Coenzyme Q10, also known as CoQ10, is one of the most important compounds in our bodies. It helps generate energy in our cells and low levels of this essential compound have been associated with heart disease, brain disorders, diabetes, and cancer. CoQ10 production decreases as we age so older people, and those taking cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, may experience deficiency. In fact, many anti-aging experts swear by taking CoQ10 supplements to protect the integrity of cells and their energy production as we get older.
Dr. Stephen Sinatra, a leading integrative cardiologist and author of “Reverse Heart Disease Now,” tells Newsmax that CoQ10 sparks energy production in every cell of the body including your heart. “I’ve had patients who thought their energy decline was due to old age but after taking CoQ10 they literally felt 10 years younger.” Sinatra’s recommendation is at least 100 milligrams daily. If you are on a statin drug, you may want to increase this amount as your body stops making CoQ10 when on this medication.
You can also find CoQ10 in many foods, but dietary sources have a fraction of the amount found in supplements, says WebMD. Some foods that contain CoQ10 include organ meats, fatty fish, meat such as beef and pork, soybeans, and some veggies like broccoli.
According to Healthline, here are some of the health benefits of CoQ10:
• May help treat heart failure. Heart failure may result from other conditions, such as coronary heart disease and high blood pressure. These conditions can lead to oxidative damage and inflammation of the veins and arteries. Several studies have demonstrated the benefit of taking CoQ10 for the safe and effective treatment of heart failure by increasing the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is involved in energy transfer within cells.
• Keeps skin more youthful. Since your skin is the largest organ of the body, it is also the most susceptible to the ravages of aging. These damaging agents can come from both internal sources, such as cellular damage and hormonal agents, and external sources such as UV rays from the sun. The skin also begins to thin as we age but applying CoQ10 directly to its surface can reduce the damage from both sources. By increasing energy production in skin cells and promoting antioxidant protection, says Healthline, it may even reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
• Diminishes headaches. Since CoQ10 is found in the mitochondria of the cells, it improves mitochondrial function and helps decrease the inflammation that may occur during migraines. One study found that participants who supplemented with CoQ10 were three times more likely than those who took a placebo to lower their number of migraines.
• Lowers heart disease risk in people with diabetes. According to the Mayo Clinic, some research suggests that CoQ10 may help reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and total cholesterol levels in people with diabetes, thereby lowering their risk of heart disease. CoQ10 has also been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and regular blood sugar levels, says Healthline.
• Improves physical performance. Because CoQ10 is involved in energy production, it’s thought that this supplement might improve physical performance. CoQ10 decreases oxidative stress in the cells during exercise and reduces fatigue, both of which can improve performance.
• Boosts brain health. The brain is very susceptible to oxidative damage, and supplementing with CoQ10 could help prevent loss of memory and cognitive skills. In addition, some experts say that the compound may stave off Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
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