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Some CoQ10 Supplement Labels Misleading: Report

People who purchase the antioxidant supplement coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) may not be getting what they pay for, according to a report released Tuesday by ConsumerLab.com.

In a review of 32 CoQ10 products on the market, several supplements did not contain the claimed amount of the micronutrient. They contained either too much, too little or none at all.

"Anyone using CoQ10 in managing a disease needs to be aware that with the wrong brands they may be getting anywhere from zero to 175 percent of the dose they are trying to take," said ConsumerLab president Dr. Tod Cooperman, "And this can affect their health."

Unfortunately, "There is no way to tell by looking at a product whether it contains what it claims," Cooperman told Reuters Health. A list of CoQ10 supplements that met the group's standards is available at www.consumerlab.com

CoQ10, also known as ubiquinone, is a fatty substance found in cell membranes. This substance is involved in transporting electrons during the cellular respiration process, which is how cells get their energy from oxygen.

The micronutrient is an antioxidant, meaning it can counteract the effects of byproducts of the oxidation process.

Although CoQ10 is produced in the body, there is preliminary evidence that it may be helpful to people with Parkinson's disease. Some people with other health conditions, including congestive heart failure and AIDS, also take the supplement.

In the U.S., CoQ10 is classified as a dietary supplement rather than a drug, so it is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.

In November 2000, ConsumerLab.com found that one product contained only 17 percent of the CoQ10 claimed on its label. Following up on this discovery, the group reviewed 32 CoQ10 products.

Most supplements met ConsumerLab.com's standards, but one product did not contain any detectable CoQ10. Another product contained only 71 percent of the amount listed on its label, while another product contained 75 percent more than its claimed amount.

ConsumerLab.com is a privately held company based in White Plains, New York. According to the company, it is neither owned by nor has a financial interest in any companies that make, distribute or sell consumer products.

Reference: Product Review: Coenzyme Q10 - SUMMARY FOR NON-SUBSCRIBERS Initial Posting: 1/13/04 www.consumerlab.com/results/CoQ10.asp

Source Date: Jan 13 2004
Source Publication: Reuters Health
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