Week 40 Blog- CoQ10

First off, let us define a coenzyme. A coenzyme is an organic (carbon based) non-protein compound that binds with an enzyme to catalyze- to modify, increase the rate of or transform- (spark) a reaction. A coenzyme cannot function alone, but can be reused several times when paired with an enzyme. Enzymes- are proteins that help speed up metabolism, or the chemical reactions in our bodies. They build some substances and break others down. All living things have enzymes. Our bodies naturally produce enzymes but can be manufactured by products and food. So, the coenzyme sparks the enzyme to work. Most coenzymes are vitamins or derived from vitamins. Without coenzymes, enzymes cannot spark reactions effectively. In fact, the enzyme may not function at all. If this happens, then an organism will have difficulty sustaining life. Such a small thing has a huge role in our health! Now, with that background information- we can look into coenzyme Q10.

What is it?

Coenzyme Q10 was first identified in 1957. The "Q10" refers to the chemical make-up of the substance. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a natural antioxidant synthesized by the body. It comes in two forms: ubiquinol, the active antioxidant form, and ubiquinone, the oxidized form, which the body partially converts to ubiquinol. Coenzyme Q10 is vital in the chain of metabolic chemical reactions that generate energy within cells. Your cells use CoQ10 for growth and maintenance. CoQ10 acts as a carrier in our cells to assist in oxygen utilization.  It also assists enzymes in the mitochondria. This allows the production of energy in a cycle referred to as the Krebs Cycle, and hints at why the mitochondria are the “powerhouse of the cell.” Remember High School biology? The Turner boys loved repeating- the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell! Coenzyme Q10 is found in every cell of the body, but is present in higher concentrations in organs with higher energy requirements such as the kidneys, liver, pancreas and heart. It has a key role in oxygen utilization and energy production, especially in heart muscle cells.

Why is CoQ10 needed?

1-           Heart health- The main reason we hear about coenzyme Q10 is in heart health. It assists in maintaining the normal oxidative state of LDL cholesterol, helps assure circulatory health, and supports optimal functioning of the heart muscle. CoQ10 may also help support the health of vessel walls.

CoQ10 has been shown to improve symptoms of congestive heart failure. Although findings are mixed, CoQ10 might help reduce blood pressure. Some research also suggests that when combined with other nutrients, CoQ10 might aid recovery in people who've had bypass and heart valve surgeries. https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements-coenzyme-q10/art-20362602

In the Current Atherosclerosis Review  research titled Recent Developments in the Role of Coenzyme Q10 for Coronary Heart Disease: A Systematic Review the research concluded the trial found that “CoQ10 supplementation in patients with heart failure not only improved functional capacity, but also significantly reduced cardiovascular events and mortality.” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29766349/ Studies on CoQ10 are mixed as usual. Some studies say that CoQ10 has no clear effect on how much blood the heart was able to pump but those who supplemented CoQ10 had lower risk of death and increased exercise capacity. There is evidence that CoQ10 may reduce the risk of some complications of heart surgery. After damage is done, CoQ10 will not reverse the damage in your heart but overall, those who took CoQ10 supplements suffered fewer heart problems than those who took a placebo. Those who added the supplements reduced oxidative stress, boosted energy levels and improved heart health and function.

2-           Diabetes- Some research suggests that CoQ10 may help reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and total cholesterol levels in people with diabetes, lowering their risk of heart disease. When the body doesn’t produce sufficient CoQ10, oxidative stress can cause mitochondrial functions to behave abnormally. It can lead to insulin resistance which can cause diabetes. Studies are inconclusive but hopeful in future larger studies to see if coQ10 as a potent antioxidant will scavenge excessive reactive oxygen species and provide protection to cells, especially mitochondria from oxidative damage. If that would happen, restoration of CoQ10 level among patients with T2DM by supplementation of CoQ10 could potentially decrease oxidative stress, preserve mitochondrial function, and eventually lead to improvement of glycemic control. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4939545/

3-           improve physical performance- Athletes, bodybuilders and physically active people often become tired very quickly and their performance is impacted. Studies have shown a decrease in oxidative stress among people supplemented with a daily dose of 1200mg CoQ10 for sixty days. When there is a decrease in oxidative stress, muscles function better, and energy levels increase. As you improve your supply of energy, it will enhance your performance during exercise. The result- more endurance power and less fatigue.

