What is coenzyme-q10

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10): Usage, Health Benefits & Side Effects

If you’re interested in reading about the great health benefits of coenzyme Q10, we’re here to provide you with that information.

This compound is produced naturally by the body, and it’s also found in some foods like meat, whole grains, and fish.

Coenzyme Q10 is essential to the proper functioning of our systems, and it also has other potential health benefits.

For example, it may lessen the severity of migraines and enhance physical performance (1).

This article will look at the benefits and disadvantages of coenzyme Q10, its side effects, dosage, and how it functions in the body.

This should help you decide if this nutritional supplement would be helpful for you.


 

What is Coenzyme Q10?

Coenzyme-Q10 (CoQ10) is an antioxidant also called Ubiquinone, which is an essential component of the mitochondria of our cells. It helps our cells to generate energy and exists in almost every organism alive including bacteria (2).

As we get older, the amount of this necessary compound in our bodies decreases. There’s some evidence that people with certain medical conditions like heart disease also have a lack of this substance (1).

You can purchase coenzyme Q10 in the form of capsules and tablets, and you can also take it intravenously. There’s evidence that it can help a number of health conditions.


 

How Does It Work?

Coenzyme Q10 is found in all human tissue, in the mitochondria of the cells. The level varies depending on its location in the body. The highest amount occurs in parts of the body with elevated rates of metabolism, like the liver, heart, and kidney (2).

It’s most important role is as part of an electron-transfer chain which leads to the production of adenosine triphosphate. This organic compound plays an essential role in providing the energy which is needed for many bodily functions (3).

Coenzyme Q10 is also an antioxidant in cell membranes and lipoproteins which is healthy for the immune system. It can reduce oxidative stress and kill free radicals that can be damaging to the body (2).


 

Is Coenzyme Q10 Safe?

For the most part, this substance is quite safe and would only lead to mild side effects which may include symptoms like nausea, dizziness, headaches, and diarrhea. It’s not safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women (1).

There’s a chance that it could lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels (4).

In very high doses, it could cause liver damage (5). People with liver problems should avoid this supplement.


 

Coenzyme Q10 Health Benefits

coenzyme-q10

1. Treat Heart Conditions

What the Science Says

There’s some evidence that coenzyme Q10 can be a helpful treatment for congestive heart failure.

A recent analysis of 7 studies published in BMC Cardiovascular Disorders found that supplementing with this substance each day led to a 39% reduction in the death rate.

Coenzyme Q10 may help lower blood pressure. Although the research is a little contradictory on this point, several small clinical studies have found this to be true (6).

However, studies have indicated that it takes 4-12 weeks to see the effect (6). There’s also evidence to suggest that taking coenzyme Q10 can speed up recovery after bypass and heart valve operations (1).

2. Ease Migraines

What the Science Says

Coenzyme Q10 may be able to ease the pain of migraines, because it gives the cells in the brain an extra boost of energy.

A study carried out by the American Academy of Neurology had patients take this supplement 3 times a day, and within 3 months found they had a significantly lower number of attacks.

In addition, they found that patients had few side effects, and much less than most traditional migraine medications.

3. Treat Parkinson’s Disease

What the Science Says

This is a degenerative disorder that affects the neurological system. It involves damage to the mitochondria and the oxidative parts of the brain (7).

Some studies have found a depletion of coenzyme Q10 in the platelets and in the brains of people who suffer from this disease (8, 9).

A 16-month study published in JAMA Neurology gave 80 Parkinson’s patients either 300, 600, or 1200 mg of coenzyme Q10 per day. They concluded that at 1200, the deterioration in the disease slowed down.

4. Enhance Physical Performance

What the Science Says

While carrying out physical training, oxidative stress and free radical formation tend to increase.

The antioxidant properties of coenzyme Q10 can eliminate this problem, which is one reason they’re considered helpful for athletes or people who workout.

There’s research to indicate that this supplement can actually improve physical performance, even affecting muscle concentration.

A study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition gave coenzyme Q10 to both trained and untrained participants for 14 days.

They found that the supplement led to lower oxidative stress and higher muscle concentration in the subjects.

5. Increase Fertility

What the Science Says

Coenzyme Q10 may have a positive impact on both male and female fertility. Male infertility has been associated with both low levels of this substance in the seminal fluid but also high levels of oxidative stress.

Studies show that giving men a CQ10 supplement every day can increase sperm concentration, density, morphology, and motility (10).

As of yet, there has not been a lot of concrete research into coenzyme Q10 and female fertility, but there’s reason to believe that it could also have a positive effect.

One study showed that a deficiency in the supplement in female mice led to infertility issues (11).

6. Anti-Aging Properties

What the Science Says

There’s a link between aging and levels of CQ10 levels in the body. Evidence indicates that with age and also with the development of age-related diseases, there’s a reduction in levels of this substance (3).

Research in mice has shown a connection between length of life and levels of CQ10 (12).

A study on elderly people published in Biogerontology showed that levels of the substance are positively correlated with the amount of physical activity, cholesterol levels, and lower oxidative damage.

