- CoQ10 Dosage: How Much Should You Take per Day?
- Coenzyme Q10 Benefits – Weight Loss, Gums, And More
- CoQ10: Miracle Supplement or Waste of Money?
- How Much CoQ10 We Need
- Potential Health Benefits of CoQ10 Supplements
- Five Natural Supplements to Boost Energy
- What is COQ10 (CoenzymeQ10)?
- Benefits of CoQ10 Supplementation
- Sources of CoQ10
- Do I Need A CoQ10 Supplement?
- How Much CoQ10 Do I Need?
- What are the side effects of CoQ10?
- Are There Any Medications or Supplements I Shouldn’t Take With CoQ10?
- Medications Interactions
- Supplement Interactions
- Should you be supplementing with CoQ10?
- First, let’s have a heart to heart:
- And guess which of your cells has the most mitochondria?
- How does CoQ10 work?
- Still with us?
- Where does CoQ10 come from and why do we include it?
- Can’t we just get CoQ10 from our diet?
- You can find it in our SmartyPants:
- How much CoQ10 do you need?
- What foods contain CoQ10?
- Foods to eat with CoQ10
- Tips for trying to eat more organ meat
- Start with the heart
- So how do you sneak more organ meat into your diet?
- What Is CoQ10?
- Health Benefits
- Supplements and Dosage Recommendations
- Risks and Side Effects
- Best COQ10
- How We Rank
- Side Effects
- Recommended Dosage
CoQ10 Dosage: How Much Should You Take per Day?
Though 90–200 mg of CoQ10 per day is typically recommended, needs can vary depending on the person and condition being treated (8).
Statin Medication Use
Statins are a group of medications that are used to lower high blood levels of cholesterol or triglycerides to prevent heart disease (9).
Though these drugs are generally well tolerated, they can cause adverse side effects, such as serious muscle injury and liver damage.
Statins also interfere with the production of mevalonic acid, which is used to form CoQ10. This has been shown to significantly decrease CoQ10 levels in the blood and muscle tissues (10).
Research has shown that supplementing with CoQ10 reduces muscle pain in those taking statin medications.
A study in 50 people taking statin medications found that a dose of 100 mg of CoQ10 per day for 30 days effectively reduced statin-related muscle pain in 75% of patients (11).
However, other studies have shown no effect, emphasizing the need for more research on this topic (12).
For people taking statin medications, the typical dosage recommendation for CoQ10 is 30–200 mg per day (13).
Those with heart conditions, such as heart failure and angina, may benefit from taking a CoQ10 supplement.
A review of 13 studies in people with heart failure found that 100 mg of CoQ10 per day for 12 weeks improved blood flow from the heart (14).
Plus, supplementing has been shown to reduce the number of hospital visits and the risk of dying from heart-related issues in individuals with heart failure (15).
CoQ10 is also effective in reducing the pain associated with angina, which is chest pain caused by your heart muscle not getting enough oxygen (16).
What’s more, the supplement may reduce heart disease risk factors, such as by lowering “bad” LDL cholesterol (17).
For people with heart failure or angina, the typical dosage recommendation for CoQ10 is 60–300 mg per day (18).
When used alone or in combination with other nutrients, such as magnesium and riboflavin, CoQ10 has been shown to improve migraine symptoms.
It has also been found to ease headaches by reducing oxidative stress and free radical production, which may otherwise trigger migraines.
CoQ10 decreases inflammation in your body and improves mitochondrial function, which helps reduce migraine-associated pain (19).
A three-month study in 45 women demonstrated that those treated with 400 mg of CoQ10 per day experienced significant reductions in the frequency, severity and duration of migraines, compared to a placebo group (20).
For treating migraines, the typical dosage recommendation for CoQ10 is 300–400 mg per day (21).
As mentioned above, CoQ10 levels naturally deplete with age.
Thankfully, supplements can raise your levels of CoQ10 and may even improve your overall quality of life.
Older adults with higher blood levels of CoQ10 tend to be more physically active and have lower levels of oxidative stress, which may help prevent heart disease and cognitive decline (22).
CoQ10 supplements have been shown to improve muscle strength, vitality and physical performance in older adults (23).
To counteract the age-related depletion of CoQ10, it’s recommended to take 100–200 mg per day (24).
Both oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction have been linked to the onset and progression of diabetes and diabetes-related complications (25).
What’s more, those with diabetes may have lower levels of CoQ10, and certain anti-diabetic drugs may further deplete body stores of this important substance (26).
Studies show that supplementing with CoQ10 helps reduce the production of free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can harm your health if their numbers get too high.
CoQ10 also helps improve insulin resistance and regulate blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.
A 12-week study in 50 people with diabetes found that those who received 100 mg of CoQ10 per day had significant reductions in blood sugar, markers of oxidative stress and insulin resistance, compared to the control group (27).
Doses of 100–300 mg of CoQ10 per day appear to improve diabetes symptoms (28).
Oxidative damage is one of the main causes of both male and female infertility by negatively affecting sperm and egg quality (29, 30).
For example, oxidative stress can cause damage to sperm DNA, potentially resulting in male infertility or recurrent pregnancy loss (31).
Research has found that dietary antioxidants — including CoQ10 — may help reduce oxidative stress and improve fertility in both men and women.
Supplementing with 200–300 mg per day of CoQ10 has been shown to improve sperm concentration, density and motility in men with infertility (32).
Similarly, these supplements may improve female fertility by stimulating ovarian response and help slow ovarian aging (33).
CoQ10 doses of 100–600 mg have been shown to help boost fertility (34).
As CoQ10 is involved in the production of energy, it’s a popular supplement amongst athletes and those looking to boost physical performance.
CoQ10 supplements help reduce the inflammation associated with heavy exercise and may even speed recovery (35).
A 6-week study in 100 German athletes found that those who supplemented with 300 mg of CoQ10 daily experienced significant improvements in physical performance — measured as power output — compared to a placebo group (36).
CoQ10 has also been shown to reduce fatigue and increase muscle power in non-athletes (37).
Doses of 300 mg per day appear to be most effective in boosting athletic performance in research studies (38).
Summary Dosage recommendations for CoQ10 vary depending on individual needs and goals. Speak with your doctor to determine the right dose for you.
Q. I need to lose a lot of weight, and I’m making progress. We’re going to Disneyland on Dec. 3, and my goal is to be under 300 pounds by then. I’ve followed many of your suggestions, especially walking 10,000 steps a day (11,472 yesterday!). At first, the pounds flew off. But now it’s slowed down. I currently weigh 315. How do I lose more and keep it off?
Great questions! We get asked these more often than the NBA gets asked about the lockout. So we’re devoting some extra space to the top 20 waist-loss tips from one of our best-sellers (thanks, all!), “YOU: On a Diet.”
1. Eat five or six times a day so you’re never hungry — three meals, and two or three snacks.
2. Close the kitchen three hours before bedtime.
3. Choose a few healthy meals each week for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and stick with them. Fewer choices equals less temptation.
4. Ditto with snacks.
5. Always keep your meal/snack foods around, so you’re never caught without healthy options.
6. Stash these for hunger emergencies: apples, almonds, walnuts, edamame.
7. Read the ingredient labels on everything in your kitchen, fridge, desk drawer, wherever you keep food. If any of the following are in the first five ingredients, THROW IT OUT!
–Added sugars and/or syrups (as in high-fructose corn syrup)
–Trans fats (basically anything that has the word “hydrogenated”)
–Non-whole-grain flours (including enriched and/or bleached flours)
8. Use heart-healthy olive or canola oils instead of butter.
9. Use a 9-inch luncheon/salad plate for meals. Smaller plates equal smaller portions.
10. Don’t go back for seconds.
11. Don’t keep platters of food on the table.
12. At restaurants, ask for half portions; have the other half boxed in advance to take home …
13. … or share your order with a companion;
14. … or eat a healthy appetizer and soup or salad instead of an entree.
15. Eat far more plants and fish than animals.
16. Eat far more birds than beasts.
17. Keep portion sizes sane (not the gigundo ones restaurants serve). Some samples: chicken or fish = a deck of cards; baked potato = a computer mouse; brown rice or whole-wheat pasta = a baseball; fruits and vegetables = a fist; 100 percent whole-grain muffin = a tennis ball; cheese (low/no-fat) = four cubes the size of dice; peanut butter = a golf ball; oil = a poker chip.
18. Walk every day, NO EXCUSES! Build up to 30 minutes a day.
19. When you’re doing a brisk 30 minutes, buy a pedometer and build up to10,000 steps a day. That’s your ultimate goal. It benefits every cell of your body and is vital for lasting diet success.
20. Stretch for a few minutes after walking. It keeps your muscles limber and has a meditative element that helps you resist cravings.
Q. I’ve been taking a CoQ10 supplement from a health-food store. Recently, I switched to a drugstore brand and don’t feel as good. Why would this be?
Doses of CoQ10 vary more than mortgage rates. Last March, ConsumerLab.com (a supplement watchdog group) released its latest findings on CoQ10. The good part: All 31 brands tested actually contained CoQ10! Amazingly, this wasn’t true a couple of years ago. The crazy-making part: Doses varied from 22 mg to 400 mg, and some brands had “solubility enhancers” that upped absorption, meaning you could absorb much more from the same amount.
Coenzyme Q10, a vitaminlike substance, is also called ubiquinone, because it’s ubiquitous in your body. You don’t say why you’re taking it, but it’s known for reducing muscle soreness, and people often combine 100 mg twice a day with cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, which can cause muscle aches. CoQ10 also lowers high blood pressure, and may prevent inflammatory damage to the brain, slow Alzheimer’s, moderate Parkinson’s, minimize skin aging and more.
That said, be sure your doc knows you’re taking it. Studies aren’t conclusive, and it sometimes has adverse effects. Don’t use it if you’re taking a blood thinner (such as warfarin)
The YOU Docs, Mehmet Oz, host of “The Dr. Oz Show” and Mike Roizen of Cleveland Clinic, are authors of “YOU: Losing Weight.” For more information go to www.RealAge.com
Coenzyme Q10 Benefits – Weight Loss, Gums, And More
Co-enzyme q10 is an antioxidant nutrient that is found in every cell. It helps the body produce energy within that cell, being a coenzyme for several mitochondrial enzymes. The mitochondria is where cellular energy production takes place. Unfortunately, like many of the things our bodies need to maintain top shape, it’s made less as we grow older. For this reason, many people choose to take Coq10 supplements, although it is also found in food.
The best food sources are organ meats such as heart, liver, and kidneys. But you can also find it in eggs, beef, pork, lamb, and mackerel (a type of fish). Vegetarians need not despair, as coq10 is also found in spinach, broccoli, peanuts, and wheat germ. The only caveats here are that the quantities are much smaller, and the quality of these foods is critical for them to even have that small amount available. These foods must be unprocessed, and grown in an environment that is free from pollution. Organic would therefore be preferable.
Another reason many people choose to use supplements of coenzyme q10, is that it is easily affected by the heat from cooking. Thus, it is best to get it from raw foods, though the best sources of coq10 do not lend themselves to being eaten raw!
So, what are the benefits of increasing the amounts of coenzyme q10 in our bodies?
Many people report feeling like they have more energy as a result of taking coq10. This could be a result of a number of factors. Coenzyme q10 is great for the heart, improving the ability of it to pump more blood. It also lowers the viscosity of blood, making it even easier for the heart to function optimally. But coq10 is also very supportive of the immune system. Some studies found that it doubled the level of antibodies, as well as increasing the body’s ability to cope with viruses. Given that people are often dealing with the effects of bacteria, perhaps candida, worms, and other sub-clinical manifestations of disease, it no wonder that they may feel more energized after taking coenzyme q10. A healthier body has more energy available to it.
