Coenzyme Q-10 (CoQ-10) is a fat-soluble enzyme present in our entire body. Its total amount within the body is up to 1.5 grams. Some parts of your body contain more of it, for example, the kidneys, heart, pancreas, and liver. Q10 is practically among the few antioxidants your body can produce on its own.
Specifically, CoQ-10 is found within the cells, with more than 50 percent of its entire content present in the tiny cellular organelles called mitochondria. If you have never heard of them, the mitochondria are the power-plants of the human body. They transform nutrients into energy.
So, one of the main functions of coenzyme Q-10 is to assist the mitochondrial function to produce energy. Because of this, CoQ10 is often called a mitochondrial energizer. Other tasks include safeguarding the mitochondrial walls and neutralizing the free-radicals. These radicals occur as a by-product during the process of energy production.
If left alone the free radicals will cause oxidative stress. Oxidative stress will impair the mitochondrial function and can lead to cellular death. For example, brain cell death is one of the symptoms of Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease.
Coenzyme Q-10 is a perfect antioxidant. The mechanism behind any antioxidant is its ability to donate electrons. Coenzyme Q-10 can do it both ways: it can give and receive electrons without any structural damage. This property of CoQ-10 is actually its great strength. In contrast, the other antioxidants after donating electrons to the free radicals are permanently damaged.
Table of Contents
- 1 Natural Sources
- 2 Health Benefits of CoQ-10
- 3 1. Better Heart Health
- 4 2. Preventing Diabetic Neuropathy
- 5 3. Prevents Gum Disorders
- 6 4. Speeds up Weight Loss
- 7 5. Better and Stronger Hair
- 8 6. Better and Healthier Skin
- 9 7. Immunity Booster
- 10 8. Help in Case of Macular Degeneration
- 11 9. Improving the Body’s Energy Levels
- 12 10. Slowing Down Neurodegenerative Disorders
- 13 Coenzyme Q10 and Juicing
- 14 Q10 as a Supplement
- 15 Related Posts
The best natural sources of Q10 are seafood and meat, but it is also readily available in a form of Q10 supplements. Vegetarians also have some options, such as nuts, beans, eggs, and diary products. Please note that even though there is no officially recommended dietary daily dose, natural food sources may not provide enough Q-1o for your body. All natural sources tend to be quite low in this important nutrient.
Nevertheless, here is a list of some of the best foods that supply CoQ10 to your body:
- Free-range poultry
- Eggs from free-range chicken
If you have medical conditions, or if you are older your body will reduce its production of coenzyme Q10. As our average diet provides no more than the estimated 25 percent of needed CoQ10, your best option is to consider supplementation.
We have seen how this enzyme works on a microscopic level, but how exactly this translates into health benefit on a macroscopic level?
Let us examine the most important health benefits of coenzyme Q10.
Health Benefits of CoQ-10
1. Better Heart Health
Coenzyme Q10 improves the blood lipid profile and prevents the oxidation of the bad, LDL cholesterol. This seems to be the primary cause of cardiovascular diseases, not the levels of LDL cholesterol as such. Less cholesterol oxidation translates into a better condition of the arterial wall, preventing building up fat deposits.
Besides CoQ-10 improves the functioning of the cardiac muscle and promotes better blood circulation.
Coenzyme Q10 is popular in Japan, where it is commonly used to treat and prevent may heart related health problems. In addition, Japan is the main provider of this coenzyme for the USA.
A number of studies support these findings about the effects of Q10, including aiding the recovery from heart failure, and decreasing the risks of heart related problems.
2. Preventing Diabetic Neuropathy
Neuropathy is a condition where the peripheral nerves are being damaged, as opposed to damage to the central nervous system. It often occurs as a consequence of poorly managed diabetes.
Scientific research shows that coenzyme Q10 helps lower the risks and prevent neuropathy.
3. Prevents Gum Disorders
Coenzyme Q-10 in a form of supplement can improve the health of the gum, and is effective in case of peridontal disease. You can either apply Q10 in a form of cream directly on the gums or use it in a form of pills for oral application.
4. Speeds up Weight Loss
Q-10 is essentially an anti-oxidant. It helps your body to get rid of toxins and free radicals that make havoc on a cellular level. By doing that, this coenzyme ensures having better metabolism and faster weight loss. The rate of burning fat is improved and weight loss is promoted.
5. Better and Stronger Hair
The same mechanism of antioxidant action is responsible for fortifying and making your hair (and nails) stronger. CoQ-10 will help you diminish the rate of hair loss. It will look much thicker and healthier. You don’t just take supplements, find some Q-10 enriched shampoos and conditioners for topical application.
6. Better and Healthier Skin
More or less the same story holds when it comes to improving the condition of your skin. If you want a youthful looking skin, apply some cream with Coenzyme Q10 in it. This antioxidant will make your skin firm, prevent damage of the skin cells, and diminish the wrinkles, fine lines, and other aging signs or your skin.
7. Immunity Booster
Coenzyme Q10 will improve you immune system by getting rid of the harmful free radicals. Because of this reason alone, this supplement is often prescribed to patients with chronic fatigue, cancer, Parkinsons’s, migraines, male infertility, muscular dystrophy, Lyme disease, HIV, and high LDL cholesterol levels.
8. Help in Case of Macular Degeneration
Macular degeneration is an age-related disease, but today more than ever, it is important to prevent it even at younger age. We are surrounded with harmful artificial light, especially from the blue part of the spectrum which speeds up macular degeneration in the younger population as well. The antioxidant approach is very important to prevent and manage macular degeneration. A combination of antioxidants can be used, including CoQ10 and, for example astaxanthin.
9. Improving the Body’s Energy Levels
Your natural energy levels depend on the production of ATP (a type of cellular energy) in the mitochondia (a type of cellular batteries). By improving this process, Q-10 improves the energy store in these little batteries of your body, keeping us active, full of strength, and refreshed.
10. Slowing Down Neurodegenerative Disorders
Excessive free radicals can lead to destroying neuronal cells. Coenzyme Q10 can be useful in preventing neurodegenerative conditions such as or Alzheimer’s disease, by shielding against cellular death.
Coenzyme Q10 and Juicing
Q10 is difficult to be consumed via juicing. Take a look at the natural sources of Q-10 listed above and add some of the nuts, vegetables, and fruits listed to your smoothies or juices. Of course, you can always take your coenzyme Q-10 supplements and pills together with some juice. A recent study shows the best way to do that is to drink it together with some grapefruit juice. Grapefruit juice improves the intestinal absorption of CoQ10.
Q10 as a Supplement
Basically, there are two different Q10 forms in our body. Ubiquinone, the oxidized form, and ubiquinol, the reduced form.
Outside the cells, which is to say inside the plasma, blood, and lymph, we find the reduced form, ubiquinol. There, this form is an effective antioxidant.
The other form of Q10 is ubiquinone. It is the oxidized form of this coenzyme. Available as supplement from 2006., it is also called “active Q10”.
In any case, if you are buying Q10 as supplement and the price is not an issue, try to buy the reduced form, ubiquinol (more expensive), as some research indicates it may be more effective (achieve better absorption in the gut) than the oxidized ubiquinone. This is still not conclusive, though, and more research is needed. Most of the research studies to date showing the health benefits of Q10, however, are done on the oxidized form, ubiquinone. So, the difference between the two forms of Q-10 might not be that great after all.
If you are taking Q10 as a supplement, research shows that BioPerine (herbal extract from black pepper fruit) may increase its absorption.