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Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), also known as ubiquinone, has many health benefits, especially for people 50 and older, as it can mitigate some of the effects of aging and boost energy levels. It also plays a part in keeping the immune system running at an optimal level.
The human body produces CoQ10 naturally from foods taken in; however, as one ages production of CoQ10 within the body decreases over time starting around the age of 30. This can cause many people to develop a deficiency of this important compound. To ensure beneficial levels of ubiquinone are present in the bloodstream, many nutritionists and health professionals recommend taking a daily supplement of CoQ10 once a person reaches the age of 50.
General Health Benefits of CoQ10
People with CoQ10 deficiency experience low energy, physical fatigue, and muscle weakness during non-strenuous routine physical activities. CoQ10 deficiency is associated with difficulty concentrating, memory lapses, and a general sense of mental fatigue. CoQ10 deficiency can also lead to a number of other health conditions and cause premature aging, as further detailed below.
CoQ10 is stored within cells’ mitochondria, which is the part of a cell that makes most a cell's supply of energy. Having adequate CoQ10 available to cells boosts a person’s overall energy level.
Healthy mitochondria with adequate CoQ10 protect cells from oxidative stress damage and disease-causing viruses and bacteria. Free radicals and other reactive molecules can latch onto cells, leading to cell damage and interference with a cell’s proper functioning. CoQ10 has antioxidant properties that help protect cells from oxidative stress damage caused by free radicals and other reactive molecules. Antioxidants such as CoQ10 bind with free radicals and other reactive molecules rendering them harmless before they can cause damage to cells and disease within the body. Free radical and other reactive molecules’ damage to cells can lead to many negative health conditions, including but not limited to cardiovascular disease, inflammation-related diseases, cataracts in the eyes, and even cancer.
CoQ10 is known to mitigate heart problems and reduce high blood pressure (hypertension). It also helps keep skin smooth and healthy as a person ages.
A deficiency of CoQ10 and selenium in the bloodstream is one of the causes of premature aging in older adults. This conclusion is based on a number of studies that have been performed over the years. Including a study of 443 older adults conducted in Sweden from 2003 to 2010 that found supplementing with CoQ10 and selenium over a period of four years reduced elderly participants’ hospital visits, slowed down the deterioration of their mental and physical performance, and improved their quality of life.
The anti-aging effects of CoQ10 supplementation are due to its ability to reduce oxidative stress in the body associated with free radicals and other reactive molecules. These destructive free radicals and other reactive molecules accelerate the onset of certain diseases that affect the elderly, such as heart disease and neurological disorders, including Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and Huntington's disease. When CoQ10 is present within the body in sufficient amounts it reduces oxidative stress by attaching to and rendering free radicals and other reactive molecules harmless, thus helping the body prevent or slow down the development of diseases that affect the elderly.
CoQ10 helps the body produce elastin and collagen, which are compounds that the body uses to maintain smooth and firm skin. Since the production of these compounds diminishes with age as the body produces less CoQ10, skin grows less firm and wrinkles appear. Maintaining adequate levels of CoQ10 boosts the production of elastin and collagen and stimulates skin cell activity, allowing them to remove toxins and utilize nutrients to their fullest extent. This results in healthier skin that doesn’t age as quickly as it would if a person has a CoQ10 deficiency.
How To Obtain CoQ10 From Diet
CoQ10 is present in a number of foods. However, since you might not eat these foods regularly, supplementation may be necessary to obtain an adequate amount of CoQ10 that is sufficient to be beneficial to your health. This is especially the case if you are over the age of 50 since the production of CoQ10 in the body diminishes as you grow older. As with any supplements, it is very important to discuss your intentions to take a CoQ10 supplement with your doctor or licensed healthcare provider to ensure that it won’t interfere with other medications you are taking or affect any medical conditions you have.
The following are some foods that contain CoQ10. The highest concentrations are in animal organ meats.
- Animal organ meats such as liver and kidney
- Meats including beef, pork, and chicken
- Oily and fatty fish, including tuna, salmon, herring, trout, herring, mackerel, and sardines
- Vegetables, including broccoli, spinach, and cauliflower
- Fruits, including strawberries and oranges
- Legumes, including peanuts, soybeans, and lentils
- Seeds and nuts, such as sesame seeds or pistachios
- Canola or soybean oil
How to Take CoQ10 | CoQ10 Benefits & Dosage
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2021 John Coviello