What is Coenzyme Q10?
Coenzyme Q10 is a naturally occurring antioxidant that is a vital nutrient despite its unappealing nomenclature. We refer to its active form, ubiquinone or ubiquinol. The largest concentrations of coenzyme Q10 are found in the human heart, liver, kidneys, and pancreas. Because of its role in energy generation, it is stored in the mitochondria of your cells. Many vital processes rely on it, including cellular energy production, electron transport, and blood pressure control.
The “coenzyme” CoQ10 aids in the normal functioning of other enzymes, which is somewhat self-explanatory, given the name. One reason it’s not classified as a vitamin is that all animals, including humans, can produce trace amounts of coenzymes on their own, without any dietary input.
Coenzyme Q10 is something that your body makes on its own and something that you may also get through food. However, the typical human diet provides just 3-6 milligrams of coenzyme Q10 per day, which is insufficient for elderly people. Coenzyme Q10 is found mostly in animal products like chicken and fish, as well as plant foods like almonds.
Benefits Of Coenzyme Q10
Several of CoQ10’s positive effects on health stem from this enzyme’s capacity to defend against oxidative stress.
1. Skin Rejuvenator.
The skin is the body’s largest organ and is subject to several environmental factors that accelerate aging. These agents are usually internal, like hormonal imbalances or oxidative damage, or exogenous, like UV rays. There is also evidence that those with low CoQ10 levels are more prone to acquire skin cancer. The topical application of CoQ10 has been shown to mitigate damage to the skin from both internal and external sources by boosting cellular energy production. In another study, the topical application of this compound has been demonstrated to lessen UV-induced oxidative damage and even diminish wrinkle depth.
2. It can help with Migraine.
Low CoQ10 levels cause skin issues but can also lead to migraines. CoQ10, mostly found in cells, improves mitochondrial function and reduces migraine-related inflammation, as per studies. In a study of 42 patients, CoQ10 supplementation reduced migraines three times more than a placebo. CoQ10 medication reduced headache frequency and severity in one comprehensive research of 1,550 persons with low CoQ10 levels.
3. Beneficial for Heart Conditions.
These disorders gradually alter the heart’s structure or function, making it unable to pump blood effectively. However, some research suggests that coenzyme Q10 may be useful.
Treatment with CoQ10 for two years relieved symptoms and decreased mortality in research of 420 persons with heart failure. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) has been shown to enhance the state of heart failure patients by restoring normal energy production and cardiac function and protecting against oxidative damage, according to researchers.
Researchers reviewed 12 clinical trials and found that CoQ10 has the ability to reduce blood pressure by up to 17 mm Hg in the systolic reading and 10 mm Hg in the diastolic reading, with no severe side effects.
- Congestive heart failure and coronary artery bypass graft surgery patients may benefit from using coenzyme Q10 supplements in addition to standard medical care.
- Taking CoQ10 before heart surgery has been shown in a meta-analysis of 8 studies to lessen the need for medication after surgery and prevent the development of irregular heartbeat.
- Taking CoQ10 for 14 days before heart surgery has been shown to keep CoQ10 levels stable, boost heart function, and speed up recovery.
4. Boost Physical Performance & Endurance.
Due to its role in cellular mitochondrial function and energy generation, Coenzyme Q10 deficiency may negatively affect the muscular function and athletic performance. However, taking a CoQ10 supplement has been shown in one research to halt this process after strenuous exercise. Although finding comparable effects, a study also demonstrated that supplementing with this enzyme and boosting CoQ10 levels can enhance endurance in both trained and untrained subjects. Reduced oxidative stress was observed in those who took 1,200 mg of CoQ10 daily for 60 days.
It was also observed in research of 17 participants that those who took 300 milligrams of CoQ10 daily for a week were able to increase their cycling speed and have less fatigue afterward.
5. Fertility Enhancer.
The body’s ability to defend eggs and reduce sperm count from oxidative stress declines with age because of a decrease in CoQ10 synthesis. This loss in egg quality and quantity with age appears to be controlled by CoQ10 supplementation and may be halted altogether. It has been shown in several studies to increase antioxidant protection, which may enhance sperm quality, activity, and concentration. (1)(2)
In women, CoQ10 boosted the embryos and pregnancy and live birth rates.
