On the last episode, I touched on CoQ10 and mentioned that I would do an entire episode on it. So, let’s start with what is CoQ10. CoQ10 stands for Coenzyme Q10 is stored in the mitochondria of our cells. Mitochondria are in charge of producing energy and protecting cells from oxidative damage as well as disease-causing bacteria or viruses. Our bodies naturally produce CoQ10 but decrease as we age.
CoQ10 is present in every cell of our body and the highest concentrations are in organs with the greatest energy demands such as the heart, kidney, lungs, and liver.
It’s involved in making adenosine triphosphate or ATP, which is involved in energy transfer within the cells. Since ATP is used to carry out the body’s functions and oxidative damage it makes sense that some chronic diseases have been linked to CoQ10 deficiency.
A few causes of CoQ10 deficiencies are:
· Nutritional deficiencies like Vit B6
· Genetic defects in CoQ10 synthesis or utilization
· Increased demands by tissues as a consequence of disease
· Mitochondrial diseases
· Oxidative stress due to aging
· Side effects of statin treatments as we discussed in the previous episode.
We can get CoQ10 through supplements and food such as: organ meats (heart, liver, kidney), muscle meats (pork, beef, chicken), fatty fish (trout, herring, mackerel, sardine), veggies (spinach, cauliflower, broccoli), fruit (oranges, strawberries), legumes (soybeans, lentils, peanuts, pistachios) sesame seeds, and oils such as soybean and canola.
Health conditions such as heart disease, brain disorders, diabetes, and cancer have been linked to low levels of CoQ10 but it isn’t clear if the low levels of CoQ10 cause these diseases or are a result of them. One thing is for certain, research has shown that CoQ10 has a wide range of health benefits.
Here is a summary of the main benefits of CoQ10.
· CoQ10 is found in some foods, especially organ meats. Also, it seems that it’s as equally well absorbed through foods as it is through supplements.
· CoQ10 is a fat-soluble, vitamin-like compound that seems to have many health benefits.
· It is involved in the production of cellular energy and serves as an antioxidant.
· These properties make it helpful in the preservation of cells and the prevention and treatment of some chronic diseases.
· CoQ10 has been shown to help improve heart health and blood sugar regulation, assist in the prevention and treatment of cancer and reduce the frequency of migraines.
· It could also reduce the oxidative damage that leads to muscle fatigue, skin damage and brain, and lung diseases.
· CoQ10 can be found as a supplement that seems to be well tolerated. Additionally, it’s found in some foods like animal organs, vegetables, and legumes.
· Since CoQ10 production decreases with age, adults of every age could benefit from more of it.
· Whether you consume more foods with high CoQ10 content or take supplements, CoQ10 could benefit your health.
For more details on CoQ10 check out our podcast here and our references below:
References for CoQ10