Coq10 has lots of health benefits including protecting the cognitive health, improving the overall metabolic functions as well as slowing down the effects of aging, among many other health benefits.
Moving forward, lets look at what coq10 is.
What is CoQ10?
Coenzyme Q10 or CoQ10 for short is a nutrient naturally occurring in the body. Coenzyme Q10 is a compound which helps in generating energy in the cells of the body. Let’s look at it this way, CoQ10 is like a fuel, the fuel that drives the engine which produces energy for the action of the body’s mitochondria. The mitochondria are in charge of producing energy and also, protect cells from oxidative damage and bacteria or viruses that are responsible for diseases.
The body produces CoQ10 naturally, but this natural production tends to decrease as we age. But we are in luck, as anybody can get CoQ10 through many of the food we eat, and also through supplements.
In protecting the cells of the body from oxidative damage, CoQ10 acts as an antioxidant and plays an important role in the metabolism process. Ubiquinol which is a product of the conversion of CoQ10, is found in every cell of the body, and is the one directly in charge of protecting against oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is a prime result of—and usually the catalyst for—the aging process. It also helps promote and maintain healthy levels of energy production. But how else does CoQ10 improve health?
Studies show that, CoQ10 plays several key roles in the body. One of these roles is to help generate energy in the cells. It is also involved in the production of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP), which is directly involved in the transfer of energy within the cells.
Another important part it plays is to serve as an antioxidant thereby protecting cells from oxidative damage which will usually occur when there are excessive amounts of free radicals in the body. This is the major cause of oxidative damage, which in turn disrupts the regular functioning of the cells and hence leads to diseases.
It is however not surprising the connection between some diseases and low levels of CoQ10, given that ATP is used to carry out all the body’s functions and oxidative damage is destructive to cells. Heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and brain disorders have been linked to low levels of CoQ10. Although it is not certain if it is low levels of CoQ10 that is the cause of these diseases or if the diseases are the ones responsible for low levels of CoQ10. But one thing is sure CoQ10 has a wide range of health benefits.
As earlier seen that CoQ10 can be found in virtually every cell of the body , what you should recognize however, is that the highest concentrations of CoQ10 are present in organs with the greatest energy demands, examples are the lungs, the heart, the liver and kidneys.
Sources of CoQ10.
There basically two sources of CoQ10 for the body vis-à-vis naturally through food that is high in CoQ10 and through supplements. As it has been seen earlier, CoQ10 needs to first be converted to be useful for the body. Its conversion for use is based on the level of oxidation that it undergoes. However, it should be noted that the least oxidized, is the most useful and easily absorbed by the body. The CoQ10 that is produced naturally in the body exists in three forms. These three forms are constantly changing due to the constant electron exchanges that go on between the molecules. These three forms of CoQ10 are:
Ubiquinone — fully oxidized
Ubisemiquinone — partially oxidized
Ubiquinol — least oxidized, easily absorbed by the body.
Most supplement offer CoQ10 as one of either Ubiquinone or Ubiquinol but the Ubiquinol is still the preferred because it is less oxidized and it is easily absorbed by the body.
If we consider every horse as an animal but knowing fully well that not all animals horses it’s just the same way with Ubiquinol as CoQ10. In its chemical structure Ubiquinol gets converted from CoQ10 by adding two electrons to its molecule which then enables Ubiquinol to be easily absorbed by the body than CoQ10 when fully oxidized as Ubiquinone. If we look at CoQ10 as crude oil, Ubiquinol will then be the equivalent of the refined fuel used by cars.
Ubiquinol also goes a step further by acting as an antioxidant, inhibiting the oxidation of other molecules. Though oxygen is good, but too much of oxygen in the wrong places can cause serious deterioration to the cells in the body.
Foods High In Coq10.
Though you get to easily avail yourself of CoQ10 from dietary supplements, but you can also get CoQ10 from rich food sources. Even when CoQ10 found naturally in food sources might be much lower than what is available in supplements, it is still a good source nonetheless.
The list of foods given below contains CoQ10 in fair proportions:
Organ meats (Heart, liver and kidney), Some muscle meats( Pork, beef and chicken), Fatty fish(Trout, herring, mackerel , tuna, salmon and sardine), Vegetables ( Spinach, cauliflower and broccoli), Fruit( Oranges and strawberries), Legumes ( Soybeans, lentils and peanuts), Nuts and seeds ( Sesame seeds and pistachios), Vegetable oils (Soybean and canola oil).
CoQ10 is equally well absorbed through foods as it is well absorbed through supplements.
Do I Really Need CoQ10?
CoQ10 is key as it plays an important role in the body, but most healthy people will have CoQ10 in adequate amount naturally. So instead of asking “what is the health benefits of CoQ10”, I think the question really should be “why do people take CoQ10?” CoQ10’s conversion from Ubiquinone to Ubiquinol is a process that is supposed to occur naturally for healthy bodies. Without this conversion of Ubiquinone into Ubiquinol, the body might not be able to make full use of CoQ10. This might pose a serious deficiency problem for the body. That’s why, at any given time, the vast majority (about 95 percent) of CoQ10 in the human body is in the form of Ubiquinol.
Some important factors however, can cause the body’s ability to transform CoQ10 into Ubiquinol to be compromised. These factors include aging, certain medications and chronic disease states.
