CoQ10 — Are You Missing Out on this Critical Supplement?

This chart illustrates how CoQ10 production decreases as we get older.

CoQ10 is a coenzyme that works wonders for the human body. It is so prevalent that it is found in every single cell of the body. A major player in the creation of energy, CoQ10 is very important to the process of the body converting nutrients to a usable energy form. CoQ10 is most abundant in the mitochondria, the part of cells that create energy. Naturally, mitochondria is found in heavy concentration around the human heart because it is a muscle that operates throughout a person’s life. Without the precious benefits of CoQ10, the heart would not be able to handle the incredible workload it must deal with.

As if that weren’t enough, CoQ10 is also a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants are materials the body uses to guard the cells against damage from oxidation. Oxidation is the effect that free radicals in the body cause. Ultimately, it results in the decay of cells, but CoQ10 is one of many antioxidants that science has found to be capable of fighting the free radicals. It’s easy to see how important it is to have CoQ10 present in the body. Unfortunately, the human body’s production of CoQ10 slows down with age. This is most pronounced in the heart, where CoQ10 production can drop as much as 72% as we age. This creates problems for the body in multiple ways. First, the absence of CoQ10 means less energy production. This is one reason that people can become less physically active as they get older. The second problem is the lost CoQ10 means many less antioxidants fighting for the body. This comes at a time when the antioxidants are needed the most, as free radicals have had years to damage cells.

The good news is that CoQ10 levels can be replenished through vitamin supplements and foods that are naturally rich in CoQ10. Doctors have long recognized the benefits of boosting CoQ10 in the elderly as a part of the treatment for everything from high blood pressure to congestive heart failure. Keeping CoQ10 levels up can boost energy creation around the heart which makes it able to pump blood to organs faster, stronger, and more efficiently. The antioxidant properties have made supplements a part of fighting other diseases as well. Even cancer patients may be put on a strict CoQ10 vitamin ritual just for its antioxidant properties in fighting off the infected cells.

Supplements are an easy way to keep the body’s CoQ10 levels up, but there are plenty of natural options as well. CoQ10 is heavily present in meats. This includes beef, pork, poultry, and fish. Vegetables that are rich in CoQ10 include spinach, soybeans, and nuts. It should also be noted that CoQ10 relies upon the presence of Vitamin B6 to work its magic on the body. Without B6, it is unable to create energy and fight free radicals as it should. Anyone looking to reap the rewards of CoQ10 must make sure they are not deficient in Vitamin B6 as well. B6 can be maintained by supplements as well, but there are many common foods that provide excellent sources of the vitamin, long connected to high energy levels. Baked potatoes, bananas, and sunflower seeds are high in Vitamin B6. The winner is chicken, however. Chicken makes both lists, being high in both CoQ10 and Vitamin B6.

The health benefits of CoQ10 go on and on. Dentists even get in on the action, prescribing CoQ10 for patients with periodontal disease. It is known to boost the immune system, causing it to be a frequent suggestion during cold and flu season, especially for the elderly. Recently, CoQ10 studies have found it to be useful in treating Parkinson’s Disease. The mere fact that doctors prescribe the supplement for victims of congestive heart failure should be resounding enough. The list goes on and on, but the facts are simple. We need CoQ10 in our bodies, and as we age, our bodies are creating less and less of it. Supplements and diet are the only way to continue to reap the benefits of this marvelous vitamin into old age.

While CoQ10 may be particularly necessary to senior citizens, there is no reasons to think that younger people cannot benefit as well. CoQ10 boosts energy, and this can be very helpful to younger people who are in the workforce or even athletes. More energy equals more productivity. In a world of caffeine and energy drinks, why not rely on a natural energy source instead? Antioxidants fighting off free radicals is not something we need after the damage is done. We need it now.

As always, check with a doctor before starting a CoQ10 regimen. This is especially important if other drugs are being taken, such as blood thinners. Your doctor will know whether CoQ10 is right for your situation, but chances are, it will be. And who knows? It could save your life.