mitochondriaCoenzyme Q10 is a chemical nutrient the body uses primarily for energy production. The way the body produces energy is through an intricate chemical process performed on the sub-molecular level. Inside of almost every single cell within our bodies are the mitochondria, small power stations that manufacture a unique phosphate molecule called Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) which is the primary means of energy transport in nearly every cell in the body. The mitochondria use CoQ10 in a critical role during the ATP production process.

CoQ10 is found in every cell, tissue, and organ of every mammal on Earth. This nutrient is critical to life and thankfully abundant in the body. Even though the body can produce most of the CoQ10 it needs, this ability decreases with age, and also decreases when the body is either chronically ill, medicated, or has a genetic abnormality.

When CoQ10 is deficient, it tends to affect certain parts of the body more than others. The areas of the body that demand the greatest energy production are the heart, liver, kidneys, and brain. Therefore, these organs are the most affected by CoQ10 deficiency.

Because of the ubiquitous nature of CoQ10, it is presumed that if CoQ10 could be effectively supplied to every area of the body, the entire body would have access to greater energy production capacity and then every function of the body could occur with improved performance. This hypothesis has led to hundreds of studies on CoQ10 and its effects on everything from aging and energy to chronic disease and cancer.

In some areas the results have either been inconclusive or conflicting, but there are several areas where CoQ10 has proven itself to be a safer medical alternative for certain conditions. Perhaps the most thoroughly researched condition is heart disease. One of the most definitive studies was conducted by the medical branch of the University of Texas in Galveston by Langsjoen H. et al. It was an eight year study published in 1994 conducted on 424 patients with several different forms of heart disease. All of them were on between one and five heart disease medications. The patients were followed for an average of almost 18 months and were given CoQ10 in a variable dosage, between 75 and 600mg per day. The severity of the patients’ heart disease was measured using a heart functional scale developed by the New York Heart Foundation (NYHF).

heart diseaseThe results of the study were very clear. CoQ10 has a significant impact on heart disease. 43% of the patients stopped taking up to three medications. 87% of the patients improved on the NYHF scale by up to three classes! There was only one patient that experienced a side effect of the CoQ10 supplementation and the symptom was transient nausea. Other than that one case, no side effects were reported.

Heart disease is not the only condition that has seen remarkable improvement from CoQ10 supplementation. Neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease have been the focus of tremendous research involving CoQ10. One study of Parkinson’s disease published in 2002 by the University of California San Diego Medical School showed that CoQ10 supplementation up to 1200mg per day slowed the progression of the disease by 44%. Another study at the Boston University of Medicine in 2006 showed that mice affected with Huntington’s disease that were supplemented with CoQ10 demonstrated a significantly higher survival rate compared to the control group, as well as showing increased motor function and grip strength.

CoQ10 has many positive health benefits, even if you aren’t ill with heart disease or neurological disorders. Supplementing with CoQ10 can:

  • Increase cellular energy
  • Boost the immune system
  • Help maintain normal blood pressure
  • Reduce signs of normal aging
  • Improve kidney health and function
  • Promote healthy gums and oral health
  • Reduce oxidative stress
  • Protect the nervous system
  • Promote improved heart health

  • Certain medications can also rob the body of is CoQ10, the chief culprit in these cases are statin drugs, which are predominantly used for reducing cholesterol. It is becoming very common for doctors to prescribe CoQ10 supplements to patients on statin drugs to help offset the depletion. But what many people haven’t noticed yet is that CoQ10, by itself, can greatly improve cholesterol. In another study conducted at the University of Texas, 109 patients with high blood pressure were given 225mg per day CoQ10. Within an average of 4 months, over half of the patients entirely came off of their blood pressure medications.

    free radicalsWhile all of these benefits are typically attributed to the energy production role of CoQ10, it also has another special ability that is sometimes overlooked. CoQ10 is also a very powerful antioxidant. CoQ10, through its functions in the energy production cycle, it often collects extra electrons. Oxidative stress molecules, also called free radicals, are highly reactive oxygen molecules that damage cells and tissues by robbing them of electrons which destabilizes and injures those cells and tissues.

    CoQ10, often being over abundant in electrons, which are not critical or its function, is free to give up an electron and stabilize the free radical, rendering it less harmful. If CoQ10 can be made hyper abundant in cells and tissues, free radicals will have greater opportunity to rob electrons from the CoQ10 rather than healthy cells and tissues and thus protecting the health of the body and its organs.

    The research into the other properties and health benefits of CoQ10 is ongoing, but CoQ10 has already become a very popular nutritional supplement widely available, but there is a caveat. CoQ10, like other nutrients, comes in several forms. In fact, it often goes through different forms and phases in the body as it is being utilized. Inside of the body, these changes are necessary and beneficial, but for the vitamin supplement industry, this poses some problems. In order to supply the body with supplemental CoQ10, it needs to be delivered in a form that can be absorbed by oral routes. CoQ10 has a number of chemical names, depending on which form it is in: ubiquinone, semiquinone, and ubiquinol. Of the three, ubiquinol has been found to the most effectively absorbed in its powdered form.

    At the Nutrikon Wellness Center, we have been utilizing CoQ10 for decades for both preventative and restorative purposes in a number of our health programs.

    We have a large number of patients that come to us for assistance with their heart disease, neurological disorders, autoimmune conditions, and inflammatory diseases. CoQ10 is a typical component in many of their programs because of its versatility in the body to improve and normalize functions in many of the body’s most important systems.

    Because CoQ10 has been shown to be, not only incredibly effective, but it is also very safe even to extremely high dosages, around 1200mg per day, and for some people, it has even been tolerated to over 3000mg per day, with the most common side effect being gastrointestinal discomfort at such extremely high dosages.

    We definitely recommend CoQ10, even if you do not have an illness or a disorder, because CoQ10 has been shown to have many preventative properties and supplementing with as little as 100mg per day can bestow many of those properties.

    healthyEven though CoQ10 is very safe, it is always a good idea to seek the advice from a qualified medical professional who is familiar with your medical history and fully understands the effects that CoQ10 may have on your body.