Welcome to another edition of the Doctor’s Note where we talk about what’s on our minds when it comes to your health.
As I have mentioned before, the two things most people come see a doctor for are:
- They’re tired, OR
- They’re hurting
This is especially true as you age. Our Stay Healthy Protocol Series is about choosing supplements that help boost your immune system. That is why I have chosen today to talk about CoQ10, one of the most important vitamin supplements you could ever take as you age!
I remember someone telling me back in the early eighties about “this vitamin” that gave him a tremendous amount of ENERGY. I thought he was nuts! (FYI: I had just become a doctor and thought I knew it all!). That vitamin was CoQ10!
Now I’m putting almost everyone on it, as well as taking it myself! One of the main reasons is for ENERGY.
What Is CoQ10?
CoQ10 is a nutrient that occurs naturally in your body. It’s in meats, nuts, and sometimes fish as well. But like many nutrients these days, you can’t get enough of it through your food.
CoQ10 is a very potent antioxidant that protects your cells from damage and also helps with metabolism.
Yes, it’s for energy, BUT it also has many other great qualities.
- Decreases blood pressure
- Helps with heart failure (It’s been called the Heart Health Warrior)
- Helps with the brain (slows Alzheimer’s)
- Helps migraines (when taken daily)
- Decreases sugar levels and helps with diabetes
- May help reduce incidences of cancer
- Very good for skin (some people apply it directly to their skin)
- Helps lower cholesterol (I’ve made it mandatory for people who take a statin because the statin will decrease your CoQ10 levels). It also protects from the muscle breakdown and liver damage that a statin can do.
- Helps with fertility (protects eggs and can increase sperm count)
Like most things, your CoQ10 levels decrease as you age. We actually check CoQ10 levels through the Cleveland Heart Panel.
How Does It Work?
CoQ10 really works by helping you generate energy in all of your cells. It helps make ATP, which is the source of energy transfer in all cells. CoQ10 helps your mitochondria work better with this energy transfer.
CoQ10 is concentrated more in the organs that require the most energy, such as: heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, and brain.
The Different Forms of CoQ10
CoQ10 was first introduced in 1983 by LifeExtension. LifeExtension helped discover this supplement.
There are two forms of CoQ10:
- Ubiquinone (the first form discovered)
- Ubiquinol (an improved form that is much better absorbed)
They both work. Ubiquinone has been studied more, but Ubiquionol is more absorbable so this is the form I choose to take.
Note: A lot of forms of CoQ10 don’t get into the cell. You lose half of it when you swallow it.
When Should You Take CoQ10?
CoQ10 is fat soluble, so take during the day with food. I take mine at lunch.
Dose: You can take anywhere between 100-500mg. The average person takes 200mg.
There are very few side effects to CoQ10. The only thing you might want to be careful about is if you’re on a blood thinner like Coumadin.
CoQ10 and PQQ
CoQ10 works synergistically with another vitamin called PQQ, which helps your body grow more mitochondria. PQQ is more in plant foods, but again you can’t get enough of it from your food (especially as you age).
What does PQQ do?
- Decreases your glucose and helps your insulin work better
- Increases testosterone levels
It works by increasing your nerve growth factor and has been termed the “brain health warrior”. PQQ goes along great with CoQ10, the “heart health warrior”.
In closing, CoQ10 is on my mandatory supplement list. You should consider adding it to yours. Also, think about adding PQQ. They work well together!