February is National American Heart Month, so today’s Supplement Spotlight is all about CoQ10! Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, with nearly 700,000 deaths reported in the US last year alone. While diet and exercise are essential components of keeping our hearts strong and healthy, there are some additional ways you can protect yourself. CoEnzyme Q10 is a compound our bodies produce and store in our cells. We also get it through the food we eat, in particular through red meat and fish. It is a potent antioxidant protecting us from free radicals(reduces oxidative stress) and provides energy to our cells and muscles. CoQ10 also helps support your heart, and through its many benefits, decreases your risk for heart disease(which can be a combination of many different issues). Not only can it reduce blood pressure and your “bad” cholesterol, it is a key player in ATP production(think of ATP as gasoline for your body), giving your heart the energy it needs to work optimally. In addition, it has anti-inflammatory benefits. For those suffering from congestive heart failure, taking a CoQ10 supplement may reduce their mortality risk by almost half, and can cut down the risk of hospitalization due to complications. Also, it can minimize the side effects of statin drugs. Another notable use for CoQ10 is that it may help reduce the frequency of, or even prevent, migraines when taken regularly! Supplemental CoQ10 is often found in 2 forms:Ubiquinone and Ubiquinol. Ubiquinol is the more bioavailable form, and our bodies actually break down ubiquinone into ubiquinol. As such, look for CoQ10 in the ubiquinol form, it tends to be more expensive but provides the greater benefit. Currently, only one company produces ubiquinol, Kaneka. So when choosing a CoQ10 supplement, ensure it has the Kaneka logo somewhere on the bottle(usually a small logo for it appears on the label). As always, speak with your doctor before beginning any new supplement regimen, as there are potential negative side effects with certain medications!
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