-Camacho JD, Bernier M, López-Lluch G, Navas P. Coenzyme Q10Supplementation in Aging and Disease.

Sood B, Keenaghan M. Coenzyme

CoenzymeCoQ10Nutritional supplements

Choosing the Right Nutrients for your Heart Health

When choosing your brand of nutritional supplement, it is good to know which part of your health or body you want to focus on. If you want to show your heart some love, here are some HEART NUTRIENTS to look for in choosing your supplement:

Vitamin E

Vitamin E has been shown to reduce blood viscosity and prevent fatty acid oxidation. This helps prevent cholesterol plaque formation in the blood vessels that can potentially block arteries in the heart, which may later lead to a heart attack. Studies show that consuming Vitamin E-rich food is associated with lower risk for coronary heart disease in middle-aged to older men and women.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Don’t let the “fat” in “fatty acid” mislead you. Omega-3 Fatty Acids are good for your heart health. Also known as fish oil or EPA and DHA, these are your healthy fatty acids found in fish. If you look at some of the experts’ recommendations for cardiovascular health, you may see omega-3 fatty acids as part of the treatment in lowering bad cholesterol. A daily dose of omega-3 fatty acids can help prevent cholesterol build-up thereby decreasing the risk of heart attacks especially for the elderly population.

Co-Q10 or Coenzyme-Q10

Co-Q10, both an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrient, has been studied for its use on coronary heart disease. Some researchers reported that daily supplementation with Co-Q10 helped in lowering elevated blood pressure. Recent findings have shown that Co-Q10 helps improve the performance or functional capacity of the heart.


Some supplements provide Lecithin because of its cholesterol-busting properties. Also known as phosphatidylcholine, lecithin is reported to support liver health. It plays an important role in metabolizing cholesterol, thus helping against cholesterol build-up and plaque formation that could lead to coronary artery disease.


Vitamin B9 or Folate is not only for expectant mothers, but also for those who want to reduce their risk for heart disease. Folate helps lower homocysteine, an important risk factor in artery wall thickening. Hence, adequate folate intake may help prevent homocysteine accumulation in the blood, and lowers your risk for stroke and coronary heart disease. If you want the benefits of folate, don’t forget to spot “Folic Acid” in your supplement’s list of ingredients.


Considered as a trace mineral, magnesium is shown to be important in keeping a healthy heart rhythm. Some studies have reported that low magnesium level has been linked to several risk factors that could lead to heart disease such as high blood pressure, increase in cholesterol build-up and hardening of the arteries.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a well-known potent antioxidant and great for your immune system. But do you know that Vitamin C is also good for your heart? Researchers found out that intake of Vitamin C is linked to a reduced risk for heart disease because of its ability to help lower heart disease risk factors, including high blood levels triglycerides and LDL, known as the bad cholesterol.

Lycopene, Lutein and Zeaxanthin

Lycopene is a potent antioxidant that provides the red color in your fresh tomatoes. Lycopene provides protection for the heart by lowering blood cholesterol levels and blood pressure which are both risk factors for coronary heart disease.

Some emerging studies suggest the potential roles of lutein and zeaxanthin in supporting cardiovascular health. Lutein has been shown to have a number of beneficial effects on the heart by decreasing inflammation. It was said to resolve chronic inflammation in coronary arteries of patients. Results of studies also suggested that lutein may help prevent clogging of the neck arteries. Zeaxanthin reduces blood vessel stiffness and protects the blood vessels against atherosclerosis.

It must be remembered though that these nutrients may only help lower the risk for heart disease and must be combined with other healthy lifestyle practices such as proper diet and exercise.

If you have existing heart problems or symptoms, it would be best to consult your doctor on the proper supplements that you should take. Listen to your doctor’s advice and take the right nutrients for your heart.

7 Strategies to Live a Heart-Healthy Lifestyle

Keeping your heart healthy is something you can work on every day. When you choose healthy behaviors, you can lower your heart disease risk while also preventing other serious chronic conditions like Type 2 Diabetes and some types of cancer.
Here are 7 tips to get you started: 

Learn your health history

Know your risks and talk to your family and doctor about your health history.

Eat a healthy diet

Make healthy food choices like more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products. Eat less salt, saturated fat, and added sugar.

Move more, sit less

Get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week, plus muscle-strengthening activities at least 2 days a week.

Quit smoking

Smoking can decrease blood flow throughout your body and lead to high blood pressure.

Take medicines as directed

If you take medicine to treat high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or diabetes, follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. Always ask questions if the information is unclear. 

Rethink your drink

Substitute water for sugary drinks to reduce calories. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation by limiting consumption to no more than 1 drink a day for women (2 for men) on days that alcohol is consumed.

Monitor your blood pressure at home

Self-measured blood pressure monitors are easy and safe to use, and your doctor can show you how to use one if you need help.

Chronic Disease, Heart Health by NCCDPHP, CDC