You probably haven’t ever heard of an antioxidant known as coenzyme Q-10. It doesn’t exactly have a ring to it, but it is one of the vitamins and supplements that are coming to the forefront when it comes to fighting heart disease. Coenzyme Q-10 is a vitamin-like substance that resembles vitamin E, but which may be an even more powerful antioxidant. It also goes by the name ubiquinone.
Coenzyme Q-10 is being hailed by scientists as one of the brightest new antioxidants around for postponing aging and preventing or treating heart disease. It is most easily found in salmon, but it has been synthesized into a supplement that is available at health food stores. Because it hasn’t been tested as much as other vitamins and supplements no one is quite sure of the dosage to take, but as you age, your body produces less of it. This happens around the age of twenty, often leaving most people with a deficit by the age of forty. Studies on the cells of aged and diseased hearts have shown them to have serious deficiencies of coenzyme Q-10. The most sensible way to correct this appears to be to take coenzyme Q-10 as a supplement.
However, no one is quite sure how this untested antioxidant actually works. What they do know is that coenzyme Q-10 is an antioxidant that works similar to vitamin E in that it protects fat molecules being oxidized or damaged by free radicals. It does this by stabilizing the membrane of the fat cells and then giving them a sort of spark of energy to keep them functioning at a normal rate. When you consider that it is the free radicals job to destroy the membranes of good cells and then zap their energy, it easy to see how important coenzyme Q-10 is.
This is why coenzyme Q-10 maintains concentrations in the heart’s muscle cells, which need tremendous amounts of energy to keep a healthy heart pumping at a pace of one hundred thousand times per day. This is also probably why a weak and diseased heart will show very few traces of coenzyme Q-10 when it is autopsied.
Coenzyme Q-10, however, appears to do even more than this to prevent heart disease. This supplement is exceptionally strong when it comes to halting the relentless oxidation of blood cholesterol by free radicals in the blood stream. This is the first step for free radicals to start wreaking the arteries, which will eventually trigger heart attacks and strokes. While it does this more effectively than vitamin E or beta carotene, the difference is that it takes a lot more coenzyme Q-10 to do to this than the other antioxidants. That’s why researchers are puzzled over how much off a dosage to recommend.
There’s even more that Coenzyme Q-10 does for the cardiovascular system. It can even help reduce blood pressure. Taking 225 milligrams of coenzyme Q-10 on a daily basis reduced blood pressure in 85% of the patients who took it during one university study. It has been used for this purpose in other countries for decades and has been approved in Japan and Europe for the treatment of congestive heart failure.
Coenzyme Q-10 appears to do a lot more as well. It has also been proven to boost the immune system, lessen allergy attacks, treat asthma, help with ulcers, and also brain disorders. As scientists keep researching, only time will tell how many advantages this antioxidant will provide to the human body. As it becomes more researched, it will hopefully become more understood.
If you are going to take coenzyme Q-10, it is best to take it with food. It comes in pressed tablets, powder-filled capsules and oil-based gel caps. It works well with vitamin E, selenium, and vitamin B complex. Once again, there doesn’t seem to be any downside to taking coenzyme Q-10, so the dosage isn’t limited. The main thing about coenzyme Q-10 is that there doesn’t seem to be a time that is too early to start taking it if you are concerned about heart disease.
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