What is Co Q 10?
Coenzyme Q10 is a natural antioxidant synthesized by the body, found in many foods, and available as a supplement. It comes in two forms: ubiquinol, the active antioxidant form, and ubiquinone, the oxidized form, which the body partially converts to ubiquinol. It is also known as ubiquinone, ubidecarenone, coenzyme Q, and eventually it is abbreviated to CoQ10 , CoQ.
This fat-soluble, vitamin-like substance is present primarily in the mitochondria, the body’s power station. It is a component of the electron transport chain and participates in aerobic cellular respiration, generating energy in the form of ATP. Ninety-five percent of the human body’s energy is generated this way. It is found in every cell of the body. Those organs with the highest energy requirements—such as the heart, liver and kidney—have the highest CoQ10 concentrations.
How Does Co Q 10 Help?
Co Q 10 maybe beneficial for children with ADHD in that it helps with membrane stabilization and the facilitation of metabolic pathways. Co Q 10’s main function is that of an energy carrier. It participates in the aerobic cellular respiration inside the mitochondria, generating energy in the form of ATP.
Co Q 10’s antioxidant property derives from its role as energy carrier. As an energy carrier, the CoQ10 molecule is continually going through an oxidation-reduction cycle, which gives Co Q 10 the ability to exchange two electrons between ubiquinol (reduced CoQ) and oxidized CoQ (ubiquinone). Its reduced form makes it an excellent candidate as an antioxidant by giving up one or two of its electrons to wandering free radicals, thus, neutralizing them.
Unlike other antioxidants, Co Q 10 protects the body against the resultant oxidative stress from both the lipid peroxidation and protein oxidation. It also regenerates other antioxidants such as vitamin E. It’s benefit in cardiovascular disease lies in its protection against oxidation of LDL (bad cholesterol). And during oxidative stress, as in most children with ADHD and Autism, or adults with Alzheimer’s disease, Co Q 10 efficiently prevents the oxidation of bases on the DNA, in particular, mitochondrial DNA.
When shopping for Co Q 10, you’ll notice that most are advertised for heart health. Co Q 10 is mostly marketed for heart health in the United States because heart disease is the number killer in the US, followed by cancer. Go figure $$$$$$$$$
However, the antioxidant function of Co Q 10 does not only benefit heart disease. It can benefit any diseases or conditions that are the result of excessive free radicals, oxidative stress, daily physical, emotional and psychological stress.
Co Q 10 also plays a critical role in enhancing the immune system as well. It has been shown that patients with cardiovascular problems, cancer, and diabetes, taking 60mg of Co Q 10 a day for 3-12 weeks, raised their levels of immunoglobulin G (IgG), an antibody, levels significantly. IgG protects the body again infection by binding many kinds of pathogens, such as viruses, bacteria, and fungi. Some research has suggested that this immune-enhancing function of CoQ10 maybe useful as a secondary treatment for cancer. In 1961, scientists saw that people with cancer had very low level of CoQ10 in their blood, especially patients with myeloma, lymphoma, and cancers of the breast, lung, prostate, pancreas, colon, kidney, and head and neck.
How Much Co Q 10 do We Need?
Our body has the ability to make Co Q 10. However, typical American diet provides only approximately 10 mg of CoQ10 daily. Not to mention, physical, mental and emotional stress, all forms of stress, illness and aging all contributes to the depletion of co Q 10 in the body, which increased body’s need of this substance even more than usual.
Therefore, supplementation is usually necessary to reach the amounts that Dr. Weil regards as optimal. Foods such as codfish, mackerel, salmon, sardines, egg yolks, wheat germ, whole grains, meats, and oils from soybean, sesame, and rapeseed (canola) are good dietary sources.
To get 30mg of Co Q 10, you needs to eat one pound of sardines, 2 pounds of beef, or two and a half pound of peanuts.
CoQ10 is fat-soluble, so taking the supplement with a meal containing fat will increase its absorption.
Co Q 10 supplements come in various forms. The gummies that generally more acceptable to children as it does not require any swallowing skill, it is familiar to most children as gummy candy, and it is generally quite tasty. Just remember not to leave the bottle around within reach of your child.
If your child is capable of swallowing pills, or prefer to swallow a pill, choose the soft-gel ubiquinol form, as this has greater antioxidant efficiency than the ubiquinone form.
Most supplements sold in the market are around 100-200mg per tablet, which is a pretty decent amount for most adult to start.
How much does a child need?
General rule of thumb for children over 2 years old is half of the adult dose. I suggest talking with your child’s pediatrician before starting him or her on CoQ10 supplementation. I understand that many doctors are still not quite supportive of any natural alternative treatment, but, talk to them anyway as a courtesy gesture and ask for their support.
How Much is Too Much?
There is not much evidence on the toxicity of CoQ10, but so far, evidence shows that supplemental doses of up to 1,200 mg a day may be beneficial for those with certain health conditions, especially Parkinson’s disease, with no known side-effects.
Some studies have found gastrointestinal discomfort was reported with high daily dosages of up to 3,600 mg.
These are really high doses that are usually seen in scientific research and signed consent form and human study agreement…blah, blah, blah. So don’t even try to get that much. Even half of these amounts are too much for most people.
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