Statins, a class of cholesterol-lowering drugs, have been shown to inhibit the activity of ras oncogenes. Ras oncogenes are involved in the regulation of cell growth, modulating the signals that govern the cancer cell cycle. Mutations in genes encoding Ras proteins have been closely associated with unregulated cell proliferation, a hallmark of cancer (refer to the protocol Cancer Treatment: The Critical Factors to read more about Ras oncogenes).
A number of studies have shown the value of statin drugs in a cancer regimen, and the benefit escalates when a statin is combined with a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). People who regularly used NSAIDs lowered their risk of colon cancer by as much as 50%; when lovastatin was added to a cyclo-oxygenase 2 (COX-2) inhibitor, the rate of cell death of three colon cancer cell lines increased up to five-fold (Agarwal et al. 1999).
The statin’s mode of operation, however, raises concern. Statin drugs reduce cholesterol synthesis in the liver by inhibiting the activity of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase. HMG-CoA reductase is required for the conversion of HMG-CoA to mevalonic acid, a step in cholesterol synthesis (Folkers et al. 1990). Inhibiting HMG-CoA reductase results in lower amounts of cholesterol being produced. Disruption of the cascade also interferes with the synthesis of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), creating a potential tradeoff regarding advantages and disadvantages gathered from statin usage (Folkers et al 1990; Hattersley 1994).
The impact upon CoQ10 levels when taking statin drugs can be significant. For example, patients taking CoQ10, who later started lovastatin, lowered their CoQ10 levels by 44-75%. The problems associated with drug-related suppression of CoQ10 escalate when age-associated decline in serum CoQ10 levels are also present. A CoQ10 deficiency of 25% is linked with illness in animals and a deficit of 75% with death (Hattersley 1996; Bliznakov et al. 1988). Administering adequate amounts of CoQ10 with a statin drug allows the cancer patient the value of the drug without the risks imposed by depletion of the coenzyme.
The ubiquinone Coenzyme Q10 is a component, along with a number of cytochromes, of the electron transport carrier system which shuttles electrons in a handshake fashion along the energy generating pathway of aerobic metabolism. CoQ10 strengthens the cardiovascular system, normalises blood pressure and augments the immune system. Cancer patients have greater deficiencies of CoQ10, presumably due to general nutritional deficiencies and particular shortage of vitamins required for its biosynthesis from the amino acid phenyalanine.5
In Nov 1993, Knud Lockwood, Sven Moesgaard and Karl Folkers from Copenhagen Denmark and Austin Texas, USA reported to the Eighth International Symposium on the Biomedical Clinical Aspects of Coenzyme Q, in Stockholm Sweden, the partial to complete tumour regression in six breast cancer patients supplemented with doses of Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) ranging from 90 to 390 mg daily. This clinical data has been recently published.6 Of 32 "high-risk" patients supplemented with anti-oxidants, fatty acids and CoQ10, all survived after 2 years, and 6, aged from 48 to 82 years, had documented remissions of breast tumours. In addition, morphine dosage was reduced, metastases were not observed and clinical conditions were excellent. In one case of 59 years, following 1 month's treatment of 390mg CoQ10, the (intraductal) tumour was no longer palpable, mammography confirming the absence of signs of tumour. A further case with intraductal cancer showed no evidence of tumour or distant metastases following 3 months' treatment with 300 mg CoQ10 daily. The breast cancer tumour regression may be the result of CoQ10's bioenergetic activity, expressed as the hematological and immunological activity of this vitamin. The author, who has treated about 200 breast cancer cases per year for 35 years, "has never seen a spontaneous complete regression of 1.5-2.0 cm breast tumour, and has never seen a comparable regression on any conventional anti-tumour therapy".6
It is hoped that the report of this clinical success by these oncologists will provide the impetus and justification for more rigorous research and clinical treatment with CoEnzyme Q10, which appears to offer promise to women with breast cancer. Cancer is always unpredictable and clinical progress individually unique; it cannot be cautioned strongly enough not to extrapolate from these individual remissions to magic bullet.
