What Is COQ10?
CoEnzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is an exciting nutrient in the supplement space and hugely popular due to the remarkable benefits towards levels of energy, stamina and immune system functionality in the body. Commonly used to aid with common heart ailments and neurological disorders, it is essential for cells to function properly and is currently taken by a staggering 53 per cent of Americans based on a survey by Consumerlab.com in 2010.
First discovered in 1957 by Fred Cane, this vitamin like substance is a universal natural antioxidant enzyme (dubbed Vitamin Q) produced naturally in the body and can also be found in a number of food sources such as fish (including salmon, sardines and mackerel), beef heart, pork and chicken liver.
What Does It Do?
What is so special about CoQ10 is that it accelerates and fuels the production of energy in cells throughout your body, especially in the heart and also functions as an antioxidant that helps to protect the body from inflammatory damage and oxidative stress. When your body has optimum levels of this enzyme, your cells are able to absorb nutrients properly while at the same time expelling toxins and increasing energy.
To put it simply, this supplement is one of the best nutrients currently available for a wide range of typical age related disorders and promotes total body health.
How Does It Work?
The simple and most important benefit of this powerful nutrient comes from it’s role in shuttling electrons in a series of reactions which results the production of a molecule called Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP). This molecule is the precursor that stimulates direct energy where it’s required in a cell and throughout the human body and ensures the correct functional of several key processes. One of these processes is in the heart, where the right dosage can recharge the energy system and pump blood highly efficiently.
Coenzyme Q10 works in conjunction with enzymes (hence the term “coenzyme”) to break down food that the body can use for energy.
Uses & Benefits
There is currently an extensive effort into further research into the benefits of CoQ10 and it’s effect on aiding number of ailments including Parkinson’s, heart disease and cancer. Alongside this, it’s purported to have positive effects against the aging of the body, weight loss and neural processes such as memory.
Even though it is produced naturally by the body, over the age of twenty this output declines and can cause energy levels to drop and a feeling of “getting older”. Coenzyme Q10 plays a crucial role in oxygen utilization and doctors have suggested it could have a number of benefits including:
• The treatment of heart conditions and high blood pressure
• People trying to cope with chronic fatigue and low energy levels
• Lowering levels of raised cholesterol in the blood
• Boosting the immune system
• Assisting with weight loss and sluggish metabolism
• Managing blood sugar levels in Diabetes sufferers
• Reducing the signs of aging
• Improving the symptoms of gum disease
Ubiquinone vs. Ubiquinol?
When it comes to choosing the right type of supplement, it is important to understand the right type of form you are taking as this affects the absorption of the supplement. In recent years, the development in research has produced better delivery systems into the bloodstream than previous forms.
There are two types of this nutrient that you must be aware of. The first is Ubiqinol, which is the reduced form and the other type is known as Ubiquinone which is the oxidized form.
When buying this supplement, it is recommended to take Ubiquinol as opposed to ubiquinone as your body has to put in a lot more extra effort converting this to a useable form and Ubiqinol has eight times more bioavailability meaning the body can absorb it must easier.
Ubiquinone can be converted by the body to Ubiquinol through a number of processes and shouldn’t be overlooked if you are looking to purchase, but the process can be diminished by a deficiency in any of the co-factors such as vitamin C, B2, B3, B5 and B12. The added benefit of Ubiquinol is the fact it actually assists in the regeneration of other antioxidants such as Vitamin E and C.
With its dual role as a powerful coenzyme in energy production as well as a proven antioxidant, Ubiquinol comes out on top as therapeutically superior alternative to supplements using the oxidized form.
An average person is typically able to acquire 5-10mg per day, so we all could do with added supplementation with this enzyme. Typically, it as sold and best taken in soft gel capsules, however there are powder versions available.
The reduced form, Ubiquinol, is recommended to adults of all ages (especially over 40) based on the fact it is 95% identical to what’s produced naturally in the body – meaning its born ready. Having said that, Ubiquinone can still be effective and is an alternative if cost is an issue.
Deficiency of this enzyme typically occurs as we get older as adequate levels are generated in the body and diet in younger years.
Depending on the individual, the recommended dosage varies, but the recommended number for those under 60 is roughly 50-100mg a day and those over 60 on a statin drug, 100-200mg daily.
Those looking for assistance with heart related problems can consider a higher dose of 300mg daily.
The magic figure used in a wide range of research, is 200mg daily. This dosage has been shown help relax arteries for blood flow and protect the walls of blood vessels, protecting them from free radical damage.
Guidelines For Use
If you are taking a cholesterol lowering statin drug, is it important to supplement with CoQ10 as these types of drugs lower the production of this nutrient in the body.
It is best to supplement in divided doses with meals, as it is more readily absorbed with the digestion of food (especially fats).
The benefits typically start to show within 2-3 weeks of sustained usage at the right dosage.
Fortunately, side effects are rare and mild, even at high does. Rarely, there can be instances of nausea, upset stomach or diarrhea during sustained periods of consumption and high doses.
The safety of taking CoQ10 when pregnant or breast feeding has not been researched, so it would be advised to avoid during these periods.
Best Selling CoQ10 Supplements
Coenzyme 10 can be combined with the following supplements:
Acetyl L-Carnitine – L-Carnitine is another antioxidant nutrient and works well as a paired supplement as both are crucial in cellular energy production. While L-Carnitine assists with the transfer of fatty acids into your mitochrondia cells for processing, CoQ10 then works to extract the ATP needed to unlock energy.
Vitamin E – A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition demonstrated that CoQ10 improved the effects of Vitamin E.
References And Studies
1. Coenzyme Q10 deficiency and response to supplementation in pediatric and adolescent migraine, Hershey, Andrew D, et al., 2. Co-enzyme Q10: a new drug for cardiovascular disease”, Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 1990
3. “Coenzyme Q(10) improves blood pressure and glycaemic control: a controlled trial in subjects with type 2 diabetes,” Hodgson, J.M., et al., European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2002
4. “Effects of coenzyme Q10 in early Parkinson disease: evidence of slowing of the functional decline,”, Shults, C.W., et al., Archives of Neurology, 2002
5. “The role of coenzyme Q10 in statin-associated myopathy: a systematic review.”, Marcoff L, et al., January, 2007