Although several naturally occurring forms of coenzyme Q have been identified, Q10 is the predominant form found in humans and most mammals, and it is the form most studied for therapeutic potential.
What is Coenzyme Q10 ?
- Coenzyme Q10 is made naturally by the human body.
- Coenzyme Q10 helps cells to produce energy, and it acts as an antioxidant.
- Coenzyme Q10 has shown an ability to stimulate the immune system and to protect the heart from damage caused by certain chemotherapy drugs.
- Low blood levels of coenzyme Q10 have been detected in patients with some types of cancer.
- No report of a randomized clinical trial of coenzyme Q10 as a treatment for cancer has been published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.
- Coenzyme Q10 is marketed in the United States as a dietary supplement.
What foods contains Coenzyme Q10?
Meat and Fish
Relatively good food-based sources of CoQ10 include animal products such as beef, pork and chicken with organ meats such as the heart ranking highest. Oily fish such as sardines, herring, salmon and mackerel offer useful quantities of dietary CoQ10. According to the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, a 3 oz. serving of fried beef contains 2.6 mg of CoQ10 with herring offering 2.3 mg and fried chicken 1.4 mg. Getting all the CoQ10 needed from food presents challenges because of the relatively low amounts available even in foods with the highest content values.
Two cooking oils provide CoQ10: canola and soybean. Soybean oil contains polyunsaturated fatty acids and a tbsp of soybean oil provides 1.3 mg of CoQ10. To ensure a healthy lifestyle, stay away from hydrogenated soybean oils; select instead the new, low-saturate soybean varieties. Nutritionists and health care providers including those from MayoClinic.com recommend canola oil for its low saturated fat and high proportion of monounsaturated fat. A tablespoon of canola oil provides 1 mg of CoQ10.
Fruits and Vegetables
Small amounts of CoQ10 (less than .5 mg per serving) come from fruits and vegetables. The best sources include spinach, cauliflower and broccoli with strawberries a distant fourth providing only .1 mg in a 1/2 cup serving. Although frying vegetables reduces CoQ10 by approximately 14 to 32 percent, the vegetable’s CoQ10 content did not change when boiled. Adding pistachios or peanuts to vegetable dishes increases the CoQ10 available.