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|Scott Greenberg, NatureCity author & contributor|
Research has shown that the people who live along the Mediterranean have a right to be proud of their food: the “Mediterranean” diet is considered to be one of the healthiest diet options. Consisting of whole grains, cereals, fruits and vegetables, and a lot of olive oil, the Mediterranean diet has been linked to a wide range of health benefits, including lower rates of obesity and even decreasing the overall risk of mortality.
Now researchers at the University of Cordoba in Spain have discovered a way to make this diet even more beneficial. They conducted a study that found that supplementing the Mediterranean diet with coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) may provide benefits ranging from reducing inflammation to improving heart and joint health.
Their findings were published in the January 2012 issue of The Journals of Gerontology.
Participants in the study included 20 people, all over the age of 65. They were assigned to receive each of the following three diet interventions:
• “Western,” which was rich in saturated fats
• “Mediterranean,” as described above
• “Mediterranean” supplemented with a 200mg per day dose of CoQ10
All of the participants followed all three diets for 4 weeks each, so they were able to act as their own controls.
The researchers noted that both the Mediterranean diet and the supplemented Mediterranean diet produced lower expression of genes associated with inflammation. However, the CoQ10 supplemented diet showed even lower expression of these genes. Chronic inflammation has been linked to heart disease, osteoporosis, cognitive decline, type-2 diabetes and arthritis.
CoQ10 has been linked with numerous health benefits, including but not limited to reducing inflammation, improving blood vessel function and reducing the risk of death from heart disease, protecting muscles, reducing the risk of gum disease and lowering cholesterol. This is largely due to its powerful antioxidant and cell protection properties but after the age of 20 our bodies become less and less capable of naturally synthesizing this essential antioxidant, making it more important to ensure that it’s included in your diet.
If you want to increase your CoQ10 intake, try adding oily fish, organ meats (such as liver, hearts, etc.), and whole grains. If these foods aren’t a part of your current diet, consider a high quality, high potency supplement.
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