Focus On: CoQ10/Ubiquinol
WHAT it is: Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), or its active form, ubiquinol, helps produce energy at the cellular level as it resides in the mitochondria. CoQ10 is an enzyme belonging to the quinone family; it is not a vitamin since the body is able to produce CoQ10 on its own with proper nutrition.
[ Benefits ]
CoQ10 acts as a tiny furnace, turning food into usable energy. It also contains antioxidant properties, meaning it gives electrons to cells that have lost them to free radicals. Essentially, CoQ10 neutralizes cellular damage and has been linked to prevention and treatment of many diseases and illnesses. Some research has found that CoQ10 can prevent and treat heart disease, a feat attributed to its ability to improve energy production and thus suppress blood clots. It has also been discovered that many cholesterol-lowering medications (statins) deplete existing levels of CoQ10 within the body. As you age, your body produces less CoQ10, therefore supplementation becomes more desirable over time.
[ Natural Sources ]
Salmon, tuna, liver, and whole grains are good sources of CoQ10. Therefore vegetarians, vegans, and individuals sensitive to gluten may have difficulty obtaining and maintaining CoQ10. Plant sources include azuki beans, broccoli, peanuts, spinach, soybeans, soybean oil, and rapeseed oil.
[ Warnings ]
If you’re diabetic, you should talk with your doctor before taking CoQ10 supplements as some researchers believe that it may cause hypoglycemia (a drop in blood sugar levels), which would need to be accounted for in your medication.