What is coenzyme Q10?
Coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10, is an antioxidant that creates energy in your cells. It is stored in the mitochondria (energy powerhouse) of the cell. The highest levels of CoQ10 are found in your heart, liver, kidneys and pancreas.
Low levels of CoQ10 are linked to cardiovascular disease, cancer, Type 2 Diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. CoQ10 has many important functions within the body.
Your body produces CoQ10 naturally (with the help of food), but with age levels start to decline.
What are the health benefits of CoQ10?
- Improves congestive heart failure
- Heart failure is associated with extreme oxidative and inflammatory damage to the heart’s cells. As a result, they start to die or not function. As a result, the heart is not able to properly perform its duties such as contracting, relaxing and pumping blood and oxygen through the body. CoQ10 has been shown to reduce oxidative damage, improve heart function, increase nitric oxide bioavailability, restore cellular energy and improve cardiovascular mortality (Source).
- Supports healthy blood pressure
- A study published in 2018 reviewed seventeen randomized clinical trials conducted thus far and concluded that CoQ10 supplementation can reduce blood pressure in patients with metabolic disease (Source). Another study corroborated this by concluding that coenzyme Q10 has the potential to reduce systolic blood pressure by 17 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure by 10 mm hg (Source).
- Protects against atherosclerosis
- A study published in 2012 in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry found that CoQ10 plays many vital roles when it comes to keeping the blood vessels and the heart healthy. The study demonstrated that supplementation with CoQ10 prevents LDL from being oxidized, or damaged, which is a hallmark of atherosclerosis development (Source). CoQ10 was also found to increase nitric oxide synthase, which is important for boosting nitric oxide levels and keeping blood vessels relaxed (Source).
- Promotes cellular energy production in mitochondria
- The cell’s mitochondria produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP) from food. ATP is the energy that powers the cells and the body. CoQ10 plays an important role in this ATP creation. As a result of its role in energy creation, it has been found that it can help prevent fatigue associated with exercise (Source).
- Provides antioxidant protection
- As an antioxidant, CoQ10 protects cells from harmful free radicals and oxidative damage. Excess oxidative damage leads to cellular dysfunction, which is at the root of all diseases. This is likely why we see many chronic diseases (that have arisen out of oxidative stress) linked to low levels of coenzyme Q10.
- Helps with statin-induced muscle weakness
- Statins work by depleting a crucial liver enzyme used to make CoQ10 and cholesterol. A side effect of long-term statin use is a CoQ10 deficiency. While there are many reasons why we don’t recommend statins, if you are taking one then you must ensure you’re also taking CoQ10. Supplementing with CoQ10 can help with the weakness and pain that occurs in muscles as a result of taking statins.
- Preventing migraines
- There is evidence for CoQ10 to be effective in preventing migraines according to a recent article published in 2019 (Source). It is speculated that CoQ10 can reduce pain and duration of pain due to its effects on inflammation and mitochondria function. Another study found that supplementing with CoQ10 reduces the frequency of migraines people experience and is a well-tolerated treatment (Source). Guidelines from the American Academy of Neurology and the American Headache Society suggest CoQ10 to be an effective, preventative tool for migraines.
- Increases physical performance
- CoQ10 can aid in physical activity performance by boosting energy and mitochondrial function in the cells. It also lowers oxidative stress, prevents fatigue of muscles and increases physical performance capacity.
Who is at risk for low levels of CoQ10?
- Individuals over the age of 40
- Individuals with heart disease, cancer or Type 2 Diabetes
- Individuals taking statins
- Individuals with high levels of oxidative stress
- Individuals with nutritional deficiencies
- Individuals with mitochondrial disease
- Individuals with a genetic deficiency
How can I get more CoQ10?
Due to food being depleted of nutrients and the relatively low quantity of CoQ10 found in foods, it is best to supplement if you fit into any of the at-risk groups mentioned above that are at risk for low CoQ10 levels.
We recommend our Cardio Q for a highly absorbable daily dose of CoQ10 to support cardiovascular health. Take one capsule daily with food, or as directed by your physician.
CoQ10 may interact with the blood thinner warfarin and the diabetes medication insulin. Please check with your physician before starting any treatments.
Summary of information:
- Coenzyme Q10 is an important antioxidant and energy-producing molecule in our cells. It is very important in the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease.
- There is evidence for CoQ10 to improve heart failure outcomes, reduce blood pressure, decrease oxidation of LDL, boost antioxidant status and improve physical performance.
- We recommend Cardio Q, one capsule per day, to restore coenzyme Q10 levels and improve health.