Coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10, is a substance the body naturally makes, although this amount tends to decrease with age. This substance is necessary for cellular health and growth. It is also an antioxidant, which helps protect against cell damage from free radicals. The Linus Pauling Institute estimates that in the United States individuals typically get 10 milligrams of CoQ10 daily or less from a healthy, balanced diet.
Meats are a good source of CoQ10, which is found in the highest quantities in red meats, particularly organ meats such as liver. According to Linus Pauling Institute sources, 3 ounces of fried beef contains 2.6 milligrams of CoQ10 and 3 ounces of fried chicken contains 1.4 milligrams.
Coenzyme Q10 is also found in some vegetable oils such as soybean, rapeseed and sesame oils. Depending on where the oils were processed, the level of CoQ10 may vary due to processing differences that can affect nutritional content. The Linus Pauling Institute states that 1 tablespoon of soybean oil contains 1.3 milligrams of CoQ10 and 1 tablespoon of canola oil has 1.0 milligram.
Nuts and seeds also contain CoQ10, although to a lesser extent than animal meats. One ounce of peanuts, sesame seeds and pistachio nuts contain 0.8, 0.7 and 0.6 milligrams of CoQ10 respectively, according to the Linus Pauling Institute.
Fruits and vegetables contain minimal amounts of CoQ10 and are not likely to be a primary source of the nutrient. One-half cup of boiled, chopped broccoli or cauliflower contains 0.5 and 0.4 milligrams of CoQ10, respectively, according to the Linus Pauling Institute. Oranges and strawberries contain small amounts of CoQ10. It is important to note that when foods are fried, they lose a percentage of CoQ10, which does not occur when foods are boiled.
Fish is another source of CoQ10, particularly oily fish like salmon or tuna. Herring and steamed rainbow trout are also fairly high in CoQ10, with 3 ounces of each containing 2.3 milligrams and 0.9 milligrams, respectively.
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