At age 30, for most people, this marks the start of a decline in production of an important nutrient along with a decreased ability to convert it to its active usable form.
Because two other things start to happen, too, that can really put your cells and organs at risk. Assaults on your cells from free radicals rise as you age and your body’s natural defences to fight them gradually weaken.
Researchers now know that these four factors can converge into a potentially perilous situation for your cellular energy and health, especially your mitochondria.
And since your mitochondrial function is at the heart of everything that happens in your body, that risk extends particularly to your energy-demanding heart muscle and the rate at which your organs age. So what can you do?
What Are Mitochondria and Why Are They Essential for Total Body Health and Wellness?
Most of each of your cells contain several hundred mitochondria, which are little energy factories that supply the majority of the fuel and energy that your body produces. These cellular power plants create energy in the form of ATP or adenosine triphosphate from the food you eat combined with oxygen.
Tissues in your body that are more power-hungry, like your heart, brain, kidneys and muscles, have more mitochondria to help meet their needs. You need plenty of healthy mitochondria to provide your body and organs with the fuel or energy they need to function properly.
However, the intense energy-producing process creates by-products known as reactive oxygen species (ROS), with excessive ROS damaging your cells and mitochondrial DNA and making your organs age faster. As you age, your levels of damage from mitochondria dysfunction rise and your body’s natural defences weaken. The net result from faulty mitochondria can affect your health and wellness.
This brings us to the researchers bottom line discovery about your mitochondria: They believe most health issues start with the breakdown of your cells’ mitochondria. It is vitally important to realise that your organs and body can only be as healthy as your mitochondria!
How Cellular Energy Influences Your Total Body Health and Wellness
Your mitochondria have enormous potential for influencing your health and wellness over the course of your life. How well your mitochondria function is at the core of your energy levels and your overall health. It is vitally important to realise that your organs and body can only be as healthy as your mitochondria.
Since mitochondrial function is at the very heart of everything that occurs in your body, optimising mitochondrial function, and preventing mitochondrial dysfunction is the key to your total body health and wellness.
So how can you help optimise the health and efficiency of your mitochondria and make sure your cells and organs have the energy they need?
- You can help increase the total number of mitochondria in your cells by exercising. High-intensity interval exercise is especially beneficial.
- You can also boost the efficiency of your mitochondria by getting the proper nutrients. Magnesium is extremely important.
CoQ10: A Turnkey for Mitochondrial Health
In 2007, a group of researchers studying human mitochondria uncovered some important findings:
- Mitochondrial breakdown and dysfunction are reversible in their early stages
- Certain nutrients may offer potent protection from damage and dysfunction
- Permanent DNA damage in the cell may not occur until nearly a decade after the first signs of age-related mitochondrial damage appear
Start early with protective nutrients that can help optimise mitochondrial function and help prevent permanent DNA damage. No matter your age, it is never too early, or late to start giving your mitochondria the protection and support they may need.
One of your body’s best protective mechanisms is a super-antioxidant called Coenzyme Q10 or CoQ10. Made by your cells, it is found mostly on the inner membranes of your mitochondria. Your body’s strongest fat-soluble antioxidant, CoQ10 helps safeguard your mitochondria from deterioration and death in two important ways:
- It helps pump protons across the mitochondrial membrane for ATP production.
- It acts as a powerful scavenger for excess free radicals and helps reduce their damaging effects.
Typically, the higher your levels of CoQ10, the healthier your mitochondria and cells. And because your heart, brain, liver and kidneys are all high energy-demanding organs, those cells especially need high concentrations of CoQ10.
When your mitochondria produce optimal levels of ATP or energy, your cells thrive and so do your organs, especially high-energy organs like your heart and muscles. And when your body has plentiful fuel for all its functions, you can often feel that extra energy and stamina in your everyday life!
Why There is a Good Chance You May Be Deficient in CoQ10
As I mentioned earlier, your body’s production and levels of CoQ10 throughout your body diminish after around age 30. In addition, your ability to convert CoQ10 to ubiquinol, its active, useful form, becomes less efficient as you age.
