8 Benefits of Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
Coenzyme Q10, also called CoQ10, is a substance that helps to generate energy in your cells of the body. A Coenzyme works with an enzyme to initiate the function of the enzyme. Our body produces CoQ10 naturally, but its production decreases with age. You will also get CoQ10 through supplements or foods.
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Table of contents
- What Is CoQ10?
- Best Ways of CoQ10 Naturally
- Proven benefits of CoQ10
- Supplements and dosage of CoQ10
- Side effects CoQ10
What Is CoQ10?
CoQ10 is a substance that is synthesized by your body and stored in the mitochondria of your cells. The mitochondria help in producing energy, protect cells from oxidative damage and disease-causing bacteria or viruses. CoQ10 production decreases as you age. Thus, elderly people seem to have a deficiency in CoQ10. Coenzyme is small, non-proteinaceous molecules that provide a transfer site for a functioning enzyme. Coenzyme Q10 is a natural antioxidant produced by the body. It is found in every cell of your body, also found in many foods, and available as a Health Supplement. It comes in two forms:
- Ubiquinol (Coq10), the active antioxidant form and;
- Ubiquinone, (Coq H) the oxidized form. It is an essential contributor to the chain of metabolic chemical reactions that generate energy inside cells.
Natural way of getting coq10 from Food Sources
Coenzyme Q10 is found in our diet naturally, foods including fish, liver, kidney and whole grains. Coenzyme Q10 found in meat, poultry and fish are the richest natural source. The highest levels of natural sources of CoQ10 are particularly found in organ meat such as the heart, liver, and kidney. But for vegetarians, it is beans, nuts, some vegetables, eggs and dairy products. Best food sources supplying CoQ10 includes:
- Organ meats: Heart, liver and, kidney
- Some muscle meats: pork, beef and, chicken
- Fatty fish: Trout, herring, mackerel and, sardine
- Vegetables: Spinach, cauliflower and, broccoli
- Fruit: Oranges and strawberries
- Legumes: Soybeans, lentils and, peanuts
- Nuts and seeds: Sesame seeds and pistachios
- Oils: Soybean and canola oil
It’s estimated that the regular person’s diet contributes about 25 percent of total CoQ10.
Proven benefits of CoQ10
CoQ10 plays several important roles in your body. One of its important functions is to help generate energy in your cells. It’s involved in making adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is involved in energy transfer within cells. Its other essential role is to serve as an antioxidant and protect cells from oxidative damage. Extreme amounts of free radicals lead to oxidative damage, which can interfere with regular cell functioning. This is known to cause many health conditions.
- Heart Health
Coenzyme Q10 is helpful for heart health it is said to help heart failure. Studies show that CoQ10 helps to keep normal cholesterol levels and heart muscle strength and sustenance the health of blood vessel walls. The heart is one of the most important metabolically active organs in our body and thus a deficiency in CoQ10 usually affects the heart first. So, the heart muscle (myocardium) requires the major level of energetic support of any organ in your body. Moreover, any condition that causes a decrease in CoQ10 can damage the energetic capacity of the heart, leaving the tissues more vulnerable to free radical attack.
- CoQ10 Could Protect the Lungs
Lungs have the most contact with oxygen. This makes them very susceptible to oxidative damage. Greater oxidative damage in the lungs and poor antioxidant protection, including low levels of CoQ10, can result in lung diseases like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
- It Could Help with Fertility
Female fertility decreases with age due to a decline in the number and quality of available eggs. CoQ10 is directly involved in this process. As you get older, CoQ10 production slows, making the body less effective at protecting the eggs from oxidative damage. CoQ10 may even reverse this age-related decline in egg quality and quantity. Similarly, male sperm is susceptible to the effects of oxidative damage, which may result in reduced sperm count, poor sperm quality and infertility. Several types of research have concluded that supplementing with CoQ10 may improve sperm quality, activity and concentration by increasing antioxidant protection.
- It Could Help with Exercise Performance
Oxidative stress can affect muscle function, and exercise performance. likewise, abnormal mitochondrial function can reduce muscle energy, making it hard for muscles to contract efficiently and sustain exercise. CoQ10 can help exercise performance by reducing oxidative stress in the cells and improving mitochondrial functions. CoQ10 can aids in increase power during exercise and reduce fatigue, both of which can improve exercise performance.
