What it does… Co-enzyme Q10
What is it?
A vitamin-like substance, co-enzyme Q10 (also known as ubiquinone) is needed for a variety of processes within the body, mainly producing energy inside mitochrondria, the tiny power centres found in the body’s cells. Its antioxidant properties protect cells from damage caused by free radicals that can contribute to a variety of chronic diseases, including heart disease, and skin ageing.
What does it do?
Lowers high blood pressure: A US study found taking a co-Q10 supplement produced significant improvements, with many patients able to reduce their medication.
Reduces statin side effects: Those taking statins to reduce high cholesterol can experience muscle aches among other side effects. Statins lower levels of co-Q10 and some studies suggest that taking a supplement can help with these without reducing the drugs’ effectiveness.
Cuts migraines: A Swiss study found that taking co-Q10 daily for three months reduced the frequency and duration of migraines, as well as symptoms of nausea.
Reduces wrinkles: Sun damage and oxidation by free radicals are responsible for skin ageing and Japanese research found that co-Q10 cream enhanced generation of skin as well as protecting its outer layers. German research showed that it blocks the action of an enzyme that breaks down collagen and helps to reduce wrinkles.
When do I need it?
From the 40s on: levels of co-Q10 peak in our teens, then decline with age.
How do I get it?
Eat: Good sources include liver and kidneys, poultry, fish and shellfish. It’s also found in vegetable oils, nuts and seeds.
Take: Co-Q10 is fat soluble, so supplements are generally in oil-filled capsules. Best taken with a fat-containing meal to increase absorption.
Be careful if…
Use with caution if taking anti-coagulants or heart medication.