Heart Health + CoQ10

Hundreds of thousands Americans are struggling with heart disease, a condition that not only takes its toll on a person’s health, but on the wallet too. 

At least 1 in 4 Americans over 40 years old is taking statins to lower their risk for cardiovascular conditions and stroke. However, statins have been linked to serious side effects, including liver and muscle damage. 

What Is CoQ10?

CoQ10, short for coenzyme Q10, is an antioxidant naturally produced by the body and found in your mitochondria. There are two forms of CoQ10: ubiquinone and ubiquinol, CoQ10’s reduced form that’s considered a far more effective alternative because it’s eight times better absorbed. CoQ10 is crucial for the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which aids in providing energy for your body’s cells.

In his book, “The Sinatra Solution: Metabolic Cardiology,” cardiologist Dr. Stephen Sinatra notes that your body, because of reductase enzymes, can convert CoQ10 into ubiquinol from the foods and supplements you eat and take.

However, as you age your body produces less CoQ10. At this point, CoQ10 supplements may be vital to help optimize your body’s levels and alleviate certain conditions. You can find CoQ10 in capsule, tablet and IV forms. It’s also used as an ingredient in skincare products.

 

 

Food Sources of CoQ10

There are foods with CoQ10 you can eat to help increase your body’s levels of it. Notable examples of CoQ10-rich foods include:

There has been research highlighting the positive impact of eating chlorophyll-rich vegetables exposed to sunlight, since they help promote CoQ10 production. You can increase your chlorophyll intake by eating these vegetables, ideally organic:

  • Cucumber
  • Green beans
  • Green peas
  • Kale
  • Mustard greens
  • Swiss chard
  • Parsley

Health Benefits of CoQ10

CoQ10 provides positive impacts to cardiovascular health. For instance, elderly Swedish subjects between 70 and 88 years old who took CoQ10 supplements together with selenium reported improved heart function and significantly decreased risk for death due to cardiovascular causes.

In other studies, CoQ10 was also able to help decrease effects of oxidative stress-triggered mitochondrial dysfunction, minimize mitochondrial damage and promote production of new mitochondria, particularly in the brain. Findings show that CoQ10 also delivers the following health-boosting properties:

Anti-inflammatory — Ubiquinol may have effects on two markers linked to cardiovascular diseases: N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) and gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT).

In a 2015 study, elderly subjects with higher ubiquinol serum levels had reduced quantities of NT-proBNP, helping reduce their risk of heart failure. Meanwhile, authors of a 2014 article noted that ubiquinol supplements assisted in reducing serum GGT activity and effects of oxidative stress in humans.

Antioxidant — CoQ10 can help combat free radicals and lessen their damage as it’s a fat-soluble antioxidant found in your cell membranes and mitochondria.

There’s also research suggesting that CoQ10 aids in enhancing the health of your:

Heart — The book “High Blood Pressure: Arrest This Silent Killer Before It Strikes and You Will Add Years to Your Life” says that CoQ10 may aid in increasing your heart’s ability to pump more powerfully, possibly enabling circulation and better blood flow throughout your body. However, the mechanism responsible for this isn’t fully understood.

Skin — Your CoQ10 levels decrease as you get older, and reduce your body’s ability to produce collagen and elastin.37 These two skin proteins are responsible for boosting your skin’s strength and elasticity (collagen), and pliability and resilience (elastin). If your body contains insufficient amounts of these proteins, wrinkles and saggy skin may appear.

CoQ10 may also have an ability to combat free radicals responsible for cell damage. CoQ10 is able to penetrate into your skin and deliver antioxidant effects that may aid with regulating your cells’ energy levels.

 

What Does CoQ10 Do?

CoQ10 is good for the body’s cells, as it’s essential for producing the energy they need. Supplements containing this antioxidant not only will help address a CoQ10 deficiency, but also may help with:

  • Migraines
  • Diabetes
  • Fatigue caused by fibromyalgia
  • Arrhythmia
  • Heart failure
  • Mitral valve prolapse (ideally in combination with magnesium)
  • Heart transplant candidates
  • Age-related macular degeneration
  • Diabetic neuropathy
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Muscular dystrophy

Multiple studies have revealed that CoQ10 has potential in reducing high blood pressure levels. People with blood pressure-related problems may find CoQ10 supplements useful, as lower levels were noticeable among those with high blood pressure.

CoQ10 supplements may be linked to fertility effects too. The presence of CoQ10 in semen may result in improved antioxidant abilities and yield positive impacts toward sperm concentration, morphology and motility. An animal study done on aged subjects also showed that CoQ10 supplements assisted in promoting ovulation, inhibiting loss of ovarian reserves and boosting mitochondrial function.

 

How Should You Take CoQ10?

Because it’s a fat-soluble nutrient, CoQ10 supplements are best taken with a fatty meal or a small amount of healthy fat like coconut oil, olive oil or MCT oil. Before taking CoQ10, though, talk to your physician to help determine the ideal dose needed for your condition. CoQ10 levels may be checked via multiple types of tests.

To read the original article from Dr. Mercola, please click here.

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