In addition to the aging of the body in general, there’s a connection between levels of CQ10 and skin aging. This supplement is a potent antioxidant that can prevent damage to the skin from harmful outside agents (13).

The aging of the skin often occurs due to oxidative damage, largely from the effect of the sun’s rays.

An article in Biofactors noted that CQ10 can reduce this impairment, even to the extent of diminishing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.

7. Treat Diabetes

What the Science Says

One of the causes leading to diabetes is an increase in oxidative stress in the system. In addition, there’s a relationship between this disease and dysfunction in energy production in the mitochondria (7).

A 6-week study published in PLoS 1 showed that CQ10 supplementation enhanced blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity.

However, a meta-analysis of 6 trials of supplementation of CQ10 on diabetes patients found no effect on plasma glucose or hemoglobin levels in diabetic patients (7).

There’s more evidence that CQ10 can help in the prevention of diabetes than it’s treatment.

In addition to the research that indicates that it can restore insulin sensitivity (14, 15), it may also help prevent the development of fat cells that could be a risk factor in becoming diabetic (16).

8. Prevent Cancer

What the Science Says

There’s evidence to indicate that lower levels of CQ10 can increase cancer risk. A study in Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers, and Prevention found that women with the lowest levels had the most chance of developing breast cancer.

Low levels of CQ10 puts people at risk of oxidative stress, which can lead to cell damage. This increases the chances of developing cancer.

As CQ10 lowers oxidative stress and provides the cells with energy, it may help prevent the disease.

There’s no concrete research to prove this, but a study in Melanoma Research showed that CQ10 supplementation can help stop cancer from recurring.


 

Side Effects

There are several side effects associated with coenzyme Q10, which include:

  • Rashes
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Dizziness
  • Irritability
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Headaches
  • Light sensitivity

 

Usage and Dosing Considerations

Health Benefits of coenzyme-q10

In whatever form you choose to take this substance, the recommended dosage is from 30 to 200 mg per day.

There are some conditions where it may be best to take a higher dose, but this is a decision you have to make with a physician (6).

You should take coenzyme Q10 with a meal, as this will help it to be absorbed. Otherwise, it may lead to stomach upset and other unpleasant side effects.

It’s also best to take it at night, as this may assist your body to process it (6).


 

Contraindications

There are a number of medications that do not mix well with coenzyme Q10. People who are taking the following medicine should avoid this substance.

  • Blood-thinners like Warfarin, as CQ10 interferes with their ability to thin out the blood. This could put you at risk of having a blood clot (1).
  • Blood pressure medications, as the combination could cause your blood pressure to drop (6). For some people, this would be a health risk unless your blood pressure is too high, to begin with. Discuss this with your doctor.
  • Chemotherapy medications, since the fact that coenzyme Q10 is an antioxidant could lessen their effectiveness (6).

 

FAQs

How Long Does It Take for Coenzyme Q10 to Work?

This substance can be effective at treating a number of health issues, but most of the time it takes between 4 to 12 weeks before you see any real change (6). The substance needs time to build up in your system.

How Does Coenzyme Q10 Make You Feel?

This supplement provides you with an extra burst of energy, so it should make you feel more awake and invigorated (2). However, there’s a chance this may go along with some of the potential side effects.

What Age Should I Start Taking Coenzyme Q10?

Coenzyme Q10 should only be taken by adults above the age of 19 years of age. Children should not be taking this substance under any circumstances (6).

Does Coenzyme Q10 Help With Weight Loss?

Although some people have speculated that coenzyme Q10 can lead to weight loss, there’s no solid evidence to that effect. A study on rats published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found no effect of this substance on body weight or mass.

Studies on human beings must be conducted in order to come to a more concrete conclusion about this potential benefit.

Does Coenzyme Q10 Lower Cholesterol?

There’s some speculation that CQ10 can lower cholesterol levels, but there’s no real evidence to support this conclusion as of yet.

Some studies have found that this supplement can lessen the impact of some of the side effects that occur from taking cholesterol medication called statins, including muscle pain (6).

Statins apparently lower levels of CQ10 in the body, so supplementation can restore them back to where they normally rest (6).

Is Coenzyme Q10 Worth Taking?

As long as you heed the health warnings, this supplement is worth taking for a number of reasons, such as treating medical conditions and elevating your immunity. However, it’s important that you make this decision along with your doctor.

If you’re considering taking this supplement, do make an appointment with your physician and make sure it suits you medically first.


 

Summary

Coenzyme Q10 is a very beneficial supplement that has a lot to offer many people health-wise. It can help in the treatment of heart conditions, Parkinson’s disease, high blood pressure, migraines, diabetes, and other conditions.

In addition, this supplement may improve your athletic performance. It’s also a potent antioxidant that helps reduce oxidative stress and strengthen the immune system.

Coenzyme Q10 has anti-aging properties, and may even be able to lessen the appearance of wrinkles. It could have the ability to improve your fertility.

The substance could be an excellent addition to an already balanced lifestyle which includes a healthy diet and plenty of exercises.

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