6. Good for Diabetics.
Supplemental CoQ10 may boost already low coenzyme levels in the blood by as much as three times in persons with diabetes. (1) (2) One study gave people with type 2 diabetes CoQ10 for 12 weeks. As a result, fasting blood sugar and hemoglobin A1C (a measure of average blood sugar control over the preceding two to three months) were dramatically lowered. Finally, CoQ10 may protect against type 2 diabetes by breaking down lipids and reducing fat cell buildup. Some doctors recommend taking 50-100 mg of CoQ10 daily for its possible ability to protect the heart, blood vessels, and kidney health.
7. Cancer Prevention.
Coenzyme Q10 deficiency has been linked to an increased risk of cancer by up to 53.3% and is predictive of a poor outcome for several cancer types. (1) (2) Supplementing has been shown to improve cellular health and survival by shielding them from oxidative stress and boosting energy generation. Moreover, one research found that supplementation was associated with a decreased risk of cancer recurrence.
8. Good for the Lungs.
Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are two examples of lung disorders that can be brought on by increased oxidative damage in the lungs and inadequate antioxidant defense, particularly low levels of CoQ10. In those with asthma, using CoQ10 supplements decreased inflammation and the need for steroid drugs, according to research. Enhanced tissue oxygenation and reduced heart rate were two telltale signs of the effectiveness of CoQ10 supplementation.
9. For Fibromyalgia.
There is some evidence that oral administration of coenzyme Q10 improves symptoms of fibromyalgia, including pain, tenderness, exhaustion, and sleep disturbances. A significant reduction in fatigue, morning fatigue, and pain was observed in a small trial of participants who took 300 mg of coenzyme Q10.
10. Benefits in Oral Health:
In addition to traditional periodontal treatment, including root planning and scaling, oral Coenzyme Q10 may benefit oral health in people who suffer from plaque-induced gingival (gum) inflammation. Other benefits includes,
- Coenzyme Q10 has been reported to decrease inflammation in 30 patients with gum disease.
- When topically administered to the gums, CoQ10 enhanced gum health and decreased bleeding.
Aging reduces the amount of coenzyme in the body. In research of participants aged 18 to 82, older people had the lowest amounts. Another study discovered that young toddlers have lower amounts of CoQ10 than adults aged 28 to 78 years.
Over the course of a 4-year study including 443 senior adults, it was shown that 200 mcg of selenium with 200 mg of CoQ10 per day significantly enhanced vitality, physical performance, and quality of life.
Research conducted in the age bracket of 20-90+ years of individuals concluded as the oldest participants in the research (90+ years) had the lowest concentrations. Coenzyme Q10 concentrations, however, were correlated not with chronological age but with measures of lean body mass. Physical exercise was related to increased CoQ10 levels in the elderly, but decreased levels in the young.
The data on whether or not CoQ10 can extend lifespan is currently inconclusive, although this is an area that is actively being researched. Furthermore, studies on the effect of extending lifespan of NMN, Resveratrol and Spermidine are piling up in the recent years.
12. Enhances Cognitive abilities:
The efficiency of mitochondria often declines with aging. Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease are only two of the many neurological disorders that can result from mitochondrial breakdown which leads to the formation of potentially neurotoxic chemicals. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) may inhibit the production of these toxic chemicals, so delaying the onset or advancement of neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s
Foods With Coenzyme Q10.
As was previously mentioned, as you get older, your body becomes less efficient at storing CoQ10. This decline can be fought with supplements and careful food preparation. To prevent yourself from running low, think about the following ways to enhance your intake of Q10 by adding these foods to your diet.
1. Animal Organs: The cells of vital organs contain most of the body’s CoQ10 supply. Because of this, the largest quantities of CoQ10 per 100 grams can be found in organ meats. One gram of beef liver has 3.9 milligrams, while one gram of beef heart has 11.3 milligrams. Chicken liver has 11.6 milligrams, and chicken heart has 9.2 milligrams.
