If you have been looking into healthy supplements for any time at all – or even if you’re just becoming interested in them – you’ve certainly heard of Coenzyme Q10. You may have started your research because of concern about your heart, aging, your weight, bodybuilding, or just plain good health maintenance. But one thing is sure – Coq10 came up. But, if you’re like me, you want to know more about anything you’re going to put into your body! So, let’s look at:
- What is Coq10?
- Why do I need Coq10 Supplements?
- Coq10 dosage.
- Ubiquinone or Ubiquinol?
- Side effects of Coq10
- Drug Interactions with Coq10
- Coq10 Toxicity
What is CoQ10?
More formally Coenzyme Q10, CoQ10 is a nutrient kind of like a vitamin that occurs naturally in our bodies. Its other name, ubiquinone, came from the fact that it is ubiquitous (found everywhere) in the body. It is also found in small amount in meats and seafood and can be made in a laboratory.
Coenzyme Q-10 was first identified in 1957. And it is called a coenzyme because it does not function independently. Instead it ‘holds hands’ with another substance, an enzyme, to help it work better. And enzymes are what make all the back-stage work of saying alive and healthy happen. Coenzymes help enzymes work to digest food and perform other body processes, and they help protect the heart and skeletal muscles. The “Q-10” just refers to a part of this one’s chemical make-up.
CoQ10 is available in the United States as a dietary supplement in pills, as a topical cream, and as a mouth rinse. It is also known as Q10, vitamin Q10, ubiquinone, or ubiquinol. It is distributed under a number of trustworthy brand names, several of which are found in our THE CPH-HEALTH STORE.
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Why do I need CoQ10 Supplements?
We need CoQ10 because it has a great effect on our energy, stamina, organ health, immune system health, and more. Our cells require this coenzyme to function properly on a day-to-day basis. It’s also an extremely strong antioxidant – something that fights off free radicals. (Mostly we don’t like free radicals. They float around trying to fill a missing place in their structure by combining with something else. Then whatever they combine can’t do what it was trying to do. If it was a virus, that’s good! But more often it’s one of the things that is keeping us healthy, active, and full of energy. That, of course, is not so good!)
Fortunately, CoQ10 is found and produced, to some extent, naturally in our bodies. It is also found in some foods, including fish, organ meats (such as liver, kidney and heart), and the germs of whole grains.
Unfortunately, the small amounts available from food make it unlikely that you can get enough CoQ10 from dietary sources. Additionally, studies show that levels of CoQ10, while low in child hood and increasing through puberty, reach a maximum at around 20-30 years of age, and then decrease steadily with increasing age. And, aside from general aging, if you suffer from a condition that forces you to take medications, they can affect the metabolic process. Some drugs. particularly the statins, are known to decrease CoQ10 levels.
Studies have found the benefits of coQ10 supplements for such diverse conditions as:
- Heart and blood vessel conditions such as
- Congestive Heart Failure
- High Blood pressure
- Heart problems linked to certain cancer drugs
- Gum Disease
- Breast cancer
- Huntington’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Muscular dystrophy
- Increasing exercise tolerance
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Lyme disease
OK! So, how much do I take? Well, not surprisingly, that depends a lot on you – your reasons for considering it, and what other supplements you might want to take with it. There is no official Daily Value recommendation, but CoQ10 is fat-soluble, so take the supplement with a meal containing some fat.
How much? Of course, you should consult with your primary care provider – particularly if you are receiving medical treatment or taking any medications. The information we share here is for educational purposes only and not intended to substitute for the advice, treatment and/or diagnosis of a qualified licensed professional. This material does not claim to make medical diagnoses nor treat, prevent or cure any diseases. But here is a list (found on WebMD.com) of oral doses studied in scientific research for various purposes:
- For known coenzyme Q-10 deficiency: 150 mg daily.
- For mitochondrial disorders (mitochondrial encephalomyopathies): 150-160 mg, or 2 mg/kg/day. In some cases, doses may be gradually increased to 3000 mg per day.
- For heart failure in adults: 100 mg. per day divided into 2 or 3 doses.
- For reducing the risk of future cardiac events in patients with recent myocardial infarction: 120 mg daily in 2 divided doses.
- For high blood pressure: 120-200 mg per day divided into 2 doses.
- For isolated systolic hypertension: 60 mg twice daily.
