Coenzyme Q10 benefits health on multiple levels. Discover how this anti-aging micro-nutrient energizes the entire body and fights free radical damage.
CoQ10, often also referred to as ubiquinone, is a vitamin like substance which has a key role to play in manufacturing energy throughout every cell in the body. It also boasts powerful antioxidant properties. As such it possesses significant anti-aging properties.
The human body manufactures its own coenzyme Q10. We produce the highest levels in our 20s and early 30s. Thereafter manufacture gradually begins to decline. This is, of course, when most people start to experience the first effects of aging, and diminishing health and well being.
It is thought that CoQ10 has a valuable role to play in protecting the human body against heart disease, oxidative stress, some cancers as well as a number of neurological conditions.
It has been associated with increased levels of energy and improving athletic performance. When applied topically to the skin it has demonstrated its significant anti-aging benefits. It is now a common ingredient of cosmetic face creams and moisturizers.
How does Coenzyme Q10 work?
Coenzyme Q10 performs two very special functions within the body. Firstly, it is found within the mitochondria, the energy factories if you like, of every cell. Concentrations are particularly high in vital organ cells such as the liver and kidneys. Here is assists enzymes (thus the title coenzyme) to manufacture adenosine triphosphate or ATP. This is the high energy molecule responsible for basic bodily functions. We cannot operate without it.
In addition to this coenzyme Q10 is a potent antioxidant, often working in synergy with other free radical busters such as vitamin C and vitamin E. For this reason it is often referred to as vitamin Q10. Free radicals are cells that have become damaged and unstable. This instability is caused by missing electrons. These damaged cells attempt to repair themselves by taking electrons from healthy cells. The healthy cells then also become destabilized and a potentially harmful chain reaction is set in motion. Q10 donates its electrons to the free radicals thus stabilizing them before they can damage any more healthy cells.
Which Coenzyme Q10 Supplement Is Best?
It is, as yet, unclear how beneficial taking CoQ10 as a supplement is. Some of this uncertainty centers around the bio-availablity of this nutrient in supplement form. Researchers have been unable to establish how easily the body absorbs it or how readily it makes use of it. Nevertheless, thousands of people around the world do take a supplement to improve general health and boost performance, as well as to help manage medical conditions such as cardiovascular disease.
Some medications, such as Statins, some anti-depressants and Beta-blockers can lower levels of CoQ10. However, supplementation can have negative interactions with other types of medication. As with other anti-oxidants it may have a negative impact on the effectiveness of chemotherapy drugs. It may also counter the effects of blood thinning medications such as Warfarin. Always consult a doctor before taking supplements. Dosages between 30mg to 200mg per day are generally considered to be safe. Higher dosages may be prescribed for certain conditions.
There are thousands of brands on the market so choosing a supplement that is right for you is not necessarily straightforward. It has been suggested that for those in their late thirties, and beyond, that taking CoQ10 in its reduced form is most beneficial. Products with ‘ubiquinol‘ on the label contain this reduced form of the nutrient. It is a fat soluble antioxidant, therefore, those supplements sold as soft gels, which incorporate beneficial oils, may increase bio-availabilty.
Dietary sources of coenzyme Q10 include organ meats (offal), sardines and mackerel, wholegrains, and also spinach and broccoli. As these foods also contain many other vital anti-aging nutrients it is worth including them in your diet on a regular basis. This may be the safest and most effective way of naturally increasing levels of this super enzyme.