Supplement May Help Control Gum Disease and Heart Attacks

Friday, July 30th 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Medical experts say a supplement available in health food stores may stop the bacteria that causes gum disease. It's called "Coenzyme Q" and may do more than just help you keep your teeth.

If you're one of the one in four people with gum disease, you may be risking a lot more than you thought. People with gum disease are about twice as likely to have a heart attack. In addition, a woman with gum disease is more likely to have a premature baby.

What's going on? Studies suggest the bacteria on your gums spread. They can get a relatively large number of bacteria in their circulation. The theory is that the bacteria then creates the blockage in vessels that cause heart attacks and other problems. Early studies suggest you may be able to avoid gum disease and it's complications by taking a supplement called coenzyme q-10.

No one's quite sure how coenzyme q-10 works, yet early studies suggest the nutrient makes gums pinker and healthier. One theory is the vitamin-like compound is an energy source for the cells of your mouth. If you're taking the supplement, you still have to brush and floss. But some new concerns about just how dangerous gum disease can be, coenzyme q-10 may be a simple and safe way to prevent it.