No doubt you’ve heard of CoQ10’s health benefits, especially concerning the heart. In fact, many researchers believe that CoQ10 can help with heart-related conditions due to how it improves energy production in cells, prevents clot formation and acts as a powerful antioxidant. Studies have found CoQ10 particularly helpful in avoiding heart failure, swelling in the legs, labored breathing due to fluid in the lungs, subsequent heart attacks and chest pains as well as high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. CoQ10 isn’t found only in the heart, though. It’s actually found everywhere—in every cell—in the body. In general, coenzymes such as CoQ10 assist enzymes in digesting food, performing other bodily processes and in protecting the heart and skeletal muscles.
The body produces CoQ10, and although your body requires it for cell growth and maintenance, CoQ10 levels decrease as you age, particularly in areas such as the heart and liver. By the time a person reaches 80 years of age, CoQ10 levels in the body are only about half of what they were decades earlier. Age isn’t the only thing that lowers CoQ10 amounts in the body, however. Those who take certain medications, who have heart conditions, muscular dystrophies, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes and a variety of other ailments come up short on CoQ10, according to the Mayo Clinic. Interestingly, medicines used for high cholesterol and diabetes can significantly decrease the amounts of bodily CoQ10 levels. More and more doctors who are using alternative medicine are not recommending CoQ10 to their patients.
CoQ10 also assists in making an important molecule called adenosine triphosphate, or ATP, which is a cell’s major energy source and is responsible for many biological processes, including muscle contractions and protein production. CoQ10 is also present in the body’s mitochondria, which are frequently referred to as “cellular power plants,” since they create much of the body’s cellular energy. Mitochondria also serve to signal cellular differentiation, cellular growth, cellular respiration and cellular death, while controlling cell cycles and regulating cell metabolism. This is significant, too, because it is said that up to 95 percent of the human body’s energy is supplied via the mitochondria. The bodily organs, therefore, that require significant amounts of energy—such as the liver and the heart—may have the greatest concentrations of CoQ10. Make sure you know what you are taking as CoQ10 is not the same from manufacturer to manufacturer. Seek a nutritionist or holistic health practitioner.