What is it?
Co-enzyme Q10 (CoQ10) or Ubiquinone is a fat-soluble vitamin-like substance. Coenzyme Q10 is classified as a well being supplement, whereby it is not essential for everyday functioning but may be beneficial in a variety of conditions.
What does it do?
Coenzyme Q10 is required for the proper function of many organs – namely the heart, liver, kidneys and pancreas. Coenzyme Q10 has many functions – including energy production and antioxidant activity. CoQ10 can neutralise free radicals and may reduce or even help prevent some of the damage they cause by acting as an antioxidant. Due to these properties, CoQ10 may aid in protecting the body against many cancer’s and age-related degenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease. Further, by reducing oxidative stress, CoQ10 may protect against cardiovascular disease – including hypertension and heart failure.
What are the food sources?
Food sources of Coenzyme Q10 include organ and muscle meats, oily fish, legumes and avocado.
Your body naturally makes Coenzyme Q10 but levels do decrease with age. For older adults, a dosage of generally 1,000-1200µg per day may be beneficial but it is advisable to first discuss this with your doctor.
Health Conditions + CoQ10 Supplementation:
Fertility: Female fertility decreases with age due to a decline in the number and quality of eggs. As we age, CoQ10 production slows, making the body less effective at protecting the eggs from oxidative damage. Studies have demonstrated that supplementing with CoQ10 seems to help and may even reverse this age-related decline in egg quality and quantity.
Further to this, male sperm is susceptible to the effects of oxidative damage, which may result in reduced sperm count & poor sperm quality. Several studies have demonstrated that supplementing with CoQ10 may improve sperm quality, activity and concentration by increasing antioxidant activity.
Type 2 Diabetes: CoQ10 has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and regulate blood sugar levels.
Migraines: Supplementing with CoQ10 may help prevent and treat migraines by reducing inflammation and increasing mitochondrial function.
Side-effects or contraindications?
CoQ10 is available as a supplement in several forms, including soft gel capsules, oral spray, hard shell capsules and tablets. While CoQ10 has no significant side effects, it may decrease the effectiveness of warfarin and other anticoagulants and have interactions with statins and beta-blockers so it is best to discuss this with your doctor before taking it.