CO Q 10 And The Master Regulator Naturopathy New Farm 335805481

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Enzymes and Coenzymes – The Fundamentals

Enzymes are biological molecules that significantly speed up the rate of virtually all of the chemical reactions that take place within our cells. They are vital for life and serve a wide range of important functions in the body, such as aiding us to digest the food we eat and unlocking the energy in nutrients. Complex reactions throughout all of nature are made possible and efficient because of these molecules.

 

To function, enzymes need help from substances called coenzymes. These natural compounds assist an enzyme in doing a certain job such as digesting carbohydrates and protein in our body, or making the energy our organs need to function. There are many coenzymes. Among the most important is one called Coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10.

 

Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a fat-soluble, vitamin-like compound produced naturally by our bodies. CoQ10 exists in virtually all our cells and tissues, and as such this nutrient could be considered essential for life, as conditions of deficiency are harmful to health. The biggest requirement for it, though, is found inside of the energy-demanding organs such as the heart, brain, liver and kidneys. CoQ10 is concentrated in these organs because it is essential to the process of producing cellular energy from the food you eat.

 

CoQ10 exists as ubiquinol or ubiquinone, also known as ubidecarenone. The ability for CoQ10 to shift from reduced (ubiquinol) to oxidised (ubiquinone) and back again, is the way in which CoQ10 exerts its functions. Ubiquinone transforms and becomes ubiquinol when it is employed by the body. In the same way, the reduced form  (ubiquinol) becomes ubiquinone when it carries out its role in the body.

 

Functions of CoQ10 – CoQ10 has two significant functions.

Firstly, it is a cofactor enzyme involved in energy production. CoQ10 is an essential part of the cellular machinery used to produce ATP. ATP is essential for the health of all human organs as most cellular functions rely on ATP as an energy source.
ATP is the chemical energy of the cell that powers the cell’s metabolic activities.

 

Secondly, CoQ10 is a potent antioxidant due to its capacity for reduction and oxidation. It has a direct free radical scavenging effect, as well as being able to recycle oxidised vitamin E. CoQ10 also serves as a potent antioxidant in mitochondria and lipoprotein lipids present in the circulation, as well in lipid membranes.

Mitochondria are organelles that can be considered the power generators of the cell.

 

 

How is CoenzymeQ10 made?

Although present in food, CoQ10 is primarily manufactured by the body. Unfortunately as we age, our ability to produce CoQ10 and to convert Ubiquinone to Ubiquinol declines. This can have adverse effects on many facets of our health causing fatigue due to reduced cellular energy production and increased oxidative stress and damage. Our mitochondria are particularly susceptible to oxidative damage. The benefits of Ubiquinol to mitochondrial function are twofold, protection from oxidative damage and supporting energy production.

 

Regeneration Of CoQ10 and the Master Regulator – Nrf2

Due to the importance of coenzymes such as CoQ10 in chemical reactions, and due to the fact that they are used up and chemically altered by reactions, coenzymes must be continually regenerated.

 

The Nrf2 Story

When the body is young and healthy it is able to take care of the balance between cellular damage and repair and rejuvenation. One way the body takes care of repairing damage is to signal the production of antioxidant enzymes or survival genes through an antioxidant protection system known as the Nrf2 pathway. This protective pathway enables cells to protect themselves from both internal and external environmental challenges. In effect, Nrf2 activation enables our cells to make their own “medicines” to help us survive in stressful situations.

 

What is Nrf2

Nrf2 is a powerful protein that is latent within each cell in the body, unable to move or operate until it is released by an Nrf2 activator. When Nrf2 is activated in the nucleus, it turns on the production of antioxidant enzymes such as Catalase, Glutathione and Superoxide Dismutase (SOD).  These antioxidant enzymes are powerful enough to neutralize up to one million free radicals per second, every second.

 

Research has determined that a variety of foods are powerful activators of the Nrf2 pathway.

Herbs and Phytochemicals

Broccoli sprouts, turmeric, rosemary, green tea, polygonum (resveratrol), garlic and ginkgo

Nutrients

Zinc, Vitamin D, N-acetylcysteine

 

Turmeric, rosemary, green tea, garlic, zinc, Vitamin D and to a lesser extent broccoli sprouts are relatively easy to source to include in our diet but are also, along with the other herbs and phytochemicals, available as a supplement. Supplements stocked at New Farm Physiotherapy and Massage – 33585481.

 

While not necessarily rich in antioxidants, they directly and dramatically amplify our innate ability to produce vast antioxidant protection by signaling our DNA. In this way, specific molecules from Nrf2 activating foods can trigger the production of thousands of antioxidant molecules, providing far better protection against the brain-damaging effects of free radicals compared to small molecule antioxidants from our diet; for example Vitamin C, E, K, polyphenolic compounds and ubiquinol. These antioxidants are redox-active, short-lived, and consumed or modified during the process and therefore they need to be replenished or regenerated to offer further protection.

 

In addition, there are various antioxidant enzymes that are involved in the more effective, catalytic detoxification of reactive oxygen or nitrogen species. These cytoprotective proteins have relatively long half-lives, are not consumed in their antioxidant actions, and can catalyze a wide variety of chemical detoxification reactions. Some of them are involved in regeneration of the small molecule antioxidants, for instance ubiquinol and polyphenolic compounds found in foods such as blueberries and strawberries.

 

Catalyst – A substance that starts or speeds up a chemical reaction while undergoing no permanent change itself.

 

Improve Your Diet Improve your Health

Talk to New Farm Physiotherapy and Massages’ Naturopath, Patrick Thompson, today about how to include these vital herbs, phytochemicals and nutrients in your diet and/or whether taking them as a supplement is appropriate for you.

 

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