Coenzyme Q10 has been getting a lot of press, and rightly so. There are very few substances that show they are able to improve or sustain our health as much as CoEnzyme Q10. But what exactly is coenzyme Q10? Where do we get it? How does it benefit us?
Coenzyme Q10 (herein referred to as CoQ10) was first discovered in 1957 at the Enzyme Institute of the University of Wisconsin by Dr. Frederick Crane. It is a fat-soluble substance that occurs naturally in tissues of plants and animals.
In fact, when it was discovered by Dr. Crane it was isolated from a beef heart. CoQ10 has proven to be essential in bioenergetics, which means it is necessary for energy production. A coenzyme is needed for a cell to get energy from its food substances and it is this energy the cell uses for life processes. There are several bioenergy enzymes that need CoQ10.
It can be found in almost every cell of any living organism. The largest concentrations are found in those muscles that produce a great deal of energy. Therefore, as humans, we have the highest amounts of CoQ10 in our heart liver, kidney, and pancreas. The ability of these organs to function properly depends on our cells having enough CoQ10 to provide and sustain energy.
So where can we get CoQ10? Well, as mentioned previously, CoQ10 occurs naturally in our bodies. But in order for our bodies to produce it, several different chemical reactions are needed. Along with these reactions there needs to be present Vitamins B3, B5, B6, B12, Vitamin C, and folate. So although our bodies can produce some CoQ10, deficiencies can occur, so it is wise to supplement also. This can come in the form of food or a concentrated supplement.
Nutritionally, the highest sources of CoQ10 are wheat germ, soy, spinach, broccoli, meats, fish, vegetable oils, grapeseed oil, and rice bran. CoQ10 is also now readily available as a supplement in both tablets and capsules. Since it is a fat-soluble substance it is advised to take these supplements with food. The recommended daily dosage to correct a deficiency of CoQ10 ranges from 60 – 200 mg.
Exercise is another source of CoQ10. Studies show that an increase in exercise raises the levels of CoQ10 in our heart and other muscles. As we age the CoQ10 levels in our muscles declines, and exercise can prevent and often even reverse this decline.
So, why should we bother to supplement? What can CoQ10 do for us? Oh, where to begin.
Let’s start with our most important vital organ… the heart. Studies have proven that CoQ10 is a great aid in treating any number of cardiovascular diseases. It improves energy production in the heart and improves the condition of patients suffering from heart disease, cardiomyopathy, mitral valve prolapse, and valvular heart disease.
Ongoing supplementation of CoQ10 shows significant improvement in the functions of the heart muscle. It is also effective in causing a reduction in blood pressure and in cholesterol levels. It is said to be able to do this by reducing the resistance to blood flow by opening up the blood vessels.
CoQ10 has also been shown to strengthen the immune system and protect our bodies from free radical damage. It works right alongside Vitamin E. It is also recommended for treating gum disease.
There is a whole realm, involving the use of CoQ10 in treating cancer, that remains a mystery and a wide-open area to be researched. One study stated the when certain cancer patients were using CoQ10 to treat their heart failure it was discovered that there was a reduction in the size of their cancerous tumors. Hopefully, we will see more reports done on this issue soon.
CoQ10 is now also available in skincare products. We know it is beneficial for the inside of our bodies, but the outside? CoQ10 is a wonderful addition to skincare products, as it acts as an anti-aging supplement. It produces energy in, and stimulates, aging skin cells to tone and smooth the skin.
With all these benefits to our bodies, both inside and out, we can see why CoQ10 is hailed as a wonder. CoQ10 costs more than most supplements because there is such a great demand for it, but it is well worth the extra effort and money to see that it is added to our daily intake, whether nutritionally or through supplementation.
As with any supplement, it is wise to consult your physician before deciding your needs or setting your own dosage requirements. Since there have been no adverse or toxic effects reported from CoQ10 use, you will more than likely receive their blessing.