Coenzyme Q10 / Co Q10 / Stockholm Protocol Cancer Treatment
How It Works
Coenzyme Q10 is an antioxidant that stimulates the heart muscles and stimulates the immune system in several different ways, mainly through higher antibody levels, and greater numbers and/or activities of the cancer fighting macrophages and T-cells. There may be other ways Co-Q10 aids in the fight against cancer that have not yet been isolated. Of course it is best known as an antioxidant. Antioxidants help the body use oxygen more efficiently.
The first thing that needs to be emphasized is dosage. In experiments where the dosage was only 90 mg, results were sporatic. However, when dosages were in the range of 400-600 mg, and perhaps higher, results were substantial. (Note: A person should gradually build up to dosages above 100 mg.)
"In late 1993, Dr. Folkers arranged for the first clinical trial of Co Q10 at a clinic in Copenhagen, Denmark. Doctors treated 32 patients with advanced, "high risk" breast cancer. In addition to appropriate surgery and conventional treatment, each patient was given 90 mg of CoQ10 per day. They also received other vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids. On this regimen, 6 of the 32 patients showed partial tumor regressions, significant in "advanced" patients. Then in October 1993, a strange thing happened: one of these six women, on her own, increased her dosage from 90 to 390 mg per day. By the next month, her doctors wrote, "the tumor was no longer palpable and in the following month, a mammogram confirmed the disappearance of her tumor. After that, another woman in the group also increased her dose, this time to 300 mg. Her tumor also soon disappeared and a clinical examination revealed no evidence of the prior residual tumor, nor of distant metastases."
Ralph Moss, Antioxidants Against Cancer
The significance of this study is two-fold. First, all of these patients were given chemotherapy along with the Co-Q10. Imagine what results would have been obtained without the toxic and immune system destroying chemotherapy! Second, the dosages of Co-Q10 given by the doctors were far too low (90 mg). It was the patients who made the greatest discoveries.
"Coenzyme Q10 stimulates animal immune systems, leading to higher antibody levels, greater numbers and/or activities of macrophages and T cells (T lymphocytes), and increased resistance to infection. Coenzyme Q10 has also been reported to increase IgG (immunoglobulin G) antibody levels and to increase the CD4 to CD8 T-cell ratio in humans. CD4 and CD8 are proteins found on the surface of T cells, with CD4 and CD8 identifying "helper" T cells and "cytotoxic T cells", respectively; decreased CD4 to CD8 T-cell ratios have been reported for cancer patients. Research subsequently delineated the antioxidant properties of coenzyme Q10."
And by a different author:
"A subsequent study showed a statistically significant relationship between the level of plasma coenzyme Q10 deficiency and breast cancer prognosis. Low blood levels of this compound have been reported in patients with malignancies other than breast cancer, including myeloma, lymphoma, and cancers of the lung, prostate, pancreas, colon, kidney, and head and neck. Furthermore, decreased levels of coenzyme Q10 have been detected in malignant human tissue, but increased levels have been reported as well."
"Dr. Douglass points out that CoQ10 dissolves in fat and that it is therefore most absorbable in either a special wafer form (to which some oil has been added) or taken with a tablespoon of olive oil. Burton Goldberg recommends coconut oil."
If you have been paying attention to my articles, you should jump out of your chair and shout: "Hey, this would be a great substance to add the Budwig Diet too." So it would.
There are two reasons for taking Coenzyme Q10 supplements, even though our body can manufacture it. First, the body makes less of this as we age. Second, the B vitamins niacin (B3), folic acid, and pyridoxine (B6) are required for the body to manufacture this nutrient, and most people don't get enough of these B vitamins.
Supercharging This Treatment
While Coenzyme Q10, by itself, can cause cancer remission, virtually every study with Co-Q10 involved mixing Co-Q10 (which helps the immunity system), with chemotherapy (which destroys the immunity system), thus leading to mixed results. Because of the lack of scientific research on Co-Q10, sans chemotherapy, this treatment plan must be supplemented until more information is received.
Perhaps the obvious place to start is the Stockholm Protocol, which is centered on Co Q10.
Stockholm Protocol: (daily):
1.2 grams of Gamma Linolenic Acid
3.5 grams of Omega 3 Fatty Acids
58 mg (32,248 iu) Beta Carotene
2.8 grams Vitamin C
2500 iu Vitamin E
385 micro grams Selenium
390 mg CoQ10
The Vitamin C in this regimen is far too low, and should probably be in the range of 12 grams (3 grams 4 times daily). Additionally, this treatment plan should also include a good multi-vitamin, which must include a wide array of trace elements (or use mineral water) and it must be strong in the B-Vitamins.
