CoQ10 Benefits, Side Effects, Dosage And Stacking

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COQ10

By Mark Taylor

Soy beans with coenzyme Q10 coq10 text overlay

What Is CoQ10?

If you’ve been researching supplements, you’ve probably heard about the benefits of coenzyme q10 or CoQ10. CoQ10 is found in nearly every cell in our bodies, and it serves many vital processes. For many people, it’s a useful supplement that has a broad range of health benefits. Today, we’re going to take a closer look at CoQ10 and learn more about its uses, benefits, alternatives and more.

CoQ10 is a chemical compound of many names. The name CoQ10 is short for coenzyme q10, but you may also hear it referred to as ubiquinone or ubidecarenone. In 2007, a more advanced form of this enzyme was developed called ubiquinol.

Regardless of the name, CoQ10 is a powerful antioxidant that’s found in almost any cell in the body. It aids the mitochondria of a cell with energy production, and there is a range of health benefits associated with its use.

CoQ10 Dosage

Dosage needs will vary from person to person, but as a general rule, between 90mg and 200mg once a day is a typical dose. CoQ10 is heavily reliant on food for optimal absorption, so it should always be taken with meals. While most doses fall between the 90-200mg range, researchers have experimented with doses upwards of 1000mg without incident.

It’s best to start with a dose on the lower side of the spectrum and increase the dosage as necessary. As with all supplements or medications, follow the instructions on the label for best results.

What Are The Top Benefits?

There are many benefits associated with CoQ10. Many of the benefits associated with CoQ10 stem from this antioxidants ability to reduce oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is a root cause of many different conditions and diseases which affect people throughout the world. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular usages for this supplement.

May Help Treat Heart Failure

Heart failure is a chronic, degenerative condition that is a leading killer around the world, especially in the United States. In clinical research studies, CoQ10 has demonstrated the ability to reduce oxidative damage, improve energy production and improve overall heart health.

Several studies have focused on the impact CoQ10 in patients suffering from heart failure, and they’ve all reached similar conclusions. Patients who used a CoQ10 supplement were hospitalized less, and the progression of heart failure was slowed compared to patients that were in the control group.

Supports Exercise Performance

One of the significant benefits of CoQ10 is its ability to reduce oxidative stress. When exercising, the amount of free radicals in the bloodstream is increased. Oxidative stress occurs when the body cannot adequately detoxify these free radicals. This results in increased fatigue, making it more difficult to efficiently exercise. Since CoQ10 helps to reduce oxidative stress, it’s shown the ability to improve exercise performance while reducing fatigue.

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CoQ10 For Cancer Prevention

Oxidative stress can wreak havoc on several different processes our body must complete to maintain our overall health. A CoQ10 deficiency in the body has been associated with a higher risk of certain cancers. Supplementing with CoQ10 can help reduce that risk, and one study has even suggested that CoQ10 reduces the risk of cancer recurrence in patients whose cancer is in remission.

Improves Fertility

As we age, oxidative stress also affects the quality of eggs and sperm. For women, oxidative stress results in fewer eggs of more inferior quality being produced. For men, oxidative stress can affect sperm health as well. Since CoQ10 production slows as we get older, supplementing with CoQ10 may improve the quality and quantity of eggs being produced in women, and promote sperm health in men.

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CoQ10 and Diabetes

CoQ10 may have the ability to help those already suffering with diabetes, as well as reduce the risk of diabetes in healthy individuals. Oxidative stress can damage the cells of the body, which makes us susceptible to diseases like diabetes. Since CoQ10 can reduce oxidative stress, it stands to reason that it’s a helpful tool in the defense against diabetes.

For those who are dealing with this disease already, CoQ10 has shown an ability to improve insulin sensitivity, while improving fasting blood sugar levels. These findings suggest that CoQ10 can be an effective supplement for managing diabetes.

Meanwhile, CoQ10 may be a beneficial preventative measure you can take, as well. A recent study suggests that CoQ10 helps the body break down fats, and hinders the accumulation of fat cells in the body. This evidence suggests that CoQ10 may help prevent against obesity and diabetes.

