Health Care Thought Leadership

Benefits of Coenzyme Q10


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Coenzyme Q10, also known as CoQ10, is a nutrient that our bodies make on their own. It's found in nearly all our cells and works like a tiny but strong helper, making them work better. Think of it like a battery that powers a toy, CoQ10 gives your cells the energy they need to do their job well.

Health Benefits

Energy Production: Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) plays a crucial role in how our cells make energy. This process is called metabolism. CoQ10 helps transform the food we eat into a type of energy our cells can use. This energy is called ATP (adenosine triphosphate). Without ATP, our cells couldn't do their jobs, and we wouldn't be able to move, think, or even breathe!

But when we have enough CoQ10, our cells can make plenty of energy. This means we have the power to do everything we need to do in our day, from performing at work to working out to doing chores at home. CoQ10 helps us feel strong and energetic, not tired or sluggish.

Cardiovascular Health: The heart is one of the most important organs in our body. CoQ10 helps keep our hearts healthy and strong. It does this by helping our heart cells produce enough energy to keep beating. Without enough energy, our heart wouldn't be able to pump blood through our body.

Some people who take statins may benefit from supplementing with CoQ10 because statins tend to lower the body’s own production of CoQ10. Talk with your provider to determine if this would be right for you.

Cellular Protection: Our cells face many threats every day, from harmful substances in the environment to waste products made by our own bodies. This can damage our cells and make us sick. But, CoQ10 protects our cells from these dangers.

One of the ways CoQ10 protects our cells is by acting as an antioxidant. Antioxidants are substances that can prevent or slow damage to cells caused by free radicals, unstable molecules that the body produces as a reaction to environmental and other pressures. So, CoQ10 helps keep our cells healthy and working.

While our bodies inherently produce CoQ10, it can also be obtained through various dietary sources. It's important to note that CoQ10 is fat-soluble, meaning it's better absorbed when eaten with fats. Thus, you might increase your CoQ10 absorption by eating these foods as part of a balanced meal that includes healthy fats.

Recommended Dietary Allowance

Establishing an official daily recommended quantity for CoQ10 proves challenging due to its synthesis in the body. Nonetheless, some experts propose an adult daily intake of 30 to 200 mg in supplement form, especially for those with specific health conditions. Consult with your provider prior to initiating any new supplement. They can provide personalized guidance based on your specific health needs and clarify the necessity and appropriate dosage of the supplement.

If you’re taking CoQ10 in doses greater than 100mg/day, to optimize absorption it’s best to divide into two doses throughout the day and be sure to take with a meal that contains healthy fats. You can also focus on increasing food sources of CoQ10 listed below.

Food sources of CoQ10

Beef: A 3-ounce serving of cooked beef, preferably lean, is a commendable source of CoQ10, providing approximately 2.6 mg of this nutrient.

Herring: Rich in CoQ10, a 3-ounce serving of this fish yields about 2.3 mg. Besides herring, other fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel are also rich in CoQ10. A 3-ounce serving of these fish can contain about 1.5 to 3 mg of CoQ10.

Chicken: A 3-ounce serving of chicken contributes approximately 1.4 mg of CoQ10.

Soybeans: For those preferring plant-based options, half a cup of cooked soybeans provides about 0.9 mg of CoQ10.

Peanuts: As a nutritious snack, a 1-ounce serving of peanuts offers about 0.8 mg of CoQ10.

Sesame Seeds and Pistachios: These are among the richest plant-based sources of CoQ10. An ounce of sesame seeds provides about 0.7 mg, and a similar amount of pistachios contains around 0.6 mg of CoQ10.

To learn more about this topic and the other ways in which our team can help educate and care for you, contact the Whole Health Institute at 913-632-3550.

About the Author

Lisa Markley, MS, RDN, LD

Lisa Markley, MS, RDN, LD, is an integrative dietitian culinary nutrition expert with nearly two decades of experience working towards improving the health of others. She is passionate about educating others how to harness the healing power of food and healthful lifestyle changes.

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