Coenzyme Q10 or CoQ10 - a substance that our body makes naturally. CoQ10 functions as a powerful antioxidant that helps fight free radicals that damage cells. CoQ10 also helps cells generate energy.
A vitamin-like substance which is found throughout the body, CoQ10 is stored in mitochondria of your cells. Mitochondria are in charge of producing energy. They are also the body's defense against oxidative damage and disease-causing bacteria or viruses. The highest concentration of this enzyme is found in organs with the highest energy demand- heart, kidneys, lungs, and liver.
The natural production of CoQ10 decreases with age and most old people seem to be deficient in this compound. Coenzyme Q10 is most commonly prescribed for heart conditions such as heart failure, high blood pressure, and chest pain. It is also used for migraine headache, Parkinson's disease, blood infections, certain diseases of the muscles, HIV infection as the patients suffering from these conditions have shown to have lower levels of this vital substance.
However, it isn’t conclusive that these diseases cause the deficiency or it’s the deficiency that appears first. CoQ10 assists in making adenosine triphosphate (ATP) which is involved in energy transfer within cells. ATP helps carry out all the body's functions. Given that CoQ10 plays an essential role in protecting cells from oxidative damage and generation of ATP, it is not surprising that some of the most severe and chronic diseases have been linked to low levels of CoQ10.
Why do these deficiencies happen?
Like I mentioned earlier, CoQ10 deficiencies could be caused by old age and some diseases like hypertension and heart diseases. However, according to some latest research, certain prescription drugs, for common ailments like high blood pressure, heart diseases, allergies, body pain, eye infections, vomiting and nausea, skin conditions, and even diabetes could cause depletion in this compound. The medications that you may usually be taking may cause a drop in CoQ10 levels in your body, leading to even more complications and the cycle continues.
Our bodies produce enough CoQ10 but our production capacity decreases as we age, and the deficiencies can also be linked to some specific conditions as well as the intake of certain medications. For some people, getting their daily dose from their body's natural production is not enough, and certain foods may help. Organ meats, fatty fish, vegetables, fruit, legumes, nuts and seeds, and oils are high in CoQ10 and antioxidants in general and may help provide some amount of CoQ10 as natural sources.
CoQ10 can most certainly be consumed as a supplement and is similarly absorbed in capsule form or through foods. You can buy your daily dose of anti-oxidant rich CoQ10 here.
Benefits of CoQ10
Taking CoQ10 supplements help increase CoQ10 levels and may play a role in decreasing the side effects of certain common prescription drugs, like a statin, given for lowering cholesterol. Prolonged usage of prescription drugs does come with a host of side effects, which are often attributed to age-related atrophy. CoQ10 supplements help in managing these side effects and slow, if not reverse, aging and improving the quality of life.
- Alleviate muscle pain- In a study published in the American Journal of Cardiology, researchers found that CoQ10 supplements help with muscle pain and discomfort, and decrease the muscle breakdown.
- Help in maintaining heart health- Although there aren’t enough studies yet to confirm how well CoQ10 supplementation function as improving your heart health, but combining CoQ10 with statins has been found to show better results. In another study, for understanding the effects of CoQ10 vs. placebo on the target group, people who took the compound had fewer acute complications and were hospitalized less frequently. CoQ10 may assist in restoring optimal levels of energy production, thereby reducing the oxidative damage and may help improve heart function, all of which can help in the treatment of heart failure.
CoQ10 supplements may help you with fertility- CoQ10 production decreases with age, and so does female fertility due to a decline in the number of quality of available eggs. As the body's ability to protect eggs from oxidative damage declines, supplementing with CoQ10 seems to help, and may even reverse the decline quality and quantity of eggs.
For male sperms facing oxidative damage, a CoQ10 supplement may help improve sperm quality, activity, and concentration by providing increased antioxidant protection. (1),(2)
- Fights against harmful side effects of aging on the skin- The skin is the largest organ of the human body, and unfortunately the most exposed to internal and external damaging agents, like cellular damage, hormonal imbalances, pollution, and UV rays. As skin loses its moisture and protection from aggressors, the skin layers start thinning, and people with low levels of CoQ10 seem to be more likely to develop skin cancer. Supplementing with CoQ10 helps increase antioxidant protection, reduce sun damage, and also help decrease the risk of skin cancer.
- The CoQ10 supplement helps with headaches and migraines- As mitochondrial function gets haywire, calcium uptake by the cells increases, leading to overproduction of free radicals and decline in antioxidant protection. Low energy to brain cells means headaches and migraines. CoQ10, a permanent resident of mitochondria of the cells, improves mitochondrial function and help decrease the inflammation that may occur during migraines. Additionally, people suffering from migraines and headaches tend to be deficient in the same.
- CoQ10 can improve exercise performance- More muscle energy means muscles can contract efficiently and better exercise sustenance. CoQ10 helps exercise performance by reducing oxidative stress in the cells. A study on the effects of CoQ10 on physical activity showed that people supplementing with CoQ10 showed decreased oxidative stress. Supplementing with CoQ10 helps increase power during the workout and reduces fatigue, both directly help in improving exercise performance.