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Promotes Healthy Skin

For years, CoQ10 has been touted as a miracle skincare treatment that can help improve skin’s appearance and vitality. There are countless beauty products on the market that are formulated with CoQ10.

CoQ10 can improve the production of energy inside skin cells while reducing the effects of damage caused by the internal and external factors that negatively impact the appearance of our skin.

These supplements are topical, and are typically found in the form of a gel or a cream. Almost every major beauty supply manufacturer has several products containing CoQ10 on the market.

CoQ10 For Brain Health

One of the areas of the body most adversely affected by oxidative stress is the brain. The brain demands a great deal of oxygen, and as a result, oxidative stress occurs as more free radicals are generated inside the brain. CoQ10 can help to neutralize these free radicals, protecting brain cells from the damage they cause, which may make CoQ10 helpful for the treatment of degenerative brain diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

CoQ10 for the Lungs

It stands to reason that the organ in our body which relies the most on oxygen would also be the most susceptible to oxidative damage. Fortunately, CoQ10 may help people living with chronic lung conditions such as asthma or COPD. It also may help prevent against these ailments, as well.

When the lungs aren’t protected by enough antioxidants, oxidative damage can occur in the lungs, and that damage appears to be linked to conditions like asthma and COPD.

Interestingly, research suggests that people dealing with asthma or COPD also present lower than average levels of CoQ10 in their bodies. While these findings don’t mean that low CoQ10 is the root cause of these conditions, it seems that increased CoQ10 could help prevent against their development.

For those already suffering with asthma, CoQ10 supplements may also prove to be helpful. Research indicates that patients with asthma who used CoQ10 experienced reduced inflammation in their lungs, which is a major cause of asthma symptoms. This also reduced their need for steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

CoQ10 and Statins

If you’re taking a statin medication to improve cholesterol, CoQ10 is a particularly vital supplement. While statins are designed to stop the body’s production of cholesterol, they also prevent CoQ10 production, as well. This can lead to muscle weakness and general feelings of fatigue. In addition, without any CoQ10 being produced, oxidative stress levels in the body increase. Anyone who is taking a statin is encouraged to take CoQ10 each day to reduce these side effects.

…The List Goes On

Beyond these popular uses for CoQ10, there are still several other benefits associated with CoQ10. Thanks to its ability to reduce oxidative stress, CoQ10 has an application for many of the degenerative effects of aging.

What Are The Potential Side Effects?

Side effects of CoQ10 are mild, and in most users, no side effects are reported at all. But, here are some side effects associated with CoQ10 supplements including:

  • Rashes
  • Nausea
  • Irritability
  • Dizziness
  • Mild insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Heartburn

Keep in mind that these side effects are rare and for most people, a CoQ10 supplement won’t result in the onset of side effects.

Before you begin taking CoQ10, or any other supplements, you’ll want to consult with your physician to ensure that CoQ10 is right for you. While CoQ10 can be taken by most people without issue, there are a few medications that CoQ10 interacts with negatively.

Blood thinners such as warfarin are inhibited by CoQ10, and certain chemotherapy drugs may also be inhibited by CoQ10. Meanwhile, CoQ10 has shown an ability to work with certain medications, such as high blood pressure medications and beta blockers to improve the efficacy of these medicines.

The Difference Between CoQ10 And Ubiquinol

While CoQ10 and Ubiquinol are essentially the same things, there is one fundamental difference that may make one more beneficial than the other.

Conventional CoQ10 must be converted to Ubiquinol inside the body before it can be used. For younger users, this doesn’t present much of an issue. However, as we get older, our bodies process CoQ10 less efficiently, and many of the benefits of CoQ10 are lost through this conversion process.

Meanwhile, Ubiquinol doesn’t need to be converted by the body before it can be used. This makes it more useful than conventional CoQ10, especially for those over the age of 45.

How Do You Supplement Your Diet With CoQ10?

