Fighting fatigue amid a global health crisis
Fear of getting sick, social distancing and intense work schedules: the consequences of the pandemic have put many people under a huge amount of psychological strain. According to a Forsa survey commissioned by a leading German health insurance company, one in two people said they felt stressed by the COVID-19 crisis. The exceptional situation is also reflected in everyday working life. In the survey, 38% of respondents said they were experiencing more pressure at work than before the pandemic. Suffering from extreme workloads leading to exhaustion, nurses and other healthcare professionals in particular were severely affected.
Dietary support during the pandemic
Research suggests that regular intake of the micronutrient ubiquinol helps to reduce physical and mental symptoms related to work overload, indicating its usefulness for stress management. Aware of these benefits, Kaneka Nutrients Europe recently partnered with the French healthcare market research company Expansion Consulteam to conduct a study among healthcare personnel. This involved 85 nurses who have been struggling with an exceptional workload as a result of the crisis, and who were given a daily dose of 100mg Kaneka Ubiquinol™ for 60 days. Half of the participants worked in hospitals, the other half in private practice and the average age was 44. The study took place from January to March 2021 during an extremely difficult period of the pandemic in France, and the participants had not been vaccinated at the time. Therefore, it’s not surprising that before the start of the trial, the majority of the nurses said they were suffering from stress, tiredness and mental exhaustion. The urgency of the situation made it essential to obtain tangible results as quickly as possible in order to be able to help those essential workers in the midst of the pandemic. As regular ubiquinol intake was a necessary precaution for the study design, the participants were closely monitored in order to ensure that they took one capsule per day throughout the whole study period.
Fuel for the body
Naturally present in the body, ubiquinol – the active form of coenzyme Q10 – is a powerful antioxidant and essential micronutrient that helps cells produce energy. As it’s a true fuel for the body, a lack of ubiquinol results in a significant decrease in energy, causing fatigue and a lack of stamina. At the end of the study, the respondents reported a variety of ubiquinol effects, such as vitality and improved immunity, although reduced stress was most frequently noted, followed by decreased physical fatigue, both of which were evident after 24 days on average.
After taking 100mg Kaneka Ubiquinol™ daily for 60 days, 62% of the participants indeed said they felt less stressed. Furthermore, 55% reported decreased physical fatigue, and 56% less mental fatigue. In addition, more than seven out of ten respondents reported improvements in their overall wellbeing. These were deemed quick results by almost half of participants. Additionally, 56% of the nurses thought that their immune system was strengthened as a result of the supplementation. Finally, three-quarters of the participants said they would be willing to buy ubiquinol and recommend it to an acquaintance.
Results reinforce previous studies
Research through clinical studies had already demonstrated a positive outcome on stress, fatigue and other elements brought up in the above-mentioned study. Nevertheless, the researchers were greatly surprised by the proportion of such positive results reiterating previous clinical study findings. The rapidity of the effects was striking, with most of them being felt after 23 to 24 days. Kaneka is now sharing those findings with relevant healthcare professionals and evaluating potential partnerships.
Filip Van Hulle, General Manager at Kaneka Nutrients Europe, says: “We are delighted to see such positive study results, despite working conditions impacted by a galloping health crisis in France at the beginning of 2021. The nurses’ feedback shows that ubiquinol is a valuable weapon in the fight against daily stress and fatigue. COVID-19 not only causes physical health concerns but also has a significant impact on public mental health – from stress and anxiety to depression. Many consumers are currently looking to improve their overall health and ubiquinol could well be the solution: it supports several areas simultaneously, such as heart health, immunity and mental wellbeing, and contributes to improved energy and endurance.”
Many studies demonstrate the benefits of ubiquinol on cardiovascular health in particular, but a broad range of trials have also shown promising results relating to physical and mental wellness, as well as immunity.
For example, a study published in 20193 indicates that ubiquinol improves the stresses and strains of daily life, and the quality of sleep in healthy subjects with a high sensitivity to stress. In addition, a double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in the renowned Nutrients journal in 20204 demonstrates improved quality of life in people with mild fatigue after supplementing with 100mg ubiquinol daily for twelve weeks. Fatigue, oxidative stress and sleepiness after the working day were reduced post-supplementation, promoting motivation at work while providing a relaxing effect. In another double-blind, placebo-controlled study5, the beneficial effects of ubiquinol supplementation in people with chronic fatigue syndrome were demonstrated: fatigue, oxidative stress and depression symptoms decreased, while sleep duration increased after taking 150 mg ubiquinol daily for three months.
Protecting the body’s defence
Also, in terms of immune health, Kaneka Ubiquinol™ proved beneficial. The tissues and cells involved in immune function have significant energy needs and therefore require a substantial supply of ubiquinol. As a matter of fact, researchers found that people affected by influenza had far less ubiquinol in their body than healthy people.6 This was confirmed across three influenza seasons. We can thus assume that the body needs ubiquinol to protect itself against external threats. It is also known that influenza virus-induced dysregulation of the inflammatory response, commonly known as ‘cytokine storm’, can significantly contribute to morbidity and mortality. In this case, ubiquinol is able to attenuate markers of inflammation and down-regulate
pro-inflammatory signalling. Plus, the stronger the immune system, the better the vaccination will work.
Capturing market demand
The body’s ability to produce ubiquinol decreases from the age of about 25: as we age, levels of the micronutrient in the blood begin to diminish. No substance can replace ubiquinol and, as a result, the ageing process is accelerated, and the immune system impacted. Therefore, it must be sourced externally in order to boost the endogenous ubiquinol levels. Our daily diet does not provide sufficient quantities for optimal benefits, and so targeted nutritional supplementation is needed. Nutrients such as Kaneka Ubiquinol™ that are backed by scientific research will appeal to health-conscious shoppers looking for additional benefits in terms of stress management, immunity or overall wellbeing. In addition, consumers are looking for products that combine a number of benefits in one package. The versatility of ubiquinol means it can be combined with numerous other ingredients, such as vitamins, minerals or natural extracts. Plus, it is a safe, natural micronutrient with no known side-effects.
1 Forsa Survey “Corona 2020“. Techniker Krankenkasse. Germany, July 2020.
2 Kawaharada et al., Jpn Pharmacol Ther, Vol. 41 No. 12, 2013.
3 Morikawa et al., Jpn Pharmacol Ther 2019; 47:1231-44.
4 Mizuno et al., Nutrients 2020, 12, 1640.
5 Fukuda et al., Biofactors. 2016; 42(4):431-40.
6 Chase et al., Influenza Other Respir Viruses. 2019; 13(1): 64–70.
KANEKA NUTRIENTS EUROPE
Sales & Marketing Manager