Also known as:
- ubiquinone (from quinone, a type of coenzyme, and ubiquitous, meaning that it exists everywhere in the body).
- Ubiquinones are a family of substances also known as coenzymes Q and mitoquinones.
- Q10 has a 6-ring structure and a long tail with 10 pieces (thus the name).
Dosage: 60 to 400 mg daily; higher amounts for specific disorders but only under the guidance of a health care professional. It takes about three weeks of daily dosing to reach maximum serum concentrations which then plateaus.
- Natural (trans-isomer which is identical to that in the body): fermenting beets and sugar cane with special strains of yeast
- Synthetic (CIS): chemically processed from tobacco (a cheaper form to produce but difficult to absorb)
Concentrated amounts in humans are found in the heart (10 times higher than any other part of the body), followed by the liver, and immune system with lesser amounts in the kidney, spleen, and pancreas.
Absorbed from the small intestine into the lymphatics and then into the blood.
Forms: ubiquinone and ubiquinol forms (ubiquinol form is said to have higher absorption)
- oil-based softgels and capsules
- powder-filled capsules
- soluble softgels
- Several studies showed significant reduction in the use of drug therapies when CoQ10 was added to the treatment regime.
- Piperine, found in black pepper and as a supplement, may help increase plasma levels of CoQ10.
- Levels are highest during the first 20 years of life and then decline. By age 80, levels will be lower than at birth without supplementation.
- Its natural colour is a dark, bright yellow to orange.
- No other nutrient is capable of replacing Q10 in the mitochondria.
- Since CoQ10 has hypotensive effects, the following herbs and supplements have similar actions and should be taken cautiously: andrographis, cat’s claw, L-arginine, lycium, stinging nettle, and L-theanine.
- Red yeast rice (a natural statin replacement) may lower Q10 levels.
- CoQ10 is chemically similar to K2 so may interact with warfarin.
Helpers: Take with omega fatty acids as they help increase absorption.
- stress on the immune system
- viral infections can cause white blood cell levels of CoQ10 to plummet
Drugs that deplete: beta blockers, statins, myacin antibiotics, nicotine
Food sources: sardines (best source but it takes one pound to obtain 30 mg of CoQ10); other oily fish (mackerel, salmon); organ meats (liver, kidney, heart); germs of whole grains; spinach; peanuts; non-GMO soybean oil.
NOTE: Amounts found in food cannot nearly approach levels needed for therapeutic use.
- critical for energy production by the mitochondria in all cells because it carries energy-laden protons and electrons that are needed for producing ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the immediate source of cellular energy. As a result of this constant need, the body can only store small amounts of ATP. Without CoQ10, the body cannot generate enough energy especially in organs that require high levels of activity in terms of energy and oxygen processing (like the heart, lungs, and others)
- helps strengthen and improve cardiac muscle function, particularly in those with congestive heart failure, cardiomyopathy, mitral valve prolapse, high blood pressure, dysrhythmias, angina, or Raynaud’s
- enhances specific immune function
- approved in Japan since 1974 for treatment of congestive heart failure
- helps prevent gum disease and maintains healthy gums and teeth
- helps protect nerves, which may slow Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s
- helps prevent cancer
- slows age-related degenerative changes
- helps prevent blood clots
- greatly benefits autistic kids with immune system problems, hypotonia, lethargy, and mitochondria dysfunction (Bock)
- is a vitamin-like substance with an action and structure similar to vitamin E, but a more powerful anti-oxidant
- possesses antiviral, antibacterial, and antitumor properties
- may prohibit growth of breast tumors
- helps prevent cardiotoxicity caused by phenothiazines and tricyclic antidepressants
- helps increase HDL (good cholesterol) levels while decreasing LDL (bad cholesterol) levels
- helps increase levels of vitamins C and E in the body
- helps protect the stomach lining and duodenum, thus reducing risk of ulcers
- useful in treating deafness, diabetes, periodontal disease, myopathy, gastric ulcers, allergies, multiple sclerosis, AIDS, cancer, Huntington’s, chronic fatigue, Lyme disease
- helps increase exercise tolerance
- helps prevent warfarin-induced alopecia and migraine headaches
- counters histamine effects, thus benefitting those with allergies, asthma, or respiratory disease
- helps treat anomolies of mental function such as Alzheimer’s
- helps treat diabetes and candidiasis
- helps reduce side effects from chemotherapy
- helps metabolize fats and carbohydrates
- helps to maintain flexibility of cell membranes
- improves retinal function in those with age-related macular degeneration
- deficiencies linked to periodontal disease, diabetes, and multiple sclerosis
- deficiency puts stress on all body tissues especially the heart, muscles, and brain
- Dr. Bock reports low levels of Q10 in kids with autism spectrum disorders therefore he routinely gives CoQ10 to children who are chronically tired, lethargic, and inattentive, symptoms common in ADHD
Pam Duff, RN, CSNC