Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is an antioxidant that is made in the human body and is needed for basic cell function.
The fact that CoQ10 is involved in the prevention of so many conditions is no surprise. Coenzyme Q10 is present in every cell of your body. Its ubiquitous nature even gave rise to its other names: ubiquinone and ubiquinol.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) may help to protect against a number of conditions, including heart failure, cardiac arrhythmias, cardiomyopathy, Parkinson’s disease, Gulf War illness, septic shock, Huntington’s disease, inflammation, breast cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, fibromyalgia, ataxia, and autism.
It’s been successful in relieving depression and fatigue in multiple sclerosis, has improved blood sugar control in diabetics, and also shows promise for male infertility.
Coenzyme Q10’s role in the production of energy within the cells’ mitochondria means it’s something we can’t live without. CoQ10 helps to generate adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the molecule dubbed “the energy currency of life.”
The greatest concentrations of CoQ10 can be found in organs that have a high energy requirement, such as the heart. Accordingly, some of the most significant benefits of the compound, including a reduction in death, have been seen in heart failure patients.
In fact, higher blood levels of CoQ10 were found to improve survival in a group of heart failure patients over a period of up to five years.
Research shows statins, cholesterol-reducing drugs, lower CoQ10 levels. An Italian study found a 40% decline in CoQ10 levels in patients treated with pravastatin or simvastatin. Similarly, research showed decreased levels of CoQ10 within two weeks of beginning treatment with atorvastatin.
Although the results of trials involving CoQ10 supplementation in statin-induced muscle pain have been mixed, a study reported last year found significant improvement in muscle pain in 75% of statin-treated patients who received coenzyme Q10.
Another study found that pain levels and muscle weakness were reduced in CoQ10-treated men and women with statin-related muscle problems.
Coenzyme Q10 has significant antioxidant properties. This reduction in oxidative stress may be the mechanism involved in its ability to extend life in worms known as C. elegans.
Coenzyme Q10 supplementation has also been associated with a greater life span in rats, in addition to lower levels of DNA damage.
With aging, levels of CoQ10 naturally decline, making supplementation a wise choice. Coenzyme Q10 is available as ubiquinone or ubiquinol.
Research involving ubiquinol shows it is much better absorbed than ubiquinone, resulting in greater benefits. Due to its chemical nature, coenzyme Q10 is best taken with a fat-containing meal for optimal absorption.