CoQ10 is an enzyme that resides in the mitochondria and is responsible for energy production and protecting cells from oxidative stress. The mitochondria are the source of life and death for cells. Organelles generate neuron’s energy and can cause them to die. But as you age, the mitochondria can develop defects which lead to mitochondrial dysfunction in the nondividing cells of the brain, muscles, and heart. The mitochondrial dysfunction can result in reduced cellular energy production and increased cell death that is what occurs in strokes and neurodegenerative diseases. This article is going to take a closer look at the research that discusses different ways to protect against oxidative stress by minimizing mitochondrial dysfunction and preventing other causes that kill brain cells.
The brain is especially susceptible to oxidative stress because of its rich oxygen supply and high content of fatty acid. To make matters worse, the brain does not have sufficient defense systems to against oxidative stress. This causes neurons to accumulate oxidative damage over time. As you age, the brain’s vulnerability increase which can increase the chances of developing a degenerative disease like Parkinson’s Disease or Alzheimer’s. Research has shown that supplementing CoQ10 can reverse the damages caused by oxidative stress.
In Parkinson’s disease, neurons that produce dopamine die in the part of the brain that is responsible for movement. Dopamine functions as a neurotransmitter which is a chemical that gets released by nerve cells and sends signals to other nerve cells. When these neurons get killed off it can lead to muscle rigidity, tremor and difficulty moving. The specific part of the brain that gets affected by Parkinson’s disease has the highest level of mitochondrial DNA mutation in the brain. Research has shown that mitochondrial DNA mutations cause cellular respiration to malfunction in Parkinson’s disease. Supplementing CoQ10 orally with around 60 mg a day has been found to restore the activity of the cellular respiratory chain to relatively normal levels. Neurons that are energetically deficient are less able to handle oxidative stress which causes the cell to die. CoQ10’s primary function is to protect cells from oxidative stress which can reverse the damage that causes Parkinson’s disease.
Huntington’s disease is a genetic disease that destroys neurons in the area of the brain that controls movement. This causes symptoms that include involuntary movements, lack of coordination and cognitive difficulties. Research has shown that energy production in the central nervous system and muscles is impaired in patients with Huntington’s disease. A study done in which patients with Huntington’s disease took 360 mg of CoQ10 daily for three months showed that 83% of patients saw improvements in biochemical markers of energy production.
Studies and research have made the benefits of CoQ10 nearly indisputable. If you have a family history of genetic diseases and want to take precaution, talk to your doctor about how to safely supplement with CoQ10 to derive from its benefits and to protect your brain from the damage that can be done by oxidative stress.