Coenzyme Q10 is a molecule found in mitochondria. It has a critical role in producing energy for the body.
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Coenzyme Q10 (COQ10) is a molecule produced in the body. It aids mitochondria during energy production. It is similar to other pseudovitamin compounds because it is vital for survival, but does not necessarily need to be supplemented.
Several diseases are associated with low COQ10 levels, including fibromyalgia and the aftermath of a heart attack, known as post-myocardial infarction. Depression, Prader-Willi syndrome, 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 also enhance blood flow and protect the blood vessels. This mechanism is related to nitric oxide preservation, as seen with grape seed extract, pycnogenol, and resveratrol. COQ10 can reduce the damage oxidized Low-density Lipoprotein (LDL) can do to blood vessels, as well as reduce plaque buildup in the arteries.
Several pharmaceuticals are known to deplete COQ10 levels (statin drugs are a good example). Doctor-supervised supplementation can reduce this effect. There is no evidence that COQ10 improves life expectancy or is able to induce fat loss or muscle tissue growth, even though it is present in mitochondria.
The standard dose for CoQ10 is generally 90mg for a low dose and 200mg for the higher dose, taken once daily with a meal due to its reliance on food for absorption. Dose-dependence is not commonly observed with CoQ10 supplementation and 90mg tends to be the best cost-effective dose.
There generally isn’t too much of a therapeutic effect of CoQ10 supplementation (mostly taken with the ‘just in case’ mentality that pervades multivitamin supplementation), although for people who have previously experience a heart attack or damage to cardiac tissue as well as for people on statin therapy supplementation becomes much more important.
CoQ10 supplements can be either the oxidized form (ubiquinone) or reduced form (ubiquinol) as both forms seem pretty equally potent in increasing circulating levels of total CoQ10 in the body. ‘Total CoQ10’ refers to the sum of both forms, since CoQ10 can readily swap between forms as it acts in the body.