Our summer issue is out now. Our regular contributor Helen McSharry shares her insights on using Q10 to combat the signs of aging, dive on in to find out more…
Beat The Clock
Slowing down the aging process
By Helen McSharry
“Co Q10 is an antioxidant as well as an energy source so it also helps with DNA repair. ”
In my clinic, The Magic Spoon, I focus on women and children’s health, empowering my clients to empower themselves through their dietary choices. Most of my clients are women 45-plus, who have raised, or almost raised their children and are keen to spend some quality time now focusing on themselves and their overall health and nutrition. I provide nutritious, easy-to follow recipes, shopping lists, advice on any food intolerances, help on shedding any excess pounds, and the tools for them to recharge their bodies themselves. But sometimes, even with the best will and diet in the world, life can take its toll.
Lately, I am seeing more and more clients suffering from Chronic Fatigue, run down by the daily demands of balancing work, life and family. Add the stresses and strains of the last two years into the mix and it’s understandable that so many of us are simply burnt out. So I have been researching new ways to help re-energise my clients and combat Chronic Fatigue. Theories suggest viruses can trigger conditions such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. A virus may be the trigger, but a lifetime of consuming the wrong foods may set the stage. This presents as having too much processed and refined foods and too much sugar. Not having enough good fats, complex carbs or fresh fruit and vegetables. Inactivity and side effects of some medications can also have an effect.
Something is disrupting the energy metabolism at a cellular level. And the problems are related to the mitochondria, the cellular power plants that convert oxygen and nutrients into energy. This helps explain why people lack energy. And stress will aggravate symptoms, further impacting on the immune system, the autonomous system and energy turnover. And let’s face it, we’ve all been under considerable stress the last two years. The mitochondria, those powerhouses within our cells, rely on Coenzyme Q10 – a vitamin-like substance involved in electron transfer that provides energy.
Co Q10 is an antioxidant as well as an energy source so it also helps with DNA repair. It’s a bit like a self-charging battery constantly fueling and recharging our cells, but it declines as we age. As we get older our bodies become more and more susceptible to oxidative stress, premature aging, adrenal fatigue, immune disfunction, chronic disease and, with women, menopausal symptoms. Ideally, we would get everything from our diet, I like to think nature has given us all we need to feel well. Co Q10 is concentrated in foods like organ meats, and some dairy and wholefoods, but it’s hard to achieve a therapeutic level from diet alone.
I’ve been taking Pharma Nord BioActive Co Q10 on and off for nine years now, as it’s very well researched and easily absorbed. I’ve experimented with other brands, but this gives me the best results. I find if I stop taking it for a few months my energy levels start to drop. I’m in my 40s, Co Q10 levels start to decline from our mid-20s onwards. That said, everyone has a different metabolic rate. Lifestyle choices and genetic predisposition will come into play, but generically speaking by the time we hit our mid-40s Co Q10 levels will have dropped to around 60% in key organs like the heart, brain, liver and lungs. So I take it to put back in what life and aging is trying to take out!
This got me thinking about my clients, their stage in life, and what we have all been through the last two years. I now believe that along with a whole food, balanced diet, clean water, fresh air, exercise and sunshine – supplementing with Co-Enzyme Q10 helps re-infuse our cells by recharging our energy at a DNA level. This may in fact slow down, treat and even prevent Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and possibly other age-related conditions. Co-enzyme Q10 may be an extremely important piece of the puzzle in ensuring a long, happy and healthy life. It is definitely food for thought.
Find out more about Helen McSharry, Nutritionist – The Magic Spoon themagicspoon.ie Tel: 0871316110