If there’s one thing you learn as you age, it’s that the term “senior” covers a broad range of people who cannot be pigeonholed into one set of behaviors and ailments. Some, but not all seniors, love to play bridge. Some, but not all seniors, enjoy newspaper crossword puzzles. Meanwhile. there are seniors who are incredibly active, seniors who are unfortunately sedentary, exceptionally healthy seniors, generally unhealthy seniors, and so on.
Article at A Glance:
CoQ10 Is Crucial For Seniors
- CoQ10 is made in our livers and stored in cell mitochondria, but levels decline with age
- CoQ10 helps your body generate energy
- CoQ10 is a vital antioxidant that fights cell-damaging free radicals
- CoQ10 is found in some foods, but in mostly low levels
- Supplementation with CoQ10 nets positive results
CoQ10 For Your Heart
- Your body’s highest concentrations of CoQ10 are found in organs like your heart
- COQ10 delivers energy for muscle contraction in your heart
- CoQ10 has been linked to a reduced risk of certain heart conditions
- CoQ10’s high rate of oxidative protection makes it perfect for heart health
CoQ10 For Your Brain
- Decreased mitochondrial energy production can affect cognitive performance
- Oxidative damage to your brain can also affect normal brain function
- When CoQ10 levels are low, this equals less mitochondrial energy for your brain and negatively affects cognitive performance
CoQ10 For Your Skin
- Age-related skin damage is caused by both external and internal factors
- CoQ10 is a popular and effective ingredient for skin care
- The compound’s antioxidant properties make it a formidable protector of skin
However, there is one characteristic that all seniors—and all the rest of us—share: as we age, our body just simply does not function like it used to. And that is true from our brains to our joints to our hearts, and even down to how ours bodies function at a molecular level.
But that’s OK! All this means is that our bodies need some extra TLC.
Think of your body as a classic car—it’s best years might be behind it, but if you give it some premium gasoline, high-mileage motor oil, and regular visits to a mechanic you can trust, then you can keep it running in tip-top shape.
As for what exactly it means in human terms to give your body some extra TLC, basically watch what you eat and add nutritional supplements when necessary. More specifically, infuse foods into your diet and supplements into your regimen that fill specific gaps created by the natural aging process.
And one nutrient that is crucial for your body as you get older is coenzyme Q10, more widely known as CoQ10.
What Is CoQ10 & Why Is It Crucial For Seniors?
CoQ10 is a compound made by your body inside your liver and is stored in the mitochondria of your cells. There, it helps to generate the energy you need to go about your life and the energy your organs need to keep humming along in tip-top shape. CoQ10 also works as a powerful antioxidant that scours your body in search of free radicals, rogue molecules that contribute to oxidative damage to your cells and tissues.
Unfortunately, our personal levels of CoQ10 begin to naturally taper off when we hit middle age, especially in men. This decline contributes to a host of age-related conditions, like fatigue and increased occurrences of oxidative stress. And if you happen to be middle age and are on statin drugs to lower your cholesterol, your CoQ10 levels could be even lower, as research shows that medication can also sap your body of its natural CoQ10.
Another wrinkle we must deal with as we age is the accumulation of stress, which affects a host of physiological functions—including our levels of CoQ10. Research shows that the more everyday stress you face—from finances to traffic to social anxiety—the more CoQ10 your body needs to counter the energy-sapping fallout of stress.
But even in the best-case scenario of normal CoQ10 levels, this compound is not something that just magically appears in your system, produced by your body without any help. You have to eat specific foods in order for your liver to produce CoQ10. The nutrient is found in the highest concentrations in organ meat, specifically pork heart, beef heart, and beef liver, along with oily fish, and whole grains.
While there is no official dosage recommendation for CoQ10, a typical daily dose hovers between 100 to 200 milligrams, according to a handful of studies. This means we would have to eat a lot of organ meat to get the recommended amount. And since organ meat isn’t exactly “on the menu” in this country, supplementation may be the way to go. According to research, CoQ10 supplementation exhibits a positive outcome in individuals looking to maintain stamina, regardless of whether they are athletic or not.
CoQ10 To Energize Your Cardiovascular Health
While CoQ10’s presence is felt in every cell in your body, its highest concentrations are found in your body’s organs with the highest energy demands—this includes your liver, lungs, kidneys, and, of course, your heart. Along with providing mitochondrial energy and protecting cells as an antioxidant, CoQ10 also delivers energy for muscle contraction inside your heart.
As such, the cardiovascular benefits of CQ10 are extensive and it’s even been linked to a reduced risk of heart failure, with research suggesting that the coenzyme could potentially reduce the risk of death in half for individuals who have experienced severe heart failure.
Another study administered individuals CoQ10 or a placebo for a year, with the results showing that those on CoQ10 experienced fewer cardiovascular events. The combination of energy production and oxidative protection seems to make CoQ10 the perfect candidate for heart health.
The Thoughtful Role Of CoQ10 In Brain Health
As energy production in mitochondria decreases with age, your brain feels the impact in the form of reduced performance. This can be manifested in natural, age-related cognitive decline or in more serious conditions of the brain. Your brain is also susceptible to oxidative damage due to the sheer amount of oxygen needed for normal brain function. So, when your CoQ10 levels are low, this means less mitochondrial energy and less antioxidants for the brain. A double whammy.
Scientific research shows evidence that certain cognitive conditions are associated with oxidative stress, with CoQ10 showing the potential to be a viable antioxidant strategy in combating neurodegenerative maladies. Another study backs up those results, with CoQ10 possibly slowing the functional decline of the brain.
CoQ10 In Defending Against Skin Damage
One of life’s clearest signs of aging makes itself known every time you look in the mirror—age-related skin damage. Even moderate time outside soaking up some rays can have an effect on the condition of your skin. And as you grow older, the wrinkles caused by oxidative stress become more pronounced.
Your skin is the largest organ in your body, and it is constantly being bombarded by elements seeking to destroy it. External factors contributing to skin damage include environmental stressors like UV rays, smog, pollutants, and even plain-old oxygen. Internal factors like your diet and stress also contribute to skin damage. These harmful age-driven factors reduce your skin’s moisture levels while thinning out skin layers, leaving you vulnerable to even more skin damage.
CoQ10 has become one of the most highly regarded antioxidant ingredients for skin care, with a report showing a steep increase in the compound’s popularity in Asia for its anti-aging properties. And CoQ10’s popularity is more than just skin deep; studies support the compound as an effective free-radical scavenger for skin health. One study showed that applying CoQ10 could promote antioxidant protection when applied directly to the skin, while another study demonstrated CoQ10’s prowess in decreasing the depth of wrinkles.
CoQ10: An Essential Compound With Myriad Benefits
CoQ10 isn’t a vitamin, but it might as well be. This fat-soluble compound is an essential part of an adult’s overall wellness, as it quite literally addresses many of the top concerns of anyone who’s advancing in age—and when you think about it, that’s all of us.