Coenzyme Q10 is essential to human life. It plays a role in the electron transport chain, one of the body's energy-producing cycles that converts food into energy. Research indicates that supplementation with this nutrient may support normal heart function and provide antioxidant protection.
It’s 3:30 p.m. and you feel irritable; you can’t seem to concentrate. You were so busy you skipped lunch. At last you bite into the sandwich that you were ready for 3 hours ago. By the time you have eaten half of it, energy is starting to flow through you. What happened?
The answer to that question is both extremely complex and very simple. In essence, your body transformed the food into useable energy. CoQ10 is a crucial component of the primary energy generating cycle that takes place in each of the trillions of cells in our bodies. CoQ10 is essential for human life.
To transform that lunchtime sandwich into useable energy your body essentially has to burn it - just the way a car burns gasoline to drive its engine. This energy generating process takes place in structures called mitochondria - tiny power plants which are within every cell. Inside these energy generating stations, fats, sugars, and amino acids are transformed into ATP, an energy-rich molecule sometimes called the “energy currency” of the body.
The body requires many nutrients in order to perform the complex biochemical processes that convert food into ATP “energy currency.” Some of these nutrients such as the B-vitamins are familiar to us. However, there are many other substances which are essential to this process. Coenzyme Q10 is one of these.
Several complex metabolic pathways are required in order for the body to transform that lunchtime sandwich into energy that you can feel and use. First glycolysis and the Krebs’ cycle break down large molecules of protein, carbohydrate and fat into smaller components. CoQ10 is a key enzyme in the Electron Transport Chain - the final stage in this extraordinary design. This pathway generates 90% of the ATP needed by the body from the food we eat.
ATP provides the “energy currency” for the following crucial metabolic functions: 1) synthesis of cellular components including cholesterol and proteins (formed primarily by the liver), 2) nerve conduction (in the brain and peripheral nerves), and 3) energy for muscular contraction (of the heart and skeletal muscles).
The Heart: The heart muscle (myocardium) consumes a tremendous amount of energy. Your heart beats over 100,000 times and pumps 1,000 gallons of blood each day! CoQ10 is necessary for the generation of the energy required by the heart.
Numerous scientific studies have demonstrated that supplementation with this nutrient may support normal heart function. Its presence is necessary for cardiac performance during exercise as exemplified by criteria including: blood flow, oxygen utilization, contractility and exercise tolerance. In addition, CoQ10 may play a role in the regulation of blood pressure.
The Gums: Since the 1970’s scientists have been researching the effects of CoQ10 on the health of the oral tissues. Although the mechanism of action is not known, research has established that CoQ10 has a profound ability to preserve and maintain the health of the gums.
Antioxidant Properties: CoQ10 plays an additional vital role in our metabolism as a protector of lipids in cell membranes. Laboratory studies have also shown that CoQ10 is more efficient than vitamin E, beta carotene or lycopene in safeguarding LDL cholesterol from oxidation by peroxides. This process is important for maintaining the health of our blood vessels.
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