Coenzyme Q10

Co-enzyme Q10 (Ubiquinone) is a naturally occurring vitamin-like substance, found in every cell of our body and the highest concentration of it is in the heart. A fat soluble antioxidant, it is necessary for every cell to function well. Its key role is energy production. CoQ10 is required in stage 3 of energy production: The Electron Transport Chain stage – the final step of converting glucose into energy. It is the final electron acceptor in this step of energy producing progress and it is found in mitochondria, the part of the cell where Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) – the energy storage molecule – is generated during the electron transport chain. When level of CoQ10 start to drop – and it does decline with age – our energy levels drop too.

Electron Transport Chain

CoQ10 involved in cell metabolism, providing energy for digestion, tissue renewal, muscle function and many other cell functions. It may prevent or even reverse heart problems, skin damage, breathing problems, nerve damage, brain cell deterioration, gum disease, muscle wasting, headaches, chronic fatigue syndrome, etc.

The level of CoQ10 in our bodies decline with age and chronic stress. Also, certain medications, like statins and beta-blockers deplete levels of CoQ10. So supplementation is beneficial from mid-twenties and forward.

CoQ10 Functions.

  • Improves congestive heart failure, cardiomyopathy, angina, arrhythmia, mitral valve prolapse and hypertension. US research showed significant improvement in heart function after supplementing with Ubiquinol (an electron-rich (reduced) form ofCoQ10) where patients were taking Ubiquinol for 3 months and experienced a 24-50% increase in their heart’s ability to pump blood. In Europe, the number of trials that administered  100-200mg a day of CoQ10 for one to three months to patients with heart failure, in conjunction with conventional medical therapy, showed improvements in cardiac function.
  • Provides energy boost and helps with fatigue and tiredness as it plays a key role in the generation of energy in mitochondria.
  • Alleviates side effects of statin drugs as statins deplete CoQ10 levels, which result in  muscle pain. Everyone who takes statin drugs should supplement with CoQ10.
  • Maintains healthy blood pressure and arterial health. Supplementation may decrease high blood pressure by 10% over 4-12 week period, due to its cholesterol lowering  and antioxidant properties.
  • Involved in cellular fat metabolism. It transports fats through cell membranes and through mitochondria with the aid of amino-acid Carnitine. Deficiency of CoQ10 can decrease thermogenesis and energy production. This makes CoQ10 beneficial for weight loss as is helps to burn more calories within mitochondria.
  • As potent antioxidant it helps to recycle other critical antioxidants and helps to neutralise free radicals. It works with vitamin E to protect LDL (bad cholesterol) fats and blood fats (triglycerides) from oxidation.
  • Helps to maintain healthy gums and often added to toothpastes and mouthwashes.
  • Aids mental alertness, concentration and good memory, probably due to its energy enchanting properties.
  • Aids athletic performance and exercise tolerance in patients with cardiovascular disease as it aids utilisation of oxygen by the heart muscle. Beneficial for muscular dystrophy and myopathy. Shown to increase work capacity and muscular performance at 60mg a day over 4-8 weeks.
  • Beneficial for neurological disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease.

Deficiency Symptoms: lack of energy, fatigue and muscle pains.

Available forms:

  • Vegetable capsules – ususally with higher quantity of CoQ10 for better absorbtion.
  • Gelatin softgels with misellised CoQ10 inside. Similar to emulsion, but it the convenience of a capsule.
  • Liquid or emulsified form – better option for vegetarians and vegans and better absorbtion rate.
  • Available in combination with Omega oils.
  • Also available as Ubiquinol in gelatin capsules.

Supplement facts.

CoQ10 is a fat soluble enzyme and therefore needs to be taken with fats/oils. It is quite difficult to absorb CoQ10 in a supplement form. The best option is to always buy a CoQ10 supplement with Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT). Sometimes they add CoQ10 in fish oils or encapsulate it with vtamin E oil. CoQ10 absorbtion rate in dry form is questionable.

See supplement comparison here.

CoQ10 Side Effects and Precautions.

  • Not advisable when taking Warfarin or other blood thinning drugs.
  • Not recommended during pregnancy.
  • CoQ10 does not have any side effects if taken in reasonable amounts.  Gastrointestinal problems are reported when it is taken at very high doses – over 1500mg.

Food Sources of CoQ10: beef, pork and chicken meat and organs, sardines, soybean oil, peanuts, walnuts and pistachios, parsley,  avocado.


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