March 9, 2022

What is Coenzyme Q10 and how does it benefit us?

What is Coenzyme Q10 and how does it benefit us?
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Coenzyme Q10 helps produce energy in your cells. Its also known as CoQ10. The human body naturally produces CoQ10. The highest concentrations of CoQ10 are found in organs with the greatest energy demands like the heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys.

Coenzyme Q10 affects many aspects of the human body:

However, as we age, the amount of CoQ10 produced by our bodies reduces. Because of this reason, the older you get the more likely you are to have a deficiency of CoQ10. 

Other causes of CoQ10 deficiency include:

  • Genetic inability to make or use CoQ10
  • Mitochondrial diseases
  • Nutritional deficiencies, like vitamin B6 deficiency
  • Health conditions which increases demands by tissues
  • Age-related oxidative stress
  • Side effects from statin treatments

Low levels of CoQ10 are also associated with health conditions like brain disorders, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and some chronic diseases. However, more research is needed to check if low levels of CoQ10 cause the above-mentioned conditions or are a result of the conditions.

Research on CoQ10 has revealed that Coenzyme Q10 has an array of health benefits, which we will see in detail in this blog.

Benefits of CoQ10

Below is the detailed list of the benefits of CoQ10 for us: 

  1. CoQ10 helps treat heart failures

Heart failure usually tends to be the after-effect of other heart conditions like coronary artery disease or high blood pressure. This leads to increased oxidative damage and inflammation of the veins and arteries. Certain treatments for heart failure have undesirable side effects like low blood pressure and reduction of CoQ10 levels.

Studies show that people with a history of heart failure when treated with CoQ10 showed improved symptoms and were hospitalized less frequently.

CoQ10 helps with the treatment of heart failure by improving the function of the heart, increasing ATP or energy production, and reducing oxidative damage. 

  1. CoQ10 helps with fertility issues

Both the sperm from men and eggs from women are susceptible to the effects of oxidative damage, which results in infertility. as reduced levels of CoQ10 leads to oxidative damage of the eggs.

CoQ10 plays an important role here through its antioxidant properties. Supplementing the body with CoQ10 helps in reversing the decline in egg quantity and quality in women and leads to improvement in sperm quality and activity in men.

  1. CoQ10 keeps the skin young

Skin is the largest organ in the human body and ages fast due to exposure to both internal and external damaging agents like cellular damage, hormonal imbalances, and UV rays. This leads to reduced skin moisture and thinning of the skin layers.

People with low levels of CoQ10 are more likely to develop skin cancer.

When CoQ10 is applied directly to the skin it reduces sun damage, decreases the depth of wrinkles, and increases antioxidant protection.

  1. CoQ10 reduces headaches 

Abnormal mitochondrial function leads to increased calcium uptake by the cells, decreased antioxidant protection, and excessive production of free radicals which results in low energy in the brain cells and sometimes migraines.

People suffering from migraines tend to have CoQ10 deficiency.

Increased intake of CoQ10 improves mitochondrial function and decreases the inflammation that occurs during migraines. Studies show that CoQ10 prevents as well as treats migraines.

  1. CoQ10 helps in good exercise performance

Exercise performance tends to be affected by oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction.

CoQ10 helps increase exercise performance by reducing oxidative stress in the cells and improving mitochondrial functions.

Increasing CoQ10 intake can raise exercise capacity and decrease fatigue.

  1. CoQ10 helps prevent diabetes

Oxidative stress and abnormal mitochondrial function are linked to diabetes and insulin resistance.

CoQ10 helps increase insulin sensitivity and normalize blood sugar levels.

CoQ10 also prevents diabetes by quickening fat breakdown and reducing the accumulation of fat cells that is a reason for obesity or type 2 diabetes.

  1. CoQ10 helps in cancer prevention

When the human body is incapable of effectively fighting oxidative damage, the cell structure becomes damaged leading to an increase in cancer risk.

Having low levels of CoQ10 is associated with up to 53.3% higher risk of cancer. Increasing the CoQ10 intake reduces the chance of cancer recurrence according to a study.

  1. CoQ10 protects the brain

Mitochondrial dysfunction, which happens as we age, can give way to the death of brain cells and diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Our brain has a high fatty acid content making it an easy target for oxidative damage which could affect memory, cognition, and physical functions.

CoQ10 supplementation can help protect brain cells from oxidative damage and slow down Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. 

  1. CoQ10 protects the lung

Lungs are highly susceptible to oxidative damage. Low levels of CoQ10 can lead to lung diseases like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Studies show that increased intake of CoQ10 helps in reducing the inflammation in individuals who had asthma and better exercise performance in people suffering from COPD.

Sources of CoQ10

To get the full benefits of CoQ10, it can be found in the food we eat as well as in supplement or capsule forms.

The best food sources for Coenzyme Q10 are:

  • Vegetables like spinach, broccoli, and cauliflower 
  • Fruits like oranges and strawberries
  • Nuts and seeds like sesame seeds and pistachios
  • Legumes like peanuts, lentils, and soybeans
  • Oils like soybean and canola oils
  • Organ meats like heart, kidney, and liver
  • Muscle meats like beef, pork, and chicken
  • Fatty fish like sardine, trout, mackerel, and herring

Dosage and Side Effects of CoQ10 supplements

When it comes to the supplement form of CoQ10, it is available in two variations of ubiquinol and ubiquinone.

The most absorbable form is ubiquinol which accounts for 90% of the CoQ10 in the blood. It is mostly recommended to choose supplements in the ubiquinol form.

The daily recommended dosage of CoQ10 ranges between 90 mg and 200 mg. Studies have also observed that the human body can tolerate CoQ10 dosage up to 1200 mg without any serious side effects. The supplements have low toxicity as well. In case side effects appear, then just divide the daily dose into several smaller doses.

CoQ10 or Coenzyme Q10 has several health benefits which people of all ages can benefit from. Check with your doctor on your recommended daily dose of CoQ10 and ensure to take it either through food sources or supplements.

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