Coenzyme Q 10 (CoQ10) is a naturally occurring enzyme found in many foods, assimilated by the body and is available as a supplement. It is vitamin-like and fat-soluble and mainly responsible for converting food into energy the body can use.
What is CoQ10?
Researcher Dr. Frederick Crane discovered it in 1957 during studies conducted at the University of Wisconsin. Researchers also found that almost every cell in the body was comprised of CoQ10. It protects against damage caused by free radicals and is a simple molecule needed by enzymes to function properly. This powerful antioxidant works in conjunction with three specific enzyme systems in the body which produces 90% of cellular energy. Out of all structures in the human body, the heart uses the most energy. When the heart does not have enough energy to function properly, failure of the heart can occur.
Coenzyme Q 10 Deficiency
Many people have never heard of CoQ10, let alone known they could be deficient in it. CoQ10 levels in the body are depleted through aging, poor dietary intake, free radicals, disease and certain medication like statins. There are several signs and symptoms that your levels are too low:
- Chronic and unexplainable pain
- Extreme physical fatigue
- Mental fatigue or “brain fog”
- A weakened immune system
- Increased risk of neurological disorders
- Increased risk of obesity.
Furthermore, another major symptom of this type of deficiency is an increased risk of heart disease. CoQ10 is normally found in high concentrations in the blood and the musculature system of the heart. A deficiency can also cause other cardiovascular problems like high blood pressure, arrhythmia and angina. Researchers have also found that a deficiency can cause problems with the body regulating its blood sugar properly, stomach ulcers and poor gum health.
CoQ10 Deficiency and the Heart
Throughout the end of the 1960s to the early 1970s, researchers began to realize that patients suffering from congestive heart failure had a significantly reduced amount of CoQ10 in their heart muscle and blood. How severe the heart failure was directly correlated to the degree of deficiency.
What Are The Benefits of CoQ10
The European Journal of Heart Failure conducted one of the largest studies to date on CoQ10, it lasted over ten years and conclusively proved that even the most severe heart failure patients significantly improved and substantially lowered the amount of hospitalizations needed after taking Coenzyme Q 10 as a supplement.
The patients involved in the study took 100 mg a day, three days a week. After ten years, the study concluded that the patients were drastically less likely to perish from heart failure and less than half as likely to pass away from any cause compared to control subjects who took no supplements. Participants in the study were also less likely to have a major adverse heart-related problem than the control subjects.
Another clinical study showed supplementing with CoQ10 within three days of a heart attack could reduce the likelihood of a heart attack reoccurring and improved heart-related chest pains.
Additional benefits for the heart include lowering high blood pressure, lowering high cholesterol levels, improving heart health in those with diabetes and prevention of heart damage caused by statins and chemotherapy drugs.
It can also extend the lifespan and improve the quality of life for those who have congestive heart failure, even in the most severe cases.
How Much CoQ10 is Recommended?
Most experts recommend taking 100mg per day if you are healthy and 200mg daily if you have suffered from any kind of heart issues, are diabetic, on statins or undergoing chemotherapy. CoQ10 is not recommended for children under the age of 18 without first speaking to a pediatrician. For maximum efficacy, divide your daily dosage throughout the day. It is easier for the body to absorb if taken with a meal, especially if it contains healthy fat.
If you have heart-related issues or concerned that you may be deficient in Coenzyme Q 10, talk to your doctor to see if you could benefit from adding CoQ10 as a supplement in your daily routine.