What is CoQ10?

CoQ10 is the short form for CoEnzyme Q-10. There are also some other terms for it such as, ubiquinone, Vitamin Q10 etc.; the different names are due to the fact that it can exist in different oxidative states within the body (If you guessed that one of its use is as an antioxidant, you are absolutely correct!). For the sake of a simplicity moving forward, I will continue to use CoQ10 as a short form for CoEnzyme Q10 within this post.

CoQ10 is an enzyme that is made naturally by our body and can be found in our cells. To side-track a bit, enzymes
are important components within our body that serves as a catalyst towards different reactions that occur within our body. Coenzymes, on the other hand, helps enzymes work better in the functions mentioned above.

CoQ10 is crucial for aiding your cells with energy production within your body, which is important for cell repair, cell growth, and other important bodily functions within your body. CoQ10 supplementation is necessary if you have a Coenzyme Q10 deficiency. Symptoms of CoQ10 deficiency may include heart failure, chest pain, and an elevated blood pressure. Depending on the cause of the deficiency, supplementing with CoQ10 or increasing dietary intake may alleviate the symptoms and help the situation.

As mentioned above, one of the other functions of CoQ10 is to serve as an antioxidant within your body. It aids in preventing any harmful effects on our DNA cell walls and prevents oxidative harm from occurring to our cells.

You may have read about CoQ10 being beneficial in patients with Alzheimer’s disease and in patients with chest pain, muscle control issues. There are also evidences indicating CoQ10 helps with aging process and aids with multiple heart issues such as preventing heart disease, the side effects of chemotherapy (more about this below), and coronary artery disease etc.

 

Where can I get sufficient amounts of CoQ10? Is it only available as a supplement?

CoQ10 can actually be found in trace amounts of a variety of food, such as beef, sardines, mackerel, peanuts, and certain animal organs such as liver and kidneys. It is actually more common in the food items that you consume on a daily basis. If you eat chicken, pistachios, and perhaps cook with canola oil, you may be getting a sufficient amount of CoQ10!

Is it really true that CoQ10 supplementation improves heart health?

Though not conclusive, there are some evidence indicating CoQ10 supplements may help with the symptoms of heart failure, coronary heart disease, and chest pain. In other separate cases, there are certain reports indicating CoQ10’s benefit in counteracting the harmful effects of certain chemotherapy medications (e.g. Doxorubucin) (Despite this, the National Cancer Institute in US does not highly recommend such practices and list the evidence for such practices as being “weak”).

 

What are the risks of consuming CoQ10, if any?

A typical dose of CoQ10 that is recommended by a variety of manufacturers ranging between 22 mg to 400 mg; some studies have studied doses of CoQ10 as high as 1200mg (separate daily doses) in human subjects. There is no established ideal dose of CoQ10 that is currently available. Thus, you should always consult your health care professionals or follow the instructions on the supplement bottle to identify the amount of intake necessary. (Do always keep in mind that different brands and manufacturers may have different amounts of CoQ10 and other added contents and also that supplements and medications are regulated much differently).

There are a few reports indicating consumers having insomnia (difficulty sleeping) with a consumption of a 100mg of CoQ10 and above. Other possible side effects could include headache, nausea, dizziness, an increased sensitivity to light, rashes, and irritability. CoQ10 may also interact with certain prescription medication, such as warfarin (a type of blood thinner). Therefore, it is always prudent to consult your physician or healthcare professional if you would like to or are currently taking any nutritional supplements, including CoQ10.

 

Statins (a cholesterol lowering prescription medication) reduces the amount of CoQ10 within the body, hence statins is “bad” for us, is this true?

This is still a controversial point under debate, there are actual mechanisms indicating that statins do lower the amount of CoQ10 within the body (By how much? And if it is towards a dangerous level? We simply do not have a conclusive answer). The negative assumption about statins medications is that, with the lower amount of CoQ10 in our body, it could be harmful to the human body and hence, harmful towards the patient. However, whether it makes statins a bad choice for a patient has to be weighed against the benefits of the patient taking the statins (the benefit is likely to lower LDL- cholesterol levels and prevent a heart attack in the future). Furthermore, the effects of CoQ10 reduction via statins intake may be such minuscule that it can easily be replenished through dietary sources mentioned above. Therefore, check with your heart physician on whether there is indeed a risk of taking statins and whether you require CoQ10 supplementation.

 

If you have any comments or queries, please leave them below OR email me at merrell@sustainableweightlosshabits.com

 

6 Comments

  1. Penelope

    Reply

    Hi, thanks for the info about coenzyme q10. It’s one of those things I’d seen mentioned before in bodybuilding and weight loss forums but never knew much else about it. Is it fat or water soluble, and is there a specific brand of supplement that you recommend? And wow, another good reason to eat delicious pistachios. Thanks!

    • MLim

      Reply

      Hi Penelope, thanks for the comment and the query, CoQ10 is actually a fat soluble substance/molecule, therefore it is more easily absorbed after a meal (as most manufacturers would recommend). With regards to a specific brand, I use the Nutrilite brand, however, preferences could be different for many people. Things to look out when searching for a suitable brand of fish oil includes purity, potency, bioavailability, and price. Hope this helps and have a great rest of the weekend!

      Cheers,

      Merrell

  2. Hari S Nair

    Reply

    I have never heard of CoQ10 before, luckily my heart health is good and I never had to face any of such problems. Most of your mentioned food is not a part of my diet but I love pistachios and I consume a lot of them while watching my favorite TV shows.

    Thank you so much for such an informative post. Awesome site, so many good posts on weight loss and I am in so much need of it right now, man you have really lost a lot of weight! That’s really an encouragement for people like us.

    • MLim

      Reply

      Hi Hari, glad that you found the post about CoQ10 useful! Keep maintaining a healthy lifestyle and ensure you take in sufficient heart healthy food coupled with the correct type of exercises. All the best!

      Cheers,

      Merrell

  3. Marie

    Reply

    Hi your post is very interesting I didn’t know anything about coenzyme q10 before reading your post.
    Luckily I don’t have any heart problems myself although I have grown up with weight problems which I have at last conquered also so it was very interesting Reading about your weightloss journey.

    • MLim

      Reply

      Hi Marie,

      I’m always happy to hear that people have managed to overcome their weight management struggles. It is a lifelong journey and requires a lot of discipline and knowledge. CoQ10 is part of the puzzle in maintaining a healthy and well functioning body! All the best!

      Cheers,

      Merrell

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