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What Exactly is Idebenone?

By Blake Cooley December 02, 2019 0 comments

"A powerful antioxidant." While many people are using this phrase to describe idebenone, that doesn't capture the whole picture.

Idebenone is used for patients with Leber’s hereditary optic neuropathy as well as patients with Multiple Sclerosis. It's also used for patients with Alzheimer's, Huntington's, liver disease, and heart disease, among others. With so many different people using idebenone, we still often hear the question, "What exactly is it?"

Keep reading to discover the answer. In this guide, we'll discuss idebenone, the benefits, and the side effects of using this dietary supplement. 

What Is Idebenone?

Also referred to as IDE, idebenone is a man-made product stock full of antioxidant properties. Though it's synthetic, idebenone was created to mimic a naturally-occurring antioxidant, ubiquinone (coenzyme Q10). Learning this, many people have started to refer to idebenone as ubiquinone's synthetic analog.

The antioxidant properties within idebenone are very potent, making it more powerful than vitamin E.

Given its antioxidant properties, idebenone is now used for treating numerous diseases that are related to mitochondrial dysfunction. It's also used for treating inherited disorders. These diseases include:

  • Heart disease
  • Liver disease
  • Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy
  • Huntington's
  • Alzheimer's
  • Duchenne muscular dystrophy
  • Friedreich's ataxia

Idebenone was first used during organ transplants to prevent the organs from oxidizing. Later, it was used for topical use to protect the skin and improve its outward appearance. 

Idebenone is able to protect the skin from environmental damage we experience every day. For example, smoke, pollution, and different airborne toxins can impact our skin's health. Even sunlight can cause photodamage and hyperpigmentation, contributing to wrinkles. 

Idebenone also helps protects human cells from oxidative damage. Other benefits include memory retainment and improving skin health. 

How It Works

So how does idebenone work?

Antioxidants are effective at fighting off free radicals. Specifically, idebenone targets free radicals called reactive oxidative species. Idebenone neutralizes the free radicals within a cell's powerhouse or mitochondria. 

By neutralizing these free radicals, idebenone is able to prevent oxidative damage in our cells. As a result, it's also able to improve cell survival and recovery from free radical damage that's already occurred. 

Idebenone is best absorbed through the gut. When swallowed, idebenone capsules are metabolized in the liver first. This leaves a small percentage available to pass into the bloodstream. 

What are the Benefits of Using Idebenone?

Idebenone can have a number of beneficial effects on the human body. Here are a few to consider.

Younger-Looking Skin

Many beauty products include antioxidants among the list of ingredients. Antioxidants can help the skin appear younger and smoother.

Since idebenone contains so many antioxidants, it's often used to help benefit the skin. Idebenone capsules can smooth out fine lines and wrinkles. They can also reduce skin dryness, improving elasticity. 

As a result, idebenone can make the skin look healthier, smoother, and younger. 

Patients who are suffering from skin conditions or are noticing physical signs of aging have started using idebenone supplements. Taking these capsules can help the skin appear softer and more radiant.

Leber's Hereditary Optic Neuropathy (LHON's)

Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy is passed from a mother to all of her offspring.

This condition causes retinal ganglion cells to degenerate. When a cell's axon breaks down, it leads to acute or subacute central vision loss. This symptom often occurs with young adult males. 

There are studies that have explored the use of idebenone supplements for treating Leber’s hereditary optic neuropathy. According to this study, idebenone was effective in treating patients with discordant visual acuities. It was also safe and well-tolerated among patients.

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

Taking idebenone can improve airway function. This, in turn, can help prevent airway infections in younger patients who have Duchenne muscular dystrophy. However, taking idebenone only seems effective for patients with this condition who aren't using steroids as a form of treatment. 

More research is needed to determine the full effect of idebenone on Duchenne muscular dystrophy. 

Memory Protection

Idebenone can go beyond offering physical benefits.

It's also able to protect our memory by slowing nerve activity. Frantic nerve activity can cause memory lapses and deficits, especially among older patients.

Free radicals that cause oxidative stress can also damage our nerves, leading to degradation. Without the right amount of antioxidants throughout the body, your memory will begin to falter. In addition to harming previous memories, you might also experience a more difficult time creating new memories. 

Taking idebenone capsules regularly can provide your body with the antioxidants it needs.

As a result, you can avoid nerve degradation and preserve your existing memories.

Alzheimer's Disease

Speaking of memories, taking an idebenone supplement can also improve symptoms of Alzheimer's patients. 

Beta-amyloid is a protein that creates layers throughout the brain. When these layers disrupt brain cells from communicating, it can cause symptoms associated with Alzheimer's, including nerve toxicity.

The neuroprotective properties within idebenone can help prevent cell death. By protecting the cells, idebenone can also improve a patient's memory and attention span. 

What are the Side Effects?

While idebenone is considered safe to take orally in capsule form, some patients have noted side effects. Though uncommon, these symptoms include:

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain
  • Quickened heartbeat
  • Increased risk of infection
  • Loose stools

Some patients are also allergic to idebenone when it's applied to their skin. 

There currently isn't enough research to determine if it's safe for pregnant or breast-feeding women to take idebenone. 

What Exactly is Idebenone?: Everything You Need to Know

A single capsule could protect your mind, skin, and so much more. By taking a daily idebenone supplement, you can slow the signs of aging and sharpen your mind before memory loss occurs. However, this is simply the beginning. 

Today, more people are finding helpful uses for idebenone.

By fighting free radicals, idebenone is capable of protecting us from the inside, out. 

Discover the benefits of using idebenone firsthand! Contact us today to learn more about using idebenone yourself!

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