CoQ10 deficiency is common in individuals with heart disease.
Coronary heart disease, the most common form of heart disease, is the No. 1 killer of men and women in the U.S.
Every hour, over 100 people in the United States die from heart disease and strokes.
Sources: American Heart Association, National Institutes of Health
In the war against heart disease, one of your best defenses is a fat-soluble, vitamin-like substance that's present in every cell of your body.
Coenzyme Q10 (commonly known as coQ10) is a critical nutrient that assists in the production of energy within your cells, especially within heart cells.
Also known as Ubiquinol...
Most of our cellular energy is derived from mitochondria, tiny structures in the cells that manufacture and drive that cellular energy. Heart cells have thousands of these "energy factories" because the heart muscle continually consumes large amounts of energy.
To meet this high-energy demand, heart cells require more than other parts of the body. In fact, research indicates that levels are as much as 10 times higher in a healthy heart than in any other organ in the body.
Because your body naturally manufactures coQ10, you might assume your heart is getting sufficient amounts of this important nutrient. But the body's natural production diminishes as we age. Additionally, taking some prescription drugs depletes the body's stores.
While it's true that it can be found in certain foods, the richest food sources include organ meats, mackerel, sardines, and peanuts -- not exactly typical daily fare for most of us. Even if you do favor such foods, you'd have to eat one pound of sardines, for example, or two pounds of beef liver to get 30 mg of coenzymeQ10.
Typical dietary intake for most people generally ranges between 2 mg and 20 mg a day, whereas the widely accepted recommended daily amount is 100 mg.
Fortunately, you can ensure your heart is supplied with all it needs by taking a daily supplement, either an individual supplement or a multi-supplement for heart health that includes coQ10. Research suggests that when this enzyme (also known as "ubiquinone") is taken as a nutritional supplement it may provide a number of benefits that protect and strengthen the heart.
If you already suffer from heart problems, check with your healthcare provider before taking it. In general, however, maintaining healthy levels of this nutrient by taking a nutritional supplement is one of the best ways to arm yourself against cardiovascular disease.