Benefits of CoQ10 & Where It’s Found
CoQ10, or coenzyme Q10, is a vitamin-like natural enzyme found within the mitochondria of bodily cells. It assists in the creation of energy and is necessary for cells’ function. CoQ10 can be found varying quantities in food; meat and fish contain high levels, as do soybeans and nuts. Many individuals take additional CoQ10, in supplement form.
The enzyme is a potent antioxidant, and a deficiency can cause some pretty serious symptoms, including high blood pressure and heart failure. Plus, CoQ10 deficiencies have been associated with people with cancer, diabetes, muscular dystrophies, and more. Increasing your intake of CoQ10, whether via your diet or in supplement form, can provide a whole host of benefits to your body.
1. Fighting chronic heart failure
Low levels of CoQ10 have been linked to chronic heart failure, and supplementation could be effective in helping to treat the condition. Heart failure often causes blood pooling and shortness of breath, but some studies suggest that CoQ10 supplements, combined with conventional medicines, can help to reduce these symptoms.
2. Treating high blood pressure
Researchers found evidence to suggest that CoQ10 could lower blood pressure levels by up to 17 mm Hg. It is believed that its effects could be due to its antioxidant properties which, in the removal of free radicals, can prevent blood vessel constriction. According to studies, the dosage required varies between patients.
3. Slowing the skin's ageing process
Given the CoQ10's function in the energy creation, plus its antioxidant properties, this comes as no surprise. The enzyme has been found to work with the skin's cellular metabolism and help to fight signs of ageing at a cellular level.
4. Preventing migraines
Migraines have been linked to mitochondria dysfunction, which led to research into the effects of CoQ10 supplementation on migraine prevention. The placebo-controlled study found that the use of CoQ10 reduced migraine incidents by 27%.
5. Helping the body to fight cancer
Several studies have taken place with regards to CoQ10's effect on cancer. Cancer patients are often found to have low CoQ10 levels and when a small group with breast cancer were given CoQ10 supplementation alongside their conventional treatment, each patient experienced tumour regression. Other studies too gave promising results.
6. Increasing learning capabilitiesr
A research study on mice found CoQ10 to speed up the learning process when combined with Vitamin E. This suggests that, when used together, the two antioxidants could help to prevent or improve age-related cognitive deficits.
7. Improving male fertility
CoQ10 supplementation has been shown to improve men's sperm count and movement. This could hint towards treatment of asthenozoospermia and defective sperm function, which can be difficult to treat causes of male infertility.
8. Slowing age-related macular degeneration
AMD is an eye condition that affects sight in older people. Studies suggest that CoQ10, when used in combination with acetyl-L-carnitine and omega 3, may improve vision in the condition’s early stages by improving mitochondrial metabolism. Other studies have found that mixture of antioxidants, including CoQ10, and zinc, could slow AMD by up to 25%.
9. Decelerating neurodegenerative diseases
Diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson’s share the characteristic of neuronal cell death. Studies have been carried out to research the link between this and mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress. The two were found to result in the cell death. CoQ10 was found to reduce both, meaning that it could have a significant effect in the treatment of these neurodegenerative diseases.
Where can CoQ10 be found?
CoQ10 is produced naturally by the body, but deficiency is common. These days, most of us could benefit from more, whether we have a particular health issue or not. While moderate levels of the enzyme can be found in most red meat, poultry, fruit, and vegetables, you can find significant levels in the following foods:
Organ meats, e.g. liver, heart, kidneys
Oily fish, such as sardines, mackerel, and salmon
When choosing how to prepare your food, bear in mind that it has been found that frying can deplete up to 32% of a food's CoQ10 content, but boiling has no effect.The enzyme is found across a wide range of foods, so with a healthy, varied diet, should not be hard to come across.
Like with all nutrients, organic, fresh foods are likely to contain higher levels of CoQ10 than their unorganic or processed counterparts. CoQ10 is also available in supplement form, varying in dosage, from 30 -50 mg to upwards of 150mg , so if you feel you might be deficient, supplementation could be an option.