Coenzyme Q 10 (aka Co Q 10 or q10) is a nutrient that acts as an effective antioxidant and aids in maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system - preventing heart failure and lowering blood pressure and cholesterol.
It is found it every cell of your body so it’s very important that you’re getting adequate amounts each day. To get the full benefits of Co Q 10, you’ll need at least 30mg per day and up to 300mg per day for best results. This is best achieved through supplementation (I’ll explain why a little later).
The Importance of Coenzyme Q 10
Co-Q-10’s primary role is in producing energy for the body - the “spark plug,” so to speak. When you ingest food, your body breaks it down into usable energy. This is a long and complex process and co q 10 is one of the most widely used enzymes that are involved.
And because of their constant involvement in energy production, they act as great antioxidants as well. Since this is a fat-soluble nutrient, it works with Vitamin E in protecting the cell membrane (the outer protective barrier of your cells) and your blood, thus reducing the chances of heart disease.
Speaking of health benefits, it also aids in lowering cholesterol, prevents diabetes and gum disease, increases your energy, keep your body pH balanced (reducing your chances of cancer), and can help in improving cognitive and brain function.
The nice thing about Co Q 10 is that it is found in every cell in the human body - mainly in the mitochondria of the cell (where your body produces energy).
And the highest concentrations are found in organs with the highest energy requirements - such as the heart, liver, kidney, brain. The heart and the brain have the most mitochondria and hence the highest concentrations of coenzyme Q10.
So a deficiency in CoQ10 can have a big impact on both your heart and the brain.
Sources of Co Q 10
Coenzyme Q10 is a nutrient and antioxidant that your body gets from the food you eat and the rest is naturally created in your liver.
Side note: glutathione and lipoic acid are other antioxidants that are produced by the body.
The problem is our bodies don’t make enough to keep us going. After the age of 20 is when the production of Co-Q-10 starts to decline. The process of making it is very complicated and needs plenty of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, selenium and B vitamins.
2 ways to make sure you are getting enough Co-Q-10 is through diet (whole foods) and supplementation.
Dietary sources. Good food sources include beef, herring, tuna, chicken, peanuts, canola oil and broccoli. These are the sources with the highest amounts.
The problem is… you’d have to eat more than 2 pounds of chicken, fish or beef or 2 ½ pounds of peanuts or 30 tablespoons of canola to get the equivalent of what you’d get in one 30mg dose of coenzyme q10 (which is a low supplemental dose, by the way).
Supplementation. To raise your levels of Co-Q-10 it’s best to take a supplement. Especially considering that Co-Q-10 is in short supply as your age.
Purchase an oil-based gelcap supplement since it is better absorbed when taken with dietary fat.