Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), also known as ubiquinone or ubiquinol, is produced endogenously in our bodies, meaning our bodies produce this substance naturally. However, some folks may have certain conditions that may inhibit the body's production of this important compound. The substance is also found in many foods that are common to the modern American diet, including meat, fish, and whole grains, however, some nutritionists and health care providers feel that the amounts in common food sources are not enough if you have a CoQ10 deficiency, whether due to your own body’s production levels or because of medications that can affect its presence. The substance is considered to be vitamin-like in that it is regulated like a vitamin and often taken like one. The substance can be synthesized in a laboratory and is sold in CoQ10 supplements.
Coenzyme Q10 is a fundamental substance that is essential to the healthy functioning of the body, especially in energy production in the form of ATP (adenosine triphosphate). Many critical chemical reactions cannot occur without ATP. The substance is also an antioxidant, meaning that it can reduce the harm caused by excess free radicals in the body*. With age, the body's production of CoQ10 naturally decreases. Smoking cigarettes can also lower natural CoQ10 levels in the body. One key difference between CoQ10 dietary supplements and other supplements is that your body already produces CoQ10 regardless of diet in most cases. So, what this means, is that people who do not have an apparent and medically verified reason for having a CoQ10 deficiency generally don’t need CoQ10 supplements. Since it can be tough to measure for CoQ10 deficiencies in the blood, your physician can rely on their knowledge of how disorders you may have could affect your CoQ10 levels.
One thing that should be exceedingly clear is that CoQ10 supplementation will not cure anything, and should not be used as a treatment for any disease with the expectation that the condition will stop or be healed. It is a helpful substance in our body that should be supplemented if its normal production in the body for some reason becomes dramatically inhibited. Consumers typically find CoQ10 to be a helpful supplement mainly because they have conditions known to deplete the body’s natural production of this enzyme.
CoQ10 has the potential to be effective for the following conditions, but again, take note that while some studies may show possible effectiveness, CoQ10 is not a treatment or cure, but rather a helpful aid:
The most popular way to take the CoQ10 supplement is by mouth. This is generally safe for most adults, but consultation with a physician should take place before you begin taking any new supplement. Some people may not respond well to the supplement and can experience side effects such as headaches and nausea. There have been reported side effects of taking coenzyme q10 supplements, including upset stomach, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and potentially skin rashes. CoQ10 also has the potential to lower blood pressure, so those already taking medication to lower blood pressure should be aware of this effect. *This supplement should also generally never be taken before surgery, as it can potentially interfere with blood pressure regulation efforts.
Always consult a physician before adding any new supplement to your routine, and when you do get the go-ahead to add CoQ10 to your wellness plan, make sure you get the best supplements possible at Quality of Life.
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