Coenzyme Q10, also known as CoQ10, is a chemical compound made naturally in human bodies. It has been getting a lot of attention for its benefits on heart health. The impact of vitamin E when coupled with CoQ10 has been increasingly studied for added benefits on heart health and reduction in damage to cells by free radicals.
Getting CoQ10 and Vitamin E
In addition to being produced by our bodies, CoQ10 is found in foods we eat, such as oily fish, organ meats and whole grains. CoQ10 is also widely used as a supplement, particularly for people with compromised heart health.
Wheat germ is a terrific source of vitamin E. Other foods rich in this vitamin include almonds, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, sunflower oil, safflower oil, corn oil, peanuts and peanut butter. Vegetables such as spinach and broccoli contain vitamin E, as do the fruits kiwi and mango.
CoQ10 and E as Antioxidants
Both CoQ10 and vitamin E are widely recognized for their antioxidant properties. Antioxidants are important to good health because free radicals start a chain reaction that damages our cells. But antioxidants remove the harmful properties of the free radicals and end this chain reaction. Research has pointed to the health effects of CoQ10 when combined with vitamin E, including evidence that when the two are coupled, it helps vitamin E’s effectiveness and protects it from damage.
Antioxidants are now known to help reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL). Both CoQ10 and vitamin E attach to LDL particles, the main lipid that carries cholesterol in our blood. In this way, CoQ10 and vitamin E are important in lowering LDL cholesterol for optimal heart health.
Reducing Inflammation from Vascular Disease
Animal studies indicate that CoQ10 can significantly boost vitamin E's anti-inflammatory effect, which points to the heart health benefits of this duo. Both oxidation and inflammation contribute to vascular diseases, including heart disease. In one study, researchers from the U.S. and Australia tested baboons that had been on a high cholesterol and fat diet. When given vitamin E, the baboon’s C-reactive protein blood level reduced 53 percent. This is important because this protein is a marker for inflammation. And when CoQ10 supplementation was added, C-reactive protein was reduced nearly 70 percent.
Research has also found that CoQ10, alone or when combined with vitamin E, has significantly reduced atherosclerosis in mice.
More Resesarch Needed
Despite the study on mice, the impact of CoQ10 and vitamin E supplementation in reducing atherosclerosis in humans is still to be determined. Also, other heart health findings on the potential protective effect of vitamin E contain some inconsistent findings that call for more research.