Given the connection between gum disease and cardiovascular health, it is perhaps not surprising that co-enzyme q10 is also beneficial here. It can stop the progression of gingivitis, and encourage healing and strengthening of the gums. If you don’t like going to the dentist, and are bothered by bleeding or swelling of the gums, then coenzyme q10 may be a good oral preventative.
There are quite a few other areas that co-enzyme q10 is useful in. These include:
* weight loss
* high blood pressure
* multiple sclerosis
* chronic fatigue
* muscular dystrophy
* muscle weakness
It is important to realize that coq10 is not a ‘cure all’. Even if you have any of the above, this supplement can only be of benefit if you are actually deficient in coenzyme q10. This is particularly important with regards weight loss, as this is one area where people are often too eager to follow claims of possible benefit.
The good news is that if you are in fact deficient in co-enzyme q10, then taking a supplement will help you lose twice as much weight compared to those who don’t have a deficiency. But the key is, of course, that you must have a deficiency in the first place! Try and be objective, if you’re interested in exploring whether this is for you. And don’t think that it takes the place of exercise, or eating properly!
References: Australian Natural Health, Vol 6 No 2
CoQ10: Miracle Supplement or Waste of Money?
How Much CoQ10 We Need
The body naturally produces coenzyme Q10 in quantities sufficient to prevent deficiency, and no symptoms related to CoQ10 deficiency have been observed in the general population. About one-quarter of the CoQ10 in a person’s blood is believed to come from dietary sources, with the rest produced internally.
“Meat, poultry, and fish are the predominant food sources of coenzyme Q10,” Anding says. But amounts of the antioxidant in those foods are not high enough to significantly boost levels in the body.
Potential Health Benefits of CoQ10 Supplements
CoQ10 is available as a dietary supplement in several forms, including hard shell and soft gel capsules, an oral spray, and tablets. And while there is some evidence that CoQ10 supplements may help a number of diseases, other research has yielded conflicting results. That means more studies need to be done to reach conclusions about who might benefit most from taking a CoQ10 supplement — whether to treat or prevent various diseases.
For example, CoQ10 supplements are commonly prescribed to people taking cholesterol-lowering statins who complain about muscle pain, Anding notes. And while several small studies support the use of CoQ10 supplements for this purpose, two more recent studies found contradictory evidence. A randomized trial followed 120 patients taking statins for high cholesterol. Muscle pain was confirmed in just over a third of the patients (by comparing muscle pain associated with the statin use with muscle pain associated with a placebo drug). For those patients who did have muscle pain, CoQ10 supplements did not help, according to the trial data, published in the February 2015 issue of Atherosclerosis.
A meta-analysis of several randomized controlled trials found no significant benefit for improving individuals’ muscle pain associated with statin use, but concluded larger, better-designed trials were needed to confirm that. That research was published in the January 2015 issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.
So far, according to the Mayo Clinic, other potentially promising uses for CoQ10 supplements (with varying levels of supporting evidence) include:
- Helping treat high blood pressure and heart failure
- Enhancing immune system function in people with HIV or AIDS
- Improving symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome
- Reducing high cholesterol levels in the blood
- Assisting in the treatment of cancer or the protection of organs from toxic chemotherapy drugs
- Treating gum disease
- Treating age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a condition that causes vision loss in older adults
- Helping patients with Alzheimer’s disease
- Treating Parkinson’s disease
- Increasing sperm count and motility
- Preventing or treating migraine headaches
None of these uses for CoQ10 supplements have been proven to work, but research suggests taking CoQ10 in appropriate doses (30 to 200 mg daily for adults) is relatively safe. It’s important to note that the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) does not recommend that children take CoQ10 unless under the supervision of a doctor.
As noted by several institutions, including NIH and the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, CoQ10 supplements may interact with other medications you’re taking or cause other side effects, so experts recommend that anyone considering using the supplement consult with a healthcare provider first.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) ranks among the bestselling supplements, with global sales predicted to reach $849 million by 2020, according to a recent study. Researchers report that CoQ10 may have significant benefits for people with cardiovascular disease (CVD), from reducing risk for repeat heart attacks and improving outcomes in patients with heart failure to lowering blood pressure and helping combat side effects of cholesterol-lowering statins.
There is also evidence that CoQ10 may have “significant cardiovascular protective effects” that could help prevent CVD, the world’s leading cause of death, reports a recent study published in Cardiovascular Pharmacology: Open Access.
While these are exciting findings, messaging to patients about CoQ10, particularly in the popular media, is often confusing, leading to less than optimal results and poor supplement choice. Here’s a guide to the latest discoveries about the heart health benefits of CoQ10 and how to make smart choices in selecting supplements.
What is Coenzyme Q10?
Found in almost every cell of the body, CoQ10 is a fat-soluble, vitamin-like substance that helps convert food into energy. A powerful antioxidant that protects against damage from toxic free radicals, CoQ10 is produced by the body and is also found in many foods, with higher levels in organ meats, such as liver or kidneys; as well as sardines, mackerel, chicken, cauliflower, broccoli and asparagus.
What are the different forms of CoQ10?
There are two forms of CoQ10: ubiquinone and ubiquinol. Ubiquinol, the active antioxidant form of CoQ10, is made in the body from ubiquinone. As we age, the levels of both forms drop. As early as age 20, the amount of ubiquinone our bodies produce begins to drop. Compounding the problem, the body also loses its ability to make ubiquinol from ubiquinone. Most dietary supplements contain ubiquinone and are relatively cost effective, while ubiquinol supplements, which may be of most benefit as we age, can be harder to find and more expensive.
A simple blood test is available to measure CoQ10 levels. A shortage of this antioxidant may lead to oxidative stress, which increases the risk for a range of disorders, including CVD. Recent research links low blood levels of CoQ10 with low levels of heart-protective “good” cholesterol which in turn may further increase risk for heart disease. Cholesterol-lowering statins may also reduce blood levels of CoQ10.
How does CoQ10 affect heart health?
Recent studies suggest that CoQ10, either alone or combined with other therapies, may be beneficial for the following conditions. However, as with all supplements, patients should consult their medical provider before taking CoQ10 to check if it’s appropriate for them.
- Cardiovascular disease (CVD). Recent studies show that CoQ10 supplements can significantly increase HDL-C and ApoA1 levels, even in people taking statins, and may help reduce risk for CVD. CoQ10 supplementation also lowers levels of inflammatory biomarkers shown to be risk factors for CVD, such as high-sensitivity C-reactive protein. Finally, low CoQ10 levels have been associated with greater tissue damage to the heart during a heart attack and the brain during stroke.
- Statin-related muscle symptoms. Although statin therapy can significantly reduce heart attack and stroke risk, up to 25 percent of patients quit treatment within six months due to side effects, such as muscle aches and weakness. In a 2014 randomized clinical study published in Medical Science Monitor, 75 percent of statin users with muscle symptoms reported reduced pain after taking CoQ10 twice a day for 30 days, versus zero improvement in the placebo group. The researchers concluded that combining statin therapy with CoQ10 supplements could lead to higher compliance with treatment.
- Heart failure (HF). CoQ10 was hailed as “the first new drug to improve heart failure mortality in over and decade” after a multi-center randomized study of 420 patients found that taking it reduced deaths in patients with severe HF by half, compared to a control group. The researchers tracked the patients for two years. The study was presented at the Heart Failure 2013 congress in Lisbon and later published in Journal of the American College of Cardiology Heart Failure.
- After a heart attack. In a randomized clinical trial, patients who received CoQ10 soon after a heart attack had a much lower rate of subsequent cardiac events over the next year than a control group (24.6 percent versus 45 percent). About half the patients in both groups were also taking a statin medication, prompting the researchers to report that, “treatment with CoQ10 in patients with recent may be beneficial in patients with high risk of atherothrombosis, despite optimal lipid lowering therapy.”
- High blood pressure. In an analysis of 12 clinical studies, researchers reported that CoQ10 has the potential to lower systolic blood pressure (the top number in a blood pressure reading) by up to 17 mm Hg and diastolic pressure by 10 mm Hg without significant side effects.
Five key things to remember about CoQ10
- Take CoQ10 with a meal. CoQ10 is fat-soluble and is best absorbed when taken with food.
- All CoQ10 supplements are not created equal. Younger people may benefit more from ubiquinone while older people may benefit more from ubiquinol (the active form).
- Test CoQ10 levels. Measuring CoQ10 in the blood is the only way to determine if you need CoQ10 supplementation.
- Check “good cholesterol” levels. If CoQ10 levels are low, ApoA1 and/or HDL-C levels may be low as well. Likewise, if ApoA1 and/or HDL-C levels are low, CoQ10 levels may be low.
- Compliance is key. CoQ10 supplementation may improve compliance if you’re on statin therapy and experience muscle pain and weakness.
Living a healthier life has become a goal for most people in the country. Society is making a conscious effort to eat better foods with more nutritional value, and the missing ingredients are being fulfilled with supplementation. An antioxidant that has been growing in popularity is coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). CoQ10 offers several benefits for whole-body health that helps with energy production for cell growth and maintenance and the protection from harmful molecules. While the body produces the antioxidant naturally, the levels produced decrease with age.
CoQ10 can also be found in beef, soy oil, fish like sardines and mackerel, and peanuts. Though it is found in these sources and produced by the body, deficiencies can occur. CoQ10 protects the mitochondria, the powerhouse of the cells, and these are usually the first affected by health concerns. Individuals with diabetes, heart failure, and cancer have lower CoQ10 levels, and proactive supplementation can benefit those who have a risk of certain health issues.
There are several benefits that CoQ10 provides, including:
- Heart health
- Gum health
- Lowers fatigue and boosts stamina
- Empowers other antioxidants
- Blood glucose control
Eye Health Benefits
Eye health is a recently discovered benefit of CoQ10. As stated, the mitochondria are the first to be impacted by health concerns, and eye health is no different. Oxidation in the retina begins with defective mitochondria, and oxidative damage is what instigates the decline of vision, especially with age-related eye health concerns. Proactive supplementation can help those who are at risk for or have early age-related eye health issues support long-term eye health.
CoQ10 is an important nutrient for protecting eye and overall health. Because the production of this antioxidant slows down with age, it’s important for patients with a risk of age-related eye health issues to consume more CoQ10. An eye health supplement aimed at proactively reducing the risk of age-related eye health that includes CoQ10 can offer your patients the best chance at improving and maintaining their eye health.
For a simple, patient-friendly explanation of CoQ10 benefits, check out the infographic.
The new & improved EyePromise Restore now includes this important mitochondrial antioxidant. Learn more about the updated formula.
Five Natural Supplements to Boost Energy
When our energy levels dip, it may be tempting to reach for a sugary can of soda or drink an extra cup of coffee or two. The problem is that relying on these drinks for a daily boost can be problematic for your health. This is particularly vital news on the heels of several studies indicating the potential This is not a huge surprise when you consider that a 20-ounce soda contains 15-18 teaspoons of sugar and around 240 calories. Furthermore, large amounts of caffeine can cause a jittery sensation in people who are sensitive to its effects.
The good news is that there are healthier and safer ways to boost energy levels and naturally correct nutrient deficiencies that may be zapping your energy.
Melatonin is often sold as a sleep aid. So why is it on our list of supplements to help increase energy? Well, melatonin is actually needed for proper energy metabolism in the body and people with low melatonin levels have been found to suffer from fatigue.
