What is CoQ10?
CoQ10 is an enzyme that is found in virtually every cell in the body and is a vital part of the process that generates 95% of the body’s energy. CoQ10 is an important antioxidant that works against fat and protein oxidation. Additionally, it regenerates other antioxidants, such as vitamin E.
“Immune system cells divide more rapidly than most cells, and they are in constant need of repair and maintenance. All of this work requires energy reserves, and CoQ10 is a critical co–factor in our energy–production pathways. In both animal and human studies, CoQ10 has compensated for immune deficiencies caused by aging or disease.” (http://www.chiro.org/nutrition/Q10.shtml)
People with very low levels of CoQ10 include those with cardiovascular disease, Parkinson’s disease, muscular dystrophy, breast and other cancers, diabetes, male infertility, AIDS, asthma, thyroid disorders, and periodontal disease.
Why don’t people have enough CoQ10?
- Aging: Around age 35 the body starts producing less and less. At the age of 80, for example, CoQ10 levels are cut by more than half.
- Statin Drugs: Lower the body’s CoQ10 reserves at the same time
- High Cholesterol or High Blood Pressure: Increase the body’s need for CoQ10 and deplete the body’s supply.
- Poor Nutrition: Most people don’t eat enough of the foods rich in CoQ10.
How can I add CoQ10 to my diet?
To give your body the most CoQ10 possible it is a good idea to pick up a supplement at your local health food store and add as many of the following foods to your diet as possible. The recommended dose of coenzyme Q10 for adults is 30 to 200 mg each day, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
More extensive Internet research found that the clinical studies used therapeutic doses of 360 mg/day.
Food sources alone may not be enough for those deficient in CoQ10. To put dietary CoQ10 intake into perspective, one pound of sardines, two pounds of beef, or two and one half pounds of peanuts, provide only 30 mg of CoQ10. However, as you can see from the list below, many foods contain CoQ10.
Pork heart, reindeer meat, and beef heart are the three foods with the highest amounts of CoQ10. Others include pork, beef liver, beef, pork liver, and ham. Frying meats tends to reduce their levels.
Sesame oil and corn oil have high amounts of CoQ10. Oils with lesser amounts include sunflower oil and safflower oil.
Sardine, mackerel, cuttlefish, yellow tail, tuna, herring, and pollock have moderate to high amounts of CoQ10. Eel, trout, and flatfish also contain a small amount.
Nuts, Beans and Seeds
Peanuts, sesame seeds, pistachios, walnuts, adzuki beans, and hazelnuts contain moderate to high amounts of CoQ10. Almonds and chestnuts have a small to moderate amount.
Chicken and Eggs
Chicken has a moderate amount of CoQ10; boiling chicken retains more coenzyme Q10 in the meat than frying. Eggs have a small amount of CoQ10.
Spinach, broccoli, sweet potato, sweet pepper, garlic, peas, cauliflower and carrots contain small to moderate amounts of CoQ10. It is best to steam or boil the vegetables instead of frying them as the CoQ10 loses potency when cooked with high direct heat.
Though most of us probably need more CoQ10 in our diets, if you want to take the therapeutic dosage, it is a good idea to check with your doctor or health practitioner before doing so, as it may interact with other medications.