Coenzyme Q10: Health Benefits, Supplements, & Side Effects

Coenzyme Q10 is a powerful natural antioxidant that is found in many foods, and is also available in supplement form. CoQ10, as it’s often called, is typically found as either Ubiquinol or Ubiquinone. CoQ10 has become a popular natural supplement for helping to boost energy and stabilize cholesterol, among many other health benefits. Learning more about Coenzyme Q10 may help you learn how it may be useful in better maintaining your own personal balance.

What is Coenzyme Q10?

Coenzyme Q10 Supplements

Coenzyme Q10, commonly called CoQ10,  is a fat soluble enzyme produced in the body cells. The Q10 abbreviation represents Quinone, a chemical group and 10 represents the subunits of isoprenyl present in the compound. Just like the other coenzymes, the Q10 variety aids the activity of enzymes especially in energy production at the cell level. Although for many normal human beings the production of this coenzyme matches its body requirements, some people especially the aged exhibit deficiencies. This has prompted the production of supplements that are rich with this compound in an effort to counteract these deficiencies, possibly caused by reduced production or over-utilization by the body.

Can you get it by Eating Plant-based Diet?

Body organs such as the heart, liver, pancreas and kidneys are rich sources of Coenzyme Q10 in the diet as well as beef and some fish varieties. For vegetarians, they have the options of vegetables and leguminous plant varieties to source for this compound. Peanuts and soybeans are the best alternatives for protein sources rich in this coenzyme. On the other hand, broccoli, spinach, and cauliflower can substitute for people who are allergic to both legumes and meat diets. Citrus fruits, grapes, bananas, avocados and strawberries also have significant amounts. Given that the body requires this compound in micro-units, plant sources serve as equivalent as meat sources. Based on a research on aging deficiencies, combining at least two sources of Coenzyme Q10 is the best way especially for the aged or those with conditions related to its deficiency.

Coenzyme Q10 Supplements

The relationship between this coenzyme and some health benefits has seen the development of supplements and products having the compound at high concentration. For most developers and manufacturers, the concentrations of Coenzyme Q10 by composition are relative since the deficiency and/or overdose causes no known adverse effects to the users. CoQ10 supplements have become wildly popular in recent years, and there is a marked danger of buying contaminated products if you don’t purchase from trusted supplement brands. Many of the CoQ10 supplements found online may not offer full potency, and may even contain mislabeled ingredients. Always pay close attention to brand name and look for NSF and USP certifications.

Recommended CoQ10 Supplements

Benefits of Coenzyme Q10

For normal human beings, this coenzyme serves to metabolize energy for cell growth and development. Due to this role in cell growth, the relationship of aging to its deficiency becomes relevant to some extent. Some studies prove this role of energy metabolism, with some even referring to it as the core of normal body functioning. In addition, it has antioxidant properties which are believed to be useful in reducing the toxicity levels in the cells. Given that it is naturally produced by the body, this detoxification role is specific to cell toxins, which would otherwise affect energy metabolism at this level. However, it is not the sole cofactor responsible for this process, but its role is recognized by many types of research. On the same note, the deficiency of Coenzyme Q10 is manifested by chest pains, heart failure, and blood pressure, although you need to consult a physician to prove this.

Cardiac Failure

Heart failure is one of the symptoms exhibited by patients having deficiencies of this coenzyme. In this case, some studies have shown factual data that proves that having adequate levels of Coenzyme Q10 will reduce the likelihood of heart failure. In fact, this was the initial utilization of supplements having the compound. However, in order to increase its efficiency, experts’ advice a combination of the compound with certain herbs for better results. a study carried out in New Zealand gave a 100% significance to the use of COQ10 as a therapy for heart failure.

Blood Pressure Regulation

People with high levels of this coenzyme in the blood have a tendency to regulate high blood pressure than those with lower levels, a study by US National Institute of Health indicated. For high blood pressure patients, supplements rich in this compound can help lower the pressure back to normal levels. However, another study by Mayo clinic calls for further research on the efficiency of Coenzyme Q10 when on long term use in regulating the blood pressure.

Neurodegenerative Conditions

A study by the Cornell University citrshowed the relationship of CoQ10 with corrective disorders such as Alzheimer’s. This could be based on the cell mechanisms and activity that this compound works from. However, given that neurodegenerative conditions comes from various sources, the treatment using the supplements of CoQ10 are yet to have a full approval, with research on its efficiency being recommended.

CoQ10 and Cancer

An early study report showed that cancer patients had low levels of Coenzyme Q10 when compared to those free of cancer cells. Although the study failed to prove if consuming the supplements can treat cancer, factors such as immune improvement favor the cancer patients. In addition, some recent research has shown the improvement of patients on cancer treatment who supplement their CoQ10, with this compound believed to improve the working of cancer drugs.

Other Health Uses

Due to the cell energy metabolism and antioxidant properties, studies have related the compound to treating conditions such as migraines, muscle and joint problems, gum disease, lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and neurological disorders. However, the gaps in research for these cases makes it just a recommendation for people having such issues and not a treatment option.

Side Effects & Overdoses

According to a book called “The Most Natural Cures on Earth”, anyone above 40 years should take or consume at least 60mg of Coenzyme Q10 on a daily basis. On the same note, for people using the supplements to regulate deficiency conditions, the RDI rises to a maximum of 300mg. However, another study indicated that consumers of at least 100mg exhibit insomnia, although at mild ranges. In addition, with prolonged use especially for the 300mg ranges, there was an indication of increased production of enzymes by the liver.

Just like other dietary supplements, the induction of highly concentrated compounds into the body causes mild to severe side effects, depending on the individual body’s reaction. Nausea, rashes, increased sensitivity, headaches, fatigue and abdominal pains are among the side effects to expect especially for first time users. Fortunately, there are no known adverse effects of using Coenzyme Q10 at any amount or concentration.




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