The benefits of Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) have been known since the 1970’s. Unfortunately, many doctors do not routinely recommend CoQ10 to their heart patients. If you’ve never heard of CoQ10, I’m going to explain what it is, how it works, signs of deficiency, and the benefits of increasing your CoQ10 intake.
CoQ10 is a fat-soluble vitamin and powerful antioxidant. CoQ10 not only fuels energy production, but it removes many free radicals from circulation. Free radicals lead to the oxidation of LDL and the subsequent chain of events that result in arterial plaque formation and narrowed arteries.
How CoQ10 works
The powerhouse of your cells is the mitochondria. The mitochondria convert the foods you eat into energy your body can use. The form of energy the body uses is called ATP. ATP is produced within the mitochondria by taking needed electrons from foods. CoQ10 is responsible for carrying the electrons back and forth between enzymes in the production of ATP.
If that was a little too much science for you, let me make it much simpler.
Without CoQ10 your cells can not produce energy for your body to function, including the heart muscle. The heart uses an enormous amount of energy to function and maintain blood circulation 24/7.
Numerous studies have shown patients with heart disease to have a CoQ10 deficiency. Individuals suffering from cardiomyopathy or heart failure appear to have the greatest deficiencies. Improvements have been seen when individuals suffering from cardiomyopathy or heart failure receive supplemental CoQ10. Benefits of supplementing CoQ10 are seen in individuals experiencing angina, coronary artery disease, post-operative heart surgery, and heart attack recovery.
CoQ10 is especially beneficial if you have narrowed arteries and reduced blood flow to the heart. CoQ10 uses what little oxygen and nutrients the heart receives to increase production of ATP and boost the hearts energy levels.
The physician’s routinely using CoQ10 as part of their treatment plan for heart patients often refer to CoQ10 as “the miracle supplement” due to the drastic improvements to patient heart function.
Symptoms associated with a CoQ10 deficiency develop gradually over time, so it’s very easy to miss the signs.
Symptoms include: aches and pains, fatigue, sore muscles, weakness, malaise, and shortness of breath
Our bodies are designed for CoQ10 to be formed from a variety of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. If your intake of vitamin C, B-12, B-6, pantothenic acid, and various other minerals and nutrients is deficient, the production of CoQ10 is compromised. Conditions and medications, such as hyperthyroidism, antidepressants, gum disease, and advanced age will also cause lower than adequate levels of CoQ10.
Benefits of CoQ10
Prevent heart disease
Slows the aging process
Lowers blood pressure
Builds up the immune system
Improves the nervous system
Protects against gum disease
Counteracts negative side effects of some cholesterol medications
Consult your MD to determine if supplementing CoQ10 is the right treatment option for your situation.
Be sure to sign up for the free e-course How to Lower Cholesterol in 8 Simple Steps.
Lisa Nelson RD, a registered dietitian since 1999, provides clients step-by-step guidance to lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure, so they can live life and enjoy their family for years to come. Because her own health is the foundation of her expertise, you can trust that Lisa will make it truly possible for you to see dramatic changes in your health, without unrealistic fads or impossibly difficult techniques. She can be found on Twitter @lisanelsonrd and Facebook at hearthealthmadeeasy.