Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
Author: Eric R. Braverman, M.D. with
Dasha Braverman, B.S., R.P.A.-C.
Source: The Amazing Way To Reverse Heart Disease Naturally
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is an antioxidant and vitaminlike enzyme. Its level is ten times higher in the healthy heart than in any other organ in the body. CoQ10 helps to produce ATP (adenosine triphosphate), a substance that forms in the mitochondria, the little “powerhouses of the cell.” Nearly one-fourth of the cells in the heart muscle are mitochondria, and for good reason. The heart requires substantial amounts of CoQ10 to keep pumping blood nonstop through an extensive 60,000-mile network of blood vessels over a lifetime.
Research has found that people with heart diseases tend to be deficient in CoQ10. Low levels of CoQ10 have been found in people not only with conditions involving a weak or damaged heart, such as with cardiomyopathy or congestive heart failure, but also in people with high blood pressure. By helping the heart pump blood more efficiently, CoQ10 helps to lower blood pressure.
As an antioxidant, CoQ10 combines with vitamin E to help prevent LDL cholesterol from oxidizing. It also protects vitamin E from free-radical damage. Cholesterol-lowering drugs (statins) interfere with CoQ10 production in the body.
Good sources of CoQ10 in the diet include cold-water fish (also high in omega-3 essential fatty acids) such as mackerel, salmon, and sardines. CoQ10 is also found in beef, spinach, and peanuts.