CoQ-10: the heart healthy molecule

CoQ-10 is an enzyme is a molecule that speeds up and facilitates the chemical reactions that occur in all of our cells on a daily basis...that's kind of a big deal. 

An enzyme is a molecule that speeds up and facilitates the chemical reactions that occur in all of our cells on a daily basis. In addition to enzymes, there are also substances known as co-enzymes which are molecules that cannot catalyze a reaction on their own, yet are invaluable in helping enzymes to do so. Their function is similar to that of vitamins. 

What is CoQ10 and why is it important?

CoQ10 is present in literally every cell in your body. Your body makes some of it, with the remainder coming from the foods that you eat. Foods that are particularly rich in CoQ10 are organ meats such as liver and heart, as well as small, cold water fish such as sardines and mackerel. 

CoQ10 has been shown to be very beneficial in an extremely wide variety of health functions, making it invaluable to everyone from athletes to those suffering from cardiovascular disease.

A powerful antioxidant 

CoQ10 has a strong ability to donate electrons, making it a powerful fighter of free radicals (which steal electrons from healthy molecules,) especially since CoQ10 is present in every cell of the body. 

Scientists have found that large numbers of free radicals in the body contributes to a quicker-than-normal aging process, and plays a role in other health problems such as cancer and heart disease. Antioxidants such as CoQ10 can help neutralize these free radicals and prevent the damage that they cause.

CoQ10 and mitochondria

One of CoQ10’s primary functions is to aid mitochondria in the production of energy. Mitochondria are the powerhouses of the cell, where food is turned into useable energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP.) This is of particular importance in the heart muscle, which receives no rest due to its role in the body. Because of this, the cells of the heart muscle are very dense in mitochondria. 

Mitochondria also directly relates to athletic performance. In fact, the leg muscles of marathon runners have been shown to have many times the mitochondria than those of sedentary people. 

CoQ10 for Heart health 

With heart disease being our nation’s number one killer, the correlation between CoQ10 and heart health is being rigorously studied. Heart attack patients have been studied post-attack and have been found to have similarly low levels of CoQ10, indicating the possibility of a causal relationship between the two. While there is no conclusive evidence as of yet, research does look promising. 

Statin drugs and CoQ10 

These drugs are prescribed to lower or control cholesterol, and do this by reducing an enzyme in your liver, where cholesterol is made. Unfortunately, statins also significantly reduce the production of CoQ10. This can produce a number of dangerous health problems as CoQ10 is used in every cell in the body.