About Coenzyme Q10
Coenzyme Q10, also known as CoQ10 or Ubiquinone, is a naturally existing chemical found in nearly every cell in the human body. Coenzyme Q10 performs various critical functions, including increasing energy production and eliminating damaging particles known as free radicals.
The heart, liver, kidneys, and pancreas have the largest concentrations. The lungs have the lowest concentrations. CoQ10 levels in the body decline as people age.
Coenzyme Q10 is typically used to treat cardiovascular diseases such as heart failure and fluid accumulation (congestive heart failure), chest pain, and hypertension. It is also used to treat migraine headaches, Parkinson’s disease, and a variety of other disorders.
Low CoQ10 levels have been associated to health issues such as heart diseases, neurological disorders, diabetes, and cancer. But what seems certain is that a large number of studies have highlighted CoQ10’s numerous health benefits.
Mechanism of action
CoQ10 possesses antioxidant and membrane-stabilizing characteristics and is the only endogenously formed lipid in mammals with such a redox functionality. CoQ10 is capable of being manufactured by all cells, and there is no redistribution across organs via the blood. It is required for the generation of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), and its involvement as a transportable electron carrier in mitochondrial electron-transfer processes such as respiration and coupled phosphorylation is well recognized.
By eliminating free radicals, CoQ10 functions as an antioxidant. As a result, CoQ10 protects cells from the detrimental consequences of DNA damage.
Health benefits of Coenzyme Q10
1.) Preventing cardiovascular diseases, particularly heart failure.
Early study suggested that low coenzyme Q10 levels may be associated with heart failure. According to some studies, consuming coenzyme Q10 may help minimize some symptoms of heart failure. Coenzyme Q10 may also lower the chance of mortality or hospitalization due to heart failure.
The heart has some of the highest CoQ10 amounts in the body. The majority of individuals who have heart disease have low CoQ10 levels as well. Low CoQ10 levels are now thought to be a predictor of the severity and long-term prognosis of many cardiac disorders, according to researchers.
2.) Reducing muscle pain caused due to statin use.
CoQ10 supplements may aid in the relief of muscle pain caused by statin use. Statins are frequently prescribed by doctors to treat Cardiovascular diseases. These medications act by lowering cholesterol synthesis, which can contribute to the condition.
Statins inhibit cholesterol synthesis while simultaneously lowering CoQ10 levels. Decreased CoQ10 levels can cause mitochondrial malfunction, which can result in muscle pain, also known as myopathy.
A randomized controlled trial published in 2019 looked at the efficacy of CoQ10 on statin-related muscle pain. The study included 60 people who had previously complained about muscle soreness and pain while on statin drugs. Over the course of three months, each participant received either a 100mg CoQ10 supplement or a placebo.
Statin-related muscle pain was considerably reduced in participants who received CoQ10 supplements. Those who were given a placebo claimed no improvement in muscle pain.
3.) Treating migraines.
Improper mitochondrial function can result in increased calcium absorption by cells, excessive free radical generation, and inadequate antioxidant defense. This can lead to low energy levels in brain cells and then even migraines. Because CoQ10 is found mostly in the mitochondria of cells, it has been demonstrated to increase mitochondrial activity and aid in the reduction of inflammation that may develop during migraines. In addition, a study of 42 individuals found that taking CoQ10 supplements was three times more likely than a placebo to minimize the occurrence of migraines. Furthermore, CoQ10 deficiency has been seen in migraine patients.
Furthermore, it appears that CoQ10 not only helps cure but may even prevent migraines. Adults appear to benefit from taking coenzyme Q10 orally to help avoid migraine headaches. Consuming coenzyme Q10 appears to decrease migraine frequency in children with low coenzyme Q10 levels.
4.) Preventing age-related disorders.
Mitochondrial function diminishes as the body’s CoQ10 levels fall naturally with age. According to studies, mitochondrial dysfunction may have a role in age-related neurodegenerative illnesses such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. These disorders have been linked to free radical damage.
5.) Improving fertility.
Female fertility declines with age as the amount and quality of available eggs lowers. CoQ10 has a direct role in this process. As you become older, your body’s synthesis of CoQ10 diminishes, rendering it less effective at protecting your eggs from oxidative damage. CoQ10 supplementation appears to aid and may even reverse the age-related loss in egg quality and quantity.
Likewise, male sperm is vulnerable to oxidative damage, which can lead to decreased sperm count, decreased sperm quality, and infertility. Many studies have found that using CoQ10 supplements may increase sperm quality, activity, and concentration by boosting antioxidant protection.
6.) Might play a role in cancer prevention.
If your body is unable to resist oxidative stress properly, the structure of your cells may be compromised, thus raising your risk of cancer. CoQ10 may protect cells from oxidative damage and increase cellular energy generation, hence increasing cell health and survival.
It’s worth noting that cancer patients have reduced CoQ10 levels. Low CoQ10 levels have been linked to a 53.3% increased risk of cancer and a poor prognosis for many kinds of cancer. What’s more, another study also revealed that supplementing with CoQ10 may help minimize the probability of cancer recurrence.
