(NaturalNews) True health begins at the cellular level and our body contains roughly 75 trillion cells. The mitochondria is the key organelle within the cell that produces the majority of the energy. Coenzyme Q10 is a vital enzyme anti-oxidant within the mitochondria that is commonly deficient in many individuals.
Coenzyme Q10 is an anti-oxidant enzyme within the mitochondria. This anti-oxidant regenerates other antioxidants such as vitamin E. Its major role is helping the mitochondria harvest energy producing adenosine triphosphate (ATP) from the foods we eat. More than 75% of our energy is produced through the use of CoQ10 (1).
There are two major factors that lead to deficiency ofCoQ10 in human beings: 1. Reduced biosynthesis 2. Increased Utilization by the body.
Biosynthesis is the major source of CoQ10. Biosynthesis requires at least 12 genes and mutations in many of them cause CoQ10 deficiency. A few other genetic defects such as mutations of mitochondrial DNA can also influence. Some chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, etc., may also reduce the biosynthesis and increase the demand for CoQ10 in the body (2).
Poor lifestyle habits such as a diet rich in sugar and processed foods, smoking, poor sleeping habits, sedentary habits or overtraining all increase coQ10 utilization and thus deplete coQ10 levels. Chronic infections, environmental toxicity and high amounts of emotional stress all deplete coQ10 levels as well.
Aging and statin medication usage on CoQ10 levels:
CoQ10 is found in every cell of the body but is present in higher concentrations in organs that have higher energy requirements such as the kidneys, liver and heart. As we age, we lose our supply of CoQ10, particularly in the heart. By the time we are 80 years old our CoQ10 production is said to be about half of a 20 year olds. CoQ10 plays a huge role in energy supply in the heart and the vascular walls (3).
The most popularly prescribed cholesterol lowering medications, statins, have been shown to lower CoQ10 production by up to 40% (4). Unfortunately, many physicians remain unaware of this and they continue to prescribe statin cholesterol lowering medications without supplementing with CoQ10.
Low CoQ10 and chronic disease:
Cancer patients have been found to have low CoQ10 levels. This limits their ability to prevent against oxidative stress targeted at their DNA which leads to altered cellular function and abnormal cell development. CoQ10 supplementation has also been shown to be effective at slowing cancer growth and preventing its development (5, 6, 7).
CoQ10 has also been shown to improve brain health and reduce the severity and frequency of migraine headaches. Additionally, low CoQ10 is linked to degenerative neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's, dementia and Parkinson's. Supplemental coQ10 has been shown to strengthen the neuronal cell mitochondria and be a potent defense against neurological degeneration (8, 9).
Major studies have demonstrated that CoQ10 reduced oxidation and DNA double-strand breaks. This means that CoQ10 powerfully reduces stress on our DNA which is a key factor for anti-aging. It protects against damage to the arterial lining and keeps blood vessels strong and supple (10).
Best food sources of CoQ10:
The best food sources of CoQ10 are organ meats such as liver, heart and kidney. Wild-caught fish, grass-fed beef, wild game such as bison and venison and pastured poultry are all fantastic sources. Plant based sources include nuts, seeds and cruciferous veggies but in far smaller quantities than that found in animal foods.
The typical American diet provides about 10mg of CoQ10 daily. For a young individual with a strong and healthy digestive system this could be enough to supply their needs. As we age, our digestive system often gets compromised and we become very deficient in this key nutrient. This is when supplementation is necessary.
About the author: Dr David Jockers is a Maximized Living doctor and owns and operates Exodus Health Center in Kennesaw, Georgia where he specializes in functional nutrition, functional medicine and corrective chiropractic care to get to the underlying cause of major health problems.
His website features great articles on natural health and incredible recipes. He is the author of the best-selling book SuperCharge Your Brain - the complete guide to radically improve your mood, memory and mindset. He has over 45,000 active followers on his social media and email newsletter and is a big influencer in the Primal Health movement.
Dr. Jockers is also available for long distance consultations and health coaching to help you beat disease and reach your health goals. For more information got to www.drjockers.com