The Single Most Important Nutrient for Your Heart
“If there is just one thing you do to help maintain your heart’s health”, says cardiologist Stephen Sinatra, MD, “make sure you’re taking CoQ10 daily.”
Sinatra—who was my co-author on the The Great Cholesterol Myth and has authored several excellent books on heart disease—ought to know. He coined CoQ10 one of the “awesome foursome” of nutrients for heart health and energy. (Dying to know the other three? I’ll spill the beans at the end of this article.)
But what is CoQ10 and why is it so important?
An Important Nutrient for Maintaining Heart Health
CoQ10 isn’t a vitamin. It actually belongs to a family called ubiquinones, and it’s found in most tissues in the body. It’s essential for the manufacture of the body’s energy molecule adenosine triphosphate (ATP).
Virtually every one of the many studies investigating the effect of CoQ10 on heart muscle function have reported significant and positive results. Coenzyme Q10 is truly one of the greatest nutrients for the heart on the planet.
It’s also a vitally important nutrient for energy. It literally recharges the energy production furnaces in the cells called the mitochondria. The heart cells produce more energy than any other organ, so CoQ10 and the heart are a natural fit.
Indeed, CoQ10 is given as a prescription drug for congestive heart failure in Japan—it’s that effective at helping the heart produce energy.
Our bodies make CoQ10, but as we age we produce substantially less. And don’t think you’re going to make up the difference with food—CoQ10 is found mainly in organ meats (heart, liver, and kidney). Other foods that have it, like sardines and beef, contain paltry amounts, and you’d need a ton of them to get even 30 milligrams a day, the absolute minimum dose for healthy folks looking for general protection.
Emerging evidence suggests that CoQ10 may be helpful in preventing certain neurodegenerative diseases. It also helps prevent migraines and lowers blood pressure. And if that weren’t enough, it’s also a powerful antioxidant.
I recommend at least 60-100 milligrams of CoQ10 daily for anyone over 40. Statin drugs—which are given to lower cholesterol—are notorious depleters of CoQ10, and knowledgeable cardiologists like Sinatra often recommend much heftier doses for people on statin drugs (100-300 mg a day).
Ubiquinol: A More Easily Absorbed Form of CoQ10
The form of CoQ10 that has been used for decades is called ubiquinone. Ubiquinone converts in the body to ubiquinol, which is now believed to be the more powerful and more easily absorbed form of CoQ10.
With ubiquinol, higher blood levels of CoQ10 can be achieved using smaller doses than with the standard form of CoQ10 (ubiquinone). Several high end companies now market ubiquinol, and it is thought by many to be the preferred form of CoQ10 for supplementation.
We’ve sorted through dozens of ubiquinol supplements and are thrilled to recommend the cream of the crop to you below.
Ubiquinol-QH by Pure Encapsulations
Ubiquinol-QH by Pure Encapsulations is pure ubiquinol. It also comes in two clinically meaningful strengths: 100 mg and 200 mg.
“Although CoenzymeQ10 represents one of the greatest breakthroughs for the treatment of cardiovascular disease as well as for other diseases, the resistance of the medical profession to using this essential nutrient represents one of the greatest potential tragedies in medicine”, says Sinatra.1
Wishing you the best of health,
The Rockwell Nutrition Team
P.S. Before I leave I wanted to let you know the other three supplements of the “awesome foursome” for heart health and energy. They are ribose, magnesium, and L-carnitine.
Sinatra, S. 2011.The Sinatra Solution: Metabolic Cardiology.