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Heart health and CoQ10

Heart attacks and strokes take 1 in 3 Canadians before their time. Heart disease is the number one killer of women, even more than cancer.

The heart is essentially a large muscle that needs a supply of blood and oxygen to properly carry out is function (to beat and pump blood through our body!). Over time and with certain lifestyle factors (unhealthy diet, smoking, lack of physical activity, high blood pressure, and cholesterol) the vessels that supply the heart muscle itself can become narrowed, and sometimes even completely blocked. This leads to all sorts of heart and circulation problems, including heart attacks and strokes.

Aside from the obvious healthy lifestyle choices like eating right, limiting alcohol, exercising, and not smoking, there are a few other simple ways to improve your heart health. One of those is co-enzyme Q10 or CoQ10.

CoQ10 is a fat-soluble vitamin like co-enzyme, meaning it is needed in the body in order for certain processes to occur. It affects the function of all cells in the body, making it essential for the health of tissues and organs. Co-enzyme Q10 plays a large role in helping the body produce energy. It particularly benefits the most metabolically active tissue- or tissues that are constantly working – like the heart, immune system, gums, and intestinal lining. It is a powerful antioxidant that can help protect the lining of blood vessels from damage that can lead to further narrowing and hardening. Research has shown that CoQ10 can be used along with conventional medications to help treat congestive heart failure and high blood pressure. Some medications have been shown to deplete stores of CoQ10, including; statins- for cholesterol, beta-blockers, and certain classes of anti-depressants.

Since CoQ10 is a fat soluble supplement it is important to take it with a meal that contains some fat. Good quality CoQ10 capsules usually contain some oil to help increase the absorption. For more information on CoQ10 or to know if it would be good for you, talk to your healthcare provider.