Altruvita CoQ10: Leaps and Bounds Above the Rest!

Energy Production and why we need CoQ10

CoQ10 functions as a coenzyme in the energy producing mitochondrial pathways. Every cell in the human body must produce its own energy in order to carry out its specific functions. Cells produce most of their energy in the mitochondria by metabolising carbohydrates and fats in a process referred to as ‘aerobic respiration’ and over 90% of the oxygen we breathe in is used for this process. CoQ10 has a specific role in the mitochondria and there is no substitute for CoQ10 in cellular biochemistry. The generation of energy (i.e. ATP molecules) depends on there being optimal levels of CoQ10 in the mitochondrial membrane. CoQ10 has been shown to increase the level of available energy in muscles and is especially important for cardiac function.

Sources of CoQ10

CoQ10 is found in small quantities in foods such as meats, especially offal, and fish; it is also found in most fruit and vegetables, but at even lower levels and the amounts are too small to produce any significant clinical benefit. We therefore rely mainly on synthesis within the body to maintain adequate levels. Our bodies are designed to make all of the CoQ10 that it needs, but may not manage to meet requirements due to lack of substrates or lifestyle factors which increases somebody’s needs.

What can lead to lack of CoQ10?

Reduced production by the body and increased use by the body can lead to deficiency. The body’s manufacture of CoQ10 is very complex and its synthesis requires support from other nutrients such as folate, vitamins C, B5, B6, B12 and selenium.  A study of hospitalised patients showed that blood levels of CoQ10 plummeted by around 50 percent when nutritional intake was poor. Therefore, a lack of any of these components for a sustained amount of time will likely impair a cell’s ability to make CoQ10. 

Mutations in genes that code for proteins that make CoQ10 can also reduce production. There is ongoing work in this area and several diseases involving fatigue.

A group of cholesterol lowering drugs called statins have also been identified as perhaps playing a role in CoQ10 deficiency. These drugs work by inhibiting the function of the enzyme responsible for the synthesis of cholesterol; HMG-CoA reductase. Unfortunately, this enzyme is also responsible for the body’s production of CoQ10.

Impact of Deficiency

CoQ10 deficiency results in reduced energy production. Fatigue, muscle weakness and many other disease states have also been associated with a need for CoQ10. As we get older we may gradually become more susceptible to low levels of CoQ10. This is simply because our body’s demand for cellular energy remains high however our ability to produce this coenzyme becomes reduced.

Nature’s Sparkplug for Energy Production

Altruvita Co-enzyme Q10 contains a strong 250mg dose, costing 53p per day when you buy a single pot, or just 40p a day if you sign up for 12 months.

How to support your immune system

There has never been a more important time to be proactive with our nutrition, with the aim of supporting the very best immune system defence.

Our immune systems play a role not only in fighting off infections, but also in promoting tissue repair to recovery. To function properly, our immune system requires plenty of both macro and micronutrients.

To help support your health over the next few months, we’ve put together a few diet and lifestyle pointers to keep you going in this worrying time.

Avoid strenuous exercise

Moderate-intensity exercise can be protective against illness by boosting the immune system, whereas high-intensity sessions actually compromise the immune system. Our immune system takes a hit for up to 72 hours following high-intensity training, making this a key time for susceptibility. This is especially important to note if you exercise in a class with others, where you’re more likely to pick up bacteria and viruses.

Let yourself sleep, rest and recover

Rest and recovery are key to prevent getting ill and further unwanted illness. If you’re always on the go with minimal rest, your immune system can be compromised long term. Poor sleep can affect the immune system and make you more susceptible to infection or illness. Sometimes it’s hard to stop, particularly when the future feels so uncertain, but don’t ever underestimate the importance of rest and relaxation! Run a hot bath, read a book, get a massage or listen to relaxing music every now and again.

Don’t drink excessive amounts of alcohol

Excessive chronic intake of alcohol can decrease the number of a few white blood cells types, which means that your immune system will not be as able to fight off any bugs. Keeping within the alcohol guidelines will help, which in the UK is currently set at 14 units per week. That’s 6 pints of beer or 6 glasses of wine if that’s your preferred tipple. If you do prefer to round off the week with a few drinks you could pick drinks with healthy, vitamin-packed mixers such as orange, tomato or pineapple juice.

It’s not the time to diet

If you are unlucky enough to pick up an infection, you will need plenty of energy to fight it off. That means that it might not be the wisest time to start a calorie reduced diet – unless of course you have a pressing health issue that means you need to lose weight urgently. Low intakes of carbohydrates such as bread, rice and potatoes, which end up as glucose in the blood, can be a contributing factor to impaired immunity.

Keep well hydrated

Unfortunately, being dehydrated can also contribute to a compromised immune system. Still at this time of year when there’s still a bit of a nip on the air, it’s easy to forget to drink. One of the front-line defences in our immune systems are the immune proteins in our saliva. When we’re dehydrated, the levels of these proteins decreases, meaning our initial defence to bugs entering through the mouth is also decreased. Make sure you don’t wait to feel thirsty before you drink up, carry a water bottle with you (everywhere!) and keep sipping throughout the day.

Taste the Rainbow

Fruit and vegetables contain a wide range of different micronutrients with varying roles within the body. Many of these nutrients are involved in immune function such as iron, vitamins C and D, selenium and zinc. Anyone with even mild deficiencies in any of these micronutrients can have an altered immune response.

The easiest way to ensure you’re getting enough micronutrients and other phytochemicals is to consume a wide variety of different fruit and vegetables. Taste the rainbow- choose different coloured and textured fruit and veg every single day!

Vitamin Supplements

Vitamin C, vitamin D and selenium all help to support a healthy immune system. Not everyone can eat enough to get these micronutrients (or get enough sun in a UK winter), so consider taking a food supplement if you are lacking some antioxidant or immune protection. Contrary to popular belief, huge doses of vitamin C are not required in winter. At doses of say 400-500mg a day, the excess vitamin C is simply excreted in urine, making it literally money down the toilet!

In summary: consume enough antioxidants to support your immune system, sleep well, drink plenty (but not too many drinks of the alcoholic kind), avoid strenuous activity and wash your hands before eating to stay well.