Since treatment plans that build the immunity system generally take longer to aid in killing cancer cells (because they work indirectly), other treatment plans should be combined with this plan to help kill cancer cells directly and stop the spreading of the cancer. These might include Essiac Tea and/or grape cure, to kill cancer cells directly, and Rath Cellular Solution and MSM to stop metastasis.
I have included this product in my articles because of its affect on some patients in spite of them taking chemotherapy. Also because it lends itself to being combined with the Budwig Diet.
It May Just Be the Miracle Vitamin of the 1990s
Copyright ©1995 by Jack Challem.
All rights reserved.
Heart disease. Cancer. AIDS. As unbelievable as it might sound, each of these deadly diseases often responds to a coenzyme Q10, a little known nutrient that can make a big difference in your health.
Granted, such "cure all" statements leave people wondering whether CoQ10 is just the latest panacea of the month. Rest assured: the benefits of this nutrient are well documented in the medical journals. It's one of the most frequently prescribed heart "drugs" in Japan and widely used in Europe-and one company even owns the patent for the CoQ10 treatment of AIDS.
Ask your doctor about CoQ10, though, and he'll probably say he's never heard of it. Part of the problem is CoQ10's name. "Most doctors don't know what a coenzyme is," said Karl Folkers, Ph.D., one of the researchers who pioneered CoQ10. Most biochemists know it as ubiquinone, an equally arcane name.
CoQ10 is a little easier to appreciate when you remember that vitamins function as co-enzymes in the body, furthering thousands of essential biochemical reactions. CoQ10's key role is in producing adenosine triphosphate (ATP), needed for energy production in every cell of the body. Secondary to that, CoQ10 functions as a powerful antioxidant.
This vitamin-like nutrient occurs widely in the food supply, though not always in significant amounts. In addition, each cell in the body manufactures CoQ10, though not always very efficiently. That means you may not be getting enough for optimal health.
"Like the vitamins discovered in the early part of this century, CoQ10 is an essential element of food that can now be used medicinally," explained Peter Langsjoen, M.D., a cardiologist in Tyler, Texas.
CoQ10 and the Heart
CoQ10 was discovered in 1957-relatively late as vitamins discoveries go-by Frederick Crane, Ph.D., now at Purdue University in Indiana. Four years later, Peter D. Mitchell, Ph.D., of the University of Edinburgh, figured out how CoQ10 produces energy at the cellular level and, in 1978, won the Nobel Prize for chemistry for this discovery.
By the mid-1960s, Japanese researchers recognized that CoQ10 concentrated in the myocardium, or heart muscle. Its role in the heart makes sense: the heart, one of the body's most energetic organs, beats approximately 100,000 times a day and 36 million times a year, and depends on CoQ10 for "bioenergetics." In the early 1980s, Folkers, director of the Institute for Biochemical Research at the University of Texas, and the late Per H. Langsjoen, M.D. (Peter's father), conducted the first study of CoQ10 in the treatment of cardiomyopathy, a form of progressive heart failure.
The findings were astounding. In a well-controlled study, 19 patients who were expected to die from heart failure rebounded with an "extraordinary clinical improvement," according to Folkers and Langsjoen's report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA (June 1985;82:4240-4).
Case studies demonstrate the dramatic effect of CoQ10. In Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications (Jan 15, 1993;182:247-53), Folkers described a 43-year-old man suffering from cardiomyopathy. After being given CoQ10, his enlarged heart became smaller (indicating it was working more efficiently), and he was able to resume an "extremely active athletic lifestyle." The heart function of another patient, a 50-year-old man with very severe cardiomyopathy, returned after he took CoQ10, and he has since had "no limitations of activity."
Numerous other studies have confirmed the role of CoQ10 in treating heart failure, which is otherwise treated with drugs (such as beta blockers and ACE inhibitors)-or with a heart transplant. A sampling:
Sixty-five cardiologists treating 806 patients for heart failure or ischemic heart disease indicated "significant" benefits from CoQ10. (Langsjoen, PH, Klinische Wochenschrift, 1988;66:583-90.)
