The first and third most common dietary supplements used in the U.S. today are omega-3 and CoQ10, according to Health News Digest. They are often consumed in order to improve brain or heart health. Recent research examines the claims made about these supplements and whether or not they really work.
Importance of CoQ10 and Omega-3
CoQ10 is used to help in the generation of energy within each of the body’s cells and can be obtained from food or manufactured by your body. Although your body can manufacture CoQ10, production levels start to drop off after the age of 20.
Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid, meaning that it is vital for healthy growth and cannot be effectively synthesized by the body. Omega-3 is necessary for the construction of healthy cell membranes and is an important component of the myelin sheaths in the nervous system, the insulation on the wiring of the nerves.
Function of CoQ10
CoQ10 is an antioxidant; meaning that it protects your cells against the free radical damage caused by pollution, sun exposure and daily life. The National Cancer Institute asserts that CoQ10 supports your immune system and may even help to prevent cancer and slow the growth of cancerous cells. Both CoQ10 and Omega-3 have been found to protect against and slow the progression of Parkinson’s Disease, lower blood pressure and keep your heart healthy.
Function of Omega-3
Omega-3 has been found to reduce the risk of heart attack both in people with and without diagnosed heart disease. It seems to reduce the risk of irregular heartbeat and to lower cholesterol and increase blood circulation, according to the American Heart Association.The American Psychiatric Association confirms a report in the 2006 issue of "The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry" has stated that there is a clear benefit of Omega-3 consumption for both bipolar and unipolar depression, when used in conjunction with traditional medication, and that the evidence is less clear in the case of schizophrenia. There is little evidence that Omega-3 boosts concentration or memory in children with ADD/ADHD and no evidence that Omega-3 reduces symptoms of autism.
Sources & Dosage of Omega-3
Omega-3 is especially plentiful in the livers of cold-water fish such as mackerel, salmon and cod. It's also present in smaller amounts in flax, eggs and some algae. The American Heart Association asserts that the definite benefits of consuming oily fish outweigh the potential risks for middle-aged and older men and women. The AHA recommends eating oily fish at least twice per week for people in this age group without diagnosed heart disease; if you have heart disease, they recommend one gram of Omega-3 per day, whether from oily fish or supplements.
Sources & Dosage of CoQ10
CoQ10 is most abundant in meats like beef or in animal organs, such as liver. CoQ10 is found in all plant and animal derived foods, but there is not enough CoQ10 available in food to fulfill the body’s needs. As a dietary supplement, there are no FDA guidelines for dosage; however, the University of Maryland Medical Center recommends a dose of 30 milligrams to 200 milligrams per day.
- Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology: Risk Assessment for Coenzyme Q10
- American Heart Association: Frequently Asked Questions About Fats
- Health News Digest: Fish Oil Becomes Most Popular Dietary Supplement
- American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: n-3 Fatty Acids from Fish or Fish-oil Supplements, But Not Alpha-linolenic Acid, Benefit Cardiovascular Disease Outcomes in Primary--and Secondary--Prevention Studies: A Systematic Review
- National Cancer Institute: Coenzyme Q10
- Journal of Clinical Psychiatry: Omega-3 fatty Acids: Evidence Basis for Treatment and Future Research in Psychiatry
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Coenzyme Q10