When it comes to optimal health, just about everyone is looking for a magic pill, one that can neutralize free radicals, stave off disease, preserve organ health and rejuvenate us from head to toe. Seems like a lot to ask, an impossible dream – or is it? Turns out the magic bullet is already inside of us and it’s called CoQ10 – a naturally-occurring vitamin-like substance our bodies produce, but often, not quite enough of it. In fact, maintaining high CoQ10 levels is so critical to sustaining health, I recommend supplementation to most of my patients, particularly those who are over 40, battling fatigue or who are dealing with cardiovascular issues. Why? Because it is a natural “wonder drug,” one that’s long on benefits, with virtually no negative side-effects. Here’s the lowdown on why nobody should ever come up short on CoQ10:
So Doc, why all the hoopla about CoQ10?
Because CoQ10 is essential for good health: it generates energy for every cell, tissue and organ in the body, enabling them to perform at their peak. Also known as ubiquinol, CoQ10 is an antioxidant, that’s present in every cell – our bodies make it continuously. Unfortunately, as we age we tend to produce less and less of it. Without enough CoQ10 to power our cells, they become less resilient and more susceptible to damage –cells start to sputter, organs become impaired, and in extreme cases, even death can occur. How to turn up dropping CoQ10 levels? Start by boosting them back into the health-sustaining range with regular supplementation and by eating foods that are rich in CoQ10. These simple things will almost immediately improve your short and long-term health, by delivering added protection to your heart and brain.
You’re the king and CoQ10 is your castle wall.
Think of it this way: If you want to keep undesirables like diabetes, heart disease, cancer out of your kingdom, fortify your castle wall with CoQ10. Like a sentry at the gate, CoQ10 provides an excellent defense, helping to suppress and repel health-depleting marauders like diabetes, heart disease, cancer and that dark knight behind so many diseases – inflammation. Clinical studies have also shown that CoQ10 supplementation benefits patients with fatigue, migraines, depression, high blood-pressure and elevated cholesterol. Research also indicates that increasing levels of CoQ10 can help slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease and aid recovery in stroke patients.
CoQ10 supplements rock!
Once you start introducing more CoQ10 into the body, the benefits start to kick in quickly, usually within 2 or 3 weeks. Most people report feeling more energized in a matter of days. On a cellular level, the replenishing of depleted CoQ10 levels enables cells to function as efficiently as they did when you were younger. For those over 40, who are not on prescription medications, I usually suggest starting with 200-400mgs daily for the first 4 weeks, and then 200mgs a day to maintain healthy levels. As the body will use only what it needs and eliminate the excess, overdosing isn’t a big concern, but check with your doc to establish a baseline dose that’s appropriate to your situation. If you’re on prescription meds, many of which rob the body of vital CoQ10 supplies, you may need a higher dose. A case in point: Statin drugs can lower CoQ10 levels by as much as 40% — leaving you vulnerable to additional problems, on top of the one you’re being treated for. My advice? If you must take a statin, you absolutely must supplement with CoQ10. And if your doctor disagrees with your plan to supplement, get another doctor – CoQ10 is that important.
Tuck into a plate of CoQ10.
In addition to CoQ10 supplements, you can give your levels an added boost the old-fashioned way, simply by eating foods that are rich in it. A good place to start is with grass-fed, organic organ meats such as beef and pork liver or hearts – which makes sense given that our own hearts are high in CoQ10. No need to go hog-wild though, just two servings of organic organ meats a week will do. Not a meat-eater? Then mackerel and herring will fit the bill. And if you are vegetarian, peanuts, sesame seeds, walnuts and adzuki beans contain moderate amounts of CoQ10 and veggies such as spinach, broccoli, sweet potato, sweet pepper, garlic, parsley, avocado and cauliflower, are fairly good sources.
Make sure you get the good stuff.
As with most supplements, you get what you pay for and top quality CoQ10 does not come cheap – so if you happen to see jars of powdered CoQ10 on the shelf at Wal-Mart for $10, leave it there. Instead, be on the lookout for high quality, liquid capsules with 200 mgs of bio-available ubiquinol. Avoid products with the similar-sounding “ubiquinone,” which is more difficult for the body to convert into a usable form. For my patients, I recommend the Be Well professional grade Ubiquinol CoQ10 supplements