A promising new addition to the company's current line of health supplements was identified during a recent trip to Bangkok, Thailand, to meet suppliers of a promising antioxidant, coenzyme Q10. A growing body of research suggests this antioxidant is effective in improving cardiovascular function and may also be useful in alleviating the symptoms of angina pectoris, cardiac arrhythmia, high blood pressure, moderate gingival disease, congestive heart failure, dilated cardiomyopathy and severely impaired immune systems. Based on the documented efficacy, high quality and low costs of the health supplement offered by this vendor, this report provides the background and an overview of the supplier, a description of the health supplement, and current applications for coenzyme Q10. A summary of the business trip and meeting with the company's president is followed by recommendations and a brochure illustrating various aspects of the product.
Results of Business Trip to Thailand
Background and Overview of Supplier
The Thai company, Complete-Pharma Co., Ltd., is European-owned and managed and all production of coenzyme Q10 meets or exceeds Federal Drug Administration and Good Manufacturing Practice standards (Complete-Pharma Co., Ltd., 2011). Complete-Pharma Co., Ltd.'s formulation of its 300 mg coenzyme Q10 product also contains standardized green tea extract (90 mg) and vitamin C (60 mg). The company also manufactures a wide range of other health supplements that may be of interest to the company in the future. At present, the coenzyme Q10 appears to represent the most promising item in their product line and it is described further below.
Description of Health Supplement
According to Goldstein and Goldstein, "Coenzyme Q10 (also known as "ubiquinone") is a "naturally occurring substance that is found in virtually all cells of the human body. It is also contained in a number of foods such as beef heart, pork, sardines, anchovies, mackerel, salmon, broccoli, spinach and nuts" (2002, p. 176). In his text, Beyond the 120-Year Diet: How to Double Your Vital Years, Walford describes the product thusly: "Coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10, acts like a vitamin, although it can be manufactured by the body and does not have to be obtained from the diet. Essential in certain large enzyme complexes, it is itself a small molecule that carries electrons from the inside of membranes to the outside, where it releases them to another complex" (2000, p. 190). Coenzyme Q10 is therefore essential in the production of cellular energy in the human body (Wittenberg, 1996).
A number of studies have found that large doses of coenzyme Q10 dramatically prolonged the lifespan of various laboratory animals (primarily rats and mice), but no such clinical trials have been conducted with humans for this purpose (Walford, 2000) and no such claims are made by the vendor. The average amount of coenzyme Q10 that consumers receive from their normal diet is approximately 10 milligrams per day; however, this modest amount is not sufficient to provide any substantive clinical benefits, particularly for people who suffer from high blood pressure, periodontal disease, heart disease, and an impaired immune function, thereby creating the need for supplements (Goldstein & Goldstein, 2002).
Relevant product and packaging information for the coenzyme Q10 product manufactured by Complete-Pharma Co., Ltd. is provided in Table 1 below.
Product and packaging information for Complete-Pharma Co., Ltd.'s coenzyme Q10 health supplement
Place of Origin
0225/60 tab, 0226/90 tab
Payment & Shipping Terms
FOB EUR 4~10 / Pack
Contact company for details
Minimum Order Quantity
Negotiable Trial Order
120000 Pack/Packs per Month
Applications for Health Supplements
As noted above, coenzyme Q10 has been recommended for the treatment of a wide range of conditions, including cardiovascular function, angina pectoris, cardiac arrhythmia, high blood pressure, moderate gingival disease, congestive heart failure, dilated cardiomyopathy and severely impaired immune systems. The following dosages have been recommended for the conditions indicated in Table 2 below.
