Produced naturally by the body, CoQ10 is a fat-soluble substance. It is a powerful antioxidant and helps turn food into energy. Let's dig a little deeper into why this nutrient is vital for us, what conditions it can help with, and the benefits of a CoQ10 supplement.
Over time the amount of the substance our body produces declines. Plenty of medical research suggests that taking a CoQ10 supplement can be beneficial for our health.
Some people have low levels of the substance as a result of pre-existing medical conditions. Low CoQ10 levels are linked to poor health of the heart and cardiovascular system.
Coenzyme Q10 or CoQ10 is stored in your cells' mitochondria; it helps your body produce energy. The mitochondria are essential for life as they create about 90% of your body's chemical energy.
Your cells' mitochondria can turn the fats, sugars, and proteins you get through food into the chemical energy your body requires for survival.
The organs that need the most energy to function, such as your heart, liver, pancreas, and liver, contain the highest levels of CoQ10. It is also present in your muscles.
CoQ10 is also an antioxidant and protects your cells from external threats such as bacteria and viruses.
As an antioxidant, it also helps protect your cells from free radicals. These are molecules with uneven electrons. The varying number of electrons makes it easier for these molecules to react with other molecules in the body. For this reason, they can cause changes to the structure of your cells, which can turn cancerous.
Without CoQ10, our bodies wouldn't be able to function correctly. Very few people have a severe deficiency of the enzyme.
There have been several studies that link low CoQ10 levels to cardiovascular diseases. This study suggests that three out of four patients with heart disease had low levels of CoQ10.
Many other diseases are linked to low levels of CoQ10 in the body, including but not limited to: myocardial infarction, heart failure, viral myocarditis, cardiomyopathies, cardiac toxicity, dyslipidemia, obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and metabolic syndrome.
It is thought that supplementing with CoQ10 may be helpful in reducing the chance of contracting these diseases. It may also be useful in a variety of other chronic and acute disorders.
CoQ10 is also thought to have anti-inflammatory properties. For this reason, it can help prevent migraines. Scientific studies suggest that people who get regular migraines can use a CoQ10 supplement to reduce the frequency of migraine headaches.
Evidence suggests that CoQ10 is also linked to improved fertility levels for both men and women.
You can take a Coenzyme Q10 supplement daily to maintain healthy levels of the enzyme in your body.
Some foods contain CoQ10, but the amount in these dietary items is minimal. Food will make little difference in increasing your CoQ10 if you have low levels in your body.
Foods that contain CoQ10 include green vegetables, meats such as chicken and liver, soya, and whole grains. Fatty fish also contains the enzyme. A balanced, varied, and healthy diet is the best way to ensure you take in all the necessary vitamins and nutrients.
The easiest way to increase the level of CoQ10 in the body is through a supplement. This can be taken as a small capsule.
You may be unsure what CoQ10 dosage you should take, but your supplement will provide this information on the supplement facts label. A standard recommendation is about 100 mg per day depending upon the manufacturer.
As CoQ10 is a fat-soluble substance, it is best to take your supplement with a meal.
As we age, our body's natural ability to produce CoQ10 may reduce. From the age of about 20, our CoQ10 starts to diminish. Other factors can also contribute to the high usage of your body's CoQ10 reserves.
If you do a lot of intense exercises, this will boost your metabolism, which in turn uses your body's CoQ10 supplies. Statin drugs taken for high cholesterol can also reduce the body's natural production of CoQ10.
As CoQ10 is so integral for our cell's ability to produce energy, if we become deficient, we may become weak.
Physical fatigue and muscle weakness are signs of low CoQ10. You may find it challenging to complete even simple physical tasks such as walking.
Mental fatigue can also be a sign of low COQ10 levels. You may become forgetful and find it difficult to concentrate.
How can you find out if you have a CoQ10 deficiency? Your physician can do a simple blood test.
It is wise to always speak to your healthcare provider before you start taking a new supplement.
For most people, adding a CoQ10 supplement to your diet is both safe and beneficial.
There are a few side effects of CoQ10 that a few people may experience. These side effects may include nausea, diarrhea, and skin rashes.
The pros of taking the supplement may include:
How can CoQ10 reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease? It is possible it inhibits the LDL's oxidation (bad cholesterol) and makes it more challenging to stick to the arteries.
Now that you know more about the little-known Coenzyme10, you can make more informed choices to combat low CoQ10 production.
A CoQ10 supplement is the most straightforward way to do this. If you combine supplements with an active, healthy lifestyle, you can increase your chances of maintaining good overall health.
A healthy lifestyle will also help reduce your risk of some of the most prevalent diseases in modern society, such as heart disease and cancer.
To learn more about other nutrients your body needs to stay healthy, check some of the other articles on our blog.
Jay Todtenbier is an original founder of SupplementRelief.com in 2010 and has operated the business ever since. He is also a tennis instructor and gospel musician. Formerly he spent 25 years in business development, technology and marketing with startups and major corporations having gone through the tech boom in Silicon Valley in the 90s. He became passionate about, and began studying and practicing Wellness as a Lifestyle after experiencing chronic, personal health challenges including depression, auto-immune disorders, and being overweight that impacted his ability to live a healthy, vibrant life. Since then, he has been an advocate for healthier living encouraging others to live better through making small, gradual changes to lifestyle behaviors relating to whole-foods nutrition, stress management, reasonable exercise, proper sleep, and the use of targeted, high-quality supplements.
Learn more about Jay Todtenbier.
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