Taking a CoQ10 supplement can have a wide variety of benefits for your health. Because it’s an antioxidant that fights free-radical damage, it’s highly popular for its anti-aging properties. But CoQ10 also has much bigger applications that support cardiovascular health, immune function, and may slow down neurodegenerative diseases. In this article, we discuss what a CoQ10 supplement is, how it works, and the range of health benefits that it’s associated with.
What is a CoQ10 Supplement?
The CoQ10 supplement is based on a natural antioxidant called coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10 for short). It exists in two forms called ubiquinol and ubiquinone. Ubiquinol is the active form that the body uses, and ubiquinone is the oxidized form that the body converts into ubiquinol in order to utilize.
Both forms get their name from the word ‘ubiquitous’ which means ‘found everywhere’. Unsurprisingly, this is because they are present throughout the body in every single cell. They play a key role in metabolic reactions that produce energy within cells, allowing us to do everything from breathing to thinking. This makes them essential to the utilization of oxygen which powers our everyday activities.
How Does a CoQ10 Supplement Work?
CoQ10 supplements can work in several ways. The first is to support energy production at a cellular level. Tiny mitochondria in our cells help to convert macronutrients (like carbohydrates and fat) into usable energy. In order for them to do this, they require the presence of CoQ10 to facilitate the reactions. Although the body naturally produces some, it does so inconsistently which can mean that levels fluctuate greatly.
Another way that they work is as an antioxidant. There are several forms of CoQ10 (also known as oxidative states) which means that they are able to donate or accept electrons from other compounds. It’s this flexibility that enables them to bind with free radicals, reducing their ability to cause damage. Once free radicals are bound to something else, their electrons are no longer free to go crazy damaging other cells in the body.
The third function of CoQ10 is to aid food digestion. As a coenzyme, it supports other enzymes that are involved in the metabolism of nutrients. It can also increase the absorption of some nutrients and even helps to recycle vitamin C and vitamin E. This means that it effectively maximizes the efficiency of other antioxidants by enabling them to be reused.
What are Coenzymes?
Coenzymes help enzymes to catalyze chemical reactions inside of the body, in the same way that a co-pilot or co-driver assist the main driver. They are often involved in reactions that have several steps and help to ensure that they don’t happen too quickly (or slowly if your body needs something fast). Sometimes they’ll control whether a reaction is reversible or can only happen in one direction. This helps to ensure that whatever gets produced isn’t immediately turned back into its initial ingredients.
Why is a CoQ10 Supplement Beneficial?
Taking a CoQ10 supplement can be beneficial for your health in a number of ways. It supports your cardiovascular system, mitochondrial function, and has also been linked with reducing migraine headaches, improving fertility in men, slowing the progression of Parkinson’s disease, and numerous other benefits. Let’s look at some of them in more detail.
Supports Heart Health
There are several ways that CoQ10 supplement is thought to support heart health. Firstly, it enables the heart muscles to function at their optimal levels. This is crucial for pumping blood around your circulatory system and ensuring that oxygen is delivered to all your cells. On the flip side, this process also allows all of the unwanted by-products or toxins to be removed from cells and excreted through the lungs or kidneys. Whichever way you look at it, a healthy heart is central to your overall wellness and vitality.
Taking a CoQ10 supplement can also support the health of your entire cardiovascular system, not just the heart. It improves the health of blood vessel walls so that they’re able to pump blood around and quickly adapt to changes in your environment or oxygen demands. CoQ10 can also help to maintain LDL cholesterol (sometimes referred to as ‘bad’ cholesterol) in its normal oxidative state so that it doesn’t cause problems.
Many of the effects of aging are caused by free-radicals. Over the course of our lifetime, we’re exposed to more and more free-radicals, whether it’s due to stress, internal chemical processes, or the environment. In addition to this, our body’s ability to produce antioxidants (like CoQ10) that fight free radicals is reduced as we age. Taking a CoQ10 supplement can help to increase our antioxidant levels so that our body is better able to protect itself from free radicals.
Reduces Migraine Severity
It’s thought that taking a CoQ10 supplement can be beneficial for people who suffer from migraines. Research indicates that increasing CoQ10 levels can reduce the severity of migraines so that you’re able to recover from them more quickly.
Improves Male Fertility
Taking a CoQ10 supplement has been linked with improving sperm motility in men. The exact mechanism is currently unknown, but it may be related to its blood vessel health benefits.
Slows Parkinson’s Disease & Dementia Progression
Research has suggested that CoQ10 supplement may be effective as a therapeutic treatment for people with Parkinson’s disease. High doses have been shown to slow down the progression of the disease, however, the evidence is currently mixed.
Preliminary research has also linked CoQ10 supplements with dementia treatment. Initial studies have found that it may slow the progression of dementia in patients with Alzheimer’s.
Supports Gum Health
Clinical trials have linked CoQ10 supplementation with gum health. In small-scale studies, it’s been found effective for the prevention and treatment of gum inflammation (also known as gingivitis).
Improving Immune Deficiency
Research into immune-deficiency diseases like HIV and AIDS is producing promising results. Although still in the early stages, coenzyme Q10 supplementation may improve the immune function of people living with HIV or AIDS.
