Fitness & Nutrition

What is CoQ10?

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is an antioxidant our bodies naturally makes and stores. Our cells use CoQ10 to create the energy necessary for them to function.

CoQ10 is an antioxidant that helps defend cells against free radicals. Free radicals are basically unstable atoms created by exposure to tobacco smoke or radiation, or—less menacingly—when we break down food. Free radicals can cause oxidative stress, which can lead to negatives for cells, such as inflammation or even death.

Oxidative stress is associated with a number of disorders, namely Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. All this is to say CoQ10 doesn’t do nothing. Although, the extent of its effectiveness is still up in the air.

Where to get CoQ10

Our bodies produce less of the antioxidant as we get older. Meats, fatty fish, spinach, broccoli and whole grains are all outside sources of CoQ10, but none will provide a significant amount of the antioxidant. Supplements exist in the form of tablets, capsules, and intravenous injection (IV). CoQ10 supplements have a record of being safe. A few of the possible side effects include mild dizziness, irritability, and insomnia. Of course, your doctor should be consulted before introducing yourself to any new medications or supplements.

CoQ10 and Disease

Some studies have looked into the antioxidant’s effects on muscle weakness caused by taking cholesterol-lowering medications, known as statins.

Other research, while limited, suggests CoQ10 may help prevent migraines. CoQ10’s interaction with conditions such as Lou Gehrig’s disease, male infertility, and Down syndrome have also been studied, with inconclusive results as well.

Research has also been spurred by a potential link between patients with heart disease and cancers also having lower levels of CoQ10. While it hasn’t been shown to be a valuable contribution in cancer prevention, Coenzyme Q10’s potential role in fighting heart disease and failure is more inconclusive with evidence showing that the nutrient may reduce the likelihood of some surgical heart complications. Individual studies have had varied results. “May” and “seem” are words that will quickly become familiar to anyone doing a deep dive into CoQ10.

Conclusion

It’s not a magical substance. CoQ10 won’t turn your heart into an impervious machine, but it could possibly help your body run a bit more smoothly, especially as the aging process tries to take its toll. 


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