Throughout the years, most of the focus in nutrition has been on water-soluble nutrients. This refers to nutrients that mix well with the water in your body, like vitamins B and C, and they’ve been all the rage. Well, today, the fat-soluble vitamins are making an as the most crucial for your health and development.
In the world of nutrition, CoQ10 is a new kid on the block. Only discovered in 1957, it took the next 21 years for us to learn what a powerhouse nutrient it really is – and we’re still learning. CoQ10 or coenzyme Q10 is an antioxidant largely responsible for your energy levels. It’s so important to our health, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1978 was awarded to the man who outlined the cellular use of CoQ10 – Peter Mitchell.
As you age, your body produces less CoQ10, which is thought to be a major reason behind the gradual loss of energy past your twenties. This is because your body needs sufficient CoQ10 to convert food into energy. Fortunately, we’ve found that CoQ10 levels can be corrected through proper diet and supplementation.
I promise you, by the end of this article you’ll want more CoQ10 in your life – it’s just that good! Some of the most exciting research about human health and nutrition come from CoQ10 studies. In one study, when patients with heart failure were given CoQ10, it improved their heart function and reduced their mortality rates significantly. The science behind CoQ10 is great news for the future of health and aging.
What is CoQ10 Used For?
Before we dive into the health benefits of CoQ10, let’s explore a bit of the science behind its functions. CoQ10 is a coenzyme, which is a complex organic compound your body needs to start certain reactions or processes within your body.
CoQ10 is found in food but also created by your body where it’s stored in your mitochondria – what creates cellular energy (called ATP). It’s primary job it to help your cells and mitochondria create ATP. CoQ10 also acts an antioxidant and captures damaging free radicals.
A fundamental aspect of your health is ensuring you have enough vitamin K2 and D alongside CoQ10. Vitamin K2, vitamin D and CoQ10 work together to keep your blood vessel linings healthy. These three nutrients can be thought of as the trifecta that keeps your body (especially your heart!) healthy.
As you can see, this important coenzyme is central to your cell’s energy levels, which in turn affects your daily energy levels. Now for the benefits of CoQ10…
5 Amazing Benefits of CoQ10
- Prevents and decreases risk of heart disease
Remember the study where CoQ10 helped patients with full-blown heart failure stay alive and even improved their heart strength? If you though that was impressive, there’s more! Another study where 641 patients with heart failure were given either a placebo or CoQ10 for a year found those taking CoQ10 fared significantly better – with fewer hospitalizations and better health overall.
This is by far one of the most promising and exciting aspects of CoQ10 and it’s complementary vitamins D and K2. If you know anyone with a heart condition, urge them to look into these important nutrients.
- Reduces inflammation all over the body
Due to it’s antioxidative effects, research has found that CoQ10 reduces inflammation in the body. This is significant because so many diseases are caused by inflammation. We are realizing that inflammation is often due to our poor health habits, insufficient sleep, and… you guessed it – lack of nutrients! CoQ10 is one nutrient you should increase to fight off disease-causing inflammation.
- Fights gingivitis and bleeding gums
One of the best effects we’ve seen with CoQ10 so far, is it’s positive impact on gum disease. Obviously, I’m pretty excited about this. Research has found that CoQ10 can be used as topical treatment for periodontal disease. Gum disease is a pervasive problem that leads to widespread health issues when left untreated. Your mouth is a gateway to the rest of your health and CoQ10 can help keep you healthy.
- Works with the crucial fat-soluble vitamins
As CoQ10 is a fat soluble nutrient, it’s also coupled with their fantastic benefits. This is primarily because fat soluble vitamins are carried in lipoproteins, which can stay in your body longer and are much better absorbed. Other fat soluble vitamins include vitamin A, D, and K2 – which is pivotal for your bones, teeth, and every other system in the body.
Vitamin A, D, and K2 all interact with your immune system to decrease risk of infection and decrease allergies and auto-immunity.
- Fights cognitive decline, improves memory and brain performance
Low CoQ10 levels are associated with a bunch of health conditions, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Research has found that CoQ10 is neuroprotective by aiding in ATP synthesis and related mitochondrial functions. In fact, in Dr. Dale Bredesen’s protocol for reversing Alzheimer’s he recommends increasing CoQ10 consumption and supplementation.
Best Food Sources of CoQ10
Right about now you’re probably wishing you had some CoQ10.. Good news is there’s loads of great foods packed with CoQ10. Some of the best natural food sources of CoQ10 include:
- Beef liver [Don’t like Liver? Try these grass-raised beef liver capsules full of fat-soluble vitamins]
- Grass-fed beef
Should You Take CoQ10 Supplements?
CoQ10 supplementation is generally a good idea. As with any supplement, you should be sure to only use a high-quality product. Recommended dosages range slightly because as I mentioned before, it’s still a relatively newcomer in the world of nutrition.
That being said, I recommend 200 milligrams per day for adults. If you’re taking statins, CoQ10 supplementation has been shown to offset the effects of this damaging medication and you can take more. Remember Vitamin K2 mentioned above? A recent study found that statins not only deplete CoQ10 but also inhibit the synthesis of Vitamin K2. These nutrients are important for anyone with heart conditions, especially those taking statins.
You should take you CoQ10 supplement with something fatty to help your body absorb it better.
What is the best type of CoQ10 Supplement?
In the body, CoQ10 exists either in its oxidized form, ubiquinone, or in its reduced form, ubiquinol. When oxidized CoQ10 (ubiquinone) is used by the body, it transforms and becomes ubiquinol.
A CoQ10 supplement is best taken in ubiquinol form. Dosage of CoQ10 is 100–200 mg/d with food. (I usually recommend 200mg with food).
One indication may be if you’re currently taking statins, or struggling with adverse effects caused by previous statin use.
Or grab ground beef-liver capsules here.
It’s one of the best CoQ10 supplements on the market due to being highly absorbable.
**Always consult your physician before taking a dietary supplement**
CoQ10 Toxicity? Can You Take Too Much CoQ10?
There are side effects that have been reported from taking too much CoQ10, these include:
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal pain
- Light sensitivity
Always take as directed by a medical practitioner, use a high-quality product, and stop if you notice any of these symptoms. Also, studies have not been done on pregnant women and supplementation should be avoided at this point in time.
So there you have it – CoQ10 is an essential nutrient. I recommend you eat more nutrient dense foods to increase your levels but if you want to supplement, that’s a good idea too. In my book The Dental Diet, I talk about the best way to eat for your oral health and overall health and CoQ10 is included. If you’d like to learn more you can order your copy today!
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