Raise good cholesterol with Coenzyme Q10, and lower inflammatory LDL particles at the same time. Sure sounds like a win-win situation for heart health, and recent research strongly supports this important role for Co Q10!
What’s Coenzyme Q10?
Coenzyme Q10 or CoQ10 as it is also referred to, was discovered by Professor Fredrick L. Crane and his research team at the University of Wisconsin–Madison Enzyme Institute in 1957.
The reduced form of CoQ10 was called ubiquinone and was identified as a powerful antioxidant and free radical scavenger, and as we will see…it also has the ability to raise good cholesterol and lower inflammatory LDL.
This fat soluble antioxidant is found in the membrane structure of the mitochondria and is a key player in the electron transport chain which functions as an energy creating mechanism in your cells. The end product of these reactions is the creation of ATP, the primary source of energy for your body.
Because of it’s vital role in cellular energy production CoQ10 is found in highest amounts in the organs and tissue that have the highest energy demands. Your body can synthesize CoQ10 but you also need to acquire it from your diet and possibly from supplementation as well.
How Do You Get Coenzyme Q10?
You can get CoQ10 in tablet form or as a soft-gel. The softgel form is superior because it’s easier for your body to absorb. The usual dose when used to benefit the heart is from 50 to 150 milligrams. The most effective form is the “reduced” form which is called “ubiquinol.”
Food sources of CoQ10 tend to be from animal sources, such as organ meats like liver, heart, as well as muscle. Again this is because those types of organs and tissues have a high demand for energy, and CoQ10 is a vital component of energy production in both animals and humans.
Here are the top foods sources:
- Pork heart
- Pork liver
- Beef heart
- Beef liver
- Chicken liver
- Chicken heart
If you are a vegan there ARE vegetable sources of Coenzyme Q10, the best are whole grains, peanuts, wheat germ, broccoli, and spinach. Keep in mind though that these sources are a lot lower in CoQ10 than animal proteins, so if you are trying to make up for a deficiency in Coenzyme Q10 you may need to use a supplement like ubiquinol if you are eating a vegan diet.
Health Benefits of Coenzyme Q10
There are many health benefits of Coenzyme Q10 from protecting yourself from heart disease, to blood sugar control and better energy. Here is a short list of medical conditions where Coenzyme Q10 can be beneficial:
- Malignant Melanoma
- Endothelial Dysfunction
- Heart Disease
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Senile Dementia
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
CoQ10 is both an antioxidant and a bio-energetic nutrient, which means it both protects cells against oxidative stress (which robs the cells of energy) and also has a vital role in making the ATP molecule that supplies energy that cells need to maintain and repair themselves.
Coenzyme Q10 and Cholesterol
CoQ10 has beneficial effects on cholesterol profiles because of it’s role as a powerful antioxidant and free radical scavenger. It’s been established that heart disease results from inflammation and free radical damage to the heart and the arteries through which blood flows.
By fighting oxidative stress and the free radicals it produces, CoQ10 can help prevent the damage to the endothelium and the process of atherosclerosis that causes coronary artery disease. The effect of CoQ10 on cholesterol is that it will raise good cholesterol (HDL) and lower LDL.
Even though we have learned recently that cholesterol does not CAUSE heart disease, it is a FACTOR in atherosclerosis that damages arteries. Coenzyme Q10 has been shown to alter the ratio of HDL to LDL that helps protect against coronary artery disease.
Cardiologists like Dr. Stephen Sinatra have been using Coenzyme Q10 to treat heart disease for many years, and now his colleagues are beginning to embrace this nutrient and add it to their treatment protocols, because of it’s ability to raise good cholesterol and lower inflammatory LDL particles.
Coenzyme Q10 and Statins
Statins, the drugs most often given to people to lower cholesterol have some very serious side effects. Some prominent cardiologists have come out against widespread statin use because the benefits of these drugs are far outweighed by the dangers to health that these drugs pose.
Statins deplete Coenzyme Q10, leaving the body vulnerable to a number of damaging processes that are rooted in oxidative stress and free radical damage. It is for this reason that a number of cardiologists recommend that in cases where statins are used the patient MUST be given Coenzyme Q10 in supplement form to protect against this statin caused deficiency.
The Case for Co Q10
Cardiologists are starting to use it, and in fact it has been used for many years in Japan to treat heart disease. Incidentally the Japanese are the longest lived population in the world, so it seems they know a thing or two about the health benefits of Coenzyme Q10.
The ability to raise good cholesterol with Coenzyme Q10 is the real value of this nutrient in helping to treat and prevent heart disease. Given the fact that heart disease is the number one killer of Americans, Coenzyme Q10 may prove to be one of the most effective strategies to keep your cardiovascular system healthy and extend your life.