CoQ10 boosts the body’s antioxidant defenses

The antioxidant booster

Coenzyme Q10 is a well-known nutrient in the natural medicine world for its heart health benefits. A recent study published in Nutrition backs up that long-held stance–and shows even more good news about CoQ10.

This particular study involved 65 patients with serious heart problems. Some had just been diagnosed with a 50 percent (or more) closure of one major coronary artery. Others had already undergone angioplasty to open arteries.

Patients got either 60 mg or 150 mg of CoQ10 or a placebo each day. By week four, the 150 mg group had significant decreases in an enzyme called malondialdehyde (MDA), a sign that the oxidative damage in their coronary arteries had eased.

By week eight, the 150 mg group still had significantly lower MDA. Plus, their levels of catalase (CAT) and superoxide dismutase (SOD)–two of the strongest antioxidants had also increased significantly – and each patient had lower total and LDL “bad” cholesterol.

This discovery showed researchers exactly how CoQ10 works–that it boosts the body’s antioxidant defenses to help keep cells, arteries, and organs healthy.

By week 12, the 150 mg group still had these significant changes.

But here’s the thing about CoQ10: While your body does produce it naturally, your supply drops significantly after age 40.

You can get small amounts of CoQ10 from certain foods. The levels are highest in organ meats like liver and kidney, as well as beef, sardines, and mackerel. But to ensure you’re getting enough to protect your heart and arteries, your best bet is to take it in supplement form. I recommend 100 to 300 mg per day in general, but if you have heart disease or you’re at risk for it, you may need more (and you should work with your doctor to determine the best dose for your individual needs).