One researcher, Schulman, points out that some people cannot convert CoQ10 to ubiquinol at all in their bodies. Less production of CoQ10 and conversion to ubiquinol typically translates into less energy or ATP produced in your mitochondria.
Difficult to get through food, one of the best ways to make sure you have enough CoQ10 is by supplementing with ubiquinol. Please note, this isn’t the same thing as ubiquinone, another name for CoQ10. Ubiquinol is the reduced, active form of CoQ10 that your cells can readily use. By using ubiquinol instead of CoQ10, you help sidestep the challenges that can arise.
While CoQ10 typically works well for those under 30 years of age to support their mitochondrial and heart health, Mercola recommends ubiquinol, and not CoQ10 or ubiquinone, for those 30 and over.
So what can affect your body’s production of CoQ10 and its conversion to ubiquinol? Actually, quite a few things:-
- Increased metabolic demand
- Oxidative stress
- Insufficient dietary CoQ10 intake
- Shortage of factors required for biosynthesis and ubiquinol conversion
- Potential effects from illness and disease
- Age-related changes in your genes
Taking Statin Drugs or These Other Popular Medications? Supplementing With CoQ10 or Ubiquinol May Make Good Sense
If you are taking statin drugs for your cholesterol, it is essential to include a CoQ10 or ubiquinol supplement in your daily regimen. In fact, in many European countries, doctors routinely prescribe CoQ10 supplements along with statins.
But there are other medications, too, where ubiquinol or CoQ10 may offer valuable support. If you are taking any of these commonly used drugs, it is important to know that supplementing with ubiquinol or CoQ10 may be important for you:
- Acid blockers
- Allergy medicines
- Blood thinners
- Blood pressure drugs
- ACE Inhibitors
- Angiotensin II Receptor Antagonists
- Cholesterol reducers (including fibrates)
- Diabetes medications
- Psychiatric drugs
If you or a loved one is using any of these popular drugs then consider consulting a Nutritional Therapist about starting or continuing a high-quality CoQ10 or ubiquinol supplement.
Why Dr Mercola’s Ubiquinol Turns CoQ10 Into a Past Memory If You are Over 30
CoQ10 does an exceptional job of supporting mitochondrial health in younger adults and it is highly recommend for those under the age of 30. You have TWO options if you are under 30: CoQ10 or Ubiquinol.
However, as you age, it becomes more important to use the Ubiquinol form for several reasons:
- Ubiquinol is more readily absorbed in your intestinal tract and is considered more ” bioavailable” than regular CoQ10
- Your body can’t make cellular energy for your heart and other vital organs out of conventional CoQ10, it must first be converted into ubiquinol, a less efficient process. Why wait and take the risk?
- More than 60 research studies show the health benefits of ubiquinol, much of it peer-reviewed, human clinical studies conducted at prestigious universities
- Studies consistently show Ubiquinol to be the form of CoQ10 that is easier for your body to use, especially after the age of 30
- It enables you to be less dependent on your body to convert ubiquinone to its active form, ubiquinol. (More than 90 % of CoQ10 exists as ubiquinol in the plasma of healthy subjects).
Ubiquinol provides a strong first stage defence against cell-damaging oxidative stress and free radicals to help you reduce the typical signs of normal ageing and optimise your health.
Doesn’t it make sense to give your body the form it prefers, especially as you age?
If you are a new Ubiquinol user it is recommended taking a “loading dose” for the first two to three weeks. This will help you achieve rapid, optimal ubiquinol levels in your blood, tissues and organs.
For best absorption and utilisation, take fat-soluble Ubiquinol with food. If you select more than one reason, choose to take the higher dosage.
It is recommend dividing your daily amount into two doses: morning and afternoon.
Ideally, you’ll want to work with your health care practitioner to confirm your ideal dose. A blood test can measure your CoQ10 levels, which would tell you whether your dose is high enough to keep you within a healthy range.