4-           improve fertility- Female- Coenzyme Q10 helps to produce eggs. But with advancement in age, the quantity of CoQ10 decreases and oxidative stress sets in, making it difficult for females to produce eggs. CoQ10 may help stop, and even reverse, the decline in egg quantity and quality as women age. Males- their sperm count decreases when CoQ10 production slows down, and oxidative damage takes over. By including a supplement, you can increase antioxidant protection and help in sperm quantity and quality.

5-           brain health- When the brain has sufficient mitochondria, it performs all the functions smoothly. But with the advancement of age, mitochondria’s production decreases. the brain is at continuous risk from oxidative stress because 1. It has high oxygen demands and 2. it contains a lot of fatty acids. Oxidative stress can lead to the accumulation of toxic compounds that affect cognitive, memory and physical functions. Studies indicate that CoQ10 supplementation can reduce oxidative stress, boost mitochondrial production and improve brain functions. https://nchosp.org/coq10-health-benefits/

6-           Other areas of study- in migraine relief, aging skin if applied topically, Parkinson’s, dementia and lung health.

 Coenzyme Q10 deficiency?

Levels of CoQ10 in your body decrease as you age. CoQ10 levels have also been found to be lower in people with certain conditions, such as heart disease, and in those who take cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins. Also

Deficiency is seen in nutrients like shortage of vitamin B6, Diseases related to mitochondria, High demand by tissues due to illnesses.

Dosage for an adult-

There is no Daily Value for CoQ10. There are no known ideal dosages, as everyone’s needs vary. Standard dosages for CoQ10 supplements range between 60 and 500 milligrams daily, and the highest recommended daily dose is around 1,200 milligrams. Most health experts suggest at least 90 to 120 mg of supplemental CoQ10 for any adult taking statin medications, those with a family history of heart problems, or who is at increased risk for cardiovascular disease. This dosage is also appropriate for otherwise healthy men and women as a preventive measure. Coenzyme Q10 is fat-soluble, so take the supplement with a meal containing fat. CoQ10 dietary supplements are available as capsules, chewable tablets, liquid syrups, wafers and by IV. Always consult your trusted health care provider for what is best for your health situation.

Food sources-

Organ Meats-CoQ10 lives in cells concentrated in vital organs. This means animal organ meats have the highest amounts of CoQ10 per 100 grams. Beef heart has 11.3 milligrams, and a beef liver has 3.9 milligrams. A chicken heart has 9.2 milligrams and liver has 11.6 milligrams.

Fatty fish like trout, mackerel, and sardines contain CoQ10. Mackerel provides about 6.75 milligrams per 100 grams and trout provides 0.85 milligrams.

Meat-Beef offers about 3.1 milligrams per 100 grams, chicken has 1.4 milligrams, and pork has 2.4 milligrams. Reindeer meat provides about 15.8 milligrams. (Don’t tell Santa)

broccoli -has high CoQ10 content, weighing in at 0.6 to 0.86 milligrams per 100 grams.

Nuts and seeds- Pistachios have 2 milligrams of CoQ10 per 100-gram serving, peanuts have 2.6 milligrams, and sesame seeds have 1.7 milligrams.

Avocados - with 0.95 milligrams of CoQ10 per 1/2 avocado.

cauliflower, oranges and strawberries, are good sources as well.

Safety and side effects

CoQ10 supplements appear to be safe and to produce few side effects when taken as directed. Mild side effects might include digestive problems such as: Upper abdominal pain, Loss of appetite, Nausea and vomiting, Diarrhea.

Drug Interactions-

CoQ10 may interact with the anticoagulant (blood thinner) warfarin and the diabetes drug insulin, and it may not be compatible with some types of cancer treatment. Always consult your health care provider before starting CoQ10.


CoQ10 or Coenzyme Q10 is created by the human body. But with time and age, the body cannot make it as before, and the quantity decreases. Coenzyme Q10 is vital in the chain of metabolic chemical reactions that generate energy within cells. Remember the mitochondria- the powerhouse of your cells! Your cells use CoQ10 for growth and maintenance. Many medical studies demonstrate CoQ10 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. Organ meats, nuts and seeds are good sources but most people use supplements to assure health. We frequently hear of coenzyme Q10 supplementation for heart health but there are many overall benefits from the addition of coenzyme Q10. Thank you, Mike, for your topic request. With knowledge comes health!