What is Coenzyme Q10?
Coenzyme Q10 is a substance that is normally made by your body. It’s used in every cell of your body to produce energy and to help keep you in good health. The problem is that as we age, we produce less of it and there are many conditions and activities that deplete Coenzyme Q10 in the cells and muscle tissue. Given that the heart is one big muscle, it is no wonder that this supplement can have a significant impact on cardiovascular health.
It is true that in a perfect world you can get all the nutrients you need to stay healthy, from food. But, unless you are an android or an incredibly healthy twenty-year-old who only ever eats fresh, raw food and is never exposed to environmental toxins or even stress, you might benefit from dietary supplements. In fact if you are: over the age of 40; have experienced a high degree of stress over a long period of time; or suffer from any form of post-traumatic stress its likely your nutrient reserves have been seriously depleted, including CoQ10.
In addition, there are many conditions that most people just shrug off as a normal part of aging; these include physical exhaustion, mental fatigue, poor concentration, memory lapses, mood changes, migraines and chronic pain. Chronic gum infections, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and heart disease could also indicate a need for supplementation with CoQ10. If you regularly suffer from any of these you should probably get some good medical advice.
CoQ10, also known as ubiquinone and ubidecarenone, is an energy coenzyme that is fat soluble. That just means that it is more easily absorbed in a mixture of oils such as Omega oils or vitamin E (which is a fat soluble vitamin). That is why you should take it with a main meal that contains good fats.
The main food sources of CoQ10, in descending order of concentration, are: fresh oily cold water fish such as sardines, tuna, salmon and mackerel; animal organ meats such as heart, liver and muscle; eggs; spinach, broccoli, parsley, peanuts, wheat-germ, rice-bran, and wholegrains; unrefined vegetable oils such as soybean, olive and grapeseed oils.
Most importantly, any food source of CoQ10 must be eaten raw, fresh and unprocessed. Processing methods such as milling, canning, preserving or freezing, especially heating, change the structure and function of CoQ10 and minimise its viability. Cooking methods may also reduce the amount of CoQ10 in foods. For example, as much as one third of the CoQ10 may be lost when frying eggs and vegetables, while boiling does not appear to alter CoQ10 levels.
Again it is produced naturally in the body, but may also be consumed through diet or taken as a supplement. CoQ10 has two main roles; it is necessary for the production of energy, and also acts as an antioxidant. Taking an oral CoQ10 supplement has been shown to increase CoQ10 levels in blood and blood vessels, and support antioxidant function, energy production and a healthy cardiovascular system. In combination Coenzyme Q10 and Omega oils can improve heart muscle function and have an anti-inflammatory effect, lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol (trglycerides) in the blood.
And let’s face it, even androids need a good oil occasionally!
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