Our search for the best weight loss pills has pushed us to reach the farthest parts of our planet. There are times that we look for concoctions that are already centuries-old. We think that these concoctions are effective in boosting metabolism and burning fat, which later on leads to achieving weight loss. Then, there are also enterprising entities and individuals who search for scientific journals where they can find “magic words” that are equated to fat burning or weight loss. They just refine the data they gathered and they can already present a new weight loss product that can gain thousands of customers in an instant.
On the other hand, there are substances that are claimed to be beneficial in terms of weight loss. The catch, however, is that there is no concrete proof from the scientific community yet. But it is clear that the said substances are naturally found in the body. When there is deficiency of these substances, the body experiences several health problems. Many believe that supplementation of the deficient substances can bring the body back to its normal health condition. One great example of such substances is CoQ10 or Coenzyme Q10.
What is Coenzyme Q10?
Scientifically speaking, Coenzyme Q10 is comprised of a quinone group with 10 isoprenyl subunits attached to it. This is the reason for the name Q10. It is classified as coenzyme because it provides help to enzyme proteins in performing their functions. In other words, coenzymes refer to molecules that help other enzymes to be more efficient in their functions.
Closely resembling a vitamin, CoQ10 is found in all types of cells particularly in mitochondria. If you have forgotten about it already, mitochondria, as taught during your grade school days, is the part of the cell that is responsible for producing energy. It is like a power plant that continuously produces energy or electricity for the cell. It is responsible in gathering the different chemicals from the food that we eat and convert them into energy. To produce ATP or adenosine triphosphate and other types of energy, the mitochondria instructs the enzymes to convert chemicals from food into energy. These enzymes are able to produce energy more efficiently because they receive help form CoQ10.
If a mitochondrion has more CoQ10, then it can produce more energy. As shown in several studies, the process of producing energy with the help of CoQ10 is responsible for the 95% of energy generated inside the body. CoQ10 is in its highest concentration in energy-intensive organs. These organs include the liver, heart, muscles, kidney, and others. You won’t definitely like it if these organs have low levels or don’t contain coenzyme Q10.
With these, it is no wonder why health experts recommend CoQ10 as supplement to patients who suffer from muscular, renal, hepatic and cardiac problems. This is because the cells in these organs have the job of producing the most amount of energy they can.
But is there a need for supplementation when our body can synthesize CoQ10? The answer to this is the fact that our body deteriorates as we grow old. This means that its cellular functions are not as good as when it is younger. As an effect, we are no longer able to synthesize the same amount of the enzyme. This will result to lesser production of cellular energy. This is the reason why malfunctioning mitochondria are found in people who suffer from kidney, liver or heart disease. It was also found that these same individuals have lower CoQ10 levels. So when there is risk of developing any of these diseases, people are prescribed with supplements such as CoQ10. This is to bring back the normal functions of their mitochondria again.
It must be highlighted that CoQ10 is also found in many of the food that we eat. Some of these are organ meats such as liver, kidney, and heart. The enzyme is also found in peanuts, whole grains, soy oil, beef, sardines, and mackerel. The sad part, however, is that the coenzyme Q10 chemical structure is inadvertently degraded when these foods are cooked. This means that you have to consume them raw if you want to successfully obtain the CoQ10 content. If you cook them you will only get very small amounts of the enzyme.
How does CoQ10 work?
Understanding what CoQ10 is all about is essential in understanding its function specifically when it comes to weight loss.
Majority of the studies on CoQ10 is about its cardioprotective properties. Up until now, there is an absence of direct clinical evidence that can show the coenzyme Q10’s benefit in losing weight. This has pushed many health experts to provide their own explanation on how the enzyme can possibly aid in weight loss.
If we are going to examine the function of coenzyme Q10 closely, we can clearly see the efficient production of cellular energy. As a manifestation, the brain will receive fewer signals of demand for energy. When there are fewer signals for energy need, then you will not feel the need to eat. This can lead to a maintained normal weight of the body.
