CoQ10 and Heart Function: The Key to Energy
You need food to thrive. But what does it take for your body to convert food, like lean turkey, to energy to exercise? What is involved in converting an apple into adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in your body to provide a pick-me-up? The answers lie in coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10.
CoQ10 is an important component involved in the process of converting food into energy, which supports normal cellular growth and repair.
When you eat, your body is provided with fuel in the form of fats, proteins and carbohydrates. An organelle in the body known as the mitochondria converts the fuel into ATP, which is the energy the body needs to function. For this process to work effectively, enough CoQ10 must be present in the mitochondria to activate the enzymes responsible for this conversion. CoQ10 is well known for its role as an electron carrier in the lipid phase of the inner mitochondrial membrane. That’s where the term “coenzyme” comes from, because coenzymes are necessary to the functioning of enzymes.
CoQ10 is an antioxidant that fights free radical damage of cells. The coenzyme has antioxidant actions similar to those of other fat-soluble antioxidants, such as vitamin E, which include scavenging free radicals and preventing oxidation of lipids and other fat-soluble molecules.
The heart works hard. Other parts of the body get a chance to rest and repair: Legs are still after a long day of walking; eyes close after working all morning, afternoon and night. But the heart must continue its demanding job 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Its energy needs are greater than almost any other tissue in the body. Also, with aging, CoQ10 levels decrease both inside and outside the mitochondria, which affects antioxidant activity and energy production. Along with a heart-healthy diet and regular exercise, you may want to consider supplementing your diet with CoQ10.
What do you do to feel energized?