Our bodies make melatonin to help us regulate our internal clocks. When it’s dark, melatonin helps tell our bodies that it’s time to go to sleep. Seasonal changes, particularly the longer periods of darkness during the winter months, can affect our melatonin production and lead to increased feelings of sleepiness. Research suggests that sleeping with the lights on or living in climates that experience increased hours of sunlight can disrupt melatonin production. Natural aging can also lead to decreased melatonin production and some older adults create very little melatonin on their own.
Other factors that can lower our melatonin levels are travel across time zones, stress, and unstable sleep and wake cycles. If your sleep is inconsistent, a melatonin imbalance may occur which can lead to low energy levels. Melatonin is sometimes taken to help improve low energy conditions such as the ones listed here.
Our thyroid gland plays an important role in the production of energy and is regulated by the hormones T3 and T4. Iodine is used by our thyroid to make these hormones and low levels of iodine can lead to hypothyroidism and fatigue.
In the United States, table salt is often enriched with iodine, as can be seen on package labeling (iodized salt). However many people decrease their table salt intake due to high blood pressure and other health-related issues. Changes in the way that flour is processed have also lead to a shift towards low iodine levels in the U.S. Iodine was once used in the processing of wheat flour, however, it has been replaced with bromide, a relative of iodine that may actually block iodine reception in our bodies.
Iodine can be found in seafood, sea vegetables such as seaweed and kombu, and dark leafy greens like kale and spinach. Iodine can also be taken in supplement form, though you should follow your doctor’s recommendations before adding any supplements to your regime.
Magnesium is needed by our bodies to support our nerves, brain, and muscles. It also plays a vital role in the production of energy in our cells. However, current intakes of this important mineral are found to be below recommended levels in the U.S. population (400-420 mg/day for men and 310-320 mg/day for women).
Dietary sources rich in magnesium include green leafy vegetables, unrefined grains, legumes, beans, and nuts. Making a large kale or spinach salad with garbanzo beans and toasted walnuts can be a great way to get more magnesium in your diet!
Another energy-supporting function of magnesium is the role it plays in our absorption of Vitamin B12.
Vitamin B12 is needed by our cells to create energy and helps our bodies make red blood cells. Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to a type of anemia (decrease in red blood cells) which contributes to fatigue, shortness of breath, and can lead to serious health complications.
Vitamin B12 is not produced naturally in our body and must come from either our diet or vitamin supplementation. Dietary sources of vitamin B12 include meat, poultry, shellfish, dairy products, and eggs. You may have noticed that these food sources are all animal products. If you avoid animal products, you are likely aware of the importance of adding a reliable source of vitamin B12 to your diet in the form of fortified foods, nutritional yeast, or supplements.
Getting your vitamin B12 levels checked is a good idea if you are dealing with fatigue, especially if you are older or if you do not eat animal products.
CoQ10 (Coenzyme Q10)
CoQ10 is a naturally occurring coenzyme that is created in the liver and found in the mitochondria of our cells. Also known by its full name coenzyme Q10, this substance plays a key role in the production of 95% of the body’s energy production at the cellular level. CoQ10 also acts as a powerful antioxidant to lower the amounts of free radicals in the body. This is important because free radicals can cause damage our cells.
When CoQ10 levels are low, feelings of tiredness and dullness can set in. Life events such as stress and aging can reduce our body’s natural production of CoQ10. In fact, CoQ10 blood levels peak between the ages of 19 and 21 and drop to 65% by age 80. The use of statin drugs to lower cholesterol can also lead to decreased amounts of CoQ10 in the body. The amount of CoQ10 found in foods is minimal. Therefore, the best way to boost your CoQ10 levels is through supplementation.
While it’s normal to feel tired once in a while, drinking multiple cups of coffee or sugary soda may not be the best way to boost your energy. Furthermore, certain nutrient deficiencies may be to blame if you have ongoing fatigue. Luckily, there are a variety of natural options that may help improve your energy levels.
← Previous Post Next Post →
Coenzyme Q-10 (CoQ-10 or Ubiquinone) is a naturally occurring quinone that is found in most aerobic organisms from bacteria to mammals. It was first identified in 1940, and isolated from the mitochondria of the beef heart, in 1957. Coenzyme Q10 is also known as Coenzyme Q, CoQ, CoQ10, Ubiquinone, Ubiquinone-Q10, Ubidecarenone, or Vitamin Q10. The various types of Coenzyme Q can be distinguished by the number of isoprenoid side-chains they have. The most common Coenzyme Q in human mitochondria is CoQ10. The 10 refers to the number of isoprene repeats. CoQ10 is ubiquitous in human tissues, although its level is variable. The level of CoQ10 is the highest in organs with high rates of metabolism such as the heart, kidney, and liver (114, 66.5, and 54.9g/g tissue, respectively), where it functions as an energy transfer molecule. The primary biochemical action of CoQ10 is as a cofactor in the electron-transport chain, in the series of redox reactions that are involved in the synthesis of adenosine triphosphate. As most cellular functions are dependent on an adequate supply of Adenosine triphosphate (ATP), CoQ10 is essential for the health of virtually all human tissues and organs. Coenzyme Q10 is one of the most significant lipid antioxidants, which prevents the generation of free radicals and modifications of proteins, lipids, and DNA. In many disease conditions connected with increased generation and the action of reactive oxygen species (ROS), the concentration of coenzyme Q10 in the human body decreases and the deficiency of coenzyme Q10 leads to the dysfunction of the respiratory chain, which is due to the insufficient production of highly energetic compounds, which decrease the efficiency of cells. To protect the cells and organ systems of the body against ROS, humans have evolved a highly sophisticated and complex antioxidant protection system. It involves a variety of components, both endogenous and exogenous in origin, which function interactively and synergistically to neutralize free radicals and include nutrient-derived antioxidants (Vitamin C and E, beta carotene, and polyphenols), antioxidant enzymes (bilirubin, thiols, ubiquinones, and uric acid), metal-binding proteins (albumin, ceruloplasmin, ferritin, and myoglobin), and numerous other antioxidant phytonutrients (plant-derived substances) present in a wide variety of plant foods. Antioxidants, such as CoQ10, can neutralize free radicals and may reduce or even help prevent some of the damage they cause. CoQ10 improves energy, augments the immune system, and acts as an antioxidant. The potential use of coenzyme Q10 supplements alone or in combination with other drug therapies and nutritional supplements may help prevent or treat some of the following conditions: cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, cancer, periodontal diseases, mitochondrial disorders, radiation injury, obesity, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), gastric ulcers, allergy, migraine headaches, kidney failure, muscular dystrophy, and aging. CoQ10 plays a significant role in boosting the immune system and physical performance, as tissues and cells involved with immune function are highly energy-dependent and therefore require an adequate supply of CoQ10 for optimal function. Primary dietary sources of CoQ10 include oily fish (such as salmon and tuna), organ meats (such as liver), and whole grains. Most individuals obtain sufficient amounts of CoQ10 through a balanced diet, but supplementation may be useful for individuals with particular health conditions. CoQ10 is available as a supplement in several forms, including soft gel capsules, oral spray, hard shell capsules, and tablets. A typical CoQ10 dosage is 30 to 90 mg per day, taken in divided doses, but the recommended amount can be as high as 200 mg per day. CoQ10 is fat-soluble, so it is better absorbed when taken with a meal that contains oil or fat. The clinical effect is not immediate and may take up to eight weeks. Side effects of CoQ10 may include diarrhea and rash; safety of Co q10 in pregnant or nursing women, or children has not been established. It is concluded that Coenzyme Q10 (ubiquinone/ubiquinol) is a fat-soluble quinone with a structure similar to that of vitamin K. It is an effective antioxidant both on its own and in fusion with vitamin E and is fundamental in powering the body’s energy production ATP cycle. CoQ10 is found throughout the body in cell membranes, especially in the mitochondrial membranes, and is chiefly abundant in the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, spleen, pancreas, and adrenal glands. The whole body content of CoQ10 is only about 500-1500 mg and decreases with age. Coenzyme Q10 is one of the most significant lipid antioxidants that prevents the generation of free radicals and modifications of proteins, lipids, and DNA.
What is COQ10 (CoenzymeQ10)?
Coenzyme Q10, also known as CoQ10, is a type of coenzyme and natural antioxidant found in every cell in the human body. Coenzymes aid enzymes with several different bodily processes, from food digestion to muscle repair and more. Antioxidants protect the cells in your body from damage caused by harmful molecules. Specifically, CoQ10 plays a major role in cell energy production and helps oxygen get where it needs to go in your system. With multiple benefits and uses, CoQ10 is produced by the human body, but only in certain quantities. As we age, production of CoQ10 decreases, often resulting in hypertension (elevated or high blood pressure).
CoQ10 has been shown to help treat heart failure, aid in fertility, slow skin aging, reduce headaches, improve exercise performance, treat diabetes, prevent cancer, improve brain health, provide lung protection, and much more. Find out if it is the right supplement for you.
Benefits of CoQ10 Supplementation
Human cells need CoQ10 to function properly. CoQ10 plays a role in cell growth, maintenance, and protection, but most importantly in cell energy production. There are over 500 published articles on the association between decreased CoQ10 levels and a variety of health conditions. Simply put: if cells lack energy, the human body may have trouble staying healthy and fighting certain conditions. When CoQ10 levels decrease, either as a result of age or medication interactions, a number of side effects may occur.
Supplementation with CoQ10 may result in the following benefits:
- Decreased blood pressure
- Increased immune system support
- Less muscle and joint pain
- Increased energy levels
- Lowered cholesterol
- Improved heart health
Sources of CoQ10
As mentioned earlier, CoQ10 is made in small quantities by the human body. Supplementation with CoQ10 can be beneficial and is often necessary given certain conditions and/or advanced age.
CoQ10 can be found in the following foods, in small amounts:
- Fish, particularly sardines and mackerel
- Meats – especially beef and organ meats
- Spinach, broccoli, and other leafy vegetables
- Soy oil
CoQ10 supplements can be found in most drug stores and pharmacies, but the quality of OTC supplements is not regulated or guaranteed.
Do I Need A CoQ10 Supplement?
CoQ10 supplementation is generally regarded as safe for healthy individuals, and may provide increased energy levels and decreased recovery time after exercise. However, if you have or are at risk for any of the following conditions, CoQ10 supplementation may be especially beneficial.
The below health conditions have been known to cause decreased or low CoQ10 levels:
- Prader-Willi Syndrome
- Male Infertility
- Several studies have concluded that CoQ10 may improve sperm quality, activity, and concentration by increasing antioxidant protection in males with fertility issues.
- Migraine disorders
- Abnormal mitochondrial function can lead to an increased calcium uptake by cells, the excessive production of free radicals, and decreased antioxidant protection, which can result in low energy in the brain cells and even migraines.
- Because CoQ10 resides in the mitochondria of the cells, it has been shown to improve mitochondrial function and help decrease the inflammation that may occur during migraines, and it further seems that it may not only treat migraines but also prevent them.
- Peyronie’s Disease
- Nutritional deficiencies, such as vitamin B6 deficiency
- Genetic defects in CoQ10 synthesis or utilization
- Increased demands by tissues as a consequence of disease
- Mitochondrial diseases
- Oxidative stress due to aging
- Side effects of statin treatments
The FDA does not officially recognize CoQ10 deficiency as causal to any of the below conditions but there has been evidence of a link between them:
- Oxidative stress can induce cell damage, which can result in metabolic diseases like diabetes. CoQ10 has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and help regulate blood sugar levels.
