What is Coenzyme Q10?
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a necessary and natural compound found in your body, but deficiency may occur due to disease or low dietary intake. Q10 creates energy required by the cells in your body to enable them to complete their tasks.
CoQ10 enzyme is similar to Vitamin K. It provides support in cellular reactions that lead to energy production in the form of adenosine triphosphate or ATP. The body has some reserves of ATP that can sustain heavy exertion of 5-8 minutes. After this the body needs to produce more ATP, which requires excessive amounts of CoQ10. As the human body ages the levels of CoQ10 gradually decrease. In some cases taking a CoQ10 supplement is beneficial and can increase natural levels over time.
CoQ10 helps the nervous system with electron transfer, cell respiration, energy production and oxidation reactions and is clinically proven to support heart health. It is necessary for energy production and is also sometimes recommended by caregivers to help individuals suffering with other ailments.
Research into Benefits of CoQ10:
Some of the benefits of CoQ10 were derived from research done by world-renowned biochemist Linus Pauling PhD, who was a two-time Nobel Prize Laureate.
CoQ10 has been studied for use as an antioxidant to protect cells from damage. CoQ10 has been used in combination with other antioxidants. Early study suggests that it may have antioxidant benefits in people with heart disease as low blood levels of CoQ10 have been associated with this condition and has been used in combination with other herbs and supplements for chronic heart disease. More information is needed on the potential benefits of CoQ10 alone.
CoQ10 has been studied for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. There is promising evidence in support of the use of CoQ10 supplement for slowing this condition. However, more high-quality studies are needed. Further studies show promise of reducing and repairing muscle damage, cognitive problems and peripheral neuropathy caused by statin drugs used to reduce cholesterol.
It has also been proposed by researchers that Coenzyme Q10 strengthens the immune system to help the body battle cancer. A Danish study revealed breast cancer patients who took Coenzyme Q10 required less pain medication and showed decreases in tumor size.
Small studies have been conducted on the use of CoQ10 for many other maladies, such as high blood pressure, early age-related macular degeneration, Alzheimer’s disease and asthma to name a few.[i]
Coenzyme Q10 deficiency:
CoQ10 deficiency can occur due to improper diet or if there is a high use by the body. Symptoms of deficiency include heart failure, high blood pressure and chest pain. Depending on the cause of the deficiency, a CoQ10 supplement or increasing dietary intake may be effective. Nearly 40% of hypertension sufferers have low levels of coenzyme Q10.
The natural way to overcome a deficiency is through your diet. Meat and fish are the richest source of dietary CoQ10 and levels over 50 mg/kg can be found in beef and pork heart and liver as well as chicken heart and liver. Vegetable oils are also quite rich in CoQ10, especially soy and grapeseed oils. Fish containing the highest amount of CoQ10 are sardines and mackerel followed by salmon and tuna. Some vegetables and nuts are also good sources of CoQ10, especially avocados, parsley, spinach, and peanuts. Broccoli, grapes and cauliflower have modest sources of CoQ10 while most fruits, berries and dairy products are much poorer sources.
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[i] Mayo Clinic research on CoQ10 – http://www.mayoclinic.org/drugssupplements/coenzymeq10/evidence/hrb-20059019