Another more plausible explanation is the role of cells in increasing the brain’s thermostat. When more energy is produced, the cells increase the level of thermostat. This process greatly helps in boosting metabolism. When there is increased metabolism there is also increased energy requirement. Your body will resort to the stored fat molecules for energy if you consume foods that are low in caloric content.
To understand the process more, we should take note that all cells are able to function at optimal levels when there is sufficient supply of energy. Again, we get energy from food. The demand for energy must be supplied with the same amount of energy. Let’s say that the body needs 3,000 units of energy measured in calories. To meet the demand you need to consume food with a total of 3,000 calories as well. Doing this will allow you to maintain your cells’ normal functions. If you consume more than 3,000 calories, you will have excess energy and it will be stored as excess fat.
The same process happens to the body. The excess energy that you consume will be stored and will be used in the future when the need arises. However, this is not what happens all the time. When the body is in need of energy, our response is to look for food and eat it. The food you eat adds excess energy to the ones stored in your body. If this happens continuously, you can expect that in the long run you will gain more weight.
To lose weight, you have to push your body to use the energy that is stored. This will only happen when you lower the consumption of calories. In addition, you will use more of the stored energy if you boost you cells’ rate of physiologic processes or your rate of metabolism. But always remember that these should be done as a complement to your low calorie diet. Technically speaking, this is how the coenzyme Q10 helps in reducing weight. A diet that is low in calorie is also crucial to the effectiveness of CoQ10 as weight loss supplement. Moreover, you need to keep doing numerous physical activities to make sure that your body is continuously using the stored energy.
Today, many believe that CoQ10 is the answer to weight loss problems because it was found out that obese people have very low levels of the coenzyme. It is said that you can have better chances of losing extra pounds if you complement your low calorie diet with CoQ10 consumption.
What are the weight loss benefits of coenzyme Q10?
To understand the weight loss benefits of CoQ10, it is important to go back to the things we already know about the coenzyme. We now know about that CoQ10:
- takes part in the chemical reaction that is responsible for the production of the 95% of energy that the body produces;
- is an enzyme that the body produces so molecules can have a helper when mitochondria are producing energy; and
- deficiency can result to several health problems such as obesity, muscular, cerebral, cardiac, hepatic and renal problems.
With these important information, we can claim that CoQ10 is an enzyme that can provide weight loss benefits such as:
- increase in the levels of energy
- boost in the rate of metabolism
The next thing we need to find out is how these benefits actually translate into the reduction of weight.
It’s actually very simple. As explained above, we gain weight when there is an imbalance between the energy we use and the energy we consume. The body gains more stored fat molecules when it consumes more energy. The stored energy, which is usually in the form of stored fats, is also converted into glycogen.
You may wonder why the body converts excess energy into fat. Well, being dense molecules, fat molecules typically contain 9 calories per gram. If you haven’t any idea about 9 calories, you can take a canned heart of palm as an example. A single piece is equivalent to 9 calories. Also equivalent to 9 calories are two large-size strawberries. On the other hand, carbohydrates contain 4 calories per gram. With these, the body will choose to store fat because it is better than carbohydrates in storing energy.
If you still can’t visualize it, take for example 2 boxes that are of equal dimension and size. Put 9 balls in one of the boxes and 4 balls in the other. If you have 100 balls, you will need 11 of the first box and 25 of the second box to accommodate all the balls. With this example, it should be easy to identify which type of box is more efficient.
Now, going back to CoQ10 as weight loss supplement, and weight gain as a result of an imbalance between expenditure and consumption of energy, we can say that increasing expenditure of energy can result to weight loss. However, this is true if you lessen energy consumption. CoQ10 also helps in increasing the rate of metabolism, which results to an increased expenditure of energy. Complement this with a diet that is low in calorie and you will have a very efficient way of losing weight. To make it even more efficient, make sure that you