- For preventing migraine headache: 100 mg three times daily. A dose of 1-3 mg/kg has also been used in pediatric and adolescent patients.
- For Parkinson’s disease: 300 mg, 600 mg, 1200 mg, and 2400 mg per day in 3-4 divided doses.
- For HIV/AIDS: 200 mg per day.
- For infertility in men: 200-300 mg per day.
- For muscular dystrophy: 100 mg per day.
- For pre-eclampsia: 100 mg twice daily starting at week 20 of pregnancy until delivery.
I’ve also seen references to CoQ10 creams available for skin care and a CoQ10 mouth rinse for treatment of soreness in the mouth and gum disease. These, as well as the CoQ10 tablets and ubiquinol soft gels can be purchased at most regular drug stores and online pharmacies – and, of course, through our THE CPH-HEALTH STORE.
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Ubiquinol or CoQ10
CoQ10 comes in two forms – Ubiquinone and Ubiquinol. Ubiquinone has been more commonly used becaus it is the form most widely sold commercially. When you buy CoQ10, if the bottle doesn’t say which form it is, it’s usually ubiquinone as this is the cheaper one. But ubiquinone is the stable, oxidized form of CoQ10. When taken internally, it is actually metabolized whin our bodies where it becomes the strong, antioxidant form of CoQ10 – Ubiquinol. Since the ability of the body to metabolize decreases significantly over time, many older people find that it’s hard for their bodies to break ubiquinone down into ubiquinol.
Until recently, ubiquinol couldn’t be preserved in its active state long enough to be packaged for distribution. But now a stable oil-based form in a gel-cap is on the market. And studies show that the reduced form of CoQ10, known as Ubiquinol, is far more effective than the oxidixed form or CoQ10 for older people. It is more easily absorbed and used in your body. So much more easily that you only need to take about one-third the amount of ubiquinol as compared to the dose for CoQ10 (ubiquinone)!
If you are under 25 years old, you will be fine with the less expensive oxidized CoQ10 formulation. But if you are over 40, I would recommend taking the more easily absorbed Ubiquinol. The lower dosage required really offsets the apparently higher cost of purchase.
Side Effects of CoQ10 or Ubiquinol Supplements
Most of the information I have found reports that CoQ10 in any form seems to be safe even in large dosages. However, some people may experience some mild side effects including stomach upset, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. And some may see an allergic skin rash. None of them seem to be life-threatening, but you should see your practitioner if they persist – particularly if s/he recommended the supplement.
CoQ10 or Ubiquinal Drug Interactions
Coenzyme Q-10 might increase the effects of medications used to lower blood pressure, so discuss it with your healthcare provider and keep an eye on your blood pressure readings.
Also, Coenzyme Q-10 might help the blod clot, decreasing the effectiveness of blood-thinning medication like Warfarin or Coumadin. So talk with your healthcare provider about checking your clotting time and adjusting your medications if necessary.
CoQ10 or Ubiquinol Toxicity
There is limited research on the toxicity of CoQ10, but preliminary evidence indicates that supplemental doses of up to 1,200 mg a day may be beneficial for those with certain health conditions, especially Parkinsons’s disease, with no known side-effects. Some studies showed even higher dosages safe – up to 3,600 mg (although these folks more often reported gastro-intestinal discomforts).
It’s interesting that ubiquinol is ‘peculiar’ among fat-soluable antioxidants (which are typically more difficult to absorb) in that its rate of absorption seems to be based on your body’s metabolic demand. That means if you’re healthy, you don’t need as much so you absorb less, but when you’re ill, or struggle with chronic disease and your body needs more, it will absorb more. That makes the absorption rate basically self-adjusting so it becomes very hard to take too much.
Get yours at THE CPH-HEALTH STORE today!
A Final Note on the Benefits of CoQ10
Coenzyme Q-10 (CoQ10) has become the fifth most popular supplement in the United States today. Health-conscious Americans use it for a good reason — CoQ10 is so imortant for your body’s daily functions that it is used by every cell in your body. It compensates for the damaging effects of many drugs used to treat common conditions found in our society and is particularly valuable for anybody using any of the cholesterol-lowering drugs in the statin family. But most of all, it helps keep healthy people healthy and reduces the typical signs of aging by supporting energy production, stamina and a strong immune function.