As the body begins to age, CoQ10 production decreases. Older people therefore might be found to be deficient in this compound.
Other causes that might lead to CoQ10 deficiency in the body are:
- Mitochondrial diseases
- Oxidative stress due to aging
- Nutritional deficiencies, such as vitamin B6 deficiency
- Genetic defects in CoQ10 synthesis or utilization
- Side effects of statin treatments
- Increased demands by tissues as a consequence of disease
Let’s now take a closer look as we try to answer the question “what are the health benefits of CoQ10?”
Ready! Let’s go.
6 Awesome Health Benefits Of CoQ10.
From previously stated facts above, one thing has been sure so far, it is that CoQ10 has a wide range of health benefits. Even more benefits are being researched presently. But let’s check out some of these benefits as outlined below.
1.For Brain Health.
The main energy generators of brain cells are Mitochondria.
There will certainly be a decrease in the function of Mitochondrial with age which can eventually lead to the death of brain cells that is if the dysfunction becomes total. This then leads to different brain diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
Due to the brain’s high oxygen demand and its high level of fatty acids, the brain is vulnerable to oxidative damages. This oxidative damage enhances the production of harmful compounds that could affect memory, cognition and physical functions.
It is CoQ10 that can help reduce these harmful compounds, and possibly slow down the progression of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease .
2.For Promotion Of Heart Health.
Patients with congestive heart failure have shown from studies compared with that of normally aging population that, CoQ10 can go a long way to support the robust health of the heart.
One study showed that the amount of blood pumped by the heart with each beat drastically improved when Ubiquinol was passed into the patient’s system. If you remember, Ubiquinol is the form of CoQ10 that is easily absorbed by the body, which makes it readily available for the body’s utilisation.
This makes it clear that heart related diseases like heart attack can be prevented or better managed with CoQ10.
3.For Healthy Young Skin.
The skin being the largest organ in the body has more exposure to the damaging effects of aging agents. Examples of these agents include hormonal imbalance and cellular damages which are both internal and also external agents in the form ultra violet rays from the sun.
The application of CoQ10 can increase the protection of the skin from these harmful agents especially if applied directly. This increases the energy produced in the skin cells which has been hampered by the harmful elements causing reduced skin moisture, a thinner skin layer and reduced protection from the environment. It also acts as a form of anti-oxidant to the skin further reducing the possibility of skin cancer caused by low levels CoQ10
4.For Exercise And Muscles Performance.
The effects of oxidative stress can impact negatively on both the muscular performance and by extension exercise results. And when the mitochondrial functions become abnormal in a body, it affects the muscle energy levels and makes it hard for the muscle to sustain exercise levels.
Exercise performance is enhanced by using CoQ10 to supplement the exercise process thereby decreasing oxidative stress in the cells as well as improving mitochondrial functions in the body.
CoQ10 can also help increase power during exercises and of course reduce fatigue, in order to improve exercise muscle performance.
5.For Protection Of The Lungs.
The lungs, of all organs in the body are the most susceptible to oxidative damage as all the oxygen in the body must first pass through it.
Studies have shown that patients suffering from lung diseases like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease have CoQ10 levels at very low state. This is usually as a result of poor oxidation protection and increased oxidative damage in the lungs .
A study has also shown that using CoQ10 supplement can go a long way to reduce the inflammatory effects in these patients as well as improved muscular and exercise performance in their results.
6. For Fertility.
As every female begin to age so will their body system including the reproductive system which reduce the quality as well as the quantity of their reproductive apparatus. The number and the quality of eggs produced begin to reduce so also will their fertility.
Using CoQ10 supplements may help in protecting the eggs from oxidative damage and in the process boost the quality and also the quantity of these eggs thereby turning back the fertility clock.
The same oxidative damage may occur in male having seriously damaging effects on the quality of sperm cells.
Studies have been carried out to show that taking CoQ10 supplements can increase sperm counts and improve the sperm quality
How Much CoQ10 Is Too Much?
CoQ10 comes in two different forms — ubiquinol and ubiquinone.
The standard dose of CoQ10 is between 90 mg to 200 mg per day. Doses up to 500 mg may be well tolerated
CoQ10 is also a fat-soluble compound; it therefore means its absorption is slow. But if a CoQ10 supplement is taken with food, this can help the body absorb faster than taking it without food
Some products may offer a solubilized form of CoQ10, some may also offer a combination of CoQ10 and oils, to enhance absorption .
Is There Any Side Effect For Too Much CoQ10?
For CoQ10 the side effect may occur if dosages above the daily recommended is taken. But they are mild and very tolerable .They may include diarrhoea, nausea, and heartburn.
However, patients of heart failure, kidney or liver problems, or diabetes should be careful using this supplement. CoQ10 may lower blood sugar levels and blood pressure. With doses of more than 300 milligrams can affect liver enzyme activities.
Also, if you’re taking blood thinners and thyroid medications as well as chemotherapy you should check with your doctor before embarking on using CoQ10 supplements.
CoQ10 supplements are also not recommended for children or for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding as it has not been proven to be safe for these classes of people.
So far we’ve seen that CoQ10 is a fat-soluble, vitamin-like compound which has many health benefits including in the production of cellular energy and as an antioxidant.
These are the properties that are helpful in the preservation of cells and in the prevention and treatment of some chronic diseases.
And since it decreases with age in the body all adults may benefit immensely from supplementing it.