- Help with Diabetes
Oxidative stress can induce cell damage. This can result in metabolic diseases like diabetes. CoQ10 has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and regulate blood sugar levels. CoQ10 may also help increase CoQ10 concentrations in the blood by up to three times in people with diabetes who typically show low levels of this compound.
- Keep Your Skin Young
These agents can be internal or external. Some internal harmful factors include cellular damage and hormonal imbalances. External factors include environmental agents, such as UV rays. Hazardous elements can lead to reduced skin moisture and protection from environmental aggressors, as well as the thinning of the layers of the skin. Applying CoQ10 directly to the skin can decrease the damage from internal and external agents by increasing energy production in skin cells and promoting antioxidant protection.
CoQ10 can also play a key role in making skin look younger. CoQ10 levels reduced as you get older. Many women over thirty have below optimal levels of CoQ10 in the skin. The deficiency of CoQ10 results in an impeded ability to produce collagen and elastin. Collagen is essential because it makes your skin firm, while elastin gives your skin flexibility. The loss of collagen and elastin reasons your skin to wrinkle and sag. CoQ10 also aids the skin by acting as a strong antioxidant. It helps to nullify the harmful free radicals that are one of the major causes of aging. So, the age-related decline in CoQ10 also your skin is more disposed to be damaged by free radicals.
- Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson's disease is a chronic and progressive disorder that affects the nervous system. It firstly affects the middle-aged and old, but can also attack at much younger ages. As we get older, our bodies naturally produce fewer coenzyme Q10. The signs of Parkinson's disease are supposed to start when something causes a faster decline in the production of cellular energy. Coenzyme Q10 uncovers up a whole new avenue of treatment and assurance for Parkinson’s patients, for coenzyme Q10 is not only an exceptionally powerful antioxidant, but it also benefits reverse mitochondrial dysfunction, as yet another factor in Parkinson’s disease.
Supplements and dosage of CoQ10
CoQ10 comes in two forms ubiquinol and ubiquinone. Ubiquinol accounts for 90% of the CoQ10 in the blood and is the most absorbable form and it's recommended to choose from supplements containing the ubiquinol form. If you want to buy a CoQ10 supplement containing the ubiquinol form, then there is an excellent selection on online. As CoQ10 is a fat-soluble compound, its absorption is slow and limited. Although, taking CoQ10 supplements with food can help your body absorb it up to three times faster than taking it without food and also some products offer a solubilized form of CoQ10, or with a combination of CoQ10 and oils, to improve its absorption. Your body does not store CoQ10. So, its continued use is recommended to see its benefits.
There are different formulation and dosage forms of Coenzyme Q-10 like Tablets, Capsules, Softgels, etc (Nature's Velvet Coenzyme Q-10 100 MG is one of the examples).
There is no established ideal dose of CoQ10. Researchers have used doses of CoQ10 ranging from 50 milligrams to 1,200 milligrams in adults, sometimes split into several doses over a day. The normal dose of CoQ10 ranges from 90 mg to 200 mg per day and doses up to 500 mg seem well-tolerated, and several studies have used even higher doses without any serious side effects. Follow the instructions on the bottle or get advice from your doctor or a dietitian. Remember that different supplement brands might have different ingredients and strengths.
CoQ10 seems to be well tolerated by humans and have low toxicity. Some research showed no major side effects taking daily doses of 1,200 mg for 16 months. Although if side effects appear, it is recommended to divide the daily dose into two to three smaller doses.
CoQ10 supplement is a fat-soluble, vitamin-like compound that seems to have many health benefits. It is involved in the production of cellular energy and serves as an antioxidant. These properties make it helpful in the preservation of cells and the prevention and treatment of some chronic diseases. CoQ10 helps to improve heart health and blood sugar regulation. It could also reduce the oxidative damage that leads to muscle fatigue, skin damage and lung diseases. CoQ10 may be helpful to improve sperm quality and reduce the decline in the number and quality of eggs in women. CoQ10 can be found as a supplement that seems to be well tolerated. Additionally, it’s found in some foods like animal organs, vegetables and legumes. As CoQ10 production decreases with age, adults of every age could benefit from more of it. Either you consume more foods with a high CoQ10 content or take supplements, CoQ10 could benefit your health.
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- Rakesh Gupta