Recommended dosages of coenzyme Q10
Recommended Daily Dosage
Preventive in cardiovascular or periodontal disease and for patients taking HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (cholesterol-lowering drugs)
90 to 120 mg
Treatment of angina pectoris, cardiac arrhythmia, high blood pressure, and moderate gingival disease
120 to 240 mg daily
Congestive heart failure and dilated cardiomyopathy
240 to 450 mg
Severely impaired immune system, as in cancer
Unspecified, but higher than 450 mg/day
Source: Goldstein & Goldstein, 2002, p. 177
There is also a growing body of research concerning the efficacy of coenzyme Q10 for these conditions. For example, a double-blind clinical trial conducted by Cerrato (1999) involving "people who had suffered an acute myocardial infarction [heart attack] were given either 100 mg a day of oral coenzyme Q10 or a placebo for 28 days" (p. 61). The results of this study showed that the patients taking coenzyme Q10 "experienced less angina pectoris, fewer arrhythmias, and better left ventricular function. Even more impressive was the fact that the coenzyme was linked to fewer cardiac deaths and nonfatal myocardial infarctions" (Cerrato, 1999, p. 62). Comparable findings were also reported by Freeman and Junge who note:
This vitamin-like substance is found in every cell of the body but is most prevalent in tissues with high energy demands, such as the muscles of the heart. Many advocates of alternative medicine believe that it can strengthen the heartbeat by increasing the cellular fuel available to the heart. And some small studies have suggested that it might help patients with angina, heart failure, or other cardiovascular problems. (2005, p. 43)
Likewise, an article published in Better Nutrition contained a list of studies that indicated the significant health gains achieved by coenzyme Q10 (Scheer & Guest, 1999). A report from Chalmers, Blake-Mortimer and Winefield notes that patients who were experiencing depressive states that adversely affected the immune systems benefited from taking coenzyme Q10 and regained immune system functioning comparable to healthy patients. In fact, Goldstein and Goldstein suggest that, "The number of positive accounts seems endless" (2002, p. 177). Besides the foregoing applications, Japanese consumers favor skincare products that contain coenzyme Q10 because of its perceived efficacy in treating rough and dry skin (Marber, Wellen, Yoon & Torres, 2006).
The research showed that coenzyme Q10, also known as ubiquinone, is a naturally occurring enzyme that is present in all of the human body's cells, but is particularly pronounced in cells with high energy demands such as the heart. In addition, small amounts of coenzyme Q10 are derived from dietary products such as beef heart, pork, sardines, anchovies, mackerel, salmon, broccoli, spinach and nuts; however, the small amounts of the enzyme acquired through diet alone are not believed to be sufficient to produce positive clinical outcomes for the range of conditions the product is used to treat thereby necessitating daily supplements for consumers interested in attaining the benefits attributed to the product. The product also has a proven track record of efficacy in treating a wide range of conditions, including cardiovascular function, angina pectoris, cardiac arrhythmia, high blood pressure, moderate gingival disease, congestive heart failure, dilated cardiomyopathy and severely impaired immune systems. The research also showed some skincare products contain coenzyme Q10 which is believed to be effective in treating dry and rough skin. Taken together, it would appear that coenzyme Q10 represents a valuable addition to the company's life of health supplements.
Based on the very positive initial meeting with Mr. Prasert Pangrechun, president of Complete-Pharma Co., Ltd., my tour of the company's spotless manufacturing facilities, the fact that the company conforms to or exceeds all relevant Federal Drug Administration and Good Manufacturing Practices and that it is European Union-owned and operated, the following recommendations are provided:
1. Because Complete-Pharma Co., Ltd. offers a negotiable trial quantity for its minimum orders, our company should negotiate a short-term contract for ten cartons (1,000 packs of 300 mg) of coenzyme Q10 for pilot test marketing. For this purpose, the product information contained in the brochure provided at Appendix A should be prominently included on our company's Web site and a press release issued announcing the availability of the new product.
2. Assuming that the results of the pilot test are positive (and this is the expectation), a long-term contract with Complete-Pharma Co., Ltd. should be negotiated to achieve the most favorable terms possible. A subsequent business trip to visit with the company's leadership team should be used for this purpose as face-to-face negotiations appear to be more effective with Thai managers.