Coenzyme Q10 or CoQ10 as it is more commonly known is a naturally occurring antioxidant which your body produces.
Its occurrences are at their highest nearest your major organs such as your liver, kidneys, heart, and pancreas.
Its main function is to help the cells in your body to grow, and it also plays a role in the healthy maintenance of those cells.
You may already have deduced that if there is a deficiency in CoQ10, that it could have a detrimental effect on your cells and organs, and there is much research which backs up that theory.
Another factor is that as we grow older our levels decline, due to a decrease in the natural production as we age. This is a bit of a double whammy as it is in our later years where CoQ10 is most needed.
To help maintain appropriate levels in our body, supplements can be taken, and in addition to that basic benefit, in this article, we are going look at 6 reasons why you should take CoQ10 if you suffer from neuropathy.
1. Reduction in Sugar Levels
With peripheral neuropathy being a condition most commonly associated with diabetes, anything that can be used to help keep blood sugar levels well controlled should have a beneficial effect on the condition.
One of the reasons that diabetes occurs is cell damage caused by oxidative stress brought about by an imbalance of the antioxidants and free radicals within one's body.
Having your levels of CoQ10 supplemented can help to bring these back into balance and thus allow your cells to repair and function normally again.
Another benefit of boosting CoQ10 is that in a study of type 2 diabetics it was shown to have not only reduced their fasting blood levels but more significantly it reduced their hemoglobin A1C count which measures a person's average blood sugar levels over a 12-week period.
The onset of diabetes and any subsequent struggle to control blood sugar levels are often the results of excess fats in one's body, and fatty cells accumulating within organs such as the pancreas. This is in addition to the onset of obesity caused by excess fat, which is a trigger for diabetes too. It can also help breakdown the accumulated fat and reduce fat cells within the body.
Lastly, there is evidence that suggests that CoQ10 can help combat the issue of insulin resistance brought about by a malfunction in a part of the cells called the mitochondrion. Ensuring insulin can do its job properly reduces blood sugar levels, and thus the onset of peripheral neuropathy.
2. Increased Energy Levels
It may seem obvious that having high energy levels is better for all aspects of your health, but what is not so well known is that CoQ10 can increase the amount of energy someone has, nor how this is done.
The energy which your body has is created from the fuel which you put in it, namely food and drink.
To convert the nutrients from these into energy, a process called ‘mitochondrial ATP synthesis’ takes place, which in simple terms converts the energy in your diet, into energy which your body can use. CoQ10 needs to be present for this energy conversion process to work, so the more there is, the more energy that can be converted.
So, you now have all this energy, the question is, ‘How does help with neuropathy?’ Well, the simple answer is that having ample energy throughout your body allows all the processes within it to work more efficiently and more effectively. This includes having excellent circulation within your hands and feet. It also means healthier skin, muscles, and joints.
More energy allows you to exercise more often and for longer which brings multiple benefits with respect to peripheral neuropathy, not least of which is better blood sugar control, which is highly desirable to combat neuropathy.
3. Fighting Free Radicals
The term 'free radicals' sounds like it might be some laudable political cause, but it is not, and in fact, free radicals are things you should be more inclined to protest against, than for. The reason for this is that free radicals are highly undesirable, as they can do damage throughout your body.
Specifically, they are atoms or collections of atoms which are highly reactive and unstable. Worst of all they spread and multiply by turning healthy molecules into free radicals, which effectively sets up an ongoing chain reaction.
Some of the consequences of free radicals in your body are that they damage cell membranes and organ tissue, and they can cause inflammation too.
All of these will make any symptoms of peripheral neuropathy multiply including pain, however, the good news there are several ways to combat free radicals and CoQ10 is one of them.
The umbrella name for the substances which can ward off free radicals is antioxidants. These can be found in many fruits and vegetables, therefore having a nutritious and healthy diet is a prime way with which you can help your body deal with free radicals.
In the case of CoQ10, which occurs naturally within our bodies, it produces a very powerful antioxidant called 'ubiquinol.’ Ubiquinol is what you might call the body's free radical neutralizer. That means the more CoQ10 your body has, the more nasty free radicals will be eliminated.
4. Promotes a Healthy Heart
This benefit is not going to apply equally to all sufferers of peripheral neuropathy for a couple of reasons. The first is that it can help with specific conditions that can cause issues with the health of the heart, and the second is that it has been particularly effective in treating older persons with heart problems, albeit that does not mean younger users won't benefit at all.
Conditions that CoQ10 can help with are congestive heart failure and blood pressure. Hopefully you neither of these, but if you do, they can be highly detrimental in respect of peripheral neuropathy.
Congestive heart failure is a particularly serious condition as it prevents the heart from pumping the blood around your body properly. This presents a number of health issues including poor circulation which compounds the symptoms you may already be experiencing. This can include swelling in your legs and an area where this is particularly prevalent is the ankles.
Any tingling which you may experience due to peripheral neuropathy can also be multiplied due to the issues caused by the heart not pumping properly, and thus insufficient blood supply reaching extremities of your body such your hands and feet.
The reason CoQ10 can help with these conditions is due to its antioxidative properties, and its ability to increase energy levels in an individual, which in itself will boost health levels.
5. Improved Skin Condition
Improving the condition of one's skin should be a goal for everyone, but when it comes to those who suffer from peripheral neuropathy, it is particularly important. Sadly, your skin gets attacked both from within, with peripheral neuropathy a prime example, and from external forces too, such as too much sun.
The problems that can occur include cellular damage, and an imbalance of the hormones within the skin. If all that wasn't enough to cope with, there is also the fact that as you age your skin's well-being suffers and it is less capable of keeping its youthful elasticity, with reduced levels of collagen and elastin proteins.
This is where supplementing your levels of CoQ10 can help to increase the amount of these two proteins so that your skin returns to the firmness that it needs, and its flexibility is enhanced.
These are important qualities that you want the skin in your hands and feet to have, not only for their appearance, but also having healthy skin means the symptoms related to peripheral neuropathy should have less impact.
As mentioned previously, it also helps eliminate free radicals, and by doing so it prevents them hindering your skin from repairing itself properly on your hands and feet, which is vital if you have peripheral neuropathy.
6. Reduces Inflammation
The final reason to take this nutrient for neuropathy is that it can reduce inflammation, which given the issues that the condition can cause to joints and muscles, should be reason alone to use it. Incidentally, inflammation is something which can causes issues all over your body, so it is something you want to avoid whether you have peripheral neuropathy or not.
One of the many factors that will produce anti-inflammatory benefits from using CoQ10, is its anti-oxidative qualities. These provide CoQ10 with advantages especially in relation to preventing or reducing cell damage.
This extends to scenarios where you may have already suffered some kind of inflammation. In this case, although it is too late to prevent it, by supplementing the levels of CoQ10 in your body, the repair to damaged or inflamed tissue will be accelerated.