Coenzyme Q10 is a fat-soluble, vitamin-like compound found inside the cells of plants and animals. It is found throughout the body in cell membranes, especially in the mitochondrial membranes. Coenzyme Q10 is essential for the health of virtually all human tissues and organs. The reason is that CoQ10 improves body energy, augments the immune system, and functions as an antioxidant. Coenzyme Q10 enters into the cell through diffusion, where it plays an essential role in supplying cells with energy. For this reason, Coenzyme Q10 levels are the highest in organs with high rates of metabolism, such as the heart, kidney, and liver. Coenzyme Q10 also have some powerful antioxidant potential. This compound can effectively defend the body against reactive oxygen species and free radical damage.
More so, as a compound rich in energy and antioxidants, Coenzyme Q10 plays a significant role in boosting immunity and physical fitness. This is so because tissues and cells involved with immune function are highly energy-dependent and therefore require a high supply of CoQ10 to function well. In case you read through health information or product labels, Coenzyme Q10 has several nicknames. The compound is also referred to as Coenzyme Q, CoQ, CoQ10, Ubiquinone, Ubiquinone-Q10, Ubidecarenone, or Vitamin Q10. Today, coenzyme Q10 supplements alone or in combination with other drugs and nutritional supplements have been used to prevent or treat some conditions like heart diseases, high blood pressure, cancer, headache, and kidney failure. It is estimated that the daily requirement of CoQ10 needed by the body is about 500 mg. This article highlights some of the top foods rich in CoQ10. Adults can eat more of these recommended foods to bolster their CoQ10 level.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) Health Benefits
Cell damage is one of the major causes of heart diseases such as high blood pressure and heart failure. Cell damage is usually caused by oxidative stress and impaired mitochondrial function. However, CoQ10 has powerful antioxidant activity. Research suggests that adequate levels of Coenzyme Q10 in the body reduces oxidative stress and free radicals. Since CoQ10 has an essential role in producing energy, it charges up cell mitochondria that produce the energy necessary for the cell's survival and functioning. For this reason, CoQ10 is considered possibly effective for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases.
Some primary causes of Brain diseases involve oxidative stress and inflammation. Mitochondrial dysfunction is also another causal factor. When there is abnormal energy metabolism in a cell, it can cause different neurodegenerative diseases. CoQ10 is a strong antioxidant and mitochondrial function enhancer. CoQ10 food and supplements have been found to slow brain disorders like Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and Huntington disease.
Studies have observed that tumour tissues have a low level of CoQ10 compared to noncancerous tissues. Moreover, CoQ10 provides antioxidant protection against free radicals generated by chemotherapy. There is also developing evidence that suggests that CoQ10 could reduce the risk of cancer development in cells. Today, CoQ10 is becoming effective in improving response to cancer treatments.
Diabetes is caused by high blood sugar. This condition has been reported to cause increased production of oxygen free radicals leading to oxidative stress. Having high levels of free radicals in the body can lead to cellular damage and the development of insulin resistance. CoQ10 acts as a potent antioxidant and clears the body of free radicals.
Some studies suggest that loss of high energy in the mitochondria of cells can cause migraine. Since CoQ10 improves oxidation and energy in the mitochondria, it is used as a successful treatment to reduce the severity, length, and frequency of headaches.
Exercise and physical performance can take a toll on the body. Due to the high rate of metabolism during exercise, muscles generate free radicals and may become exposed to inflammation and muscular damage. However, CoQ10 plays an essential role in energy production. Its intake assists cells and muscles with antioxidant repair and fast recovery.
CoQ10 could improve semen quality and the chance of pregnancy. Studies have found out that oxidative stress has a negative effect on sperm cells. It can reduce sperm function, leading to increased DNA damage which ultimately results in infertility. CoQ10, as an antioxidant, could help to counterbalance the effect of oxidative stress on sperm cells. This enzyme is particularly present in sperm mitochondria, where it plays a role in energy production. For this reason, CoQ10 is believed to boost the movement of fertile sperm cells to eggs for fertilization.
Top Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) Rich Foods
CoQ10 is naturally produced in the body. However, research suggests that the whole body of CoQ10 is only about 500-1500 mg and decreases with age. These same studies suggest that after the age of 25, the ability of the body to produce its CoQ10 decreases. Here are the highest food sources you can use to boost CoQ10 levels in your body.
Meats represent the most important source of dietary CoQ10. This is due to their high levels of fats and energy cells. Meat parts such as heart, liver and kidney are top some sources of CoQ10 in animals. Reindeer meat holds the record for the highest level of CoQ10 of about 158 mg. However, an average beef heart has about 12.3 mg, and a beef liver has 4.9 mg. A chicken heart has about 10.2 milligrams of CoQ10, while its liver has 11.6 milligrams.
Most oily fish are a rich source of CoQ10. This is because their fatty cells contain a lot of energy they use for continuous swimming. For example, Red-fleshed mackerel has the highest content of over 7.75 mg. Other examples of fatty fish with high contents are herrings, tuna and sardine. Note that some button fishes like flatfish and eels have lower CoQ10. Also, Salmon fish, despite its fatty content, record low CoQ10 content.
Among products of non-animal origin, the highest CoQ10 levels have been recorded within oils. Top research suggests that soybean, corn, and olive oil have higher levels of CoQ10. Also, rapeseed oil is very rich in CoQ10. Other oils with good content are corn oil and sesame oil.
Nuts and Seeds
Some nuts and seeds are also quite rich in CoQ10. However, the richest example of them all include peanuts, sesame seeds, and pistachio nuts. Other nuts like walnuts and hazelnuts have satisfactory content of CoQ10.
Soybeans are usually an important source of vitamins and minerals. In addition, they contain a high content of CoQ10. Boiled and dried soybeans contain the most abundant coenzyme Q10. However, processed foods containing soybeans, such as tofu, soy milk, and yogurt, have less coenzyme Q10.
Among the top 6 foods in this list, Vegetables have the lowest level of CoQ10. However, Parsley has the highest CoQ10 content among vegetables. Perilla and spinach also have a satisfactory level of CoQ10. Other modest vegetable sources are broccoli, rape, and cauliflower.