Coenzyme Q10 – A Vital Energy Nutrient
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a fat soluble compound best known for its vital function in the production of energy inside cells. It is concentrated in the part of the cell that churns out energy, the mitochondria. A lesser known function of CoQ10 may be its powerful antioxidant activity in cell membranes and in lipoproteins like LDL cholesterol.
Tissue with a big CoQ10 footprint
Skeletal muscle, the brain, the liver and gum tissue are also big energy consumers. These organs and tissues require optimal amounts of CoQ10 for optimal energy production for optimal health.
Cells use enzymes to break down chemical bonds in molecules to produce energy. Importantly, enzymes just can’t perform without their supporting cast of coenzymes. According to Dr. Langsjoen, “CoQ10 is a coenzyme for three large enzyme systems that are essential for 90% of your cellular energy production”.
CoQ10 as a powerful antioxidant.
Residing in cell mitochondria, membranes and in lipoproteins, CoQ10 functions to neutralize free radicals and reactive oxygen species – those damaging molecules that are formed simply by breathing and eating.
CoQ10 acts to regenerate or recycle alpha tocopherol (a form of vitamin E) for antioxidant activity. It also protects the lipoprotein LDL cholesterol from lipid peroxidation, a particularly cell damaging reactive oxygen species.
Where do we get CoQ10?
All plant and animal cells contain CoQ10. It is ubiquitous. That means it is found everywhere. And it is why various forms of CoQ10 are called ubiquinone.
Like cholesterol, your body makes its own CoQ10 which is a biochemical illustration of just how important this compound is to health. It is also found in food. Meat, fish and poultry are good dietary sources of CoQ10. It is especially concentrated in organ meat. A 3 ounce serving of beef contains about 2.6mg of CoQ10, an amount dwarfed by therapeutic doses used to treat disorders associated with CoQ10 deficiency.
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