Deep within each cell in your body, there is a small factory that is constantly working to produce the vital energy that every single cell in your body needs. These factories are responsible for helping you digest your food, get up and walk, breathe, and keeping your heart beating.
These factories are called mitochondria and they absorb the nutrients found in food and churn out cellular energy that the body needs. They never stop, never take a break, and never complain about working overtime. Organs in the body depend on the mitochondria to do their jobs, especially organs that have high energy demands, like the heart.
But what about the mitochondria? What do they depend on? Don’t they need some form of energy and nutrition in order to keep working? Of course they do, and they get it from CoQ10.
What is CoQ10?
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10 for short) serves as the food that mitochondria need in order to keep producing cellular energy. Every single cell in the body has mitochondria, therefore every single cell in the body needs CoQ10 to keep functioning. CoQ10 helps the mitochondria produce energy by protecting them from oxidative damage that could result from wear and tear.
Because it is so vital to our well-being, miraculously enough, your body naturally produces CoQ10 all on its own. Were it not for CoQ10, each and every cell in our bodies, and eventually our bodies themselves, would wither away.
Unfortunately as we age, the body starts to produce less and less CoQ10, meaning that it becomes important for us to take a CoQ10 supplement so that we can assist our cells in doing their jobs.
CoQ10, Ubiquinol and Ubiquinone?
There’s been a lot of debate in regard to this topic. Which one is better for you? Aren’t they all the same? First of all, there are a few things that you need to understand in order to decide which supplement between the three is best for you.
First, CoQ10 comes in two different forms: ubiquinol and ubiquinone. Ubiquinone is the oxidized form of CoQ10, meaning that it lacks two additional electrons and two hydrogen molecules. Ubiquinol is the reduced form of CoQ10, meaning that it has two additional electrons and two hydrogen molecules on the CoQ10 strand.
Second, the body naturally converts CoQ10 to ubiquinol or ubiquinone through processes called reducing and oxidizing. CoQ10 in ubiquinone form isn’t as unusable by the body for cellular energy as ubiquinol, so the body automatically ads those sets of electrons and hydrogen molecules to make it more usable. Likewise, the body is able to convert ubiquinol back to ubiquinone if it needs to just by removing that same group of molecules.
The body is able to produce this conversion better when the individual is young.
However, as we age, our body isn’t able to convert CoQ10 to ubiquinol or ubiquinone as easily. That’s why there are stand alone ubiquinol and ubiquinone supplements in addition to CoQ10 supplements.
Some prescription medications may also interfere with the body’s ability to convert CoQ10 to ubiquinol and ubiquinone. Those individuals, after consulting with a health-care professional, may want to consider taking one of the stand alone ubiquinol or ubiquinone supplements instead of CoQ10.
What can CoQ10 do for me?
That’s the ultimate question isn’t it? Because CoQ10 has a hand in almost any type of cellular function, there are a variety of benefits that taking an additional CoQ10 supplement can have for you body, many of which you will be surprised at. Here are a few of the primary benefits:
- Supports Healthy Cardiovascular Function
One of the leading causes of death in the United States is heart failure. Take a look at the term “heart failure.” What does it mean? What is the heart failing to do? The heart is failing to beat. What happens when the heart stops beating? It stops delivering blood to the rest of the body. So, what does the heart need in order to keep beating?
It needs what all of us need to keep going throughout the day. Energy. The heart requires more energy than perhaps any other organ in the body, so it can be concluded that one of the leading causes of death in the United States is a lack of energy getting to the heart. That’s where CoQ10 comes in.
CoQ10 is what gives all the cells in the body the energy they need to keep working, and just like everything else in this world, the heart is made up of cells. The last thing you want to do is give your heart a reason to stop beating. So do yourself a favor and make sure that it has the energy supply that it needs to keep pumping away.
- Helps Reduce Oxidative Stress Throughout The Body
Oxidative stress is what happens when the body is unable to produce enough antioxidants to combat the amount of free radicals in the body. Free radicals are uncharged and unpaired molecules that are highly reactive to their environment. They are typically the cause of most aging symptoms like organ failure, age spots, etc. CoQ10 is one of those antioxidants that helps fight free radicals.
