Coenzyme Q10 (Co-Q10) or Ubiquinone – What Is It?
Coenzyme Q10, also known as Co-Q10 or ubiquinone, is found in the mitochondria of all cells. It is naturally made in our bodies using the same pathway as the production of cholesterol. Coenzyme Q10 is found in most body tissues with the highest amounts in the heart, liver, kidneys, and pancreas. As we age, tissue levels of coenzyme Q10 decrease with age. It’s main function is as part of cellular system that generates energy from glucose in the presence of oxygen (in the form of ATP) for all body processes.
As a coenzyme, Co-Q10 speeds up the rate at which chemical reactions take place in the body as it is necessary for the proper functioning of an enzyme. Coenzyme Q10 is a powerful antioxidant that protects against free radicals which damage our cells. It is also used by the mitochondria (cellular powerhouses) in our cells to produce energy needed for cell growth and maintenance. As an antioxidant, Co-Q10 can also act to help prevent cellular damage from the free radicals created during intense exercise and during the generation of energy. Research shows that it may slow the aging process, increase energy, strengthen the heart, improve immune function, promote weight loss, enhance endurance and aerobic performance and lower blood pressure.
How Does Coenzyme Q10 Work?
A review of the medical literature shows that Coenzyme Q10 reduces the initiation and propagation of lipid peroxidation in cell membranes and in lipoprotein fractions. This is one of the steps in the development of plaques in our arteries. When Co-Q10 is combined with natural vitamin E, there is a synergistic antioxidant effect on the lipoproteins and a “sparing” of vitamin E. Some studies have shown that Co-Q10 benefits patients with heart failure, with a doseage of 50mg daily for 4 weeks resulting in improvements in dyspnea, heart rate, blood pressure, and ankle edema. In addition, cardiac patients who took Co-Q10 before heart surgery recovered sooner and maintained blood and tissue levels of CoQ10 better than patients not receiving supplements.
Tissue Levels of Coenzyme Q10 Decrease Under Certain Conditions
As we age, Co-Q10 naturally decreases with age. More importantly, research has shown that people taking cholesterol-lowering medications (HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors such as pravastatin or simvistatin) may benefit from Co-Q10 supplements because these medications reduce blood levels of Co-Q10. Most research studies have shown that 50-100 mg daily is the usual dose. There have been few adverse side effects on doses of 100-200 mg per day. Reported side effects are rare, but tend to be various forms of epigastric distress (heartburn, nausea, stomach ache) which can be prevented by consuming the supplement with a meal.
Research Overview on Coenzyme Q10
When human and animal studies are reviewed, Coenzyme Q10 supplementation has been shown to:
- Reduce systolic blood pressure
- Reduce oxidative stress
- Be an effective treatment for hypertension
- Be effective in managing chronic heart failure
- Improve symptoms of Parkinson’s disease
- Increase mitochondrial functioning
- Suppress atherosclerosis
- Prevent and treat ischemic injury
- Improve myocardial tolerance to aerobic stress
- Reduce brain neuron damage from free radicals
- Prevent and treat hyperlipidemia
- Prevent and treat coronary artery disease
- Improve energy production
- Prevent lipid peroxidations
Does Coenzyme Q10 Really Work?
In the video above, a young man had a cardiac problem that reduced the amount of blood his heart pumped to less than half the normal value. After six (6) months on Coenzyme Q10, his cardiac output returned to near normal. Other case reports in the literature suggest the same outcome.
What Is the Correct Form of Coenzyme Q10 to take?
The majority of the sources of Coenzyme Q10 are in the ubiquinone form. This is not the correct form that the body needs. As ubiquinone is metabolized by the liver, it is converted into a “reduced” form that is biologically active. This form is called ubiquinol. So why not take the correct form from the beginning? Look for ubiquinol when adding Coenzyme Q10 to your diet.
The best product you should use needs to made with materials that are USP (like our pharmaceutical drugs) and made under Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) (most supplements are not!). One such product that I reviewed is Biopro Q by Nutrifii (Ariix). It has the right form (ubiquinol), is made from USP ingredients and manufactured under GMP conditions.
This product has not been evaluated by the FDA. It is not intended to diagnose, treat or prevent any disease. The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment. You should consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem. You should not stop taking any medication without first consulting your physician.