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Heart disease/failure
- Treatment with CoQ10 has shown to assist with restoring optimal levels of energy production, reduce oxidative damage, and improve heart function, all of which can aid the treatment of heart failure.
Several preliminary clinical trials show that taking CoQ10 orally, alone or along with other antihypertensive medications significantly lowers blood pressure. In some cases, CoQ10 might support dosage reduction or discontinuation of conventional therapy. For people with heart failure, taking CoQ10 alongside traditional treatment appears to be associated with increased heart function, improved quality of life, and decreased hospitalization rates. Additionally, several prescription medications are known to decrease or deplete CoQ10 levels. The most common of which are statins (cholesterol-lowering medications). Taking CoQ10 may reduce the effects of statin medications, so it is important to find the right combination.
How Much CoQ10 Do I Need?
There is no official RDA (recommended daily amount) for CoQ10 supplementation. A starting dosage of 100mg daily is sufficient for most individuals. The best way to know exactly which supplements your body needs is by taking the Vitality DNA test.
Therapeutic dosages of CoQ10 are often recommended in the following amounts:
- If you have a known CoQ10 deficiency, your doctor may recommend starting at a dosage of 150 mg daily.
- As a migraine preventative, 300 mg of CoQ10 divided into 3 separate doses may be effective.
- For heart failure, it may be recommended that you take 200mg daily divided into 2 doses.
- If you have HIV/AIDS, it may be recommended that you take 200mg of CoQ10 daily.
- For pre-eclampsia, it may be recommended that you take two-100mg doses after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
What are the side effects of CoQ10?
CoQ10 supplementation is associated with increased energy levels. As with other supplements that boost energy levels, CoQ10 users have reported side effects such as slight stomach upset, headaches, feeling jittery or “wired,” and experiencing mild insomnia. Other side effects reported less often include palpitations, anxiety, dizziness, irritability, and rarely, rashes. Increased liver enzymes have been noted with long-term supplementation of 300mg or more of CoQ10 daily, but is not associated with liver toxicity.
Studies have shown that CoQ10 can be safely used up to 30 months. Among the most common side effects of CoQ10 are insomnia, increased liver enzymes, dizziness, headaches, and heartburn. If you are taking warfarin (an anticoagulant), it is not recommended that you take CoQ10, as CoQ10 may make warfarin less effective. CoQ10 should not be used by pregnant or lactating women.
Are There Any Medications or Supplements I Shouldn’t Take With CoQ10?
In general, be aware of taking CoQ10 in with any medications, herbs, or supplements that have hypotensive effects and/or specifically treat hypertensive disorder (high blood pressure). CoQ10 can decrease blood pressure in some individuals, so combining it with other hypotensive medications or supplements may increase the risk of adverse effects. While CoQ10 is regarded as safe to use for up to 30 months at a time without side effects, you should be aware of the potential for information with the following medications and supplements:
- Warfarin, or other anticoagulants
CoQ10 may cause decreased effectiveness of the above medications.
- Acacia gum may increase the absorption of CoQ10, which may increase the risk of side effects
- CoQ10 may increase beta-carotene levels, which could increase the possibility of beta-carotene side effects such as skin discoloration
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids
- Omega-3’s are known to decrease CoQ10 levels in the bloodstream
- Red Yeast
- This supplement has effects similar to statin medications and may decrease your CoQ10 levels.
- Vitamin A
- CoQ10 may increase vitamin A levels, which may increase the likelihood of vitamin A side effects, such as fatigue or irritability.
- Vitamin C
- CoQ10 may increase serum levels of vitamin C, and therefore may increase the risks of side effects associated with vitamin C, such as upset stomach or headaches.
- Vitamin K
- Taking CoQ10 with vitamin K may increase the risk of blood clots in individuals on anticoagulant medications.
- Vitamin E
- CoQ10 may increase vitamin E levels, which may increase the likelihood of side effects associated with vitamin E, such as a headache or dizziness.
Should you be supplementing with CoQ10?
There have been over 500 articles published on the association between CoQ10 supplementation and its potential health benefits. In general, CoQ10 supplementation is considered beneficial for up to 30 months at a time, usually to help increase energy levels. There are a few groups of people that will almost certainly benefit from CoQ10 supplementation: individuals over the age of 50, those with hypertensive disorders or heart disease, and individuals with conditions that are known to deplete serum CoQ10 levels (listed above).
In summary, CoQ10 is a fat-soluble compound and antioxidant that has shown to have many health benefits, and is involved in the production of cellular energy. It is a helpful compound when it comes to preserving cells and preventing and treating chronic diseases. Along with other uses, CoQ10 has been found to help improve heart health, regulate blood sugar, prevent cancer, and reduce the frequency of headaches and migraines. It also has shown to reduce the oxidative damage that leads to muscle fatigue–explaining its help with athletic ability–and to reduce the damage to skin, the brain, and lungs that come with aging.
CoQ10 is a well tolerated supplement and can be found in various foods like animal organs, vegetables, and legumes. People of all age can benefit from CoQ10, but adults over 50 could especially benefit as CoQ10 production decreases with age.
Whether you decide to up your intake of CoQ10-containing foods or take supplements, CoQ10 could be a great addition to your day-to-day lifestyle.
Want to know whether CoQ10 supplementation is right for you? Vitagene provides actionable intelligence about your ancestry, health traits, and helps you create healthy, lasting change in your life with diet, exercise, and supplement recommendations based on your DNA, lifestyle, family history, and goals.
At SmartyPants, getting to the heart of the matter (your health) means delivering a high-quality source of Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) to support your cardiovascular health.*
You may have heard of CoQ10 or seen it highlighted on your favorite bottle of supplements. But what is this nutrient? Or vitamin? Or mineral? And why should you care?
First, let’s have a heart to heart:
How are you feeling today? Happy? Sad? Tired? Hungry? Maybe it’s your mitochondria.
These are specialized rod-shaped organelles in your cells that use CoQ10 to help convert oxygen and nutrients into cellular energy. While infinitesimal in stature, mitochondria play a key role in your overall health.
And guess which of your cells has the most mitochondria?
It’s your heart muscle cells with about 5,000 mitochondria per cell! Your heart works harder than any other organ in your body and requires extra energy to keep it pumping.
This means your heart also has the highest levels of CoQ10 out of all your cells. Other cells with high energy requirements (and high levels of CoQ10) include your brain, liver and kidney cells.
Let’s get back to CoQ10…
CoQ10 is an important lipid-soluble, vitamin-like compound your body makes and uses for cellular energy. It also functions as an antioxidant and helps protect your cells against oxidative damage, like what happens as a result of those pesky free radicals everyone is always talking about.
CoQ10 is present in the inner membrane of the mitochondria, the specialized, energy-producing structures inside cell walls where chemical reactions occur.
How does CoQ10 work?
CoQ10 plays two major roles in your body. One of them is creating cellular energy or in more scientific terms:
CoQ10 is a vital coenzyme in the electron transport chain for the synthesis of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the major source of cellular energy that powers a cell’s metabolic activities. This process is called aerobic respiration.
It’s also the reason why animals (including humans) breathe oxygen. We need it to survive.
Still with us?
The second role CoQ10 plays is functioning as a regenerating antioxidant to help prevent lipid peroxidation. It both stimulates cell growth and inhibits cell death.
Lipid peroxidation is when oxidants, such as free radicals, essentially attack electrons from the lipids in your cell membranes which can lead to tissue damage.
This process is a self-propagating chain reaction, meaning the initial oxidation of only a few lipid molecules can result in significant tissue damage. Lipid peroxidation tissue damage has been linked to various other health issues.
Where does CoQ10 come from and why do we include it?
Your body produces CoQ10 naturally. However, multiple enzymes, cofactors, vitamins and trace minerals are needed for this to take place.
Any defects in the enzymes, cofactors or dietary nutrient deficiencies can impair the biosynthesis of CoQ10. Plus, even if you are a perfect, healthy human, the amount your body makes decreases with age.
So unfortunately for us, wisdom may come with age, not CoQ10.
Now, you might be wondering:
Can’t we just get CoQ10 from our diet?
CoQ10 occurs in some food, but even the dietary sources with the highest amounts (organ meat) are still at insufficient levels to make up for the body’s lowered production of CoQ10 due to aging.
That’s why we include it in our Adult core line formulas to support your cardiovascular health.*
You can find it in our SmartyPants:
- Women’s Complete
- Men’s Complete
- Master Complete Women 50+
- Masters Complete Men 50+
We don’t include it in our Organic line because due to the intrinsic nature of this nutrient, it can’t be certified organic.
How much CoQ10 do you need?
Unlike the other essential vitamins and nutrients that we include in our multifunctional formulas, there’s no universally recommended daily value for CoQ10.
So, we base the amounts we include on the most recent scientific studies that suggest cardiovascular health benefits from taking a CoQ10 supplement.*
What foods contain CoQ10?
We mentioned earlier that trying to get CoQ10 from diet alone can’t make up for the difference in the amounts lost due to aging. (Maybe if you were willing to pack down an absurd amount of reindeer meat on a daily basis, you could come close. But, then you might have to deal with the elves.)
However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still try incorporating the foods below into your everyday meals.
Eating CoQ10-rich foods is an important part of a balanced diet, and these foods are also packed with other essential nutrients that are important for overall good health.
Foods to eat with CoQ10
(Amounts listed as mg of CoQ10 per 100g or about a half cup unless otherwise noted):
- Mackerel (red flesh) – 6.75 mg
- Sardines – 0.5 mg
- Salmon – 0.4 mg
- Trout – 0.85 mg
- Boiled soybeans – 1.21 mg
- Broccoli – 0.59 mg
- Cauliflower – 0.4 mg
- Avocado – 0.95 mg
- Black currants – 0.34 mg
- Orange – 1 medium orange has about 0.3 mg
- Strawberries – 1 cup has about 0.2 mg
- Peanuts – 1 oz has about 0.8 mg
- Sesame Seeds -1 oz has about 0.7mg
- Soybean Oil – 1 tbsp has about 1.3mg<
- Canola Oil – 1 tbsp has about 1mg
Tips for trying to eat more organ meat
So, you decided to go all in with offal (organ meat). While popular in some ethnic cuisines, Paleo diets and maybe your grandma’s recipes, organ meats have yet to become a staple in the average Western diet. However, they’re packed with nutrients.
Along with being high in CoQ10, organ meats are also high in:
- Vitamin B12
- Minerals (iron, magnesium, selenium and zinc)
- Vitamins A, D, E and K
Start with the heart
Since it’s technically a muscle, some say beef heart is the mildest in flavor of the offal family. You can grill, sauté or grind it into any recipe that uses ground beef.
Plus, if you prepare something for family and friends, then you can brag to your guests about how much heart you put into your cooking.
So how do you sneak more organ meat into your diet?
Here are a few tasty tips:
- Mix it into meatballs, burgers or meatloaf. If you do something like a 20:80 ratio of organ to other meat, you probably won’t even notice the taste.
If you can’t find ground organs, try the following:
- Buy organs whole and cut them into small cubes.
- Freeze until your organs are firm to the touch but not completely frozen.
- Put the almost frozen organs in a food processor until you have your desired texture. If you don’t have a food processor, you can try using a meat pounder or chopping up the organs again until they can be easily blended into your ground meat.
- Add it to curry. Thai? Indian? Your favorite curry is bound to make anything taste better and also mask the flavor of anything you’re trying not to taste.
- Put it in chili. A little spice makes it nice. Between the beans, onion and chilis, you’ll never be able to detect any organ meat.
