Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a fat-soluble vitamin-like nutrient. It is also known as Ubiquinone or Ubidecarenone. CoQ10 is produced in our body and stored in the mitochondrial cells. Organs like the heart, liver, kidneys and pancreas contain higher levels of CoQ10 as compared to other organs.
The primary role of CoQ10 is the metabolism of energy. Our body utilises CoQ10 for the synthesis of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) to derive energy. It also acts as an excellent antioxidant and protects our cells from free radical damage. Excess levels of free radicals in our body are a threat to our healthy cells, heart, brain and DNA. CoQ10’s ability as an antioxidant in preventing lipid per-oxidation makes it specifically good for our heart health.
On an average, approx. 500-1500 mg of Coenzyme Q10 is present in the human body and this level declines with age. Though it can obtained by some dietary sources like fatty fish, organ meats like liver and whole grains, but CoQ10 supplements are also easily available these days. Low levels of CoQ10 has significant adverse effects on energy production and free radicals.
CoQ10 strengthens our immune system and acts as a shield for our healthy cells, hence popularly used in the treatment of medical conditions like blood pressure, cardiovascular disorders, AIDS, diabetes, renal failure, migraine, and age related cognitive decline disorders like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer.
Numerous studies indicate that CoQ10 is good for our heart health as it prevents inflammation and oxidative damage of our arteries. A clinical trial indicated that when people with heart failure consumed CoQ10 supplement for a specific period, there was a significant improvement in the functioning of their heart along with reduced chances of complications.
CoQ10 may also aid in boosting fertility health by improving the quality of the sperm and activity. This is because oxidative damage in the body is linked to reduced sperm count and infertility. Its antioxidant ability aids in protecting brain cells and relieving headaches during migraines.
CoQ10 is a popular ingredient in cosmetics as well. It can be applied to prevent free radical damage, fine lines, wrinkles and reduce the damaging effects of harmful UV rays. Some studies indicate that people with low CoQ10 levels are more susceptible to developing skin cancer.
It is necessary to maintain the levels of CoQ10 by athletes and active individuals as well. Active people are more prone to oxidative stress due to increased oxygen and energy consumption. Inflammation and injury rate is also high among athletes. Hence, adequate CoQ10 plays a pivotal role in improving athletic performance. Researchers believe that CoQ10 has the potential to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce insulin resistance.
To conclude, Coenzyme Q10 is necessary for the healthy functioning of our organs. Being a powerful antioxidant, it guards our body against the potential mutilating effects of free radicals. It improves our heart health, exert anti-cancer effects and prevents fluctuations in blood glucose levels. Since our body cannot store it, therefore, it is mandatory to maintain adequate intake of either through diet or supplements rich in food sources like salmon, tuna, mackerel, oranges, strawberry, soybean, lentils, peanuts, sesame seeds, pistachios, broccoli and spinach. If opting for a CoQ10 supplement, then preferably consume it with meals to enhance the absorption. Although there are no side effects reported of higher dosages but it is better to consume as per recommended doses.