2. Meat: In addition to animal cells, CoQ10 can also be derived from various sources. Because it travels throughout the body, it is present in all types of meat. There are around 3.1 milligrams per 100 g of beef, 1.4 milligrams per 100 g of poultry, and 2.4 mg per 100 g of pork.
4. Soy Products: Those who choose not to consume meat can get the protein they need from soy products such as tofu, soy milk, and soy yogurt. It also contains many other vitamins and minerals apart from this compound, making it a perfect food option. There is 1.2 mg in every 100 g of boiled soybeans. Tofu and soy milk, two other popular soy products, contain significantly less at 0.3 and 0.25 milligrams, respectively.
6. Veggies & Fruits: Vegetables are a great source of vitamins, minerals, and CoQ10 because they naturally contain both. Broccoli is a good source of CoQ10, with 0.6 to 0.86 milligrams per 100 grams. Avocado carries 0.95 milligrams per 1/2 avocado.
7. Nuts and Seeds: Nuts and seeds are a great source of CoQ10, in addition to protein, heart-healthy lipids, and other vital minerals. As for the amount of CoQ10 per 100 grams, pistachios have the lowest at 2 milligrams, while peanuts come in at 2.6 milligrams and sesame seeds at 1.7 milligrams.
It is believed that about 25% of a person’s total CoQ10 comes from food. If CoQ10 levels are low, dietary sources may not be sufficient. 500 milligrams to 1,500 milligrams are within the typical range for the entire body. If you’ve been keeping track of the nutrient content of the items listed above, you may have noticed how tough it is to reach that figure by dieting alone. Deficit symptoms have not been well-documented or well examined among the general population.
The optimal dosage of CoQ10 has not been determined. In studies, researchers have given adults CoQ10 anything from 50 milligrams to 1,200 milligrams, with many doses spread throughout the day. The average adult is recommended to take between 100 and 200 mg daily.
- Angina- Coenzyme Q10 is commonly prescribed between 60 and 300 mg daily for those with heart failure or angina.
- Q10 deficiency- treatment requires 150–2,400 mg per day.
- Nerve support- 400 milligrams (mg) daily for 12 weeks.
- Statin Medications: is commonly prescribed at a daily dose of 30-200 milligrams (mg) for those who use statin drugs.
Since CoQ10 is fat-soluble, taking it in conjunction with a meal containing fat is preferable, according to research. For optimal absorption, divide daily dosages of 100 mg or more of CoQ10 into two or three smaller portions.
Is Supplementing Helpful?
Although CoQ10 is essential, most healthy people already have sufficient body levels. But after the age of 40, levels begin to drop after age 26 in the skin and after age 30 in the heart and other vital organs. Our bodies naturally begin to produce less CoQ10, which is ironic because that’s when our immune systems need it the most. As a result, it may be a good choice as a dietary supplement for the elderly and people who prefer to age gracefully.
According to research, ubiquinol has more bioavailability than ubiquinone and may improve CoQ10 levels more efficiently.
When is the best time to begin taking CoQ10? Your body’s total CoQ10 output may be around half of what it was when you were 25 years old by the time, you’re 66. Of course, the specifics will change depending according to person.
A coenzyme Q10 blood test is the only method to ensure you receive the correct dosage and type. Levels in the blood are typically within the range of 0.4 to 1.9 mg/L (or g/mL).
You can get CoQ10 in capsule or tablet form; the dosages range from 10 to 200 mg. There are two CoQ10 supplements on the market: ubiquinone and ubiquinol. Variable levels of both types of CoQ10 are also present in foods. Supplements labeled simply as “CoQ10” are almost always ubiquinone.
There is no upper limit in terms of how long you may use CoQ10 supplementation. High-dose clinical trials have been going on for years with no problems.
Timeline of Dosage.
The following effects were seen in many of the research done on humans with their dosage and effective timelines.
Daily: Patients with angina who took 150 mg of coenzyme Q10 daily reported less chest pain during activity.
2 Weeks: Supplementing 10 mg daily for two weeks increases sperm count and motility in clinical research.
6 Weeks: Supplementing trained athletes with 300 mg of ubiquinol (the chemically reduced version of CoQ10) for 6 weeks increased maximum power output.
