Coenzyme Q10 (CO-Q10) is a natural antioxidant synthesized by the body, found in many foods, and available as a supplement. It comes in two forms: Ubiquinol, the active antioxidant form and ubiquinone, the oxidized form, which the body partially converts to ubiquinol. Many multi-ingredient supplements contain both forms of Co-Q10.In general, coenzymes support enzymes in their various biochemical functions. Coenzyme Q10 is a vital participant in the chain of metabolic chemical reactions that generate energy within cells. It is found in every cell of the body (The name ubiquinone stems from its ubiquity) but is present in higher concentrations in organs with higher energy requirements such as kidneys, liver and heart. Many medical studies demonstrate Co-Q10 benefits when taken as a supplement, most of which stem from its vital role in oxygen utilization and energy production, particularly in heart muscle cells. Coenzyme Q10 is beneficial for heart health in many ways, it assists in maintaining the normal oxidative state of LDL cholesterol, helps assure circulatory health and supports optimal functioning of the heart muscle.Co-Q10 may also help support the health of vessel walls. In addition coenzyme Q10 may play a role in reducing the number and severity of migraine headaches, and improving sperm motility in men. Some research has indicated therapeutic value in high doses to slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease, but a 2011 study by the national institute of neurological disease and stroke found no benefit in slowing symptoms or neural degeneration. A few small clinical trials have indicated Co-Q10 supplementation may help prevent and treat inflamed gums, a condition known as gingivitis.
What are the signs of a CO-Q10 deficiency?
Studies in both animals and humans have associated significantly decreased levels of Co-Q10 with a wide variety of diseases. Since this enzyme is found in high concentration in heart muscle cells, deficiency has been associated with cardiovascular problems including Angina, Arrhythmia, Heart failure and high blood pressure. Problems with blood sugar regulation, gingival (gum) health, and stomach ulcers have also been associated with Co-Q10 deficiency. Those who are taking statins to lower cholesterol are at particular risk of deficiency, because not only do statins reduce cholesterol levels, but they also block Co-Q10 synthesis in the body. Low Co-Q10 levels in patients on statins can contribute to the common side effects of statin therapy such as fatigue and aching joints and muscles.
How much, and what kind of CO-Q10 does an adult need?
There is no official recommendation, but doctors suggests at least 90 to 120mg of supplement Co-Q10 for any adult taking statin medications and for those with a family history of heart problems, or who is at increased risk for cardiovascular disease. This dosage is also appropriate for other wise healthy men and women as a preventive measure and to help maintain a healthy cardiovascular system.Co-Q10 is fat-soluble ,so take the supplement with a meal containing fat. Seek out the Soft-Gel ubiquinol form when taking Co-Q10 as a standalone supplement, as this has greater antioxidant efficiency than the ubiquinone form. Children should consult with their doctors before starting them on Co-Q10.
Although the body is capable of synthesizing Co-Q10,adding foods high in coenzyme Q10 to the diet and taking a daily supplement is advisable for the at-risk populations indicated above. A typical diet will include approximately 10mg of Co-Q10 daily, so supplementation is usually necessary to reach the amounts that the doctors regard as optimal. Foods such as fish and meats, and oils from soybean, sesame, and rapeseed (canola) are good dietary sources.
Are there any risks with taken to much Co-Q10?
There is limited research on the toxicity of Co-Q10,but preliminary evidence indicates that supplements doses of up to 1,200mg a day may be beneficial for those with certain health conditions, especially Parkinson’s disease, with no known side-effects, some studies have found high daily dosages safe up to 3,600mg,however gastrointestinal discomfort was reported with these high doses. Other special considerations to look at are, 1.Co-Q10 is being used in research for improving the immune function of people with HIV or AIDS. 2.More research is needed but Co-Q10 seem to improve muscular dystrophy, heart function and overall quality of life. 3.There are preliminary indications that Co-Q10 may slow the progression of dementia in Alzheimer’s patients.