Diabetes, Heart, fatigue | March 9, 2017 | Author: Naturopath
CoQ10 (short for Coenzyme Q10) is a compound naturally produced in the body that can also be consumed in the diet or in the form of supplements.
The body primarily uses it for energy production in the mitochondria (plural for mitochondrion) – these are the structures inside our cells known as the powerhouses of the cell, because they are responsible for nearly all the body’s energy production.
In addition to its role in energy production, CoQ10 also functions as an antioxidant, protecting our body against the damage done by free radicals, and slowing down the effects of ageing.
Meat, poultry, fish, nuts, soybean oil, and canola oils are the richest nutritional sources of CoQ10, while much lower levels can be found in most dairy products, vegetables, fruits, eggs, and grains.
It is important to know that the method of cooking affects the content of CoQ10 in foods. Approximately 14%-32% of coenzyme Q10 is lost during frying of vegetables and eggs, however; boiling these foods does not seem to change the content of CoQ10.
If you are deficient, diet alone is not enough to significantly boost the levels of CoQ10 in your body. Research suggests that CoQ10 supplementation is beneficial for a variety of conditions that are associated with low levels of CoQ10, including:
Heart disease. There is some evidence to suggest that supplementation of CoQ10 may improve heart function in patients with heart failure.
High cholesterol. Statins, the most widely used medications for decreasing LDL cholesterol, have been shown to reduce the production of CoQ10 in the body. It has been suggested that supplementation of CoQ10 may improve statin-induced muscle weakness.
Diabetes. CoQ10 supplements were found to reduce fasting blood sugar in diabetes patients.
High blood pressure. Some studies, but not all, suggest that CoQ10 may reduce blood pressure. Additionally, supplementation with CoQ10 from 20 weeks of pregnancy was found reduce preeclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy) in women at risk.
Cancer. Animal studies have shown that CoQ10 stimulates the immune system, and results from human trials suggest that it can protect the heart from damage caused by the chemotherapy drug doxorubicin. It is possible that supplementation may be beneficial for breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
Parkinson’s Disease. CoQ10 deficiency has been reported in patients with Parkinson’s disease, and it has been suggested that supplementation may be associated with slower deterioration of function patients.
Fatigue. Studies found that low levels of CoQ10 were consistently associated with fatigue, especially in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome.
Huntington’s Disease. Mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress play important roles in the mechanism of this neurodegenerative disease, characterised by a progressive decline in both psychiatric and cognitive functions. Supplementation of CoQ10 was found to slow down the decline and improve cognitive function in patients.
Cystic Fibrosis. Preliminary evidence suggests that multivitamin supplements that contain CoQ10 may improve airway inflammation in children with cystic fibrosis.
CoQ10 supplements are considered safe and are generally well tolerated.
You may have noticed that CoQ10 supplements come in two forms, ubiquinone and ubiquinol. So what is the difference between the two?
Ubiquinone is the form that has been traditionally used in CoQ10 supplements and in the vast majority of studies. It is the cheaper form of CoQ10 and the most stable.
Ubiquinol is the active (reduced) form of CoQ10. The body converts ubiquinone into ubiquinol, so theoretically it means that taking ubiquinol is more effective as it is more readily usable and more easily absorbed.
Ubiquinol has been approved for therapeutic use in Australia since 2013, and because it costs more to manufacture, it is more expensive for consumers than the more conventional ubiquinone form. It is also more susceptible to oxidation and extra care is needed when storing it.
Many experts believe that ubiquinol is superior for your health; however, others claim that solid evidence is still lacking. If you are unsure which form to use, consult your healthcare professional.
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