Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is also known as ubiquinone comes in two forms: ubiquinol, the active antioxidant form, and ubiquinone, the oxidized form which the body partially converts to ubiquinol. It exists everywhere in the body. Although coenzyme Q10 behaves like a vitamin in that it serves as a catalyst in certain reactions, it is not considered a true vitamin because it is synthesized in the cells.
Functions and Uses
Coenzyme Q10 acts as a catalyst in the chain of chemical reactions that create adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a compound that yields the energy needed by cells to function. Due to Coenzyme’s role in energy production, it stands to reason that a low concentration of this substance is detrimental to health in general. Coenzyme Q10 is most abundant in organs that require a large supply of energy especially the heart, liver and immune system.
Coenzyme Q10 Antioxidant powers
Like a number of other vitamins, Coenzyme Q10 is an antioxidant. Similar in structure to vitamin E, another antioxidant, CoQ10has been shown to scavenge harmful free radicals and thus may help prevent cell damage in a variety of conditions.
Most of the research on CoQ10 involves the heart, since this nutrient is most concentrated in that organ. Coenzyme Q10 is beneficial for heart health in many ways. It assists in maintaining the normal oxidative state of LDL cholesterol helps assure circulatory health and supports optimal functioning of heart muscle. Coenzyme Q10 may also help support the health of vessel walls. CoQ10 might also help reduce blood pressure. Some research also suggests that when combined with other nutrients, CoQ10 might aid recovery in people who might have had bypass and heart valve surgeries.
Early research suggests that high doses of CoQ10 might be beneficial for people in the early stages of this progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects movement.
Since statins can reduce the formation of CoQ10 in the body and cause muscle weakness, taking CoQ10 supplements can help reduce the muscle weakness.
Some research suggests that CoQ10 might decrease the frequency of these headaches.
Because CoQ10 is involved in energy production, it is believed that this supplement might improve your physical performance.
There are two principal ways in which we can help our bodies to build their natural CoQ10 levels, either through the food we eat or by taking a CoQ10 supplement.
Since CoQ10 plays such an important role in energy production, you will find it in the highest concentrations in organ meats such as animal liver and heart. CoQ10 is also found in beef, pork, chicken, and fatty fish such as tuna. Oils such as soybean, corn and olive are also good sources. Nuts are also good non animal sources of CoQ10. It is estimated that the average person gets about 10 mg of CoQ10 per day from their diet.
CoQ10 is a vital nutrient with many benefits, but we are generally unable to get the amounts of CoQ10 from diet alone. Even if we include a lot of CoQ10 food sources it would be almost impossible to reach the levels suggested to support cardiovascular health. Those with lower levels of CoQ10 due to age, stress and statin use may also be unable to get enough CoQ10 in their diet to rebuild their levels. While including CoQ10 rich foods in our diets can help, adding a supplement to our regimen is the best way to ensure we are supporting our levels.
While there is currently no set recommended intake of CoQ10, 30 to 60 milligrams per day has been generally recommended. However research also suggests that an intake of 100 to 200 mg per day may have a positive impact on cardiovascular health.