Coenzyme Q 10 (CoQ10) is a substance, which helps the body in converting food into energy. CoQ10 is an effective nutrient for boosting immunity because it is a natural anti-oxidant. It forms an important line of defense against the creation of too many free radicals in our body. If left uncontrolled, free radicals can damage the cells of our immune system.
3 Ways CoQ10 Protects Our Immune System
- Reduces the damage caused by free radicals to immune cells.
- Reduces the damage caused by free radicals to the complex communication pathways of the different cells of the immune system.
- Save immune cells known as macrophages from being damaged by their own agents of destruction. Macrophages are responsible for destroying pathogens or disease-producing agents.
Causes of Deficiency in CoQ10
Under normal circumstances, our body produces enough CoQ10 to meet its needs. However, a deficiency in CoQ10 occurs due to:
- The process of ageing: As the body ages, it produces less CoQ10.
- A nutritional deficiency: CoQ10 needs a combination of seven vitamins (vitamin B2 – riboflavin, vitamin B3 – niacinamide, vitamin B6, folic acid, vitamin B12, vitamin C and pantothenic acid) to be synthesized by the body.
- Drug-nutrient depletion: The body may lose CoQ10 as a side effect of some drugs. For instance, depletion of CoQ10 is one of the side effects of Metformin as also Glimepiride, both anti-diabetic drugs.
- Increased requirement of CoQ10: This could happen due to an illness or injury.
- Genetic defect in the body: Such a defect could prevent the body from naturally synthesizing CoQ10.
While the human body synthesizes CoQ10 naturally, you can also get it from external sources. Sources of CoQ10 include salmon, beef, chicken, peanuts, sesame seeds, strawberries, broccoli, cauliflower etc. Additionally, you can also opt for CoQ10 supplements. Consult your doctor to find out the required dosage of CoQ10 supplements for your needs.
Apart from CoQ10, there are a whole range of foods, which are useful for boosting the immune system. Read our article on immune system boosters to find more.