Author: Steve Born
“Ideba what?” That’s what people often say when they first encounter this relatively unknown nutrient, pronounced eye-DEB-uh-known. So unknown, in fact, that I believe we’re the only athletic supplement company that uses this incredibly beneficial nutrient. In over two decades that I’ve studied nutritional supplements, I’ve become extremely fond of many nutrients. I’d say that idebenone shares the top rung with old favorites such as lipoic acid (the “r” isomer form), l-carnitine, carnosine, and coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10).
So what is Idebenone?
There are six chemical names for idebenone found in research and trade publications and, to me, they’re all names only a chemist could love . . . how about 6-(10-hydroxydecyl)-2,3-dimethoxy-5-methyl-1,4-benzoquinone? Whoa! Personally, I think I’d prefer to keep it simple by referring to idebenone as “a synthetic analogue (variant) of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10).” Dr. Bill Misner aptly refers to CoQ10 as “the vital cell membrane antioxidant and essential constituent of the ATP-producing mitochondrial electron transport chain (ETC) system.”
Space limitations prevent a full discussion on the importance of CoQ10 for both athletic performance and also a variety of health conditions, including life itself! Nutrition expert James South summed up its importance in just a few words: “Without CoQ10, or a good substitute, human life quickly ends.”
What is this “good substitute” that South mentions? It’s idebenone, which some experts suggest is equal to, and perhaps even more powerful than, CoQ10.
According to Dr. Misner, “Idebenone supplies all of the same benefits as CoQ10 [acting as a "spark plug" for the production of energy (ATP) as well as being a potent antioxidant] plus some distinct advantages based on its more complex chemical structure. Though very similar in chemical make-up to CoQ10, its longer chain organic structure gives it extra-powerful antioxidant properties making it a more effective ‘free radical quencher’’ resulting in less cell and tissue damage.”
While CoQ10 is perhaps the most important substance one can take for the prevention of cardiovascular disease and certain cancers, idebenone appears to have more brain-specific benefits. Dr. Bill writes, “Idebenone protects the brain from the detrimental effects of serotonin deficiency and facilitates endogenous serotonin production. Serotonin deficiency compromises sleep and may contribute to chronic depression. Idebenone favorably affects blood flow in the brain, reproducing verbal fluency, creativity, and memory. Idebenone enhances endogenous norepinephrine production by facilitating cellular uptake of tyrosine. This suggests that idebenone may indirectly improve the uptake and reproductive role of tyrosine in thyroid hormone production. Thyroid hormone deficiency is a factor in performance and body mass index.”
Other “brain benefits” attributed to idebenone include improved cognition and mood, reduced damage from Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease, and a role in the prevention of excitotoxin (a class of substances produced from the consumption of substances such as MSG and artificial sweeteners, which can impair or neurons) damage.
On top of that, idebenone appears to positively affect liver mitochondrial function, which suggests that it would support and enhance the detoxification functions of the liver. (Another notable “liver health” nutrient is r-alpha lipoic acid, which is in Mito Caps).
Perhaps the most remarkable feature of idebenone is its unique ability to operate under hypoxic (low oxygen) conditions, helping to produce energy and maintain high energy levels without creating free radicals. In other words, under the same cellular low oxygen conditions that can cause CoQ10 to act as a pro-oxidant, idebenone helps prevent free radical damage while still supporting ATP production.
Why both CoQ10 and Idebenone?
If idebenone is supposedly a “better CoQ10,” then why do we put both nutrients in Race Caps Supreme? I mentioned one reason earlier: while they are similar in chemical structure and provide some similar benefits, each nutrient also has its own specific benefits. Additionally, there’s a synergistic process between them, as they enhance each other’s effectiveness. They complement each other perfectly, so by combining both nutrients together we can get vastly increased benefits over either taken alone.
Get to know Idebenone
I remember when we decided to add idebenone to the original Race Caps formula. My first thought was, “Oh man, this is going to be one amazing supplement; there’s just nothing like it anywhere.” After doing additional reading and research on idebenone (and in addition to all the other benefits provided by the nutrients in Race Caps Supreme) I remain convinced that this initial thought/reaction was not an exaggeration.
I’ve listed just some of the benefits that idebenone provides; for more information check out www.idebenone.org. It might not be as well known as its near-twin CoQ10, but idebenone deserves a place at the top of the “nutrients that are vital for health and athletic performance” list. I believe you’ll be hearing more and more about this remarkable nutrient. Each capsule of Race Caps Supreme contains a 60 mg combination of idebenone and CoQ10, providing a wide range of very potent benefits for the endurance athlete.
To find out more information or to order Race Caps Supreme, visit the Race Caps Supreme page.