Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), also known as, ubiquinone, is a vitamin-like compound which is naturally synthesized by our body. It is a potent antioxidant found in every one of our fifty trillion cells—and it is the only lipid-soluble antioxidant our bodies actually synthesize. Coenzyme Q10 is a key component of the mitochondria - the energy-producing units of the cells in our body. The level of CoQ10 is the highest in organs with high rates of metabolism such as the heart, kidney, and liver.
This bionutrient is widely found in many animal protein sources (pork, lamb, beef, chicken, fish), vegetables (spinach, pea, broccoli, cauliflower) and fruits (orange, strawberry, apple). Heart, chicken leg, herring, and trout contain particularly high amounts of CoQ10. Daily intake between 3 and 5 mg is considered adequate. CoQ10 is fat-soluble, so it is better absorbed when taken with a meal that contains oil or fat.
Because of its energy-rich and antioxidant capacity, it has a significant, broad impact on aging and health. Levels of coQ10 decline with aging. Inflammation is a frequent aging-related problem. CoQ10, by reduction of free radicals reduces the release of pro-inflammatory substances. A recent study provided evidence that CoQ10 supplementation can reduce the inflammatory markers like CRP (C-reactive protein), IL-6 and TNF-α.
Since your heart cells can't function without energy, they can't function without CoQ10. The heart beats 100,000 times each day and this requires a huge amount of energy. The heart, composed of muscle tissue, contains the largest amount of energy-generating mitochondria of any muscle, so it is not surprising that CoQ10 has been shown to be very important for cardiovascular health.
The potential use of coenzyme Q10 supplements alone or in combination with other drug therapies and nutritional supplements may help prevent or treat some of the following conditions:
High blood pressure, cancer, periodontal diseases, mitochondrial disorders, radiation injury, obesity, diabetes, Parkinson's disease, acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), gastric ulcers, allergy, migraine headaches, kidney failure, muscular dystrophy, and aging.
CoQ10 also has a significant role in boosting the immune system and physical performance, as tissues and cells involved with immune function are highly energy-dependent and therefore require an adequate supply of CoQ10 for optimal function.
Coenzyme Q10 deficiency is not seen usually and if occurs, is a result of genetic malfunction. Besides, drugs like Warfarin and statins interfere with the functioning of CoQ10 and cause a reduction of its level in blood.
As you age, your body's natural production of CoQ10 declines, making CoQ10 supplementation even more important. Plus, supplementing with higher dietary levels of CoQ10 can nutritionally support overall health.