Coenzyme Q10 is an interesting substance. It is an oil-soluble, vitamin-like antioxidant that plays an important role in the transportation of energy throughout the body. It was discovered in 1957 by researchers in the USA lead by Professor Fredrick L. Crane. It is also referred to as ubiquinone, ubidecarenone, coenzyme Q, or CoQ10.
Benefits of Coenzyme Q10
Since 1957, there has been a lot of research into the role of CoQ10 and how it is used by the body. It helps with the production of ATP (energy) in the mitochondria of cells and helps remove free radicals. It seems to be important for heart health, may assist some people to better manage their migraines and helps to lower blood pressure. It may be helpful after a heart attack or heart failure, and it also helps reduce damage from radiation. Scientists are also investigating Coenzyme Q10 for the treatment of cancer and side effects. (Coenzyme Q10 may also protect healthy cells from cancer treatments). Its role in helping cells regenerate it may also be useful in skincare.
The body makes Coenzyme Q10 and it is found in every cell, but is found in higher amounts in the organs and cells with the greatest energy needs, such a heart, liver, intestines, kidneys and protective cells that support immunity.
It’s the antioxidant fighting powers of Coenzyme Q10 that make it so valuable to the body. Free radicals can damage cell membranes, interfere with DNA and even kill healthy cells, so protecting cells from free radicals is an important task. They are also related to ageing and disease progression.
Do I have a Coenzyme Q10 deficiency?
There are two main reasons why the body may become deficient in Coenzyme Q10: because it is using more of it or because the process of creating it (biosynthesis) has been disturbed. This occurs when there is a change to the DNA, although some chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer and so forth, may also reduce biosynthesis or cause an increase in the body’s need for CoQ10, resulting in greater utilisation.
Where can I find Coenzyme Q10?
Food sources of Coenzyme Q10 include: salmon, tuna and other oily fish, organ meats such as liver, and wholegrain. If you think your diet may be lacking in some of the and in need of a supplement, Coenzyme Q10 comes in tablet, capsule and spray forms. As it can react with some pharmaceutical medicines, if you are taking prescription medicines it is best to check with your doctor before starting to supplement with CoQ10.
Other benefits of Coenzyme Q10
CoQ10 may also help with:
– Improved stamina
– Muscle damage from the use of the statin family of medicines
– Increasing the availability of oxygen in muscles
Vanessa Blake is a freelance writer and health freak with a ridiculous general knowledge of nutrition and the body. No wonder she decided to study for a Diploma of Nutrition in 2003. She also loves yoga.