Coenzyme Q10 (ubiquinone)

Ubiquinone (coenzyme Q10) is an antioxidant substance that is made naturally in the body and cells use it to produce energy the body needs for cell growth and maintenance.

It also functions as an antioxidant. Antioxidants fight damaging particles in the body known as free radicals, which damage cell membranes, tamper with DNA, and even cause cell death. Scientists believe free radicals contribute to the aging process, as well as a number of health problems, including heart disease and cancer. Antioxidants, such as CoQ10, can neutralize free radicals and may reduce or even help prevent some of the damage they cause.

CoQ10 is needed for basic cell function. CoQ10 levels decrease with age and may be low in people with cancer, certain genetic disorders, diabetes, heart conditions, HIV/AIDS, muscular dystrophies, and Parkinson’s disease. Some prescription drugs may also lower CoQ10 levels.

Coenzyme Q10 deficiency

CoQ10 is made naturally in the body, but deficiency may occur due to disease, low dietary intake, or high CoQ10 use by the body. Symptoms of deficiency include heart failure, high blood pressure, and chest pain. Depending on the cause of deficiency, supplementing with CoQ10 or increasing dietary intake may be effective.

Several diseases are associated with low CoQ10 levels, including fibromyalgia and the aftermath of a heart attack, known as post-myocardial infarction. Depression, male infertility, Peyronie’s disease, migraines, and Parkinson’s also cause a CoQ10 deficiency. Supplementation of CoQ10 is recommended to anyone with the listed diseases, but particularly for heart attack victims and people suffering from fibromyalgia.

CoQ10 can reduce the damage oxidized Low-density Lipoprotein (LDL) can do to blood vessels, as well as reduce plaque buildup in the arteries.

Food source of CoQ10

Coenzymes help enzymes work to digest food and perform other body processes, and they help protect the heart and skeletal muscles.

CoQ10 is naturally present in small amounts in a wide variety of foods, but levels are particularly high in organ meats such as heart, liver, and kidney, as well as beef, soy oil, sardines, mackerel, and peanuts.

What is CoQ10 used for?

Ubiquinone has been used in alternative medicine as a likely effective aid in treating coenzyme Q-10 deficiency, or reducing the symptoms of mitochondrial disorders (conditions that affect energy-production in the cells of the body).

Heart failure

Heart failure can cause blood to pool in parts of the body, such as the lungs and legs. It can also cause shortness of breath. Some clinical studies suggests that CoQ10 supplements help reduce swelling in the legs; reduce fluid in the lungs, making breathing easier; and increase exercise capacity in people with heart failure.

Several studies suggest that CoQ10 may help treat heart failure when combined with conventional medications. Some researchers believe that CoQ10 may help with heart-related conditions, because it can improve energy production in cells, prevent blood clot formation, and act as an antioxidant.

But not all studies are positive, and some found no effect, so using CoQ10 for heart failure remains controversial.

You should never use CoQ10 itself to treat heart failure, and you should ask your provider before taking it for this condition.

High blood pressure

Several clinical studies where small numbers of people were involved, suggest that CoQ10 may lower blood pressure and it may take 4 to 12 weeks to see any change. More research with greater numbers of people and more studies evaluating a higher dose for a longer treatment is needed.

DO NOT try to treat high blood pressure by yourself. See your provider for treatment.

Cancer

Low blood levels of coenzyme Q10 have been detected in patients with some types of cancer. Some research has suggested that CoQ10 helps the immune system and may be useful as a secondary treatment for cancer.

But the National Cancer Institute (NCI) rates the strength of the evidence for CoQ10 and cancer as weak.

Aging

Early study suggests that a combination of CoQ10 and other antioxidants and minerals may improve skin roughness and fine wrinkles.

Modern theories explain the aging with loss of mitochondria functions. CoQ10 positively influences the age-affected cellular metabolism and helps beat the signs of aging back at cellular level. As a consequence topical application of CoQ10 is beneficial for human skin as it rapidly improves mitochondrial function in skin in vivo.

Further research is needed to understand CoQ10’s role in skin aging.

Eyes

Few studies suggests that CoQ10 may benefit eye health. It has been used in combination with vitamin A to improve nerve regeneration in the eye. However, the effect of CoQ10 alone is unclear. More research is needed.

Coenzym Q10 supplements and dosing

Most people get enough CoQ10 through a balanced diet, but supplements may help people with particular health conditions.

For adults 19 years and older: The recommended dose for CoQ10 supplementation is 30 to 200 mg daily. CoQ10 is not recommended for use as a dietary supplement in children under 18, except under supervision of a health care provider.

Soft gels tend to be better absorbed than capsules or other preparations. Better results are observed when the daily dose is divided than taken at once.

Watch the label when buying  CoQ10 supplement. Many producers use idebenone – a syntetic derivative that has similar functions like the natural molecule, but not the same!

Watch the label when buying  CoQ10 supplement. Many producers use idebenone – a syntetic derivative that has similar functions like the natural molecule, but not the same!

CoQ10 is fat soluble, so it should be taken with a meal containing fat so your body can absorb it. Also, taking CoQ10 at night may help with the body’s ability to use it.

CoQ10 is fat soluble, so it should be taken with a meal containing fat so your body can absorb it. Also, taking CoQ10 at night may help with the body’s ability to use it.

Is CoQ10 safe for using?

CoQ10 appears to be safe with no major side effects, except occasional stomach upset (dyspepsia, loose stool, nausea, vomiting) and urine discoloration. But researchers have not done studies and do not know if CoQ10 supplements are safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

CoQ10 may lower blood sugar, so people with diabetes should talk with their provider before taking it to avoid the risk of low blood sugar. Some suggest that it may also lower blood pressure.

Sources:

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