A supplement that I am constantly getting asked about is CoQ10. In response to these multiple queries, here are answers to the most frequently asked questions... 1) What is CoQ10? 2) Why do I need CoQ10? 3) Why is CoQ10 so expensive? and 4) If I am taking a statin drug should I take this supplement also?
CoQ10 is vital for strong hearts and healthy aging. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) or ubiquinone is manufactured in the body and is sometimes referred to as "vitamin Q" for its many important contributions. It's a necessary component of the energy-producing mitochondria of the body's cells. It also helps maintain cellular health and protect against harmful free radicals produced in the body or absorbed from the environment that can "speed up" the aging process by contributing to age-related illnesses and declining function. CoQ10 has also been extensively studied for heart and circulatory benefits.
CoQ10 levels decline with age and can be further depleted by medications. Your body makes most of the CoQ10 it needs, but production gradually slows after age 20. Food sources are limited and provide only small amounts the body can't absorb easily. And certain medications including diuretics and statins (for lowering cholesterol) also may reduce CoQ10 significantly. And for you weekend warriors out there, depleted CoQ10 makes exercise fatigue more noticeable and slows down muscle/injury recovery.
Why is it so expensive? CoQ10 with greater "bioavailability" offers greater success. Ubiquinol, as opposed to Ubiquinone has been shown to be the most bioavailable of the CoQ10 supplements on the market (yes, this is the expensive one). Like dietary sources of CoQ10, supplements may be difficult to absorb. A supplement designed for "bioavailability" advantages means greater absorption potential. So you can take less and get more expected benefits. Recent advancements in supplements include making CoQ10 particles smaller for easier uptake by cells. Other formula advances compensate for CoQ10's attraction to fat by making it more water-soluble. CoQ10 is also sensitive to heat, light, and air. So careful manufacturing and handling are crucial to maintain stability.
Finally, If I am taking statin drugs, should I be taking CoQ10? Well, a Columbia University study in New York found that 30 days of statin therapy (80 mg/day) decreased CoQ10 levels by half. As always, I tell my friends and customers to do some research on their own and make a decision based on their own findings. Talk to your wellness provider, e-mail Dr. Oz, however, research does seem to indicate that if you are on a statin drug, supplementing your diet with CoQ10 may be a very wise decision.
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