Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a nutrient, discovered by Fred Crane in 1957, that has profound effects on our levels of energy, stamina, organ health, immune system functionality and more. CoQ10 can be found in fish, beef and peanuts.
CoQ10 is a fat-soluble nutrient produced naturally by our bodies. Found in every cell in the body, CoQ10 is concentrated in organs that require the most energy — such as the heart, liver, muscles and kidneys. CoQ10 is concentrated in these organs because it is essential to the process of producing cellular energy.
Your body makes CoQ10, and your cells use it to produce energy your body needs for cell growth and maintenance. It also functions as an antioxidant, which protects the body from damage caused by harmful molecules. CoQ10 is naturally present in small amounts in a wide variety of foods, but levels are particularly high in organ meats such as heart, liver, and kidney, as well as beef, soy oil, sardines, mackerel, and peanuts.
The 2 Forms Of Coq10: Ubiquinone & Ubiquinol
CoQ10 comes in two main forms: oxidized ubiquinone (sometimes called conventional CoQ10) and non-oxidized Ubiquinol (sometimes called advanced or active CoQ10).
Both forms of CoQ10 exist naturally in the blood, but our bodies must convert conventional CoQ10 into Ubiquinol CoQ10 before it can be used to create cellular energy.
Regardless of what form of CoQ10 you take as a supplement, the body is able to convert the consumed form to the other form as needed. In other words, if you take a reduced CoQ10 supplement (ubiquinol), the body can convert the reduced CoQ10 (ubiquinol) to the oxidized CoQ10 (ubiquinone) and vice versa. This conversion takes place to maintain a state of equilibrium between reduced CoQ10 (ubiquinol) and oxidized CoQ10 (ubiquinone).
The problem arises with aging in many people; the ability for the body to metabolize is reduced significantly over time and many people will find that it’s difficult for the body to break down Ubiquinone into Ubiquinol. There-in lies the difference between the two supplements. Though it will come at a greater cost, taking Ubiquinol after the age of 40 is a good idea.
- Under the Age of 35: 100-200 mg of Ubiquinone once daily
- Over the Age of 35: 100mg of Ubiquinol CoQ10
There are many claims made about CoQ10. It is said to help heart failure, cancer, muscular dystrophy, and periodontal disease. It is also said to boost energy and speed recovery from exercise. Some people take it to help reduce the effects of certain medicines can have on the heart, muscles, and other organs.
Primary dietary sources of CoQ10 include oily fish (such as salmon and tuna), organ meats (such as liver), and whole grains. Most people get enough CoQ10 through a balanced diet, but supplements may help people with particular health conditions.
For adults the recommended dose for CoQ10 supplementation is 30 to 200 mg daily. Softgels tend to be better absorbed than capsules. Higher doses may be recommended for specific conditions.
CoQ10 is fat soluble, so it should be taken with a meal containing fat so your body can absorb it. Also, taking CoQ10 at night may help with the body’s ability to use it.
Other reported side effects include rashes, nausea, upper abdominal pain, dizziness, sensitivity to light, irritability, headache, heartburn, and fatigue.
CoQ10 may decrease blood pressure — which is potentially a great benefit to some, but 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.
Be sure to inform your doctor of any medicine, prescription or otherwise, that you are taking, no matter what you’re taking them for. You never know how supplements may react with other drugs, or what effect they can have on your body. In addition, those who are pregnant or nursing should not take CoQ10 as the effects have not yet been studied.