Once CoQ10 was discovered, it was quickly realized that it was present virtually every where the researchers looked, so you might also here it referred to as "ubiquinone", taken from the word "ubiquitous". But what' so special about it?
Allow me to connect some dots. We eat food and get energy from it. We also breath oxygen. Both of which we cannot live without. The reason is because our bodies convert the stuff we eat into energy, and to do so require oxygen to help run the whole process. CoQ10 is a molecule that plays a direct role in that process. As a food molecules are broken down, each piece is handed off like much like hot potato. At each hand off, a little bit of energy is taken from the molecule and saved in the form of ATP. It might help to think of water turning a wheel as if flows down stream, producing energy that spins the wheel which can be used for other things like grinding grain or generating electricity. To give you an idea how big of a deal this is, 95% of the human body's energy is produced this way and it makes sense that the organs that have the highest demands for energy, including the heart, liver and kidneys, have the highest concentration of CoQ10 found in them.
Here are some quick rules for when someone should supplement with CoQ10:
- STATIN drug use - STATINS are known to lower CoQ10 levels and produce muscle pain and damage the liver, which makes CoQ10 and has a high demand for it
- over 55 years old - our ability to make CoQ10 decreases with age
- heart conditions - the heart has especially high demands for CoQ10
- Parkinson's - the Basal Ganglia, the area damaged in Parkinson's disease has high demands for CoQ10
- immune deficiencies - the immune system requires extra energy to function on top of the normal metabolic demands of the body
Although it has been a challenge getting CoQ10 in a form that is readily absorbable by the body, you can now find "emulsified" preparations that are more easily absorbed. Also, recent research has pointed to use of a specific form of CoQ10, called "ubiquinol", as a potentially better form for supplementation since ubiquinol is the reduced form of ubiquinone, and carries with it the extra electrons that make it a powerful antioxidant.
Tomorrow will be the first "Can't Trust Advertising Tuesday" post where I point out the difference between what science tells us and what advertising campaigns try to sell us, you won't want to miss it!