Our ancestors believed that raw organ meats could transfer the life essence to our bodies to bring us health and fecundity. It sounds like something out of Clan of the Cave Bear, steeped in superstition and ritual. But what if there was something real in it? What if fresh organ meat was a potent elixir of fertility and youth? How could we have forgotten all about it? What does that say about our modern understanding of nutrition and diet? With our processed food and our factory-farmed meat…
What have we lost? And, more importantly: Can we regain it all with a pill?
CoQ10 is an anti-aging nutrient found primarily in meat. It is concentrated in the organ meat of healthy, free-ranging wild animals. Why wild? Because animals make more CoQ10 when they are active and young and full of life. The sedentary misery of factory-raised animals manifests as less CoQ10 in their flesh.
What this means—the astonishing fact—is that when we consume CoQ10 rich meat, we absorb the vitality of the animal directly into our own body. In a sense, we absorb its youth.
What is the evidence that CoQ10 really works as a fertility and anti-aging nutrient?
- Canadian scientists released evidence this week that CoQ10 turns back the clock on female fertility, and makes old eggs young again. It is also known to increase sperm count and motility.
Studies over the last two decades have discovered that CoQ10:
- prevents and possibly treats some kinds of cancer
- improves heart function
- reduces blood pressure
- reverses diabetes
- treats Parkinson’s disease
- improves brain health
- increases muscle energy
- lengthens lifespan
How can one nutrient do so much?
CoQ10 is essentially a mitochondrial enzyme. It does multiple jobs in the cell including: 1) antioxidant, 2) energy production, and 3) gene regulation. CoQ10 is the most basic energy currency of our body. Without it, our cellular engines, the mitochondria, will flag. Furthermore, CoQ10 directly modifies our DNA and switches our genes on and off. If that isn’t ‘life essence’, I don’t know what is.
Our body makes a huge amount of its own CoQ10, but it does so much more easily when we are young. As we age, the body loses the enzymes and the nutrients that it needs for the complex 17-step process that it takes to make CoQ10. Tissue levels of CoQ10 decline precipitously after 35.
Fortunately, we can also get CoQ10 from food and from supplements.
Can we regain it all with a pill?
Most of us do not eat freshly killed wild organ meat. We have lost the taste for it, and that is probably not going to change any time soon. So, for us poor souls marooned in a modern lifestyle, we have CoQ10 pills. I take them. The evidence is that the pills do confer many health benefits. In fact, the benefits are so many and so convincing that some experts think that food should be fortified with CoQ10.
Are CoQ10 pills as healthy as organ meat? Almost certainly not. For one thing, CoQ10 is only one of the many possibly beneficial components of organ meat. CoQ10 just happens to be the one component that we know about, and we have not known about it for very long.
It begs the question: What are we missing with our modern nutritional science? We cannot know even a fraction of all the nutrients that body needs. We must be humble, and be grateful for the slow rediscovery of traditional nutrient-rich foods.
We must take a second look at the icky old-fashioned foods that we have carelessly tossed aside: organ meats, bone broths, naturally fermented sauerkraut, kefir, kimchi, and more.