Coenzyme Q10

Also known as ubiquinone because it is found in the mitochondria of every plant and animal cell, the highest concentration being in the heart and liver. CoQ10 is found primarily in fish and meat,although dietary sources are not likely to be sufficient to make up a deficiency, as it is destroyed by heat in cooking.

CoQ10 is made in the body, but production decreases after the age of 30.

What it does

  1. Antioxidant: CoQ10 is associated with the protection of lipids in the body e.g. cell membranes, triglycerides, cholesterol, fatty acids, fatty tissues of the brain, and nervous system. The antioxidant protection of blood lipids helps reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, which would impede circulation and put further pressure on the heart.
  2. Cardiovascular Health: CoQ10 is required for the metabolism of fatty acids within the cells’ mitochondria, the energy produced is used by the heart muscle for the mechanical pumping action, ensuring effective circulation of the blood through the vascular system.
  3. Peridontal Health: Healing and repair of gum tissue requires energy and a strong immune system to prevent infection. Sufferers of periodontal disease have been found to have low CoQ10levels and it is often added to toothpastes.
  4. Weight Control:
    CoQ10 facilitates the conversion of stored fat into ATP, thus allowing it to be burned as an energy source. As such, it may aid a weight control programme, especially in combination with aerobic exercise.

Potential Uses

Cardiovascular health High blood pressure Heart arrythmia
Immune function Fatigue Angina
Weight control Anti-oxidant protection Gum disease

CoQ10 is fat soluble and so best taken as an oil based capsule for maximum absorption. Vitamin E is often added to supplements to aid absorption and action of CoQ10.

Cautions

Medications such as beta blockers and statins can impede CoQ10 synthesis, meaning that the people who need it the most are getting less. It is worth considering supplementing CoQ10 alongside these medications, under supervision by a doctor.

High doses of CoQ10 may reduce the effectiveness of the drug warfarin. If you take or are about to take warfarin, do not take CoQ10 without the advice of a doctor.

Anyone on heart medication should consult their doctor as CoQ10 may alter/reduce the need for their medication, monitoring is necessary.

Generally, there are no side effects or contra-indications from using CoQ10.

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