By Karen Appold
January 18, 2013 – Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a naturally occurring chemical compound that your body produces and that you consume in your diet. Your body requires this vitamin-like substance for your cells and organs to function properly and for chemical reactions to occur. CoQ10 also gives energy to your cells, helps repair tissues and improves oxygen absorption.
As an antioxidant, CoQ10 fights free radicals (which destroy healthy cells) and slows down the aging process. People lose a significant amount of coenzyme Q10 as they age, most notably in their heart. This substance is vital for good heart health, particularly lowering high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Some studies suggest that CoQ10 can be used to treat congestive heart failure and chest pain.
Certain prescription drugs can lower your levels of CoQ10. Low amounts of CoQ10 can contribute to some diseases, such as diabetes, cancer, HIV/AIDS, congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, Parkinson’s and periodontal disease.
CoQ10 also gives your immune system a boost. It helps to prevent colds, viruses and the flu by increasing your white cell count and getting rid of bacteria in your blood. Studies have shown that this substance can decrease pain and inflammation related to lupus, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.
CoQ10 can also help your health in many other ways. Research has shown that CoQ10 can be used as a secondary cancer treatment; it may reduce pain, shrink tumors and contribute to remission. It can also help you fight off fatigue, obesity, a weak immune system, Huntington’s disease, male infertility, migraine headaches, muscular dystrophy and Lyme disease.
CoQ10 is found in higher amounts in organ meats, including the liver, heart and kidney, as well as beef, poultry, sardines, trout, parsley, spinach, peanuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, sesame seeds, olive oil, whole grains and avocados. Nutritional supplements are also available.
Karen Appold is medical writer based in Royersford, PA.