CoQ10: The Cellular Spark Plug with Cardiovascular Benefits

Monday October 31, 2016

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Have you heard about CoQ10? Sometimes called the miracle nutrient, this antioxidant has a positive impact on every cell in your body. CoQ10 (coenzyme Q10, or ubiquinone) is a vitamin-like essential nutrient that has health benefits for your immune system, cardiovascular health, and liver and kidney performance.


Why do we need CoQ10?

CoQ10 is vital for energy production at the cellular level. When you eat, your body turns calories into ATP, which is the fuel your cells run on. This complex process happens in the mitochondria, the energy production centres of the body’s cells, and requires a whole range of nutrients – including CoQ10. CoQ10 is the key to the chemical reactions that create energy in the body, making it essential for the health of all tissues and organs.

As an antioxidant, CoQ10 also protects against free radical damage. As a result, it helps with various age-related diseases, including heart disease, blood pressure, gum and oral health, as well as neurological disorders. As CoQ10 has an affinity to those organs with higher energy requirements such as the heart, liver, kidneys, and brain, supplementation helps restore energy and vitality to these tissues, protects them from free radicals, and helps in the maintenance of good health.

What are antioxidants, anyway?

Antioxidants are your body’s defence system against oxidative damage. These helpful molecules circulate your body much like street sweepers, mopping up free radicals as they go. Highly unstable, free radicals are a natural part of cellular metabolic activity. We also take them in through our diets and environmental pollutants.

Free radicals are a problem because they disrupt other molecules, leading to cellular damage. Antioxidants help prevent and repair the oxidative damage caused by free radicals. Some antioxidants suppress the formation of free radicals, some work to stabilize (or “quench”) the damaging molecules, and others repair damage to cells and DNA.

Where do I get CoQ10?

Our bodies make CoQ10 naturally, but certain factors can interfere with this production, including certain prescription medications, nutritional deficiencies, and an increase in tissue needs due to intense physical activity.

By age 40, there is a natural decline in the body’s production of CoQ10. This age-related drop in CoQ10 is associated with many compromising health conditions, and it is thought that it may in fact contribute to the aging process.

Dietary sources of CoQ10 include sardines, mackerel, wild game, organ meats, or meat from grass-fed animals. However, you’d have to eat a pound of sardines or two pounds of peanuts to get just 30 mg of CoQ10. A minimum of 60 mg daily is the recommended adult dose, with many health care practitioners recommending higher doses in certain cases.

The Advantage of CoQ10 Supplements

Antioxidant supplements offer an excellent way to obtain concentrated amounts of specific nutrients to help you achieve your health goals. CoQ10 is a dietary supplement worth considering for anyone looking to promote cardiovascular health, especially those taking statin (cholesterol-lowering) medications. Statins are designed to reduce the liver’s production of cholesterol; unfortunately, they also interfere with the liver’s ability to manufacture CoQ10. For those taking statin medications, higher doses of CoQ10 (200 mg or more per day) are recommended.

CoQ10 comes in two forms: ubiquinone and ubiquinol. Both offer the same cardiovascular, antioxidant, and energy benefits. Ubiquinol is the active form of CoQ10, which is produced by our cells and is significantly better absorbed, particularly as we age. This superior form of CoQ10 offers you the same broad-ranging benefits, but with enhanced absorption yielding higher concentrations of CoQ10 in the blood. This is especially important for seniors and those taking statin medications. Age, health status, and dosage can help your health care practitioner determine which CoQ10 form is best for you.

Replenishing levels of this vital essential nutrient with a supplement helps promote heart health, protects against free radical damage, and even gives you an energy boost. Anyone looking for increased antioxidant support may benefit from a high-quality, supplemental source of CoQ10.