1 Month: A few trials employing at least four weeks of CoQ10 supplementation at 60 to 100 mg daily have shown work capacity improvement of 3 to 29% in sedentary adults and 4 to 32% in trained athletes. (1).
- Treatment of 100 mg of CoQ10 daily reduced statin-associated muscle discomfort in 75% of 50 statin users after 30 days.
2 Months: Reduced oxidative stress was observed in those who took 1,200 mg of CoQ10 daily for 60 days.
- A trial done for COPD patients with a 90mg daily intake of coenzyme improved the oxygen intake of COPD patients during strenuous activity.
- It was also found to reduce the frequency of headaches by a dosage of 1–3 mg/kg of liquid gel capsule CoQ10 daily for 3 months.
- 100 mg of CoQ10 daily decreased insulin resistance in metabolic syndrome patients for eight weeks.
3 Months: In research, fibromyalgia patients who took 100 mg of coenzyme Q10 three times a day for three months had fewer headaches and better overall symptoms.
- In another trial of 49 persons with type 2 diabetes with neuropathy, 400 mg of coenzyme Q10 daily for 12 weeks (3 months) reduced symptoms by 50% and improved nerve function, whereas a 200 mg daily dose had no effect.
4 Months: A four-month double-blind trial validated coenzyme Q10’s benefits. 47.6% of patients taking 100 mg of coenzyme Q10 three times a day had a 50% reduction in migraine frequency.
- In another trial, for individuals with low CoQ10 levels, supplementing with 100 mg 3 times daily for 16 weeks alleviated tinnitus and related symptoms.
- Coenzyme Q10 supplementation of 200 mg for 4 months reduced the occurrence of preeclampsia by 44% in a double-blind study of high-risk pregnant women.
7 Months: A brief pilot study gave HIV-positive participants 200 mg of CoQ10. 83% of these patients had no new infections during 7 months, and 3 had elevated white blood cell counts.
16 Months: Patients with early-stage Parkinson’s disease who took 1,200 mg of coenzyme Q10 daily for 16 months dramatically reduced the progression of their disease compared to those who took a placebo.
2 Years: It has been proven in research that having coQ10 400mg twice a day for 2 years helped to reduce the recurrence of melanoma.
Side Effects and Precautions.
- GI discomfort
- Appetite loss
For Pregnancy & Breastfeeding: Coenzyme Q10 may be safe if taken orally throughout pregnancy. Coenzyme Q-10 was taken twice daily beginning at 20 weeks till delivery without any adverse effects. Knowledge of coenzyme Q-10’s safety and efficacy during breastfeeding is limited.
Caution is advised while taking large amounts of CoQ10. As following interactions with other drugs are reported in various types of research.
- Risk of Toxic accumulation: CoQ10 is metabolized in the liver, with the resulting byproduct being eliminated in the bile. People with liver disease or clogged bile ducts should avoid taking CoQ10 supplements because of the risk of toxic accumulation.
- Blood thinner: Because of its chemical similarity to vitamin K, which also affects blood clotting and can counteract the effects of warfarin. It has also been linked to decreased warfarin efficacy in various case studies. (1) (2) (3)
- BP Lowering Meds: The risk of dangerously low blood pressure can be seen when used with blood pressure-lowering medications with coQ10. Stop using it two weeks before you’re scheduled to have surgery.
- CoQ10 can lower blood sugar levels. The combination of blood sugar-lowering medications may result in even lower blood sugar levels.
- Supplementing with CoQ1 while taking theophylline is not recommended as it extends the onset of peak blood levels of the medication theophylline.
Interactions between supplements and medicines can be potentially life-threatening. Do not take any supplements without first discussing them with your doctor.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is an antioxidant linked to various health benefits, including cardiovascular and metabolic function, fertility, dental and skin hygiene, and the prevention of migraines. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is created by the body and may be found in some foods, although levels typically decrease with age. You should consult your integrative healthcare provider about adding CoQ10 to your supplement routine and overall wellness strategy.