CoQ10 supplements are most often found in pill form. For skin care applications, they’re typically seen as gels or creams. In addition to CoQ10 supplements, there are also several foods which contain CoQ10 as well.

CoQ10 can be found in organ meats, some muscle meats, fatty fish, legumes, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and oils as well. If you aren’t interested in adding another supplement to your routine, you may want to look into a more CoQ10 friendly diet.

But, since the content of CoQ10 can vary widely in different foods, if you’re looking to test the therapeutic benefits of CoQ10, you may be better off taking it in pill form.

As we discussed earlier, you’ll want to keep in mind the differences between conventionally CoQ10 and Ubiquinol. While both are beneficial, Ubiquinol is the more readily absorbed form of CoQ10 and should be strongly considered by anyone over the age of 45.

CoQ10 Stacks

There are several CoQ10 stacks you may want to consider. Primarily, these stacks are all designed to benefit you in the gym. The most popular CoQ10 stack includes 100mg of CoQ10, 2-3g of citrulline malate and 200-300mg of resveratrol. This stack is designed to increase energy production, reduce fatigue and improve exercise performance.

Another popular stack is CoQ10 with grapefruit juice. Each time you take your CoQ10 supplement, consider pairing it with a glass of grapefruit juice to provide a fat burning boost to the other benefits associated with CoQ10.

As always, Reddit is an excellent source of information to see what other CoQ10 users are stacking with. In particular, CoQ10 has become a popular additive in nootropic stacks, designed to improve brain health and cognitive function.

CoQ10 Alternatives

There aren’t any other supplements that can mirror the effects of CoQ10. However, there are several different supplements available that are different variations of CoQ10. Each of these variations is a supposed improvement on the molecular chemistry of CoQ10. The idea is that these variations are more easily absorbed by the body which makes them easier for the body to use. These supplements include MitoQ, C60, PQQ, and PureSorb-Q40.

Beyond these supplement alternatives, you can also supplement your diet to include more foods rich in CoQ10, like the ones we discussed above. Keep in mind that the amount of CoQ10 found in these foods is much lower than what you’d receive in a supplement.

Conclusion

In general, CoQ10 is a very useful supplement that helps with a range of different bodily functions. While CoQ10 isn’t a necessary supplement for most people and is typically used for preventative maintenance, there are certain conditions which can benefit significantly by CoQ10 supplementation, including heart disease, certain cancers, and even brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. CoQ10 is especially critical if you’re taking a statin.

As with all prescription medications and supplements, you’ll want to speak with your doctor before taking CoQ10 to ensure that it isn’t going to negatively interact with any other prescriptions or supplements you’re already taking.

Scientific & Reference Citations

Effect of coenzyme Q10 therapy in patients with congestive heart failure: a long-term multicenter randomized study.

Coenzyme Q10 for the treatment of heart failure: a review of the literature.

Antioxidants and Oxidative Stress in Exercise.

The effects of coenzyme Q10 supplementation on performance during repeated bouts of supramaximal exercise in sedentary men.

Activities of vitamin Q10 in animal models and a serious deficiency in patients with cancer.

Recombinant interferon alpha-2b and coenzyme Q10 as a postsurgical adjuvant therapy for melanoma: a 3-year trial with recombinant interferon-alpha and 5-year follow-up.

Coenzyme Q10 and male infertility: a meta-analysis.

Novel CoQ10 antidiabetic mechanisms underlie its positive effect: modulation of insulin and adiponectine receptors, Tyrosine kinase, PI3K, glucose transporters, sRAGE and visfatin in insulin resistant/diabetic rats.

How effective are antioxidant supplements in obesity and diabetes?

Topical treatment with coenzyme Q10-containing formulas improves skin’s Q10 level and provides antioxidative effects.

Evaluation of coenzyme Q as an antioxidant strategy for Alzheimer’s disease.

Increased oxidative stress in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) as measured by redox status of plasma coenzyme Q10.

Coenzyme Q10, copper, zinc, and lipid peroxidation levels in serum of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Coenzyme Q10 supplementation reduces corticosteroids dosage in patients with bronchial asthma.