Twenty-five hundred heart failure patients at 173 Italian medical centers were given 50 to 150 mg CoQ10 daily for three months. Eighty percent of the patients had some type of improvement. (Clinical Investigator, Aug. 1993;71S:145-9)
A 12-month double-blind study compared 319 patients taking CoQ10 with 322 taking a placebo. CoQ10 reduced complications of heart failure as well as the need for hospitalization. (Clinical Investigator, Aug. 1993;71S:134-6).
CoQ10 and Cancer
Although CoQ10 is best documented in the treatment of heart failure, two recent medical journal articles suggest tremendous promise in the treatment of cancer. In Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications (April 15, 1993;192:241-5), Folkers described 10 cancer patients given CoQ10 for heart failure. One of the patients, a 48-year-old man diagnosed in 1977 with inoperable lung cancer, has been not had any signs of either cancer and heart failure symptoms while taking CoQ10 for 17 years! Another patient, an 82-year-old man, had been treated for colon cancer.
Knud Lockwood, M.D., a cancer specialist in Copenhagen, Denmark, recently described his treatment of 32 "high-risk" breast cancer patients with antioxidant vitamins, essential fatty acids, and CoQ10. "No patient died and all expressed a feeling of well-being," he wrote in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications (March 30, 1994;199:1504-8). "These clinical results are remarkable since about 4 deaths would have been expected. Now, after 24 months, all still survive; about 6 deaths would have been expected."
Six of the 32 patients showed partial tumor remission, and two benefited from very high doses of CoQ10. One, a 59-year-old woman with a family history of breast cancer, had a tumor removed from her left breast. The cancer returned, but "stabilized" at about 1.5-2 centimeters (about 1/2 to 3/4-inch) in diameter when the patient took 90 mg. of CoQ10 daily. One month after increasing the CoQ10 intake to 390 mg. daily, the tumor disappeared. Mammography confirmed its absence.
Another patient, age 74, had a small tumor removed from her right breast. She refused a second operation to remove additional growths and began taking 300 mg of CoQ10 daily. Three months later, an examination and mammography revealed no evidence of the tumor or metastases.
Lockwood, who has treated some 7,000 cases of breast cancer over 35 years, wrote that until using CoQ10, he had "never seen a spontaneous complete regression of a 1.5-2.0 centimeter breast tumor, and has never seen a comparable regression on any conventional anti-tumor therapy."
CoQ10 and AIDS
One of the most remarkable findings was that CoQ10 supplementation could extend the lifespan of patients with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). In 1986, Folkers and Per Langsjoen began treating seven patients with HIV or AIDS. Not all of the patients consistently took CoQ10, but "the treatment was very encouraging and at times even striking," Folkers wrote in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications (June 16, 1988;153:888-96). "All 7 patients (3 AIDS, 4 ARC) felt better soon after starting on CoQ10," wrote Folkers.
It's with the treatment of AIDS that the medical story of CoQ10 turns into one of economic intrigue. The University of Texas, where the AIDS/CoQ10 research was conducted, applied for a "use-patent" for the treatment of AIDS. The patent (#1,011,858), one of several for CoQ10 and immune function, was granted on April 30, 1991. The use-patent gives the owner full patent rights to the nutrient when it's prescribed for the treatment of AIDS.
In 1993, the university sold the use-patient to James Ryan, an investment banker and one of the patients in Folkers' original cardiomyopathy study. Ryan, head of Ryan Pharmaceuticals, paid several hundred thousand dollars for the use patent, then sold it for an estimated $2 million to Receptagen, a U.S./Canadian biotechnology firm. The company plans to market prescription versions of CoQ10 for the treatment of AIDS sometime in the next two years.
How Much To Take?
So is CoQ10 a drug or a nutrient? Studies of patients with heart disease, cancer, and AIDS indicate that they are routinely deficient in CoQ10. Although CoQ10 is found in many foods, only organ meats contain significant amounts-but most people do not eat these foods. Can the body make up the difference? Folkers is doubtful. He recently observed that "many Americans do not have adequate levels of all the vitamins, coenzymes and trace elements for the multi-step biosynthesis of CoQ10 even for limited health and survival apart from optimum health and survival."
