Coenzymes are produced naturally in the body and stored in the mitochondria of the cells. They help in food digestion, act as antioxidants, and protect the body from oxidative damage. The body makes Coenzyme Q10 or CoQ10, which helps produce energy for cell growth and maintenance. Though this coenzyme is present in all body cells, the highest concentrations are in organs such as the lung, liver, and heart because they have high energy demands. As people age, the levels of CoenzymeQ10 in the body decrease, and they may need a CoQ10 supplement to stay healthy. Lower levels of CoQ10 in the body may cause health conditions like brain disorders, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
Natural sources of CoQ10
Vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and spinach
Nuts and seeds like pistachio and sesame seeds
Fruits like strawberries and oranges
Legumes like lentils, peanuts, and soybeans
Organ meat like liver, kidney, and heart
Oily fish like mackerel, herring, and trout
Factors that lower CoQ10 levels in the body
- Taking statins
- Disorders of mitochondria
Benefits of taking CoQ10 supplements
Improves heart health: High blood pressure or coronary artery disease causes inflammation of veins and arteries and increases oxidative damage in the body. CoQ10 reduces heart-related problems and heart failure. It restores the optimal energy production levels in the body, improves heart function, and reduces oxidative damage.
Treats migraines: Abnormal functioning of mitochondria causes an increased uptake of calcium by the cells. It leads to decreased antioxidant protection and excessive production of free radicals, creating low energy levels in the brain cells and causing migraines. CoQ10 improves mitochondrial function and reduces the inflammation that causes migraines.
Protects the brain: Mitochondria are the primary energy generators of the brain cells. The mitochondrial function declines with age, and sometimes it causes the death of brain cells and leads to diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. As the brain has high fatty acid content and increased oxygen demand, it is very vulnerable to oxidative damage, which boosts the production of harmful compounds in the brain cells. CoQ10 decreases the toxic compounds and helps to slow down Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Reduces muscle pain from statin use: Doctors prescribe statins to treat cardiovascular diseases. Statins reduce cholesterol production and lower CoQ10 levels in the body. Reduced CoQ10 leads to mitochondrial dysfunction, which causes muscle pain. CoQ10 supplements reduce the muscle pain caused by statins.
Improves athletic performance and endurance: CoQ10 increases cellular energy when carbohydrates and fats are converted into adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP powers the majority of cellular actions the human body performs. Athletes need more energy than ordinary people for better performance. CoQ10 makes muscle cells more efficient at producing and using energy. In endurance athletes, it increases the peak power output and prolongs exhaustion. It also mitigates muscle damage after endurance training and reduces muscle inflammation.
Increases fertility: As women age, their fertility decreases, and there is a decrease in the number and quality of available eggs. The CoQ10 level in the body lowers with age, and the body is less effective in protecting the eggs from oxidative damage. Supplementing with CoQ10 can reverse the age-related decline in egg quantity and quality. Similarly, male sperm is also susceptible to the effects of oxidative damage. It leads to reduced sperm count, poor sperm quality, and infertility. CoQ10 increases antioxidant protection and improves sperm quality.
The fat-soluble, vitamin-like CoQ10 is involved in cellular energy production and serves as an antioxidant. It helps in preserving the cells and preventing some chronic diseases. As people age, their body produces less CoQ10, so taking a supplement can benefit their health.
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