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COQ-10: Is it as Good for the Waistline as the Heart?

Posted Apr 21 2010 3:50pm

If you’re familiar with the nutrient Co-Enzyme Q-10 (or “CoQ-10″) you probably already know of its importance to cardiovascular health in preventing angina and heart attacks. In addition, cardiologists typically recommend CoQ-10 supplementation for people on statin drugs (Lipitor, Zocor, Prevacor, etc) to off-set the CoQ-depleting effects of the medication.

Now a new study using mice has found that CoQ-10 may be as good for your waistline as it is for your heat. The   research suggests that (CoQ10) may protect or retard the development of fatty liver related to obesity. Mice fed a high fat and fructose diet and supplements of CoQ10 had decreased levels of inflammatory and metabolic stress markers in their livers compared with a control group, according to the findings published in Biochemical Pharmacology.

CoQ-10 is a compound found naturally in the body and  is involved in making adenosine triphosphate (ATP) which is the “energy currency” the body uses. CoQ-10 is therefore important for athletes, particular those in endurance sports, although the research is mixed as to whether CoQ-10 constitutes an ergogenic aid . This energizing quality of CoQ-10 may also contribute to its potential weight loss side effect.

CoQ10 has properties similar to vitamins and it acts as an antioxidant in the body. In addition to its benefit to the cardiovascular system, it is also good for gum tissue as it can help prevent and/or ameliorate peridontal disease . Likewise, some studies have found that people with gum disease have naturally low levels of CoQ-10.

Dietary sources of  CoQ-10 include:  oily fish (such as salmon and tuna), organ meats (such as liver), and whole grains. Most individuals obtain sufficient amounts of CoQ-10 through a balanced diet, but supplementation may be useful for those with cardiovascular disease, gum disease and, according to this recent research, obesity. CoQ-10 is fat-soluble, so supplements are best utilized when consuming them with a meal containing dietary fat. Some people find CoQ-10 supplements energizing, so it’s best to take them with breakfast or lunch rather than dinner unless you’re planning a late night.

Be Well,

Carolyn


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