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What Is the Connection between CoQ10 and L-Carnitine?

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  • Written By: Dennis Wilcox
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 31 August 2014
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When used together, coenzyme Q10 (coq10) and l-carnitine are considered valuable supplements in aiding both the prevention and treatment of heart disease. The value of coq10 is also recognized by many physicians in standard medical practice who treat heart disease, especially for patients taking statin drugs, which are known to deplete coq10 from the heart muscle. L-carnitine appears to augment the benefits of coq10 when both supplements are taken together. The combination of coq10 and l-carnitine is also promoted for use for several other conditions, including fibromyalgia, AIDs, and infertility.

Both coq10 and l-carnitine are naturally occurring substances in the body. Coq10 is essential for the heart muscle to pump effectively because it is used by the energy factories in cells, called mitochondria, to produce the energy muscles need to function properly. L-carnitine, an amino acid, is similarly important to proper mitochondrial function, as it transports fatty acids into mitochondria, which assist in their production of the energy muscle cells need to function properly. This dual action of coq10 and l-carnitine on energy production in muscle cells indicates that the combination of the two will help maintain a healthy heart. Roughly 10 to 15 percent of those taking coq10 will experience no beneficial effect of the substance on their hearts, which is why the supplement may work well when take witn l-carnitine.

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Much of the attention received about the benefits of combining coq10 and l-carnitine focuses on their role in healthy heart function and heart disease. Others using natural therapies, however, claim therapeutic value for a variety of other conditions as well. One is fibromyalgia. Though still somewhat mysterious in its cause or causes, symptoms of this ailment involve muscle aches and fatigue. Some sufferers report relief from these symptoms and increased energy through a joint supplementation of coq10 and l-carnitine, which may be the result of the effects these supplements have on muscle health and energy.

AIDs patients also report a similar positive effect from a combination of coq10 and l-carnitine. The treatment of AIDs involves high dosages of several antiviral drugs which can negatively affect mitochondrial function. The HIV virus itself, which causes AIDs, can also harm these cellular energy factories. Besides creating chronic fatigue for AIDs patients, poor mitochondrial function has other effects on the body including an unequal distribution of fat, hair loss, and pain and numbness in the extremities.

Some people dealing with infertility problems claim the use of herbal remedies and supplements that include coq10 and l-carnitine have made a positive difference in their situations. Preliminary research studies do indicate some correlation between taking these supplements and increased sperm motility in men. It is far from conclusive, however.

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