Muscular Dystrophy Benefits
Research into CoQ10 and muscular dystrophy is limited, but initial findings indicate that it may be beneficial. CoQ10 supplements have been associated with improving heart function, exercise capacity, and the overall quality of life for people with the disease.
Can You Become Deficient in CoQ10?
Being deficient in CoQ10 has been linked with a wide range of different diseases. Heart conditions seem to be particularly prevalent in people with a deficiency since a large concentration of the enzyme is usually found in the cardiac muscles. High blood pressure, arrhythmia, angina, and even heart failure have all been associated with CoQ10 deficiency.
Taking statins (such as those prescribed to lower cholesterol levels) can put people at greater risk of deficiency. This is because statins inhibit the natural production of CoQ10 by the body. It is thought that low levels of CoQ10 are a contributor to some of the common side effects that statin therapy causes, such as muscle pain, aching joints, and tiredness.
CoQ10 deficiency has also been connected to diabetes and problems regulating blood sugar, stomach ulcers, and gum issues like gingivitis.
Should I take a CoQ10 Supplement?
Because of its antioxidant properties, taking a CoQ10 supplement can be beneficial for everyone. Even if you’re in the peak of health it’ll protect you internally from damage caused by free radicals. It can also have anti-aging benefits that will last throughout our lifetime.
It is also recommended for people with heart disease, cardiovascular conditions, or those who have a family history of heart problems. CoQ10 is found in high concentrations in the heart muscle, so taking supplements may aid the health of your heart as well as blood vessels. If you are at an increased risk of suffering from any type of cardiovascular disease, then it’s worth taking a CoQ10 supplement.
People who are taking statins for cholesterol should also consult their doctor about the need to take a regular CoQ10 supplement. Because statin drugs block the body’s natural CoQ10 production, this group of people is at a much higher risk of becoming deficient. This can lead to other cardiovascular-related complications, so a supplement may be helpful in this case.
What Form are CoQ10 Supplements Available In?
CoQ10 supplements are available in tablet and patch form. The CDC has not defined an official recommendation for daily CoQ10 values, but doctors suggest taking 120 mg as a minimum daily dose. For healthy adults and those taking statins, this is an appropriate dosage that may have preventative benefits.
If you take your CoQ10 supplement in tablet form, then you’ll need to remember to consume it with a meal containing fat. This is because CoQ10 is fat-soluble, so it needs to bind to lipids in your food in order to be absorbed and transported across the gut lining. Without fat to accompany it, the supplement will pass straight through the digestive system so there won’t be any beneficial effect.
However, this isn’t something that you need to worry about if you use a CoQ10 supplement patch. The enzyme is absorbed directly through the skin without the need for fat to be used as a carrier. So, you can simply apply the patch and get on with your day (or go to sleep).
Other Sources of CoQ10
Other sources of CoQ10 in the diet include meat and fish, along with oils made from sesame, soybean, and canola/rapeseed. However, a typical American will consume around 10 mg of CoQ10 as part of their normal diet, which is well below the 120mg minimum recommendations from doctors. Although it’s possible for the body to produce additional amounts of the enzyme, it doesn’t do it consistently, so levels can fluctuate. It is therefore recommended that people supplement to achieve optimal CoQ10 levels.
CoQ10 Supplement Side Effects
Current evidence suggests that it’s safe to take a CoQ10 supplement in doses up to 3600 mg per day. It also appears safe to exceed this high dosage however people have reported gastrointestinal discomfort around this level. Don’t worry though, this is almost double the amount found in our patches, so you won’t be exceeding tolerance levels with those.
CoQ10 Supplement – Summary
Taking a CoQ10 supplement can be beneficial in many aspects of your health and wellbeing. Its antioxidant properties can help to protect your body from free-radical damage, which has been linked to the development of cancer. These antioxidant benefits are also useful in the treatment of anti-aging so you can look and feel more youthful for longer.
CoQ10’s cardiovascular benefits have long been known by the medical community. As the rate of heart disease continues to increase, this antioxidant may provide one way in which to reduce our risk. For people who currently suffer from cardiac conditions or have a history of it in the family, it’s worth making a CoQ10 supplement part of your daily routine.
CoQ10 Supplement from PatchMD
Our CoQ10 Plus Topical patch can help you to realize all of the health benefits we’ve discussed above. One patch supplies your body with 500 mg of vitamin C (833%), 10 mg zinc (67%), 100 mcg selenium (100% RDA). It also features our PMD complex which includes 2000 mg of CoQ10, Acetyl-L-Carnitine, Arginate Dihydrochloride, D-Ribose, L-Carnosine, MSM, Nicotinamide Riboside, Shilajit Fulvic acid complex, Resveratrol 250mg, Japanese Knotweed extract, R-Alpha-Lipoic Acid, Pyrroloquinoline (PQQ), Astaxanthin, and Indian Gooseberry extract.
This powerful combination of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants can help you feel revitalized and full of energy. CoQ10 plays a vital role in macronutrient metabolism so increasing your levels may improve your body’s energy production capabilities. As an antioxidant, it can also help you protect yourself from the damaging effects of free radicals. Combined with the antioxidant benefits of vitamin C, this CoQ10 supplement is a powerhouse of support for your health. And thanks to our innovative patch delivery method, you can be confident that you’re really benefiting from a high-quality dose. Because it’s absorbed through the skin, it skips the digestive process and goes straight to where it’s needed most.