What is CoQ10? That name sure has been thrown around a lot lately in the supplement world. It has even been described as the “miracle nutrient” or “universal antioxidant.” CoQ10 is the short name for Coenzyme Q10 and is similar to a vitamin. Essentially, CoQ10 is something that exists in each of our cells. They are like tiny energy boosters and can destroy the free radicals floating around in our bodies. These free radicals sap us of energy, and can cause heart disease and cardiovascular issues.
Like many other nutrients, our bodies don’t always maintain or produce enough. Certain medications can lower your production of CoQ10, especially drugs that lower your cholesterol; called Statin drugs. The heart is especially affected by a decrease in CoQ10 for a couple of reasons. Our heart is working 24/7, so it needs the most energy of any organ system in our bodies. The decrease in levels of CoQ10 can make the heart tissues more susceptible to attack by free radicals.
Most people get about 2-5 mg of CoQ10 per day from their diet alone. Foods such as pork, beef, and fish have good levels of this nutrient, but especially organ meats. Unfortunately, we can’t always count on getting enough CoQ10 daily, just by what we eat. The recommended daily dose is generally 50-100 mg daily for those aged 40-60. Those amounts vary by age, but are higher as we age. The reason for this is we need extra protection against heart disease as we age.
There are other claims about CoQ10 such as; it is said to help cancer, muscular dystrophy, and gum disease, along with heart disease. It is also said to boost energy and speed recovery from exercise. While the jury is still out on proving this, there have been some studies that support these claims. One study in the 60’s noted that people with cancer had very little CoQ10 in their blood. Some suggestions regarding this finding, is that CoQ10 may help the immune system, which can be an important secondary treatment for cancer patients.
Occasionally, people feel their energy levels are a bit too high after starting CoQ10. In that case, the simple fix is to lower the dose and that feeling will disappear. However, with most additions to your daily intake of something new, it is best to start low and increase the amount. Give CoQ10 a try, and enjoy your new energy and other health benefits!