What essential nutrient for the heart is not a vitamin, nor a mineral? It’s CoQ10, technically known as a ‘ubiquinone’ because of its ‘ubiquitous’ distribution throughout the body. CoQ10 is found in every single cell, concentrated in particular in structures called the mitochondria. The mitochondria are the cell’s headquarters for energy production and fat burning and CoQ10 plays a vital role in these activities.
The majority of the research on CoQ10 has looked at it’s substantial benefits for the heart. Heart tissue contains the highest concentration of CoQ10 in the body. In Europe, CoQ10 is an accepted adjunct treatment for congestive heart failure. CoQ10 is also an amazingly effective antioxidant.
However, CoQ10 concentration in the human brain is relatively low, and that’s believed to be because of the higher rate of oxidative stress in the brain. Oxidative stress- damage from “free radicals”- is a significant feature of many degenerative diseases and is a part of the reason we “deteriorate” as we age. Now researchers are looking at the possible protective role of CoQ10 in the development of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinsons.
A recent study in the journal Behavioural Brain Research concluded that CoQ10 could possibly play a role in the prevention of the devastating disease, Alzheimer’s. The research.investigated what happens when you supplement the diets of rats who suffer from brain impairment brought about by oxidative stress (also known as oxidation). Researchers felt this could serve as a preliminary model for Alzheimer’s. The study showed a significant improvement in cognitive function.
The benefits of CoQ10 are also being explored in relation to diabetes, cancer (breast, lung and prostate), male infertility and kidney failure.