You have probably never heard of an antioxidant known as coenzyme Q-10. It doesn’t exactly sound like it, but it is one of the vitamins and supplements that are at the forefront when it comes to fighting heart disease. Coenzyme Q-10 is a vitamin-like compound that is similar to vitamin E, but may be an even more powerful antioxidant. It is also called ubiquinone.
Coenzyme Q-10 is being hailed by scientists as one of the brightest new antioxidants available to delay aging and prevent or treat heart disease. It is most easily found in salmon, but it has been synthesized into a supplement available at health food stores. Since it hasn’t been tested as much as other vitamins and supplements, no one is completely sure about the dosage to take, but as you age your body produces less of it. This happens around the age of twenty, often causing most people to be deficient by the age of 40. Research on the cells of aged and diseased hearts has shown that they have serious deficiencies of coenzyme Q-10. The most sensible way to correct this seems to be to take coenzyme Q-10 as a supplement.
However, no one is quite sure how this untested antioxidant really works. What they do know is that coenzyme Q-10 is an antioxidant similar to vitamin E in that it protects fat molecules that are oxidized or damaged by free radicals. It does this by stabilizing the membrane of the fat cells and then giving them some kind of spark of energy to keep them functioning normally. When you consider that the job of free radicals is to destroy the membranes of good cells and then zap their energy, it’s easy to see the importance of coenzyme Q-10.
This is why coenzyme Q-10 maintains concentrations in the heart muscle cells, which require enormous amounts of energy to keep a healthy heart pumping 100,000 times a day. This is probably also why a weak and diseased heart will show very few traces of coenzyme Q-10 at autopsy.
However, Coenzyme Q-10 seems to do even more than this to prevent heart disease. This supplement is exceptionally strong when it comes to stopping the relentless oxidation of cholesterol in the blood by free radicals in the bloodstream. This is the first step for free radicals to make the arteries, which will eventually cause heart attacks and strokes. While it does this more effectively than vitamin E or beta-carotene, the difference is that it requires much more coenzyme Q-10 than the other antioxidants. That’s why researchers wonder how much of a dosage to recommend.
There is even more that coenzyme Q-10 does for the cardiovascular system. It can even help lower blood pressure. Taking 225 milligrams of coenzyme Q-10 daily lowered blood pressure in 85% of patients who took it in a university study. It has been used for this purpose in other countries for decades and has been approved in Japan and Europe for the treatment of congestive heart failure.
Coenzyme Q-10 also seems to do a lot more. It has also been proven to boost the immune system, reduce allergic attacks, treat asthma, help with stomach ulcers and also brain disorders. As scientists continue to research, only time will tell how many benefits this antioxidant will bring to the human body. Hopefully, the more it is researched, the better understood.
If you are going to use coenzyme Q-10, it is best to take it with food. It comes in pressed tablets, powder-filled capsules, and oil-based gel capsules. It works well with Vitamin E, Selenium and Vitamin B complex. Again, there doesn’t seem to be any downside to taking Coenzyme Q-10, so the dosage isn’t limited. The most important thing about Coenzyme Q-10 is that there doesn’t seem to be a time too early to start if you are concerned about heart disease.