- Try a German sausage like Braunschweiger, traditionally made from pork liver. You might also find it made with beef trim and beef liver in the U.S. These hearty sausages can be turned into the classic Braunschweiger sandwich with rye bread, whole grain mustard, red onion and Swiss cheese.
- Spice up your bolognese with some beef heart, liver or kidney. You can add these to your meat balls (as mention above) or sautée them and add directly to your sauce.
Do you have your own organ meat recipe or eating tip? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Now, if only CoQ10 could help with warding off heartbreak. That’s for another blog.
Shop This Post
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
CoQ10 (short for Coenzyme Q10) is an essential element for many daily functions and is required by every single cell in the body. As an antioxidant that protects cells from the effects of aging, CoQ10 has been used in medical practices for decades, especially for treating heart problems.
Although the body creates Coenzyme Q10, it doesn’t always do so consistently. Lack of CoQ10, or CoQ10 deficiency, is most commonly associated with the damaging effects of oxidative stress (also called free radical damage). (1) CoQ10 deficiency is now believed to be associated with conditions like declining cognition, diabetes, cancer, fibromyalgia, heart disease and muscle conditions. (2)
In fact, CoQ10’s antioxidative capacity is what makes it one of the most popular anti-aging supplements in the world, and why it may be a great addition to an integrative health program. Is CoQ10 right for you?
What Is CoQ10?
The name may not sound very natural, but CoQ10 is in fact an essential nutrient that works like an antioxidant in the body. In its active form, it’s called ubiquinone or ubiquinol. CoQ10 is present in the human body in the highest levels in the heart, liver, kidneys and pancreas. It’s stored in the mitochondria of your cells, often called the cells’ “powerhouse,” which is why it’s involved in energy production.
What is CoQ10 good for? It’s synthesized within the body naturally and used for important functions, such as supplying cells with energy, transporting electrons and regulating blood pressure levels. As a “coenzyme,” CoQ10 also helps other enzymes to work properly. The reason it’s not considered a “vitamin” is because all animals, including humans, can make small amounts of coenzymes on their own, even without the help of food. While the human body make some CoQ10, CoQ10 supplements are also available in various forms — including capsules, tablets and by IV — for people who have low levels and can benefit from more.
How CoQ10 Works:
- To sustain enough energy to perform bodily functions, inside our cells, tiny organelles called mitochondria take fat and other nutrients and turn them into useable sources of energy. This conversion process requires the presence of CoQ10.
- Coenzyme Q10 is not only necessary for producing cellular energy, but also for defending cells from damage caused by harmful free radicals.
- Coenzyme Q10 can exist in three different oxidation states, and the ability in some forms to accept and donate electrons is a critical feature in its biochemical functions that cancel out free radical damage.
- As a powerful antioxidant, Coenzyme Q10 can increase absorption of other essential nutrients. It’s been shown that it helps recycle vitamin C and vitamin E, further maximizing the effects of vitamins and antioxidants that are already at work in the body.
Should I Take a CoQ10 Supplement?
It’s a fair question — if your body already contains and produces CoQ10 on its own, is there a reason you should take it in supplement form, too? Although the body has the ability to make some CoQ10 on its own, CoQ10 production naturally declines as we age — just when we need our cells to help defend us most.
According to research compiled by Oregon State University, natural synthesis of CoQ10, plus dietary intake, appears to provide sufficient amounts to help prevent a CoQ10 deficiency in healthy people — however, the body produces less CoQ10 as someone gets older, and if they struggle with certain health conditions, such as heart disease. (3)
Some contributing factors to CoQ10 deficiency/low levels, besides aging and genetic defects, are believed to include:
- Having chronic diseases
- High levels of oxidative stress
- Nutritional deficiencies in B vitamins
- Mitochondrial diseases
- Taking statin drugs
As mentioned above, the natural ability to convert CoQ10 into its active form called ubiquinol declines during the aging process. This decline is most apparent in people over the age of 40, particularly those taking statin drugs. It’s also been found that people with diabetes, cancer and congestive heart failure tend to have decreased plasma levels of coenzyme Q10, although the age-related drop in CoQ10 levels isn’t medically defined as a “deficiency.”
Rarely, a person may suffer from “primary coenzyme Q10 deficiency,” which is a genetic defect that stops the body from properly synthesizing this compound. For these individuals, supplement with CoQ10 is typically needed to help reverse the brain and muscle-related symptoms of primary CoQ10 deficiency.
1. Sustains Natural Energy
CoQ10 plays a role in “mitochondrial ATP synthesis,” which is the conversion of raw energy from foods (carbohydrates and fats) into the form of energy that our cells use called adenosine triphosphate (ATP). This conversion process requires the presence of coenzyme Q in the inner mitochondrial membrane. One of its roles is to accept electrons during fatty acid and glucose metabolism and then transfer them to electron acceptors. (4)
The process of making ATP is crucial to every cell in the human body and also allows messages to be sent between cells. To maintain energy (down to the cellular level), ATP synthesis is vital, and it needs CoQ10 to do its job. (5)
CoQ10 may even improve specific fatigue related to exercise. Three separate double-blind, placebo-controlled studies in humans have shown improvements in exercise-related fatigue when supplemented with CoQ10 (at dosages between 100–300 milligrams per day). (6, 7, 8)
2. Reduces Free Radical Damage
Oxidative damage (or free radical damage) of cell structures plays an important role in the functional declines that accompany aging and cause disease. As both a water- and fat-soluble antioxidant, CoQ10 has been found to inhibit lipid peroxidation, which occurs when cell membranes and low-density lipoproteins are exposed to oxidizing conditions that enter from outside the body. (9)
In fact, when LDL is oxidized, CoQ10 is one of the first antioxidants used to help offset the effects. Within mitochondria, coenzyme Q10 has been found to protect membrane proteins and DNA from the oxidative damage that accompanies lipid peroxidation and neutralize free radicals directly that contribute to nearly all age-related diseases (heart disease, cancer, diabetes, neurological disease, etc.). (10, 11)
One way this might be especially effective is found in a research study that discovered CoQ10 may help protect from some oxidative stress caused by insulin resistance and related to diabetes. (12) Results on mixed on its effects on blood sugar, however.
3. Can Improve Heart Health and Offset Effects of Statin Drugs
Although experts feel that additional well-controlled clinical trials are still needed to prove its effects, CoQ10 has strong potential for prevention and treatment of heart ailments by improving cellular bioenergetics, acting as an antioxidant and boosting free radical-scavenging abilities.
What we do know is that CoQ10 supplementation may be useful for those taking statins, since it can lower side effects that they often cause. Statins are used to reduce an enzyme in the liver that not only decreases the production of cholesterol, but also further lowers the natural production of CoQ10.
It’s possible that CoQ10 can interact with lipid lowering medications that inhibit the activity of HMG-CoA reductase, a critical enzyme in both cholesterol and coenzyme Q10 biosynthesis. A supplement of CoQ10 is often recommended to restore natural levels to their optimum and counter the effects of statin drugs, including muscle pain. (13)
However, some evidence conflicts — a 2007 review found that evidence was lacking to officially recommend CoQ10 supplementation for patients with statins, although it did recognize that there aren’t any “known risks.” (14) Ultimately, this review recognized the need for better-designed trials and did not actually contradict the possible benefit of CoQ10 to offset statin side effects.
This isn’t the only way CoQ10 can support the heart and circulatory system, though. Does CoQ10 improve circulation? Yes — and it may be able to increase blood flow and improve exercise performance and capacity for people who have suffered heart failure (15, 16, 17)
Does CoQ10 lower blood pressure? Study results have been mixed overall when it comes to its effects on hypertension. According to the National Institutes of Health, “The small amount of evidence currently available suggests that CoQ10 probably doesn’t have a meaningful effect on blood pressure.” However, a 2002 review published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing states: (18)
has potential for use in prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease, particularly hypertension (high blood pressure), hyperlipidemia, coronary artery disease, and heart failure… Further clinical trials are warranted, but because of its low toxicity it may be appropriate to recommend coenzyme Q10 to select patients as an adjunct to conventional treatment.
4. Slows Down Effects of Aging
Mitochondrial ATP synthesis is an important function for maintaining a fast metabolism, strength of muscles, strong bones, youthful skin and healthy tissue, and abnormal mitochondrial can cause issues. Tissue levels of coenzyme Q10 have been reported to decline with age, and this is believed to contribute to declines in energy metabolism and degeneration of organs, such as the liver and heart, and skeletal muscle.
Although supplementing with CoQ10 has not been shown to increase the life span of animals that have been tested with it, researchers believe it can slow down the age-related increase in DNA damage that naturally affect us all. Possible anti-aging benefits of consuming more CoQ10 include:
- Protection of the heart against stress-related aging (19)
- Protection of skeletal muscle genetic structure to keep those muscles strong, minimizing bone and joint injury risk (20)
- Improved fertility during your 40s by the reversal of egg degradation and increased production of ATP (21)
- Increased activity of antioxidants catalase and glutathione to protect cell membranes throughout the body from free radical damage (22, 23)
- Reduced UV skin damage (topical cream form) (24)
5. Helps Maintain Optimal pH Levels
Within cells, CoQ10 helps transport proteins across membranes and separate certain digestive enzymes from the rest of the cell, which helps maintain optimal pH. It’s believed that diseases develop more easily in environments that have to work harder to maintain proper pH levels. (25, 26) This, in addition to its major antioxidant capacity, may be one reason that cancer risk may be associated with CoQ10 levels.
Increasing impact of chemotherapy drugs and protect from side effects: Supplementing with CoQ10 during cancer treatment may help to increase the cancer-killing potential of these medications (like doxorubicin and daunorubicin). There is also evidence that CoQ10 can protect the heart from DNA damage that can sometimes occur from high doses of chemotherapy medications. (27)
May slow or reverse spread of breast cancer in high-risk patients: A 1994 study followed 32 breast cancer patients (ranging from 32-81 years old) classified as “high-risk,” due to the way their cancer had spread to lymph nodes. Each patient was given nutritional antioxidants, essential fatty acids and 90 milligrams per day of CoQ10. Not only did no patients die over the study period of 18 months, although, statistically, four were expected to pass away from their disease, no patient worsened during this period, all reported quality of life improvements and six patients went into partial remission. (28) Two of the patients in partial remission were then given more Coenzyme Q10 (300 milligrams each day), both of whom went into totally remission, showing complete absences of previous tumors and tumor tissue (one after two months, the other after three months). (29)
Could help prevent colon cancer: One research study discovered CoQ10 significantly lowered oxidative stress in the colon that leads to colon cancer. (30) While this still needs to be replicated in humans, it suggests a preventative potential of CoQ10 for those at risk for colon cancer.
Might play a role in the prevention of cervical cancer: Low levels of CoQ10 are seen in patients with cervical cancer, although it’s not clear why. It’s possible that supplementing with CoQ10 might lower the risk of developing cervical cancer in women who are diagnosed with precancer cervical lesions, but this still requires a lot more study before we can be sure. (31)
May improve survival rate in end-stage cancers: A pilot study over nine years followed 41 patients with various primary cancers that had advanced to stage four and were given CoQ10 supplements plus an additional antioxidant mixture. Of the patients followed, the median time of survival was 17 months, five months longer than expected overall. In total, 76 percent of the patients survived longer than expected on average, with little to no side effects noted from the treatment. (32)
These studies are far from hard proof, but they are encouraging beginnings to the thought that CoQ10 supplementation may help improve risk factors and even survival with certain cancers.
