You may have heard of CoQ10, but what is it really? This fat-soluble nutrient, also known as Coenzyme Q10, can be made by the body and supports the mitochondria (power houses of the cell) with energy production. CoQ10 functions as an antioxidant, which helps to reduce damage to cells by quenching free radicals.
CoQ10 has been studied for a variety of conditions but mostly those related to cardiovascular health, such as coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, and other heart conditions that can lead to inflammation resulting in damage to the arteries and veins. The good news is that studies have shown improvements in blood vessel health when supplementing with CoQ10. This powerful nutrient helps to improve heart function by reducing oxidative damage while supporting energy production.
Do you love to workout but have trouble with recovery? Another benefit of CoQ10 is supporting exercise performance and recovery. Oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction can affect your muscle energy causing fatigue, which can lead to decreased energy performance. Supplementing with CoQ10 can help reduce stress and fatigue of the cells to help improve workout intensity and duration. CoQ10 is a it is truly an integral component to the function of every cell in our body and especially to the cells of the heart, liver, spleen, kidneys and pancreas. CoQ10 assists with the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates and also helps to maintain the flexibility of all cell membranes.
As you age, production of CoQ10 decreases. Some signs of deficiency include diseases of the mitochondria, oxidative stress, and nutrient deficiencies. Recent studies have found CoQ10 to be helpful in the treatment of cancer, muscular dystrophy, macular degeneration, high blood pressure, gingivitis, allergies, gastric ulcers, Parkinson’s disease, AIDS, myopathy, and deafness. CoQ10 also increases circulation, stimulates the immune system and has anti-aging effects. In addition, the use of statin drugs (prescriptions to help lower cholesterol) can have side effects, as they also can lower levels of CoQ10 in your body.
Ubiquinol vs CoQ10: What is the difference?
Ubiquinol is the reduced form of CoQ10, along with the majority of the form found in the blood, which means it will have better absorption. When you supplement with CoQ10 (ubiquinone), your body has to convert it to ubiquinol (the active form). This makes supplementing with ubiquinol more efficient during absorption due it its better bioavailability. Whether you supplement with CoQ10 or ubiquinol, keep in mind that both are fat-soluble nutrients, so consuming a bit of fat with your meal will help increase the absorption.
Foods with CoQ10
CoQ10 is found in many different kinds of foods including seafood (rainbow trout, tuna, salmon, and sardines), meats pistachios, peanuts, sesame seeds, eggs, vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower, strawberries, and oranges. Eating a wide variety of CoQ10-rich foods, colorful fruits, and vegetables is a great way to incorporate this beneficial antioxidant in your diet! If you are taking a CoQ10 supplement, make sure you take it with a balanced meal. This will allow for maximum bioavailability.
H2: A Delicious, CoQ10-Rich SaladServes:2
4 cups mixed green salad
1 can wild salmon (6 ounces)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
½ avocado, sliced
1 orange, peeled and cut into pieces
¼ cup chopped pistachios, for garnish
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients, except pistachios, and mix together. Stir in your favorite salad dressing and season with sea salt and pepper to taste. Split into two bowls and garnish with chopped pistachios. Enjoy!
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