Coenzyme Q10 has also been studied in cancer patients. Preliminary investigations on whether it can help manage cancer-related fatigue are conflicting. CoQ10 appeared to reduce inflammatory cytokine concentrations in tamoxifen-treated patients. In patients with hepatocellular carcinoma, CoQ10 levels were found to be positively related to antioxidant capacity and negatively related to inflammatory markers after surgery.
Antioxidant medication, including CoQ10, before and during therapy, on the other hand, was linked to an increased risk of recurrence in women with breast cancer. CoQ10 may interfere with warfarin’s effect. Its antioxidant activities may potentially decrease the efficacy of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
Further research is definitely needed.
Coenzyme Q10 is LIKELY SAFE for the most number of people. While coenzyme Q10 is well tolerated by the majority of people, it might cause some minor adverse effects, including:
- Pain in the upper region of the abdomen.
- Low blood pressure.
- Light sensitivity.
CoQ10 supplements may interact with some drugs, such as:
- Antihypertensive drugs (high blood pressure medications): Coenzyme Q-10 appears to lower blood pressure. Using coenzyme Q-10 with high blood pressure drugs may cause your blood pressure to drop too low.
- Chemotherapy medications: Coenzyme Q-10 is a powerful antioxidant. There is considerable concern that antioxidants may reduce the efficacy of certain cancer medicines. Clinical studies that investigated the use of CoQ10 to reduce hazardous adverse effects during chemotherapy did not follow participants long enough to determine whether CoQ10 rendered the therapies less effective. To be safe, avoid consuming it without first consulting your doctor.
- Warfarin (Coumadin) medication: Warfarin (Coumadin) is a blood clotting inhibitor. Coenzyme Q-10 may aid in blood clotting. It may decrease the efficacy of warfarin by assisting with blood clotting. Warfarin (Coumadin) efficiency may be reduced, which may raise the risk of blood clotting. Conversely, CoQ10 has also been linked to an increase in bleeding risk when combined with warfarin.
- Theophylline medication: Consult your doctor if you are taking theophylline for asthma or other lung conditions such as emphysema (when the air sacs in your lungs are destroyed) or chronic bronchitis. CoQ10 may have an effect on how this drug works.
CoQ10 is available in two forms: ubiquinol and ubiquinone. Ubiquinol, the most bioavailable form of CoQ10, accounts for 90% of the CoQ10 in the bloodstream. As a result, it is advised to select supplements containing the ubiquinol type.
The typical CoQ10 dose varies from 90 mg to 200 mg daily. Levels as high as 500 mg appear to be well tolerated, and several trials have employed even larger doses with no serious side effects. CoQ10’s uptake is slow and limited as it is a fat-soluble molecule.
Consuming CoQ10 supplements with food, on the other hand, may help your body absorb it up to three times quickly than consuming it without food.
To increase absorption, some formulations include a solubilized version of CoQ10 or a mix of CoQ10 and oils. CoQ10 is not stored in your body. As a result, continuing to consume it is advised to reap the benefits.
In scientific studies, the following doses have been investigated for adults:
- For coenzyme Q10 deficiency: 150-2400 mg daily.
- For a group of illnesses that most commonly induce muscle weakness (mitochondrial myopathies): 150-160 mg daily, or 2 mg/kg daily. Dosage can be increased gradually to 3000 mg each day in some situations.
- For heart failure and fluid accumulation in the body (congestive heart failure): 30 mg once per day, or up to 300 mg per day split into two or three doses for up to two years. Furthermore, 2 mg/kg daily for up to a year has been administered.
- For diabetic neuropathy: 400 mg each day for 12 weeks.
- For migraine prevention: For three months, take 100 mg three times daily, 150 mg once each day, or 100mg once each day. A daily dose of 1-3 mg/kg for three months has also been administered.
Food sources of Coenzyme Q10
While CoQ10 is widely accessible as a supplement, it is also present in several foods. CoQ10 appears to be absorbed similarly whether taken as a supplement or consumed as a food. CoQ10 is found in the following foods:
- Organ meats: Liver, heart, and kidney.
- Fatty fish: Sardine, mackerel, and herring.
- Fruits: Strawberries and oranges.
- Vegetables: Broccoli, cauliflower, and spinach.
- Oils: Canola oil and soybean oil.
- Legumes: Lentils, peanuts, and soybeans.
- Nuts and seeds: Pistachios and sesame seeds.
CoQ10 is an antioxidant found in nearly every cell of the human body. CoQ10 deficiency has been linked to a number of medical disorders, including heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Although the body manufactures CoQ10 naturally, several people may benefit from taking supplements. Ultimately, CoQ10 supplements appear to be relatively safe, with few reported side effects. CoQ10 may enhance your wellbeing regardless of whether you eat foods high in CoQ10 or take a supplement.
Those who want to take CoQ10 supplements should first consult with a healthcare expert. CoQ10 is not recommended for individuals who are using blood-thinning medications, insulin, or certain chemotherapy medications, according to experts.