6. May Protect Cognitive Health
In those with cognitive impairments, such as Parkinson’s disease, increased oxidative stress in a part of the brain called the substantia nigra is thought to contribute to symptoms. CoQ10 has been shown to offset decreases in activity of mitochondrial electron transport chains that affect nerve channels and brain function, and studies show that people with cognitive disorders tend to have reduced levels of CoQ10 in their blood. (33)
Several studies have investigated the effects of CoQ10 in individuals with Parkinson’s disease. One randomized, placebo-controlled trial that evaluated the efficacy of 300, 600 or 1,200 milligrams a day given to 80 people with early Parkinson’s disease found that supplementation was well-tolerated and associated with slower deterioration of cognitive functions compared to the placebo. Other trials have shown that around 360 milligrams a day taken for four weeks moderately benefited Parkinson’s disease patients. (34)
Other evidence suggests contrary outcomes for Parkinson’s, though. Two studies, one in mid-stage Parkinson’s and the other in early-stage, found no significant improvement or slowing of the disease resulting from treatment of CoQ10, leading to the cancellation of a planned clinical trial due to the assumption that Coenzyme Q10 would be unlikely to be effective over placebo. (35, 36, 37)
Some preliminary studies have found positive outcomes in lab and research studies, and a few small human clinical trials, for CoQ10 to treat some of the cognitive decline in other neurological diseases, including progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), Huntington’s disease, amytrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Friedreich’s ataxia. (38, 39)
Regarding the most well-known neurodegenerative disease, Alzheimer’s disease, there have been little to no human trials conducted using CoQ10. However, research studies have found modestly positive results, making Coenzyme Q10 a possible addition to an Alzheimer’s diet and supplementation plan. (40, 41)
7. Could Improve Male Infertility
It’s possible CoQ10 can help improve fertility issues in men. In clinical trials, supplementation with Coenzyme Q10 significantly: (44, 45, 46, 47, 48)
- Improves sperm motility (movement)
- Increases fertilization rates
- Boosts sperm count
- Improves sperm morphology (size/form)
- Increases antioxidants in seminal plasma
- Aids in treatment of asthenozoospermia (diagnostically low sperm motility)
- Improves symptoms of Peyronie’s disease (a serious male infertility disease)
8. Treats Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
Multiple clinical trials and case reports have found that CoQ10 may be a powerful natural method of treating fibromyalgia symptoms. In adults, the dosage was typically 300 milligrams per day, while one study on juvenile fibromyalgia focused on a 100 milligram dose.
Improvements include reduction of overall pain symptoms, less headaches, reduction of fatigue/tiredness, restored mitochondrial function, reduced oxidative stress and improvement in cholesterol markers (in the juvenile study). (49, 50, 51, 52, 53)
Coenzyme Q10 is found naturally in our diets from foods, including fish, liver, kidney and the germs of whole grain. The richest natural sources of dietary coenzyme Q10 are meat, poultry and fish, but vegetarian options, such as beans, nuts, some vegetables, eggs and dairy products, are also helpful for increasing your intake. (54)
My recommendation for the very best foods for supplying CoQ10 include:
- Grass-fed beef
- Free-range chicken
- Rainbow trout
- Sesame seeds
- Pistachio nuts
- Cage-free eggs
Currently, there is no specific dietary intake recommendation for CoQ10 established from the Institute of Medicine or other agencies. Because it’s a fat-soluble antioxidant, it’s most easily absorbed when consumed with a small amount of healthy fats (just like vitamins E and A). Although it can be obtained from certain foods, foods tend to only supply low doses, which is exactly why many experts recommend supplementing if you’re older or have a condition that may benefit from CoQ10 supplementation.
Symptoms of deficiency have not been widely reported or studied in much detail in the general population. It’s estimated that the average person’s diet contributes around 25 percent of total CoQ10. The best way to obtain enough is to eat a varied, nutrient-dense diet, PLUS to consider supplementing if it makes sense for your individual situation.
Related: Are Organ Meats and Offal Healthy to Eat?
Supplements and Dosage Recommendations
COQ10 is found in such low quantities in most foods that even a healthy diet might be an impractical way to meet the daily recommended dosages. Taking a daily, high-quality CoQ10 supplement in capsule form (which helps with easier absorption into the bloodstream) can close the bridge between this gap.
CoQ10 Supplement Dosage:
Dosage sizes of CoQ10 supplements range anywhere from 50–1,200 milligrams per day. Most supplements fall in the 100–200 milligram range. (55)
Depending on the condition studies attempt to treat, the CoQ10 dosage recommendations can range from 90 milligrams up to 1,200 milligrams. This larger dose has typically been used only to study the neurological benefits of CoQ10 — most successful studies use between 100–300 milligrams.
How much do CoQ10 supplements typically cost, and how can you find a trustworthy brand?
The cost of taking 100 milligrams ranges from 8 cents to over $3, depending on the specific brand and strength.
What’s important, and makes a big difference in terms of the benefits you’ll get from taking CoQ10 supplements, is that the concentration is actually equal to the amount listed. Some products use fillers or enhancers and may even supply less of a dosage than the manufacturer claims.
Look for products with reviews, certifications ensuring the listed dosage is correct and as minimal preservatives or fillers as possible, along with supplements that possess the right CoQ10 concentrations.
When should you take CoQ10, morning or night?
While it can be taken any time that is most convenient, it’s best to take CoQ10 with a meal containing fat, since it’s fat soluble. If you take a CoQ10 dosage that exceeds 100 mg per day, it’s best to split doses into two or three smaller servings, which will help with absorption.
There’s some evidence that taking CoQ10 at night may help with the body’s ability to use it, so a good option is taking it with dinner. However some people report having difficulty falling asleep if they take CoQ10 close to bed time, so this comes down to individual preference.
Risks and Side Effects
Although it’s considered to be very safe overall and has been used in the medical field for many years, CoQ10 side effects may still affect some people. Potential CoQ10 side effects can include: (55)
- Upper abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite
- Light sensitivity
Read the dosage labels on your coenzyme Q10 supplements, and stick to them unless instructed otherwise by your healthcare professional.
If you’re pregnant or breast-feeding, it’s probably best not to take CoQ10 supplements, since it’s not clear whether or not they’re safe in these cases.
Coenzyme Q10 supplements can decrease the anticoagulant efficacy of statins like warfarin and other common cholesterol-lowering medications (such as those known as HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor statins). Talk to your doctor about being monitored if you take these medications.
- CoQ10, also called Coenzyme Q10 or ubiquinone, is a natural substance found in the body and certain foods that helps fight oxidative stress and prevent tissue damage.
- The top benefits of CoQ10 include sustaining natural energy, improving heart and brain health, slowing aging and fighting cancer.
- Coenzyme Q10 is produced by the body naturally and also found in small amounts in some foods. CoQ10 foods include meat, fish, nuts, seeds, veggies and eggs. However, our ability to produce and use it decreases significantly with age.
- CoQ10 supplement dosages range between 30—1,200 milligrams/daily, the typically recommended dosage is between 100-200 milligrams each day for most conditions.
- CoQ10 side effects
When it comes to optimal health, just about everyone is looking for a magic pill, one that can neutralize free radicals, stave off disease, preserve organ health and rejuvenate us from head to toe. Seems like a lot to ask, an impossible dream – or is it? Turns out the magic bullet is already inside of us and it’s called CoQ10 – a naturally-occurring vitamin-like substance our bodies produce, but often, not quite enough of it. In fact, maintaining high CoQ10 levels is so critical to sustaining health, I recommend supplementation to most of my patients, particularly those who are over 40, battling fatigue or who are dealing with cardiovascular issues. Why? Because it is a natural “wonder drug,” one that’s long on benefits, with virtually no negative side-effects. Here’s the lowdown on why nobody should ever come up short on CoQ10:
So Doc, why all the hoopla about CoQ10?
Because CoQ10 is essential for good health: it generates energy for every cell, tissue and organ in the body, enabling them to perform at their peak. Also known as ubiquinol, CoQ10 is an antioxidant, that’s present in every cell – our bodies make it continuously. Unfortunately, as we age we tend to produce less and less of it. Without enough CoQ10 to power our cells, they become less resilient and more susceptible to damage –cells start to sputter, organs become impaired, and in extreme cases, even death can occur. How to turn up dropping CoQ10 levels? Start by boosting them back into the health-sustaining range with regular supplementation and by eating foods that are rich in CoQ10. These simple things will almost immediately improve your short and long-term health, by delivering added protection to your heart and brain.
You’re the king and CoQ10 is your castle wall.
Think of it this way: If you want to keep undesirables like diabetes, heart disease, cancer out of your kingdom, fortify your castle wall with CoQ10. Like a sentry at the gate, CoQ10 provides an excellent defense, helping to suppress and repel health-depleting marauders like diabetes, heart disease, cancer and that dark knight behind so many diseases – inflammation. Clinical studies have also shown that CoQ10 supplementation benefits patients with fatigue, migraines, depression, high blood-pressure and elevated cholesterol. Research also indicates that increasing levels of CoQ10 can help slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease and aid recovery in stroke patients.
CoQ10 supplements rock!
Once you start introducing more CoQ10 into the body, the benefits start to kick in quickly, usually within 2 or 3 weeks. Most people report feeling more energized in a matter of days. On a cellular level, the replenishing of depleted CoQ10 levels enables cells to function as efficiently as they did when you were younger. For those over 40, who are not on prescription medications, I usually suggest starting with 200-400mgs daily for the first 4 weeks, and then 200mgs a day to maintain healthy levels. As the body will use only what it needs and eliminate the excess, overdosing isn’t a big concern, but check with your doc to establish a baseline dose that’s appropriate to your situation. If you’re on prescription meds, many of which rob the body of vital CoQ10 supplies, you may need a higher dose. A case in point: Statin drugs can lower CoQ10 levels by as much as 40% — leaving you vulnerable to additional problems, on top of the one you’re being treated for. My advice? If you must take a statin, you absolutely must supplement with CoQ10. And if your doctor disagrees with your plan to supplement, get another doctor – CoQ10 is that important.
Tuck into a plate of CoQ10.
In addition to CoQ10 supplements, you can give your levels an added boost the old-fashioned way, simply by eating foods that are rich in it. A good place to start is with grass-fed, organic organ meats such as beef and pork liver or hearts – which makes sense given that our own hearts are high in CoQ10. No need to go hog-wild though, just two servings of organic organ meats a week will do. Not a meat-eater? Then mackerel and herring will fit the bill. And if you are vegetarian, peanuts, sesame seeds, walnuts and adzuki beans contain moderate amounts of CoQ10 and veggies such as spinach, broccoli, sweet potato, sweet pepper, garlic, parsley, avocado and cauliflower, are fairly good sources.
Make sure you get the good stuff.
As with most supplements, you get what you pay for and top quality CoQ10 does not come cheap – so if you happen to see jars of powdered CoQ10 on the shelf at Wal-Mart for $10, leave it there. Instead, be on the lookout for high quality, liquid capsules with 200 mgs of bio-available ubiquinol. Avoid products with the similar-sounding “ubiquinone,” which is more difficult for the body to convert into a usable form. For my patients, I recommend the Be Well professional grade Ubiquinol CoQ10 supplements
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is found in your mitochondria to assist in energy production. While it is essential, you don’t often need to supplement with CoQ10 because your body naturally produces it. However, as you age, levels naturally decrease and supplementation becomes necessary.
