Coenzyme Q10 - CoQ10 (also known as ubiquinone)
08/07/10 Filed in: Health
This vitamin-like antioxidant compound which is present in all cells, is produced naturally in the body. Our bodies also produce free radicals (organic molecules responsible for tissue damage, ageing and possibly some diseases) during normal energy production.
As we get older we produce more of these free radicals. CoQ10 is an antioxidant which prevents cell damage due to free radical activity. We produce less CoQ10 as we age. This imbalance leads to a lot of damage in those whose bodies don’t produce enough of CoQ10 and other antioxidants.
CoQ10 is found in high levels within hard-working body tissues, especially in the heart. The level of CoQ10 becomes very low in people who suffer from heart disease, resulting in less energy for the heart to function normally.
It is not possible to acquire enough CoQ10 from diet alone. So, to increase the amount of antioxidants we need, a daily intake of a supplement is required.
Studies have been carried out on the affects of CoQ10 on:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Gum disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Male infertility
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- High blood pressure
- Heart surgery
- Athletic performance
The studies have shown evidence that CoQ10 is effective on some of these conditions but not all benefits have been conclusively proven. Even if taken in high doses, there are no known side effects of CoQ10. Therefore it may be worth taking a daily supplement for those with any of the listed conditions, especially those with heart conditions, and to monitor the results.
It would be a good idea to seek medical advice before taking CoQ10 as certain cholesterol or blood sugar lowering drugs reduce the effects of CoQ10. The body’s response to warfarin and insulin may be changed by CoQ10 supplementation. CoQ10 is quite expensive compared to most supplements.