CoQ10 is a nutrient that everybody should be aware of since it is present in all the cells in your body. Coenzyme Q10 is a potent antioxidant and is part of the cellular machinery that is responsible for providing energy for all your biological processes.
While this substance can be produced by the body and is naturally present in food your levels could be seriously compromised by disease, diet, age, strenuous exercise and prescription drugs. You wouldn’t run your car on empty nor should you run your body on low CoQ10.
CoQ10 is a fat soluble vitamin-like substance present in every cell in the body. In the cell it is associated with and integral to the mitochondria that produces the substance (ATP) that your body uses to power all its functions e.g., movement, heart beat, digestion, elimination, breathing and repair.
If your CoQ10 levels are low your body will be in an “energy crisis”.
CoQ10 also acts as a potent antioxidant that is capable of preventing oxidation of LDL cholesterol that is implicated in cardiovascular disease and acts to regenerate vitamin E, another important antioxidant.
CoQ10 naturally declines with age – levels start decreasing after age 20.
Certain diseases are also associated with reductions in CoQ10. These include heart disease, neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s, AIDS, periodontal disorders.
The highest concentrations of dietary CoQ10 is from meat, especially organ meat like heart. One would need to eat 2 pounds of beef to get 30 mg of CoQ10.
Furthermore, while the body can make CoQ10 the process is complex, requiring many steps that can be compromised and becomes less efficient with age. If you’re taking statins or beta blockers these can drastically lower your body’s ability to make CoQ10.
The main problem with CoQ10 supplementation is its poor absorption through oral administration. This seems to be a problem with all fat soluble supplements. The best form is as an oil emulsion in soft gel capsule.
Like all fat soluble vitamins and supplements it should be consumed with some fat to increase absorption.
Recent studies suggest that taking your CoQ10 with grapefruit juice can increase its absorption. Be forewarned though, that grapefruit juice can also affect the activity of prescription drugs.
CoQ10 is virtually non toxic without side effects. Healthy individuals should consider taking from 30 to 90 mg per day. The doses should be divided up with one in the morning, afternoon and night.
The studies on Parkinson disease suggest that 1,200 mg per day was needed for results.
Those taking statins should consider at least 200-300 mg per day in divided doses.
The softgel capsule can also be bitten into or pricked with a pin to apply the Q10 to the oral cavity if periodontal disease is present. Toothpastes and mouthwashes with CoQ10 are also available for gum health.