As we get older, our body’s ability to produce CoQ10 drops off significantly. When the body’s natural CoQ10 levels start to drop, the body starts to use up energy from other places, causing oxidative damage to other tissues and organs. The free radicals, because they are highly reactive, then magnify this damage, making the signs of aging even worse.
CoQ10, as an antioxidant, helps fight the free radicals throughout the body, neutralizing the magnification effect they can have on cellular damage. You can never underestimate the powerful effects that good cellular energy production can have on the body.
- Exhibits Neuroprotective Properties
Many individuals with prediabetes or full onset diabetes suffer from a condition known as diabetic polyneuropathy, a damaging of the nerves that results from high blood sugar levels. Symptoms of diabetic polyneuropathy can range but they generally include numbness in the fingers and toes, tingling sensations, or pain in the extremities.
A study published in the July 2012 issue of the Journal of Diabetes Complications reported that individuals who were suffering from diabetic polyneuropathy were given 400 milligrams of CoQ10 or placebo. The study reported that the individuals who took the CoQ10 supplement stated that their symptoms decreased by 50 percent or more and that their nerves were operating more efficiently showing improved impulse conducting speeds.
The antioxidant properties that CoQ10 holds as well as its ability to help produce cellular energy seem to work not only on heart tissue cells, but on nerve cells as well.
Other kinds of similar studies have been conducted on laboratory mice, many with equally positive results. Further research still needs to be conducted on the subject, however, the more research that is conducted, the more positive results for CoQ10 as a way to help support healthy neuropathic function seem to be found.
- Supports Healthy Blood Pressure Levels Already In The Normal Range
We’ve established that CoQ10 is incredibly important when it comes to keeping your heart pumping. The next logical conclusion is that CoQ10 must help maintain healthy blood pressure. If the heart is pumping efficiently, good blood pressure is sure to follow.
Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps blood and if that pressure is consistently too high, it can lead to a number of medical complications, such as:
- Heart Attack
- Heart Failure
- Kidney Failure
- Vision Problems
As we age, we become particularly susceptible to the risks associated with high blood pressure. CoQ10 can be a valuable tool in the fight against high blood pressure because of the ways that it is able to reinforce the heart’s energy demands.
Of course, no amount of CoQ10 can eliminate cholesterol build up in the arteries that results from consistently poor diet choices. However, for those individuals who want to keep already healthy blood pressure levels steady and consistent, CoQ10 is one thing you won’t want to overlook.
- Healthy Immune System Support
The way that CoQ10 helps produce cellular energy is by helping to finish the process of ATP synthesis. ATP synthesis is the process by which an ATP synthase, the most commonly used form of energy in cells, is produced.
Whenever your body contracts any type of virus or sickness, the mitochondria work overtime to produce more energy to help support white blood cells in their effort to fight off the infection. As a result of that increase in energy production, more and more CoQ10 is needed to fuel the mitochondria as they produce ATP.
Ever wonder why being sick makes you tired? One of the reasons is because your brain is sending messages to the rest of your body with orders to slow production down on everything that is non essential so that more resources can be dedicated to fighting off the sickness. Supplementing with CoQ10 does nothing but give the body more and more resources to be able to fight with.
Like a general on a battlefield would never consider it a problem to have too many reserve troops, there is nothing wrong with having plenty of reserve cellular energy in the body in case your body is attacked by an infection.
CoQ10, in whichever form your health-care professional recommends, can have a wide variety of benefits on for your body. The most important thing to remember though, is that no matter how much CoQ10 you take, it won’t cover up the health potholes that poor lifestyle choices leave behind. No supplement on earth can make up for a diet filled with unhealthy fats and a lack of physical activity. A vitamin can’t run, walk, or lift weights for you.
You have to decide whether or not you want to make a lifestyle change or not. If you want to support your body in your personal quest to make a change for the better, CoQ10 can give you the cellular energy that your body needs to make those changes.