It’s worthy to note that diseases such as fibromyalgia, heart disease, depression, Prader-Willi syndrome, male infertility, Peyronie’s disease, migraines, and Parkinson’s are linked to low levels of CoQ10. In turn, supplementation of CoQ10 is recommended to improve the symptoms of those diseases.
At the end of the day, CoQ10 does have several benefits and a few side effects. Read below to discover if CoQ10 is right for you.
For those looking for a supplement that is both pure and potent, HealthWise CoQ10 is one of the best possible choices. There are very few, if any, competing brands that can provide the high-quality found in this product combined with the 240mg per serving amount.
Among other notable qualities, HeartWise CoQ10 has no additives and has all-natural, ingredients that are 100% GMO-free. For those looking to monitor their sugar intake, HeartWise also comes both sugar and artificial coloring free.
HealthWise CoQ10 Advanced Health is a daily, cellular energy-boosting, cardiovascular health-supportive, multi-purpose super supplement that comes in a 60-capsule bottle to provide a full 30 days of continual support.
2Transparent Labs Raw Series CoQ10
Though it did not make the top of the list, Transparent Labs Raw Series CoQ10 still proves to be highly competitive among the various options of CoQ10 supplements. Considered to be extremely reliable for long-term use, this product provides 100 mg of CoQ10 per serving and does so in a pure, natural, and potent way
Transparent Labs has a slew of advantages over other brands including their veggie capsules made without gelatin and the absence of any soybean oil in their ingredients. For those looking the cleaner supplement options, this should be a massive bonus.
Overall, this is an equally worthy contender among CoQ10 supplements.
3CoQ10 Complex + by Nuzena
Though Nuzena is one of the newer supplement companies, they have developed a reputation for producing high-quality products with very simplistic ingredients and manufacturing. This process has helped to establish a solid reputation thus far in the industry.
In terms of its compound and makeup, Nuzena’s formula includes CoQ10 Complex which contains 200mg of coenzyme. This combination makes it one of the most potent formulas on the market.
This is easily one of the top 3 CoQ10 supplements available and is definitely worth the time to review and try if possible
4Qunol Ultra CoQ10
Quhol is a great CoQ10 option for those who are looking for something that lives up to most if not all of your expectations. With a high degree of success and a superior quality product, there is very little mystery as to why this supplement is in the top 5 products on this list
One of the only cautionary drawbacks to this supplement is the number of sweeping claims made about their product.
While there is a chance that some of this may be true, it is always important to monitor claims and look for ingredients that support them accordingly. For Quhol, the use of vitamin e and emulsifiers could lend some credence to their claims.
5BulkSupplements CoEnzyme 10 (CoQ10)
One of the premier names in the supplement industry, BulkSupplements provides a CoQ10 product that surpasses many others on the market. With simple packaging, a great product, and a solid reputation there is very little else to be said. BulkSupplements only include one ingredient making it over 98% pure CoQ10, so it will give you a great dose of what you’re looking for.
One cautionary note, however, BulkSupplements is one of the best you could find but it may be a bit tedious for a novice supplement taker. With the measuring needing to be completed on a micro-scale and the need to consume this supplement with some fat, it may be best suited to those with some experience.
Overall, if you can stick with it this product is well worth it.
6Doctor’s Best High Absorption CoQ10
Though it is not one of the more popular supplement brands out there, Doctor’s Best certainly proves that they may know some of the best information for CoQ10 supplements Doctor’s Best places a high emphasis on absorption.
To that end, they have chosen to use black pepper extract to enhance the absorption rate of their supplement product, making it one of the most reliable options available. They have also included the use of olive oil in their formula which is a key component of using the fat-soluble CoQ10 supplement effectively.
Though the purity level of the product isn’t as high as some of the other listed options, it is still good.
7Viva Naturals CoQ10
Viva Naturals is another company slowly coming to the forefront of supplement usage. Though they have not achieved the success of some of the other companies placed on the list, they are certainly making a name for themselves. Their CoQ10 supplement, in particular, has earned a great deal of attention and praise for its purity and potency.
It’s a very simple formula with black pepper extract and 100 mg of CoQ10 per capsule. BioPerine is a patented black pepper extract shown to improve the absorption of CoQ10 by at least 30%. Each softgel contains 5mg of this powerful compound, significantly enhancing its bioavailability.
This makes it easily one of the best choices in terms of dosage and value. With a total of 4 ingredients, it is also easy to see why those looking for simple but effective would turn to this supplement.
8Nature’s Bounty CoQ10
Nature’s Bounty has a significant advantage over many other supplements in the marketplace. Though it does have a significant amount of popularity, it is also a well-known brand found in most stores locally.
In terms of product effectiveness, however, it is fairly simplistic. The ingredients are pretty standard. This is not a choice suitable for vegans or vegetarians with animal-based gelatin. Overall though, a solid choice for the novice supplement user.
9BRI Nutrition CoQ10
One of the most intriguing qualities in this CoQ10 supplement is the number of additional vitamins offered in its formula. BRI Nutrition includes a healthy dose of vitamin A, vitamin E, and black pepper extract to help with absorption and efficacy.
BRI only the finest ingredients, all of which are manufactured in our US, GMP compliant, state-of-the-art, facility. Every batch is laboratory tested for quality assurance.
Despite its popularity, it was placed towards the bottom of the rankings due to their purity testing being conducted by an in-house lab. Despite this, however, there were enough good qualities for this supplement to be considered among the best.
10Jarrow Formulas Q-Absorb CoQ10
Widely known for producing a range of high-quality products Jarrows Formulas manufactures a CoQ10 supplement that is on par with the others on this list.
It provides a standard 100mg of CoQ10 per capsule and has been lab-tested to verify its purity. It is also absent of any soy products and uses rosemary and vitamin E for flavoring.
How We Rank
With CoQ10 being such a vital part of the human body and many of its processes, we wanted to put a significant emphasis on products that had the highest degree of purity. The amount of purity was decided through additional research of each product ingredient list and any associated testing results readily available online.
We also looked at the use of any fillers, additives, or artificial ingredients that provided little to no value. Supplements that were shown to contain these products, or a substantial amount of soy, wheat, eggs, dairy, etc were heavily penalized. The key to our decision making was to locate products that were simple yet effective. This is a prime reason why brands such as HealthWise and Transparent Labs landed in the top-tier of choices.
You’ll notice that there are several products that are both vegetarian and vegan-friendly. Though not everyone may require a supplement for one of these lifestyles, these products needed to be showcased to give the best array of choices. This is seen mostly in the choice of supplements that favored cellulose rather than gelatin.
Lastly, we wanted to choose products that had an increased or enhanced amount of efficacy. This is normally dependent on additional products within the supplement, so we looked for products containing black pepper extract or vitamin E specifically.
1COQ10 plays a substantial role in enhancing blood flow. COQ10 increases the effectiveness of nitric oxide to improve blood flow while providing effects that counter estrogen’s activity in the body.
2CoQ10 protects the blood vessels. COQ10 is seen to reduce the damage caused by oxidized low-density lipoprotein (LDL cholesterol) on the walls of blood vessels (1).
A 2010 study published in the Journal of Molecular Neuroscience showed that COQ10 could even reduce plaque buildup in found in the arteries (2).
3CoQ10 protects against heart disease. One study published in the European Heart Journal (2007) demonstrated that CoQ10 could cut the risk of dying from sudden cardiac arrest in half (3).
The study utilized a multi-center, randomized, double-blind test with 420 patients who experience heart failure all over the world. They were divided into two groups, where half supplemented with CoQ10 and half were given a placebo as well as the typical post heart failure treatment.
CoQ10 is beneficial because it works with your body to safely correct the metabolic function of an energy-starved heart seen in chronic heart failure as opposed to blocking cellular processes and causing undesired side effects (which is what other medications are seen to do) (4).
This study continued for two years showing that patients taking CoQ10 cut their risk of another major cardiovascular event, one requiring hospitalization, in half. In fact, their risk of dying from all-cause mortality was cut in half as well (5).
Interestingly, CoQ10 levels are seen to decrease in heart muscle tissue after heart failure. This may explain why supplementation of CoQ10 in those patients with heart failure saw improved quality of life with no side effects.
CoQ10 is seen to be the first supplement to improve survival in chronic heart failure since the discovery of ACE inhibitors over 11 years ago according to the principal investigator of the study (6).
4Coq10 helps prevent heart complications. One research paper in the Journal of Cardiac failure (1995), reviewed several studies showing that patients with heart failure supplementing daily with CoQ10 showed significantly fewer complications and symptoms compared to those taking the placebo (7).
Similarly, a review published in Atherosclerosis provides evidence that CoQ10 may only be effective in those with heart failure and has little to no effect in improving the health of the cardiovascular system in patients without heart disease (8).
5CoQ10 has been shown to lower inflammation. A 2013 study showed that Coenzyme Q10 supplementation at 300 mg/d significantly enhances antioxidant enzymes activities and reduces inflammation in patients who have coronary artery disease (9).
6CoQ10 is seen to reduce muscle-wasting. Rhabdomyolysis is a dangerous muscle-wasting disease linked to low levels of CoQ10 caused by statins (10).
One study published in the American Journal of Cardiology showed evidence that CoQ10 supplementation can decrease muscle breakdown and pain in patients taking statins (11).
7CoQ10 works as an antioxidant. A study out of the Heart Research Institute (Sydney, Australia) showed that CoQ10 reduces levels of lipid peroxidation in the blood (12).
This shows how CoQ10 works as an antioxidant to prevent fats or cholesterol from becoming oxidized or “sticky” and gives insight into how CoQ10 can clean up blood vessels to improve heart health.
However, while CoQ10 is an effective antioxidant, there are more potent antioxidants out there (13).
8CoQ10 has shown to reduce hypertension in certain individuals. A meta-analysis published in the Journal of Human Hypertension (2007) showed coenzyme Q10 has the potential in hypertensive patients to lower systolic blood pressure by up to 17 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure by up to 10 mm Hg without significant side effects (14).
9CoQ10 helps to improve your endothelial cell function. Endothelial cells work to produce nitric oxide so that your blood vessels can smoothly and effectively transport nutrients to your cells and waste away from your cells.
One study in 2013 demonstrated that CoQ10 could help improve endothelial cell function modestly (15). However, it is only in those that have a deficiency, to begin with.
10CoQ10 is seen to reduce symptoms of Peyronie’s disease. Peyronie’s disease is a painful condition in males due to physical trauma to the penis causing painful erections.
A 2010 study done by Safarinejad in the International Journal of Impotence Research showed that there is a significant reduction in pain and symptoms in Peyronie’s disease seen with supplementation of CoQ10, making CoQ10 one of the only oral treatments for this disease (16).
11CoQ10 helps balance and maintain adequate pH levels in the body. Because of this, it is believed that CoQ10 can help improve lower the risk of disease and improve overall immune function. One study from the national cancer institute even showed women supplementing with coq10 for breast cancer had their conditions improve significantly (17).
12CoQ10 helps mitigate muscle soreness. One 2007 study showed that CoQ10 supplementation could result in a decrease of muscle soreness and breakdown (18).
However, another study done in 2015 showed that it has no effect on muscle soreness whatsoever (19).
13CoQ10 protects against cognitive decline. Studies show that those with cognitive impairments have decreased levels of coq10 circulating in their bloodstream. Coq10 supplementation has shown promises of offsetting or at least delay cognitive aging (20).
Furthermore, studies have shown that individuals with Parkinson’s disease taking 360mg of CoQ10 daily for 4 weeks had their conditions improve (21).
14Coq10 has been shown to improve fertility. As you age, protection against oxidative damage towards eggs and sperm decline. CoQ10 supplementation seems to protect against this – and may even reverse it.
