Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a fat-soluble antioxidant and naturally-occurring nutrient stored within the mitochondrion that keeps you energized and “recharged” each day. Making CoQ10 supplementation a part of your daily routine can benefit adults of all ages, especially those receiving treatment for health issues or who have depleted energy levels due to medical conditions.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a fat-soluble antioxidant and naturally-occurring nutrient stored within the mitochondrion, an organelle that serves as our cells’ energy factories. The mitochondrion acts similar to a battery, ensuring that CoQ10 levels are enough to keep you energized and “recharged” each day.
The National Center for Biotechnology Information says that CoQ10 is involved with the conversion of complex energy sources such as adenosine triphosphate, also known as ATP, into much simpler molecules. ATP is responsible for energy storage and transfer in cells—without it, cells cannot function.
Beyond supporting energy production, CoQ10 ensures that our organs are functioning well and that our bodies can perform metabolic processes. High levels of CoQ10 are stored in organs that require high energy to function, such as the heart, lungs, kidney, and liver. However, as we age, CoQ10 levels deplete, and the need to consume CoQ10-rich diets and supplements arises.
Why do CoQ10 levels decrease over time?
There are various factors that can deplete CoQ10 levels in the human body, including the following:
- Cholesterol-lowering medications, such as statins
- Genetic mutations
- Mitochondrial disorders
How can taking CoQ10 supplements everyday support my overall health?
CoQ10 supplementation can benefit adults of all ages, especially those receiving treatment for health issues or have depleted energy levels due to medical conditions. CoQ10 intake has been associated with the following potential benefits:
- May help treat or manage heart failure, migraines, and fertility issues;
- May reduce muscle pain in individuals taking statin medications;
- May promote skin and brain function;
- May support patients with chronic lung diseases; and
- May prevent cancer
CoQ10 is also combined with other supplements, such as:
- Vitamin E, a vitamin that can help promote skin, vision, blood, and brain health
- Zinc, a mineral that can promote immune function
With this, making CoQ10 supplementation a part of your daily routine may help you get lasting health benefits.
What can CoQ10 do for my energy levels? How will it help me?
Physical performance and strength
A study published in the Journal of Nutrition, Health, and Aging examined elderly adults who took CoQ10 and selenium supplements for 48 months. By the end of the study, the subjects reported enhanced vitality and physical performance, among others.
Reviews from the Neuromuscular Disorders and the Bioscience Reports journals report that impaired or diseased mitochondria contribute to exercise intolerance and reduced muscle energy levels in individuals. In this case, CoQ10 administration may help improve their ability to sustain exercise.
Research from the BioFactors journal says that using topical CoQ10 may reduce potential damage from internal and external factors by encouraging skin cells to increase energy production and boosting antioxidant protection from stress.
Studies suggest that abnormal mitochondrial function can lead to low energy in nervous system cells, which bring about “migraine mechanisms.” CoQ10 has been used in the treatment of migraines due to its reported positive effect on mitochondrial metabolism.
One way to absorb CoQ10 is through the food that we eat. Listed below are the dietary sources of CoQ10:
- Animal meats such as pork, beef, and chicken
- Animal organ meats such as heart and liver
- Fatty fish such as trout, mackerel, salmon, tuna, and sardines
- Fruits such as oranges and strawberries
- Vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and spinach
- Legumes such as peanuts, soybeans (and soybean products), and lentils
- Nuts and seeds such as sesame seeds and pistachios
- Oils such as soybean oil and canola oil
It is worth noting, however, that these foods contain low amounts of CoQ10 compared to dietary supplements. If you have pre-existing health conditions or experience bodily limitations, eating food rich in CoQ10 alone may not be enough. In order to absorb more amounts of CoQ10 in the body and to maximize its potential health benefits, you may opt to combine a CoQ10-rich diet with a daily CoQ10 supplement.
What is the recommended dosage for CoQ10 supplements?
CoQ10 supplements are available in different forms, such as soft-gel or hard-shell capsules, oral spray, and tablets, among others. The typical recommended dosage ranges from 30 milligrams to 90 milligrams per day, but the recommended amount can be as high as 200 milligrams to 300 milligrams per day. This will depend on the health condition that you wish to manage, and its severity.
Are there any side effects or precautions I should be worried about?
Generally, our bodies can tolerate CoQ10 supplements well even when very high doses of 1,000 milligrams (or 1 gram) are consumed daily or over the course of a few days. However, caution must still be exercised as the side effects listed below may still be experienced:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Appetite loss
- Headaches and dizziness
- Skin itching or rashes
Additionally, it may be ideal to take the supplements during the day—either in the morning or in the afternoon—in order to prevent possibly causing or worsening insomnia.
I have certain medical conditions that require treatment. Will CoQ10 interact with my medications?
According to Healthline, CoQ10 supplements can interact with some medications that are found in households. These include blood thinners, antidepressants, and chemotherapy drugs. For instance, CoQ10 intake may potentially decrease the effectiveness of blood-thinning medications and thereby increase the risk of blood clotting.
With this, further consultation with health professionals is advised prior to taking CoQ10 supplements, especially when pre-existing or life-threatening health conditions must be taken into consideration.
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