CoQ10 is needed to convert energy from the carbohydrates and fats that we eat into a form that’s usable by our cells. CoQ10 also helps optimize the pH within lysosomes, organelles inside our cells that digest cellular debris.
CoQ10 is an effective antioxidant that’s known to prevent heart disease by inhibiting oxidation of LDL (bad cholesterol), which prevents inflammation in arteries, reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke. As an antioxidant, CoQ10 also protects against oxidative damage to DNA, our genetic material.
CoQ10 has a special role in maintaining the antioxidant properties of vitamin E in our bodies just as a charger can restore the charge in a rechargeable battery after the charge has been drained. Free radicals are neutralized by scavenging an electron from vitamin E molecules, then CoQ10 donates one of its electrons to replace the one lost by vitamin E, restoring vitamin E’s antioxidant abilities.
In addition, CoQ10 stabilizes our blood sugar and may play a role in prevention or treatment of most heart-related conditions, breast cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, infertility, muscular dystrophy, periodontal diseases, and stomach ulcers.
Our body’s ability to produce CoQ10 decreases as we age. Medicines and environmental factors also decrease our ability to manufacture enough to meet our body’s needs. Deficiency of CoQ10 can result in an increase in heart-related problems. We can help prevent any deficiency by including foods rich in CoQ10 in our diets. While liver and kidney are the most concentrated sources of CoQ10, whole, plant-based foods include high amounts in the germs of whole grains, oils (soybean, canola sesame, rapeseed, cottonseed, and corn); moderate to moderately high amounts in legumes (soybeans, azuki beans, peanuts), nuts and seeds (sesame seeds, pistachios, walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, and chestnuts); and small to moderate amounts in vegetables (spinach, broccoli, sweet potato, sweet pepper, garlic, peas, cauliflower, and carrots).