One 2013 meta-analysis showed that while pregnancy rates did not increase, overall sperm motility and concentration increased dramatically (22).
Another study done in 2016 showed that CoQ10 (among other antioxidants improved the number, motility, morphology and sometimes DNA integrity of sperm (23).
15CoQ10 may protect against skin aging. A 2015 study showed that topical treatment with coenzyme Q10-containing formulas improves skin’s Q10 level and provides antioxidative effects. Moreover, the results demonstrated that stressed skin benefits from the topical Q10 treatment by reduction of free radicals and an increase in antioxidant capacity (24).
It may also decrease the risk of skin cancer.
16Coq10 can help with headaches. One study published in Neurology (2005) demonstrated that CoQ10 supplementation reduced the occurrence of a migraine by a factor of 3 (25).
Another study – in which 1550 people were examined – showed that Coq10 deficiency increased headache probability and severity. It also demonstrated that supplementation remedied those issues (26).
17Coq10 can help with diabetes. A 2014 study showed that CoQ10 improves insulin sensitivity and adjusts type 2 diabetic disorder (27).
Another study done in 2015 showed that CoQ10 might help prevent diabetes by stimulating the breakdown of fats and reducing the accumulation of fat cells that could lead to obesity or type 2 diabetes (28).
18Coq10 protects your lungs. Since your lungs have the most contact with oxygen, they have the most opportunity for oxidative damage. This can result in lung diseases such as asthma.
A 2005 study demonstrated that supplementation with antioxidant inducing nutrients (such as coQ10) reduced inflammation in individuals who had asthma, as well as their need for steroid medications to treat it (29).
19CoQ10 could help in the treatment of glaucoma. Glaucoma is an ocular condition that causes damage to the optic nerve. Though it may start with mild discomfort, this condition progressively worsens over time. It is often linked to the build-up of pressure within the eye and is most often inherited. The healing properties contained within CoQ10 can help to protect the cells located within the eye and possibly slow the progression of similar conditions.
CoQ10 protects cells specifically located in the retina from radiation damage that may occur from multiple sources including the sun and its UV rays. According to a study published in the Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science Journal in 2007, CoQ10 provides neuroprotective properties when tested with people experiencing the effects of glaucoma (30).
More research must be conducted to draw more definitive conclusions regarding the role of CoQ10 in diseases of this nature.
20CoQ10 can help relieve diabetic nerve pain. Diabetic neuropathy is a specific type of nerve damage that often occurs in those diagnosed with diabetes. Similar to other types of neuropathic conditions, diabetic neuropathy symptoms can range from numbness and pain to issues extending to other areas of the body.
While treatment often involves prescription pain medication to remedy inflammation and symptoms, CoQ10 has shown promising signs of providing a much more natural alternative.
According to a study published in the Journal of Diabetes Complications CoQ10 dramatically increased diabetic neuropathy of those supplementing their intake. Over 12 weeks, 49 patients were given 400mg supplements of CoQ10. Those receiving the supplement rather than the placebo saw up to a 20% decrease in neuropathy symptoms (31).
1Coenzyme Q10 can cause an upset stomach (32).
2CoQ10 can also lower blood sugar levels (33). This means that those with diabetes need to be careful when supplementing with CoQ10 or avoid it altogether.
3Combining CoQ10 and statin medications should be avoided. Most commonly taken are the statin drugs (34). CoQ10 levels are seen to decrease with age as well.
Unfortunately, older adults who are on statin drugs may be lowering their levels of CoQ10 when they need CoQ10 the most. Especially because ongoing research connects CoQ10 to age-related vision problems, dementia, heart disease and more (35).
4CoQ10 supplements can cause problems with some medications. CoQ10 is seen to have interactions with beta-blockers, some antidepressants, and chemotherapy drugs (36).
Additionally, CoQ10 is depleted by statin drugs due to the interference between the two; there’s evidence to show that supplementing with CoQ10 on statins can lead to side effects as well (37).
5CoQ10 was once thought to improve blood pressure. A recent review provides evidence that CoQ10 does not decrease blood pressure significantly compared to taking a placebo (38).
6Taking 100mg a day or more may cause mild insomnia for certain people.
7It may not provide any benefits for younger healthy people. As we naturally age, our body produces less and less CoQ10. As such, it’s important for people 50 and over to supplement with it. Anyone younger may not see any additional benefits.
8CoQ10 can cause allergic reactions. Though generally well-tolerated by most people CoQ10 could cause allergic reactions in some users. In general, allergic reactions caused by CoQ10 are mild to moderate and include skin rashes, hives, or nausea. These reactions can be treated with over-the-counter antihistamines and will generally resolve themselves within a couple of days.
In some cases, however, allergic reactions related to CoQ10 are much more severe ad could result in a case of anaphylaxis. Those who have a history of severe allergic reactions should consult a physician before beginning a supplementation regimen. If you experience an allergic reaction while taking CoQ10, it is highly recommended to cease the consumption of the supplement until a trained and experienced physician has been consulted
The standard dose for CoQ10 is generally 90mg (39). That’s an excellent low dose to start with, but research has shown doses up to 200mg to be safe (40).
CoQ10 relies on food for absorption, so it is best to take with food (41). While 200mg is a safe dose, there is no need to take higher doses as 90mg is proven to be the minimal effective dose for CoQ10.
Overall, the research shows that there isn’t a significant therapeutic effect of CoQ10 supplementation. This means that if you’re taking CoQ10 as a preventative measure to improve your health, it is not worth it.
CoQ10 is seen to be most useful for those with damage to their cardiac tissue as well as those patients taking statin drugs on a regular basis (42).
CoQ10 supplements come in two forms. The oxidized form is called ubiquinone while the reduced form is called ubiquinol.
Both forms are seen to work equally well for increasing levels of CoQ10 in the body (43). Looking at your total CoQ10 refers to the sum of both forms because CoQ10 is seen to change from reduced to oxidized as it functions throughout the body (44).
CoQ10 is abundant and better absorbed in certain natural foods (45). Since its fat soluble, it is best ingested with healthy dietary fat. The best sources are certain types of fish, including herring and rainbow trout, grass-fed beef and cage-free eggs.
For vegetarians, the best sources are pistachios, oranges, broccoli, sesame seeds, strawberries, and cauliflower. Beans have also shown to have a good amount of CoQ10.
Can you take CoQ10 at night? Taking CoQ10 at night may help with the body’s ability to use it. However, since it can provide energy, it may also increase the likelihood of insomnia.
Are there symptoms of low Coq10? There are no direct symptoms of CoQ10 however if you routinely experience muscle weakness, fatigue, high blood pressure, and slowed thinking it may indicate a CoQ10 issue.
What foods are rich in CoQ10? The best foods include organ meats, fatty fish, legumes, oranges, pistachios and cruciferous vegetables.
Can you take CoQ10 on an empty stomach? Ubiquinone is a crystalline powder that is insoluble in water and is difficult to absorb when taken on an empty stomach. However, when ubiquinone is taken with food (especially oils), it’s absorbed at least twice as fast as when it’s taken on an empty stomach
Is CoQ10 good for energy? Yes, CoQ10 sparks energy production in every cell of your body including the heart.
Is Coq10 good for joints? Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, CoQ10 is now believed to a play a positive role in improving joint pain and reducing arthritis inflammation.
Are their side effects when supplementing with C0Q10, and if so what are they? While most people tolerate coenzyme Q10 well, it can cause some mild side effects including stomach upset, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. It can cause allergic skin rashes in some people. It also might lower blood pressure, so check your blood pressure carefully if you have very low blood pressure.
Is ubiquinol the same as Coq10? Yes and no. In the body, CoQ10 exists either in its oxidized form, ubiquinone, or in its reduced form, ubiquinol. When oxidized CoQ10 (ubiquinone) is used by the body, it transforms and becomes ubiquinol.
Should young people take CoQ10? There may be no benefit for young people as they already have normal levels of CoQ10 levels present in their symptoms. They are also not at risk for the age-related issues in which CoQ10 is notoriously known for protecting against.
Does CoQ10 thin the blood? No, CoQ10 does not act as a blood thinner. However, there have been reports that CoQ10 may make medications such as warfarin (Coumadin) or clopidigrel (Plavix) less effective at thinning the blood.
Is CoQ10 safe for women during pregnancy? Yes, there is no current evidence or data to suggest CoQ10 is unsafe for women who are pregnant. Though this is the case, however, most women will no longer need to take CoQ10 once they have become pregnant. This does not mean that they cannot do so, as some health benefits occur for women during this time
Can CoQ10 damage your kidneys? Yes, however, this is isolated to those who may already have existing deficiencies. In general, however, CoQ10 is not only safe for your kidneys but may help repair and reduce inflammation and damage from certain disorders
Is there a way to increase CoQ10 naturally? Yes, you can increase your CoQ10 levels naturally. This is mostly isolated to foods that are filled with this coenzyme.
Can women use CoQ10 while breastfeeding? Currently, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that there are any minor or major side effects to using CoQ10 while breastfeeding. Additionally, however, there is no evidence to suggest any specific lactation-related uses at this time. Nursing mothers are highly encouraged to reach out to their physician before using CoQ10 if there are questions or concerns related to their usage.
What are the health benefits of coenzyme Q10? CoQ10 has been shown to reduce the oxidative damage that leads to muscle fatigue, skin damage and brain and lung diseases. It could also help improve blood sugar regulation, heart health, reduce the frequency of migraines and assist in the prevention and treatment of cancer.
Can you take too much CoQ10? Generally, CoQ10 has little to no side effects and is generally well-tolerated. This is true in both low and higher range doses. This could vary, however, from person to person. Those who may be a little more sensitive to the compound may experience minor side effects such as headaches, diarrhea, nausea, or skin rashes.
Is CoQ10 okay for long-term use? Yes, currently CoQ10 is free of any severe long-term issues. Studies have shown that CoQ10 may be useful in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and congestive heart failure which are both chronic, long-term conditions. Those taking CoQ10 for longer durations, however, should consult their doctor before extensive use.
How much research has been done on CoQ10? While there can never be enough research performed on supplements available over the counter, there has been an extensive amount of research regarding CoQ10. As time has progressed, numerous studies from various institutions have proven this to be an extremely safe supplement for the general public.
Who would benefit most from CoQ10 supplementation? Though not a commonly discussed supplement, many people would benefit from the use of a CoQ10 supplement. Specifically, women experiencing fertility issues, and those who may be experiencing heart or liver issues may also benefit from this treatment.
Is CoQ10 available through a multivitamin? No; In general, CoQ10 will not be available via a multi-vitamin supplement. This his due largely to the molecular composition of ubiquinol.
Could CoQ10 cause pain and tingling? While this is not a common or general issue, those who are much more sensitive to the molecular compound may experience some minor discomfort. This could include both tingling and nerve pain depending on the individual involved. While this is the case for some, however, those with concerns should consult a trained physician when deciding whether or not to use CoQ10.
Can you take CoQ10 with high blood pressure medication? Coenzyme Q-10 can increase the effects of medications used to lower blood pressure, so it’s important to consult your doctor before hand.
CoQ10 is a powerful vitamin-like substance that improves heart health, energy production and protects against oxidative damage over time. However, there are still some side effects, and even certain hidden benefits of CoQ10 that are not well understood.
If you’re taking statins and have unpleasant side effects, OR recently suffered from heart failure CoQ10 seems like a safe and effective fit for you.
However, if you’re generally in good health and looking for optimal health, CoQ10 may not be much help to you.