CoQ10

A good CoQ10 supplement is a mainstay of any anti-aging regimen. It’s usually touted for its positive effects on heart health, but in actuality CoQ10 is useful throughout the body on a cellular level. It is vital in the creation of ATP (adenosine-5-triphosphate). ATP is the main source of energy for cells. Biological processes we take for granted are possible because of it.

CoQ10 is also a powerful antioxidant capable of zapping the free radicals that cause age-related decline. Besides heart health, its ability as an antioxidant is mentioned countless times by the media and in medical journals.

Functions: Ubiquinol vs Ubiquinone

Both forms of CoQ10, ubiquinol and ubiquinone, are contained in the body. Ubiquinone is used within the mitochondria to produce energy for the cell. Ubiquinol works outside of the cell by regenerating deactivated antioxidants such as vitamin C and vitamin E. Once the process is complete ubiquinol is transformed into ubiquinone. It then goes to work at producing energy.

Due to the processes explained above ubiquinone-based supplements only do half the job that ubiquinol does. Ubiquinol has the ability to recycle otherwise used up front line antioxidants, making it a vastly superior solution to the problem of oxidative damage.

CoQ10 Supplement Facts

Most commonly ubiquinone is used by manufacturers. Until very recently it was the only game in town. It’s inexpensive, thus enabling supplement makers to keep costs low.

In 2006, Kaneka QH became the first form of supplemental ubiquinol that is identical to the form produced naturally by the body. The only difference is the molecule has two extra hydrogen atoms. However, this simple addition makes it far more effective as a free radical scavenger.

Ubiquinol-based supplements cost about four times as much as a typical ubiquinone-based brands per milligram. With such a large discrepancy in price, people often get sceptical about if it is worth it.

Ubiquinol-fed Mice Stay Youthful in Study

Based on the results of recent animal studies, the answer is a resounding “yes.” Researchers were shocked when they compared mice divided into three categories. The first group of mice (the control group) were given nothing to supplement their regular diet. The second group was given ubiquinone, the traditional supplemental form of CoQ10. The final group was given ubiquinol capsules.

Before the mice hit middle age, a difference was noticed between the three groups. The symptoms of old age were just beginning to take effect for mice in the control group. The mice given ubiquinone and ubiquinol stilled looked youthful.

Amazing results manifested when the mice all reached old age. The control group looked ghastly and was largely inactive. The group that was given ubiquinone was in better shape but still had characteristics of old mice; the coat was yellowish and hair loss was obvious. The mice that were given ubiquinol had a youthful coat and didn’t look like old mice at all! On top of that, they were far more active than the mice in the two other groups.

Conclusions

Based on the results of the study it appears ubiquinol-based supplements are the way to go. The only bummer is that emulating the study as a human isn’t cheap. You’ll need to take 200-300mg of ubiquinol to get results this drastic.

The good news is that supplementing with CoQ10 gets exponentially more important as you age. So if you failed to take any ubiquinol supplements before age 40, you’ll still get impressive results if you start later in life. Of course the earlier you start, the better, as this prevents damage from occurring in the first place. As time goes on, the supplementation will only continue to be more and more significant to your quality of life.

Futurist and anti-aging writer Ray Kurzweil gobbles down 250 supplements per day. To us normal folk such measures seem excessive given the limited power of such interventions. At the other extreme, contemporaries like Aubrey de Grey see little value in supplements.

Often the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Supplementation won’t extend your lifetime but there is a good chance it can improve the quality of your life. After all, who wants to hang on to a miserable existence with a frail body? What we really need is a way to maintain our vitality and our youthful approach to living.

1. Resveratrol

There isn’t a more promising compound within the grasp of mere mortals. The scientific studies and evidence behind resveratrol continues to stack up. Findings have been largely positive although major pharmaceutical companies have funded unfavourable studies of questionable credibility.

Resveratrol mimics the effects of caloric restriction, which to date is the only known way to slow down the effects of age-related disease in mammals. As a side effect of the way it alters metabolism, resveratrol fends off the threat of type 2 diabetes. This means that overweight people benefit from it more than thin, active people.

2. Coenzyme Q10

Co Q10 is an anti-oxidant produced naturally by the body. Problems start to arise when production of Co Q10 slows down with age. At this point supplementation can make up for these losses.

Patients with congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, hypertension and a host of other coronary diseases tend to lack coenzyme Q10 in their body. Studies have shown that Co Q10 has managed to improve the condition of patients in the late stages of heart diseases previously thought of as irreversible. Of course it is best to use coenzyme Q10 to prevent problems in the first place.

3. Fish Oil (Omega 3)

Omega-3 fatty acids have long been touted as an effective means to ward off coronary heart disease. It turns out that the benefits don’t stop there.

In 2010 researchers found that people with the highest levels of omega-3 had longer telomeres than people with low levels. At present it is believed that telomeres are an accurate way of gauging how much a person has aged. This new information suggests we may have more control over the aging process via lifestyle choices than previously imagined.

4. Curcumin

Spicy Indian food is good for you, as long as you watch the oil and animal fat. The secret is found in a popular spice used to make curry: turmeric. It turns out that turmeric contains a compound called curcumin which is one of the most powerful anti-oxidants known.

Curcumin has the ability to actively kill cancer cells that presently have no formal means of treatment. The evidence that curcumin is valuable as a cancer prevention supplement are piling up: the terms curcumin and cancer returns 1535 research abstracts of published literature. In animal studies it prevented oxidative stress in fruit flies resulting in long lifespans. Given, we aren’t sure we’ll get the same results as humans.

5. Melatonin

Melatonin is commonly thought of as the sleep compound. It is naturally produced by the body and is responsible for making us feel tired at the appropriate times at night. Levels of melatonin decrease as we age which explains why senior citizens tend to wake up at ridiculously early hours in the morning. These seniors need more sleep but cannot stave off the urge to wake up due to the lack of melatonin.

In addition, melatonin is an anti-oxidant that is safe to take at night. Other anti-oxidants such as resveratrol have the most positive effects in the morning, so this is a good way to keep your body protected from oxidative stress throughout the day.