This is a glimpse into CoQ10, but a comprehensive and evidence based one all the same. It is beyond the scope of this article to cover the ins and outs of every research paper, soooo I will do my best to summarise the robust and peer reviewed summary’s that are already out there. Simple.
What is Coenzyme Q10?
Coenzyme Q10 or CoQ10 is a naturally forming molecule in our body whose primary function is to support mitochondria (our cellular energy powerhouses) in the production of energy…pretty important then, right?
CoQ10 has antioxidant properties also meaning it can protect blood vessels from microvascular damage and atherosclerosis (in combination with a healthy balanced diet of course, check MANtra Diet Reset for more help there) as well as enhancing overall blood flow…again, quite important, right?
CoQ10 is present in every single cell in the body, of which there are trillions! Not only is it present in every cell, it is absolutely NEEDED by every cell in the body (not everything in the body has a functioning role don’t forget, the appendix is an example).
The antioxidant properties of CoQ10 is understood to slow the ageing process of the cell, which in turn slows the overall ageing process. With this in mind, many people turn to CoQ10 to manage heart arrhythmia, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, arterial plaques (atheroma’s) and congestive heart failure.
A closer look…
You might come across different terms for CoQ10, for example, in its active form, it’s called ubiquinone or ubiquinol. By definition the term ‘Coenzyme’ means to work ‘with’ an enzyme to break down something into something else e.g. CoQ10 donates electrons to ADP to reform ATP, a key stage in energy production!
Cutting to the chase
One of the main reasons people turn to CoQ10 supplementation is because environmental and internal stressors can mean we are unable to produce enough CoQ10, this means we either become deficient or unable to meet metabolic needs.
It is for this reason that many Doctors and Dietitians collaboratively suggest people supplement with CoQ10 if they have a history of heart attacks or arterial disease, have high cholesterol and high blood pressure, have been diagnosed with atherosclerosis, angina and mitral valve prolapse (you will know if this has been diagnosed). Certain medications can inhibit the production and function of CoQ10, particularly statins. Mention to your Doctor if you are on statin therapy for high cholesterol.
It can also do the following:
– Support energy production
– Reduce fatigue and lethargy
– Increases stamina
– Reduces oxidative stress from free radicals, in turn supports healthy ageing
– Supports the efficacy of other key antioxidants such as Vitamin C and E
– May support cognitive disorders, including Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s
The potential list goes on…
What to have
CoQ10 supplements come as they are, but they can be produced and consumed in different forms such as in the oxidized (ubiquinone) or reduced form (ubiquinol). There appears to be no difference in the potency or ability to increase circulating levels of total CoQ10 in the body between these forms.
When in the body, CoQ10 can swap between ubiquinone and ubiquinol, which is why the term ‘Total CoQ10’ is used. When buying CoQ10 look for a 60mg cap of CoQ10, honestly the evidence isn’t able to differentiate between the efficacy of ubiquinol and ubiquinone based CoQ10, most evidence suggests that they are equally as beneficial despite ubiquinol based being slightly pricier due to it being the ‘naturally forming’ type in the body.
If you want to get CoQ10 in through the diet then Terrestrial meats are the best source, with levels being particularly high in cardiac tissue, liver and then skeletal muscle (regular ol’ meat). According to Kamei, M. et al. (1986) and Hiroshi, K. et al. (2007) some of the main sources include Reindeer (157mg/kg), Beef & heart tissue (113mg/kg), Pork & heart (118mg/kg) and the likes of Chicken, Salmon, Herring, Mackerel etc. Vegetarian options include Eggs provide around 1-4mg/kg and butter is reasonably high at 7mg/kg, whilst vegans can get a good amount from nuts, especially peanuts (26.7mg/kg and sesame at 17.6–23.0mg/kg) and extra-virgin olive oil (114–160mg/kg).
When to have it
CoQ10 supplements are generally consumed once a day with a meal, this is because it is better absorbed with food, especially a good base of fat.
Examine.com have kindly condensed the research and suggest that the standard dose for CoQ10 is around 90mg for a low dose and 200mg for a higher dose.