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Coenzyme Q10 (abbreviated CoQ10) is a coenzyme that changes configuration between the ubiquinone-10 and ubiquinol-10 states as it passes through the electron transport chain within the mitochondria (“energy centers”) of cells. It is a necessary part of cellular respiration and is required for the production of the essential energy molecule of cells – Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) 1.
Studies have allegedly shown that CoQ10 may lead to reduction in the oxidative stress of heart tissue 2. Heart disease is believed to progress due to this oxidative stress, which subsequently leads to the damage of the mitochondria within heart cells. The net result is the heart producing less energy in the form of ATP 3. Evidence suggests that CoQ10 may play a role in protecting against this oxidative stress, and help improve overall mitochondrial function 4.
Whilst CoQ10 is produced naturally, as people age CoQ10 levels begin to deplete. Also, various environmental factors, including high amounts of physical exercise or the consumption of cholesterol lowering drugs such as statins have been alleged to reduce CoQ10 levels in the body, thus suggesting that CoQ10 supplementation may be beneficial in these groups of people 5-6. In a Japanese study researching the use of CoQ10 in dementia, it was allegedly found that those suffering from dementia had lowered blood concentration of CoQ10 compared to groups that didn’t 7. Another trial involving twelve children suffering from muscular dystrophy found that supplementation of CoQ10 in addition to prednisone therapy lead to increased muscle strength 8.
We recommend a daily dosage of around 120mg CoQ10 for maintenance of general health and well-being. It has been found that blood serum levels of CoQ10 reach a peak approximately 26.5 hours after administration 9, suggesting a once per day usage may be beneficial. Side effects are reportedly rare. In a study involving 31 individuals supplemented a huge amount of 3000mg (3g) CoQ10 per day for 8 months, minimial side effects were reported. Whilst we don’t recommend supplementing this amount, CoQ10 does seem to be generally well tolerated even at higher than normal dosages.
The above statements refer to the supplement/drug used within the cited research. Individual results and effectiveness of this supplement may vary. Always consult your physician before beginning supplementation.
1. Sohal, R. S. & Forster, M. J. Coenzyme Q, oxidative stress and aging. Mitochondrion 7, S103–S111 (2007).
2. Bhagavan, H.N. and Chopra, R.K. Clinical Nutrition 24, 3 (2005), 331–338.
3. Rimbaud, S., Garnier, A., and Ventura-Clapier, R. Pharmacol Rep 61, 1 (2009), 131–138.
4. Ochoa, J. J., Quiles, J. L., Huertas, J. R. & Mataix, J. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 60, 970–975 (2005).
5. Banach, M., Serban, C., Ursoniu, S., et al. Pharmacological Research 99, (2015), 329–336.
6. Wajda, R., Zirkel, J., and Schaffer, T. Journal of Medicinal Food 10, 4 (2007), 731–734.
7. Yamagishi, K., Ikeda, A., Moriyama, Y., et al. Atherosclerosis 237, 2 (2014), 400–403.
8. Spurney, C.F., Rocha, C.T., Henricson, E., et al. Muscle Nerve 44, 2 (2011), 174–178.
9. Evans, M., Baisley, J., Barss, S., and Guthrie, N. J Functional Foods 1, 1 (2009), 65–73.
10. Ferrante, K.L., Shefner, J., Zhang, H., et al. Neurology 65, 11 (2005), 1834–1836.