Coenzyme Q10: The Cell Protector
Coenzyme Q10 has a wide-range of benefits. Also known as CoQ10, it is thought to help with heart disease, as well as muscular dystrophy and even cancer. Some experts also believe that it ups energy and speeds up exercise recovery.
Your body manufacturers it, and it's found in every cell of the body. We know that CoQ10 is critical for cell maintenance and growth and that it works like an antioxidant, protecting cells from damaging free radicals. What's less certain is whether the compound helps with symptoms of heart failure. Some research confirm that it does, while others have found no effect.
Still, many practitioners swear by it. “I find it useful in patients with cardiovascular disease,” says Darcy McConnell, MD, a functional medicine physician at the Blum Center for Health in Rye Brook, New York. “I will also replenish CoQ10 if I find it to be deficient in blood testing.”
Some patients use CoQ10 to reduce the unwanted side effects certain medications have on the muscles, heart, and other organs. “I usually recommend that anyone on a statin medication for lowering cholesterol also take CoQ10 to decrease the incidence of unwanted drug side effects,” Dr. McConnell says.
How to Use It
In general, makers recommend a daily dosage between 22 to 400 milligrams (mg). But be careful: Taking more than 100 mg causes mild insomnia in some, so keep an eye out for side effects.
If you're looking for a more subtle dosage, try working more of the natural nutrient into your diet. It's found in tiny amounts in many foods, with highest levels in beef, sardines, peanuts, mackerel, and organ meat, such as heart, liver, and kidney.