Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) also called Ubiquinone or Ubiquinol is a fat-soluble electron-transporting enzyme complex. It helps cells use sugar - fats and carbohydrates to generate chemical energy for the body to power its chemical reactions. The enzymes it activates make it essential for the cells of your body to produce energy in the form of ATP (adenosine triphosphate). Among CoQ10's critical functions is shuttling electrons back and forth between enzymes in the electron transport chain. This, in turn, causes ATP to be generated. As an energy carrier, the CoQ10 molecule continuously goes through oxidation-reduction because of which it works as a strong antioxidant effectively scavenging of oxygen-free radicals. CoQ10 is naturally found in almost every cell of the body and is especially high in body parts needing the most energy such as the heart, liver, kidney, and pancreas.

Research shows that ten times more CoQ10 is found in the heart than in any other area of the body, making the heart especially vulnerable to CoQ10 deficiencies. CoQ10 levels are also reported to be low in patients with other chronic diseases such as muscular dystrophies, Parkinson's disease, cancer, diabetes, immune deficiencies such as HIV and many more. Studies have shown that CoQ10 has both therapeutic and preventative benefits due to its critical role in energy production, as well as its antioxidant properties. Therefore, maintaining optimum levels of CoQ10 is extremely vital for your body and has a profound effect on our levels of energy, stamina, organ health, immune system functionality and more.

Some of the foods that will give you sufficient CoQ10 include organ meat, beef and fishes like mackerel, sardines and tuna, vegetable oils like soy oil, wheat germ, soy foods like tofu, and rice bran. The average adult's body only houses between half a gram to one and a half grams of CoQ10 total which is sufficient for your body to function. However, your body's supply of CoQ10 can easily be depleted by a variety of factors, such as aging, environmental toxins, poor diet, and other lifestyle factors. The use of certain medications, such as cholesterol-lowering drugs (particularly statins), beta-blockers, and antidepressants, can also significantly reduce CoQ10 levels, as can regular high-intensity physical activity, including exercise. In addition, its production process depends on a complex interaction of a variety of vitamins and minerals, as well as the amino acid tyrosine and unfortunately, most of us today are deficient in one or more of these nutrients.

Congestive Heart Failure
Levels of CoQ10 are low in people who suffer from congestive heart failure, an extremely serious condition with failure of the heart to pump blood efficiently. Because of this reason, the blood accumulates in certain parts of the body such as the lungs or legs. Many patients treated with CoQ10 supplements have shown improvements in terms of circulation, thereby reducing the level of fluid in the lungs and increasing the amount of blood pumped by the heart.

Cholesterol & Artery Health
CoQ10 is very effective in stopping the implacable oxidation of blood cholesterol, which is the first step in the clogging of arteries and in the appearance of heart disease and heart attacks. People with high cholesterol tend to have lower levels of CoQ10, plus side effects from conventional treatment with cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins reduces natural levels of CoQ10 in the body. Therefore, CoQ10 has been proposed as a treatment for high cholesterol.

High Blood Pressure
Q10 enzyme gives the heart energy to pump the blood more efficiently. A 2007 meta-analysis of the clinical trials of CoQ10 for hypertension concluded that coenzyme Q10 has the potential in hypertensive patients to lower systolic blood pressure by up to 17 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure by up to 10 mm Hg without significant side-effects.
A study at the Institute for Biomedical Research found that for 109 patients with an existing high blood pressure diagnosis, more than half were able to stop taking between one to three of their existing blood pressure medications at an average of four and a half months after incorporating a daily dose of CoQ10.

Diabetic Neuropathy
Early long-term administration of the antioxidant CoQ10 may represent a promising therapeutic strategy for type 2 diabetes neuropathy. Two independent studies, released in January 2013 journal editions of Anesthesiology and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), found that long-term use of CoQ10 has protective effects and reduces progressive loss of nerve function associated with Diabetic Neuropathy Pain.

Gum Disease
Studies suggest possible benefits of CoQ10 taken by mouth or placed on the skin or gums in the treatment of periodontitis. Q10 may act as an antioxidant to relieve oxidative stress in periodontitis and reduce collagenous destruction. Dental sites treated with Q10 exhibit significantly decreased gingival index scores, bleeding, and peptidase activity of periodontal pathogens. CoQ10, especially when paired with Vitamin C, may strengthen your gums.

Chronic Fatigue
Cellular energy-generating mitochondria are not functioning properly in CFS patients. CoQ10 supports the release of energy in cells; therefore, it is theorised that chronic fatigue may sometimes be caused by a deficiency in CoQ10.

Parkinson's Disease
Lower levels of CoQ10 have also been observed in people with Parkinson's disease. Preliminary research has found that increasing CoQ10 may increase levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is thought to be lowered in people with Parkinson's disease. It has also been suggested that CoQ10 might protect brain cells from damage by free radicals.
A larger 16 month trial funded by the National Institutes of Health explored the use of CoQ10 (300, 600 or 1200 mg/day) or a placebo in 80 patients with early stage Parkinson's disease. The results suggested that CoQ10, especially at the 1200 mg per day dose, had a significant reduction in disability compared to those who took a placebo.

Huntington's Disease
It is a neurodegenerative disorder caused by a genetic error that produces abnormal proteins in the brain's cells. Scientists believe that these protein deposits result in oxidative stress that ultimately kills the cells that contain them. CoQ10 has been given in an ongoing clinical trial known as Pre-2Care. The Pre-2Care study had found a reduction in Huntington's disease symptoms after treatment with CoQ10 uncovering a 20 percent reduction in 8OHdG levels in CoQ10-treated Huntington's disease patients as well as a nonsignificant reduction in subjects who did not have the disease.

Coenzyme Q protects against the side effects of radiation and chemotherapy in cancer treatment. A study done in 1961 found that people with cancer had little CoQ10 in their blood. Scientists found that people with myeloma, lymphoma and cancers of the breast, lung, prostate, pancreas, colon, kidney, head and neck all had low CoQ10 blood levels.

Migraine prevention
In 2004, Swiss researchers reported that Coenzyme Q10 proved to have a significant effect in reducing migraine occurrences. They theorized that migraines may be caused by a decrease in mitochondrial energy, and that CoQ10 gives energy to boost the brain. In their three-month study of 42 patients (some taking CoQ10 and others taking a placebo), about 48 percent of those taking CoQ10 had a 50 percent response rate.

Conclusion: CoQ10 is a vital anti-ageing molecule which provides many mental and physical health benefits. Taking sufficient amounts of CoQ10 helps in boosting your immune system as well as in the production of more infection-fighting antibodies.
For individuals who are 40 years or older, taking CoQ10 supplement is especially beneficial since the body’s ability to produce CoQ10 diminished at this age. Optimal CoQ10 levels are important for anyone looking to support cardiovascular, neurological and liver health and promote anti-aging. The recommended per dose of Ubiquinol is 100 - 150mg.

- CoQ10 toxicity is not usually observed with recommended doses of 100-150 mg per day for a long period of time.
- Taking 100 mg a day or more of CoQ10 has caused mild insomnia in some people.
- Some people may experience allergies to increased CoQ10. There have been some reports of rashes and itching.
- Those with low blood pressure, or those who are already on medication to regulate their blood pressures should exercise caution before embarking on a CoQ10 supplement regimen as it is known to lower blood pressure.
- Other side effects include a lowering of blood sugar within the body. This is particularly a concern for those with diabetes or hypoglycemia.

Always consult your health care provider before starting a supplement therapy.