Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a natural substance that’s found in most of the cells in your body. It’s a powerful antioxidant which helps the food you eat be converted into energy.
We all know that antioxidants fight free radicals -- the nasty stuff that contributes to our aging process -- and can be harmful to our health.
Unfortunately, CoQ10 can be depleted from our bodies because of certain medications such as statin drugs that many people take to lower cholesterol levels.
Some patients who are on statin drugs complain of painful aches in muscles and joints. And although statin medications are proven to be beneficial in lowering cholesterol, these painful side effects can also reduce levels of CoQ10 in your body.
Researchers believe that CoQ10 is an essential element in reducing certain heart conditions and cancers, as well as muscular dystrophy, and periodontal disease.
It is also said to help in reducing migraine headaches. CoQ10 boosts energy after exercise as well as providing our bodies with the power it needs for our daily routine.
Even though our bodies produce this vital nutrient, the aging process as well as certain cholesterol drugs will deplete our source of CoQ10, especially in the body’s most important muscle, the heart.
Research studies have shown that CoQ10 may be very valuable to patients who undergo heart surgery. According to ABCnews.com, researchers in Australia found that when elderly heart bypass patients are given a daily dose of 300 milligrams of CoQ10, they recovered more quickly than those who were given a placebo.
The question remains, however, what can we do if we’re given drugs to lower our cholesterol that reduces the risk of a heart attack, but also depletes our body of CoQ10, the very substance that keeps the heart pumping properly?
Most people get enough CoQ10 through a balanced diet that includes salmon, tuna, organ meats such as liver, and whole grains. But CoQ10 supplements are available for cases where the body is losing normal amounts of this important vitamin.
The recommended adult dose for CoQ10 supplementation is 30 - 200 mg daily. CoQ10 should not be given to children without instructions from a physician.
CoQ10 is considered a generally safe supplement to take. However it’s always important to talk to your doctor before taking any dietary supplement, to avoid the risk of side effects or a negative interaction with other drugs.
Note: CoQ10 may lower blood sugar levels, so if you have diabetes, talk with your health care provider before taking it to avoid the risk of low blood sugar.
Second Opinion: CoQ10 Benefits. ABC News. Web. 25, September, 2012
Coenzyme Q-10. National Library of Medicine – National Institution of Health. Web. 25, September. 2012
Coenzyme Q-10: Topic Overview. WebMd. Web. 25, September, 2012
Coenzyme Q-10: Overview. University of Maryland Medical Center. Web. 25, September, 2012
Reviewed September 26, 2012
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith