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What is Coenzyme Q10 And How Can It Help You Stay Healthy?

We need oxygen to live, but oxygen is also a volatile force that can turn “rogue” easily and damage the cells in our bodies.

You’ve probably heard the terms “free radical” and “oxidative stress.” These terms refer to harmful reactive oxygen molecules that have a role in triggering nearly every disease you can think of.

Our bodies utilize a complex network of antioxidants that are meant to deactivate these free radicals before they cause harm to us. And Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is one of the most important antioxidants the body uses to defend itself from damage.

CoQ10 is in every cell of your body and its main two purposes involve helping cells produce energy and providing antioxidant protection to your cells.

CoQ10 is essential for the creation of energy in cellular organelles called mitochondria (you can think of them as powerhouses). In these tiny powerhouses, free radicals are created, and it’s CoQ10’s critical duty to deactivate them before they wreak havoc.

Why Would You Need To Supplement With Coenzyme Q10? 

If CoQ10 is already in your cells, why would you need to supplement with it? Well, CoQ10 levels drop dramatically over time in most people [1]. In other words, the older you are, the less CoQ10 your cells have in them.

Another reason why CoQ10 supplementation is beneficial for many people is that our lives and environment put our bodies into oxidative stress. Sometimes we need help keeping the antioxidant protection in our body strong. Otherwise, we’re more at risk of developing certain diseases and accelerated aging.

Additionally, as you’ll see, CoQ10 helps improve symptoms of many health conditions that people have.

7 Benefits of CoQ10

The benefits of CoQ10 are vast because this antioxidant helps all of your cells produce energy more efficiently, and your cells’ ability to produce energy plays a big role in nearly every aspect of your health. Let’s explore some of the ways CoQ10 helps.

Below are some of the specific benefits that a person taking CoQ10 could experience.

1. Better Heart Health

CoQ10 helps your cardiovascular health in two specific ways:

  • It strengthens the heart muscle’s pumping action because heart cells produce more energy [2][3].
  • It provides antioxidant protection in your blood vessels, which helps protect against dangerous plaque buildup and damage. (Researchers have tested this in humans and animals!) [4][5]

In short, CoQ10 lowers your risk of having heart health issues!

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2. Helps With Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Research shows that CoQ10 can help fight symptoms of even the most elusive disorders. Women taking a large dose of CoQ10 had big reductions in tiredness and pain [6]. To start with, fibromyalgia sufferers also have 40% lower CoQ10 levels in their blood [7].    

3. Fewer Migraines

Preliminary research suggests that you can have fewer migraines and less severe headaches by taking CoQ10 [8].

4. May Increase Male Fertility

Men who took CoQ10 had more sperm, the sperm were more vigorous, and CoQ10 concentration in semen even increased [9].

5. Lowers Blood Pressure And Enhances the Effects of Statin Drugs

If you’re taking blood pressure-lowering statin drugs, your body is being depleted of CoQ10 [10]. Conveniently, CoQ10 itself lowers blood pressure, so if you have high blood pressure, CoQ10 is doubly important to take [11].

6. Helps Normalize Blood Sugar Levels

High blood sugar plagues much of society, especially older people and people who eat unhealthily. CoQ10 can help the body process sugar more efficiently and improve insulin function. (Insulin drags sugar out of the blood and feeds it to cells.) [12]

7. Is Anti-Aging

One of the causes of aging is mitochondrial dysfunction. It’s a technical phrase, but it basically means that the energy powerhouses in your cells don’t produce nearly as much energy but instead spew out free radicals, which accelerates damage to your body; CoQ10 helps prevent this catastrophe from happening [13]!

Your cells will function more youthfully, and you’ll have critical antioxidant protection if you take CoQ10!

Dosage

A small dosage of CoQ10 is 50 mg. 100 mg/day and 200 mg/day are considered the higher (but commonly taken) dosages.

100 mg/day is the most standard dose. Though some studies have used a dose as high as 300 mg/day.

Side Effects And Safety

“CoQ10 has low toxicity and does not induce serious adverse effects in humans”, researchers say [14]. Researchers also conclude that “CoQ10 is highly safe for use as a dietary supplement” [14].

Even at very high doses, like 1200 mg/day in humans, CoQ10 is considered “safe” [14].

What CoQ10 Supplement Should You Take?

There are two primary forms of CoQ10 sold on the market – ubiquinone and ubiquinol.

Ubiquinol is the best form of CoQ10 to take. Ubiquinol is the active antioxidant form of CoQ10 [15].

You’d still get benefit from taking CoQ10 in the ubiquinone form, but you’ll get more from ubiquinol because it has more antioxidant power and is absorbed 6-8 times more efficiently [15].

Here are 3 of my favorite CoQ10 supplements...

1. Life Extension, Super Ubiquinol CoQ10 with Enhanced Mitochondrial Support, 100 mg, 60 Softgels

Life Extension has extremely high quality control in their manufacturing process. This means that their supplements are free from any impurities and contain the right amounts of the active ingredients.

Super Ubiquinol CoQ10 contains shilajit in addition to CoQ10. Shilajit is a highly mineralized resin found in the mountains. It helps deliver more CoQ10 into your cells, further helps your cells produce energy, and stabilizes CoQ10 so that it’s in its active antioxidant form - ubiquinol.

2. Healthy Origins, Ubiquinol, 100 mg, 60 Softgels

Healthy Origins is another good buy because it contains Kaneka ubiqinol, a specific highly-absorbable form of CoQ10 that has been tested for decades by researchers and scientists and validated for effective usage.

Healthy Origins Ubiquinol is free from a variety of allergens and contains no preservatives, artificial flavors or synthetic colors. Again with 100mg per softgel capsule it is a great product.

3. Jarrow Formulas, Ubiquinol, QH-Absorb, 100 mg, 120 Softgels

Jarrow Formulas gives you another good option. It also uses the Kaneka ubiquinol and contains healthy natural fats like medium chain triglycerides and sunflower lecithin that enhance the absorption of ubiquinol into your cells. Again with 100mg per softgel capsule and an extra discount for the 120 capsule size, it is a great product.

The Case For CoQ10

The positive effects of CoQ10 are vast and undeniable.

Perhaps that’s why it has become a very popular supplement in the past few decades. Even doctors, who often don’t make use of effective supplements in recommending them for their patients, are telling people to take CoQ10 for heart health.

As you’ve seen, CoQ10’s benefits extend well beyond the heart. If you’re over the age of 40 or have specific health issues, taking CoQ10 could be a life-changer. Considering that you only have to take one little pill per day, don’t you think it’s an investment worth making?   

Evan has years of experience researching and writing about the health effects of food and nutritional supplements. He is especially passionate about nutritional pharmacology and the bioavailability, efficacy, and actions of supplements. He wants to spread knowledge about how effective diet and supplements can be at treating ailments and promoting well-being. Learn more about Evan here.

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