You may have been hearing a lot about Coenzyme Q10 lately─and with good reason. This fat-soluble, vitamin-like molecule is more important than you might realize. A mere 25% reduction in CoQ10 levels may cause illness, whereas a 75% reduction can actually be fatal.1 Here are 5 reasons to incorporate CoQ10 into your health regimen:
CoQ10 promotes oxygen uptake by the cells, providing a crucial “spark plug” for cellular energy production. Working within the mitochondria of your cells, CoQ10 participates in cellular respiration, generating energy in the form of ATP. In fact, this process creates 95% of your human energy.2 CoQ10 is also required to convert calories from fats and sugars into usable cellular energy. Yet, the body’s production of CoQ10 declines significantly with advancing age.3
CoQ10 is a powerful antioxidant, and can greatly reduce the level of harmful free radical activity in the body.4 One study referred to it as “a viable antioxidant strategy in many diseases, providing a significant benefit.”5 Other research found that dietary supplementation with CoQ10 decreases dangerous LDL (“bad”) cholesterol oxidation.6 Not only does CoQ10 protect against oxidation of both fats and proteins, it also regenerates other antioxidants such as vitamin E.7
CoQ10 levels decrease with age and tend to be low in patients with chronic diseases like heart conditions, Parkinson’s disease, cancer, and diabetes. CoQ10 has been shown to significantly benefit congestive heart failure 8 as well as improving hypertension.9 If you’re deficient in CoQ10, you’re more vulnerable to LDL oxidation, which promotes cholesterol build up within the artery wall, impeding blood flow. This in turn hikes blood pressure, increasing your risk of atherosclerosis and heart attack.
Over time, we’re more susceptible to immune system challenges that often accompany the aging process. CoQ10 levels decline in illness, environmental stress, and aging, and these deficiencies appear to play a role in the age-related decline in immune system function.10 The aging process itself reduces CoQ10 in the heart muscle wall by over 70%.11 Fortunately, regular supplementation can restore protective CoQ10 levels, which is one of the easiest and most effective longevity-boosting steps you can take.
Today, 20 million Americans take statin drugs to lower cholesterol. According to Dr. Peter Langsjoen, “The depletion of the essential nutrient Co Q10 by statin drugs has grown from a level of concern to one of alarm.”12 His study notes that “statin-induced CoQ10 depletion is well documented in animal and human studies with detrimental cardiac consequences. Statin-induced CoQ10 deficiency is completely preventable with supplemental CoQ10 with no adverse impact on the cholesterol lowering or anti-inflammatory properties of the statin drugs.”
Co Q10 levels in the body peak around age 20, then diminish with each passing year. In fact, there may be a 65% decline by age 80. Given the reasons cited here, you may now agree that CoQ10 should make your A-list of daily nutritional supplements.
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9 Mol Aspects Med 1994;15(Suppl):S265-72
10 Mech Aging Dev Mar. 1978;7(3):189-97
11 Biofactors. 1999;9(2-4):291-9
12 Biofactors. 2003;18(1-4):101-11