Coenzyme Q10: Energy on Call
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a key ingredient in my core nutritional program for reducing heart risk factors. I simply would not practice cardiology without it.
Often called the “miracle nutrient” or the “universal antioxidant,” CoQ10 exists in the mitochondria—or power plants—of our cells, and scavenges and destroys free radicals that cause cardiovascular problems and heart disease. Hundreds of studies have documented the actions of CoQ10 and how they improve heart health.
CoQ10 molecules perform a vital role in the production of the body’s basic cellular fuel, adenosine triphosphate (ATP). This is the key reason CoQ10 is probably the single best nutrient you can take for your heart.
Your heart muscle consumes huge amounts of oxygen and energy. CoQ10 essentially recharges the energy system in the heart, enabling the heart muscle to pump blood more efficiently. At the same time, CoQ10 cleans up destructive free radicals that are by-products of the energy production process.
Although CoQ10 is produced naturally in the body, production wanes dramatically with age and in the presence of specific diseases. Medications can also interfere with CoQ10 production. This slowdown can significantly affect how you feel.
Being low on CoQ10 is like running on weak batteries. Unfortunately, many people write off this feeling as a sign of getting old. They never realize that the real cause of the problem is a CoQ10 deficiency. One of the most serious heart conditions caused by a CoQ10 deficiency is congestive heart failure.
Dietary sources of CoQ10 include beef heart, pork, chicken liver, and fish (especially salmon, mackerel, and sardines). But the average person gets only 2–5 mg of CoQ10 a day from diet. Therefore, I’m a firm believer in taking a CoQ10 supplement.
Recommended dose: Take at least 100–300 mg of CoQ10 daily if you have any form of heart disease (the most serious cases and those people taking a statin to lower LDL cholesterol levels may require even more). For best results, take CoQ10 in divided doses with your meals. It’s more readily absorbed with food (especially some fat).
The form of CoQ10 you take also affects how well it’s absorbed. I prefer a form that is hydrosoluble (either water or fat soluble). Research confirms that hydrosoluble CoQ10 is the most bioavailable, enabling the nutrient to reach much higher levels in the blood.
For more information on healthy heart nutrition, visit www.drsinatra.com.
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Dr. Stephen Sinatra is a highly respected and sought-after cardiologist and nutritionist with more than 30 years of clinical practice, research, and study. His integrative approach to heart health focuses on reducing inflammation in the body and maximizing the heart's ability to produce and use energy. More About Dr. Sinatra
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