- CoQ10 can help manage diabetes- CoQ10 with its anti-oxidant properties help normalize mitochondrial function which is linked to insulin resistance. CoQ10 has shown to improve insulin sensitivity and regulate blood sugar levels. Prescription drugs for diabetes are also known to cause CoQ10 deficiency, and supplementing it has demonstrated a significant reduction in average blood sugar levels in a study conducted on people with type 2 diabetes. Better metabolism and more energy in cells mean a better breakdown of fats, and the reduction in accumulation of fat cells can prevent obesity or diabetes.
- CoQ10 may play a role in cancer prevention- When the body is unable to fight oxidative damage adequately, the cell DNA, as well as the cell structure, could get damaged, and the risk of cancer is higher. Since CoQ10 protects cells from oxidative stress and promotes cellular energy production, cancer patients have been shown to have lower levels of the compound. One study suggested that supplementing with CoQ10 may help reduce the chance of cancer recurrence.
- CoQ10 is brain food- Because it has high fatty acid content and an extremely high demand for oxygen, the brain is highly sensitive to oxidative damage. Age-related mitochondrial dysfunction leads to the death of brain cells, and the onset of brain diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Oxidative damage also triggers the production of harmful toxins that affect memory, cognition and physical functions. CoQ10 helps reduce the effects of oxidative damage and slows down the degeneration of brain cells.
- CoQ10 protects lungs- Lungs have the most contact with oxygen and free radicals present in the air. They are highly susceptible to oxidative damage, and lower level of antioxidant production could lead to lung disease like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It has been proved that people suffering from lung diseases tend to have lower levels of CoQ10, along with other deficiencies. A study also demonstrated that by supplementing with CoQ10, asthma patients could reduce their inflammation levels as well as the need for steroid medications. Better tissue oxygenation and better heart rate help in enhanced exercise performance for patients suffering from COPD who supplemented with CoQ10.
90% of the CoQ10 in the blood is in the form of Ubiquinol and it is also the most absorb-able form of the substance. There have been several studies that have shown that doses up to 500 mg a day seem well tolerated; however, the standard regimen is 90 mg to 200 mg per day. There haven’t been any serious side effects according to some studies for higher doses as well. (3,4,5)
Super Ubiquinol CoQ10 with Enhanced Mitochondrial Support™ is formulated with ubiquinol, a highly bioavailable form of coenzyme Q10 nutrient, and augmented with the adaptogen PrimaVie® shilajit, clinically shown to increase CoQ10 absorption further, promote cardiovascular health, and help restore youthful cellular energy.
CoQ10 is a fat-soluble compound, and its absorption is slow and limited. Taking CoQ10 supplements with food helps your body absorb it up to 3 times faster than taking it without food. (6,7)
The body does not store CoQ10. Therefore, continued use is recommended to get full benefits. (8,9)
A word of caution
CoQ10 is well tolerated, and it is an excellent option for you, especially while you are still in good health.
For patients with chronic diseases, CoQ10 supplements have few reported side effects. CoQ10 supplements may interact with some medications, including beta-blockers, antidepressants, and chemotherapy drugs. Since most patients take CoQ10 supplements along with prescribed medicines for the health conditions, like diabetes, the effect of CoQ10 supplements on lowering blood sugar levels can be monitored closely along with your medical practitioner. Bottom-line, make sure you consult your doctor before taking CoQ10.
Breastfeeding or pregnant women and people on warfarin should avoid CoQ10 supplements.
It is still not clear whether low levels of CoQ10 cause these diseases or are a result of them. But one thing is sure that there are a lot of different uses for CoQ10, and one of its primary roles in the body is to help convert the food we eat into energy that powers our body, and most importantly, our brain. Anti-oxidants are our built-in defence to neutralize free radicals, and CoQ10 supplement boosts the power of these anti-oxidants manyfold.
To buy Coenzyme Super Ubiquinol CoQ10 with Enhanced Mitochondrial Support ™, click here
Banach, M., Serban, C., Sahebakar, A., Ursoniu, S., Rysz, J., Munter, P., … Mikhailidis, D. P. (2015, January). Effects of coenzyme Q10 on statin-induced myopathy: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 90(1), 24–34
Coenzyme Q10. (2015, January 2)
Caso, G., Kelly, P., McNurlan, M. A., & Lawson, W. E. (2007, May 15 ). Effect of coenzyme q10 on myopathic symptoms in patients treated with statins. American Journal of Cardiology, 99(10), 1409-12
Gao, L., Mao, Q., Cao, J., Wang, Y., Zhou, X., & Fan, L. (2012, April). Effects of coenzyme Q10 on vascular endothelial function in humans: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Atherosclerosis, 221(2), 311–316
Rosenfeldt, F., Hilton, D., Pepe, S., & Krum, H. (2003). A systematic review of the effect of coenzyme Q10 in physical exercise, hypertension and heart failure. Biofactors 18(1-4), 91-100
Sharma, A., Fonarow, G. C., Butler, J., Ezekowitz, J. A., & Felker, G. M. (2016, April). Coenzyme Q10 and heart failure: A state-of-the-art review. Circulation: Heart Failure, 9(4), e002639
Taylor, B. A., Lorson, L., White, C.M., & Thompson, P. D. (2015, February). A randomized trial of coenzyme Q10 in patients with confirmed statin myopathy. Atherosclerosis, 238(2), 329–335