So if CoQ10 so good, why don't more doctors use it? Peter Langsjoen, M.D., recently ventured an explanation.
"The answer to this question is found in the fields of politics and marketing and not in the fields of science or medicine. The controversy surrounding CoQ10 likewise is political and economic, as the previous 30 years of research on CoQ10 have been remarkably consistent and free of major controversy," he explained.
"Although it is not the first time that a fundamental and clinically important discovery has come about without the backing of a pharmaceutical company, it is the first such discovery to so radically alter how physicians must view disease. While the pharmaceutical industry does a good job at physician and patient education on their new products, the distributors of CoQ10 are not as effective at this."
Therapeutic dosages of CoQ10 for serious diseases range from 200-400 mg. daily, ideally under a physician's supervision. It works in diverse conditions because the basic underlying mechanisms are the same-energy production at the cellular level and antioxidant protection against free radicals. In an interview, Folkers said that CoQ10 is safe and has no negative side effects, though it may decrease the need for other heart medicines. A common preventive dose ranges from 10-30 mg daily.
The information provided by Jack Challem and The Nutrition Reporter™ newsletter is strictly educational and not intended as medical advice. For diagnosis and treatment, consult your physician. And in case you were wondering, neither Jack Challem nor The Nutrition Reporter™ sell vitamins.
CoQ10 In experiments where the dosage was only 90 mg, results were sporatic. However, when dosages were in the range of 400-600 mg, and perhaps higher, results were substantial. (Note: A person should gradually build up to dosages above 100 mg.) 30* 100mg softgells.
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Idebenone is NOT synthetic CoQ10
Recently the scientific community and the firms involved in CoQ10 production and distribution learned of the presence on the market of a product called “Chinese synthetic CoQ10 (idebenone)” manufactured by Modern Natural Products (MNP, Mumbai, India). Idebenone is a well-known synthetic compound, with a structural similarity, in the quinone moiety, to coenzyme Q. However, idebenone has a side chain of 10 carbon atoms (10-hydroxydecyl), whereas coenzyme Q has a polyisoprenoid side chain. Specifically, in CoQ10, the major form of coenzyme Q in humans, the side chain is made of 10 isoprenoid units for a total of 50 carbon atoms. Idebenone has some antioxidant properties and has been studied in vascular disorders resulting from stroke or experimental cerebral ischemia and in some neurological diseases. What we want to make clear in this statement is that the nomenclature “Chinese synthetic CoQ10 (idebenone)” is incorrect and misleading. Moreover, Covance, a company involved in validation of analytical methods, did not object in calling idebenone “Synthetic Chinese CoQ10”. In literature provided by MNP, one can read sentences such as “Because idebenone is a new synthetic material with a slightly different chemical structure it could not be called just CoQ10; therefore it is called Synthetic CoQ10-Idebenone”…. “Covance had no problem calling it Chinese Synthetic CoQ10 because it falls under that category”…. “We were told that idebenone and CoQ10 are classified as the same product”. It is not our intention to discuss the properties of idebenone and its possible beneficial effects. We point out, however, that being a different compound, CoQ10 has properties different to those of idebenone. Covance issued a validation method for just idebenone and erroneously called it a validation method for synthetic CoQ10.
PEOPLE SHOULD BE AWARE THAT COENZYME Q10 AND IDEBENONE ARE NOT THE SAME PRODUCT AND DO NOT HAVE THE SAME PROPERTIES AND EFFECTS. FURTHERMORE CLINICAL STUDIES HAVE PROVEN THAT CoQ10 IS SAFE EVEN AT DOSES OF 2-3 GRAMS PER DAY, PROOF THAT IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR IDEBENONE.
Cancer cells hide after Chemotherapy and Radiation
After the initial doses of radiation and/or chemotherapy, cancer cells start hiding.
" They develop a slime coating, and they become like Stealth bombers, and they can hide from future doses of radiation and chemotherapy. This is why repeated dose of radiation and chemotherapy become less effective".Dr. John Maras, Nu-Gen Educational Library.
" The way to get rid of this "slime coating" is to use large doses of plant and animal enzymes- especially bromelain and pancreatin. This allows an 'access point' for the immune system to attack the cancer cells".....Dr. John Maras, Nu-Gen Educational Library