Coenzyme Q10, also known as CoQ10, is used to convert food (glucose) into usable energy in the body. CoQ10 is prevalent throughout cells in the body and is known for its powerful antioxidant effects. Antioxidants are used to combat harmful byproducts in the body known as free radicals, which can have serious effects on cell health, DNA structure, aging, and can even cause serious health conditions. By acting as an antioxidant, CoQ10 is able to help reduce and prevent some of the serious consequences of free radicals on your health. CoQ10 has also been researched in connection to heart disease. CoQ10 is prevalent in the highest quantities in the heart, liver, kidneys, and pancreas. Interestingly, levels of CoQ10 decrease naturally with aging. Oral supplementation of coenzyme Q10 increases plasma, lipoprotein, and blood vessel levels, but it is unclear whether tissue coenzyme Q10 levels are increased, especially in healthy individuals.
Coenzyme Q10 supplementation has resulted in clinical and metabolic improvement in some patients with hereditary mitochondrial disorders.
Coenzyme Q10 is a member of the ubiquinone family of compounds. All animals, including humans, can synthesize ubiquinones, hence, coenzyme Q10 cannot be considered a vitamin. The name ubiquinone refers to the ubiquitous presence of these compounds in living organisms and their chemical structure, which contains a functional group known as a benzoquinone. Ubiquinones are fat-soluble molecules with anywhere from one to 12 isoprene (5-carbon) units. The ubiquinone found in humans, ubidecaquinone or coenzyme Q10, has a "tail" of 10 isoprene units (a total of 50 carbon atoms) attached to its benzoquinone "head".
Also known as: Coenzima Q-10, Coenzyme Q10, CoQ10, Ubidécarénone, Ubiquinone-10
Diseases and Conditions
Coenzyme Q-10 is likely effective for the following conditions:
- Coenzyme Q-10 Deficiency
- Mitochondrial Encephalomyopathies.
Coenzyme Q-10 is possibly effective for the following conditions:
- Age-Related Macular Degeneration
- Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)
- Diabetic Neuropathy
- Huntington's Disease
- Ischemic Reperfusion Injury
- Isolated Systolic Hypertension
- Migraine Headaches
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Myocardial Infarction (MI)
- Parkinson's Disease
- Peyronie's Disease.
Coenzyme Q-10 is likely safe when used orally for up to 30 months. It is also safe to use topically on the gums. Coenzyme Q-10 may be safe for children and pregnant women when taken orally, but should be taken under the supervision of a physician. There is insufficient evidence on the safety of coenzyme Q-10 on breastfeeding women so it is best to avoid. Possible side effects include:
- Digestive Upset
- Flu-like Symptoms
Patients undergoing chemotherapy, who smoke cigarettes, or have hypotension or hypertension should avoid coenzyme Q-10. It may affect blood pressure; discontinue use of coenzyme Q-10 at least 2 weeks before surgery.
Coenzyme Q-10 has moderate interactions with antihypertensive drugs, chemotherapy, and warfarin. Coenzyme Q-10 can decrease blood pressure and might have additive blood pressure lowering effects when used with antihypertensive drugs, so they should be used with caution. Evidence suggests that inhibition of coenzyme Q-10 dependent enzymes and decreased coenzyme Q-10 synthesis in the heart might contribute to the cardiotoxicity caused by doxorubicin. In theory, taking coenzyme Q-10 supplements might prevent this toxicity, but there is also concern that coenzyme Q-10 might lower the effectiveness of doxorubicin. Concomitant use of coenzyme Q-10 might reduce the anticoagulation effects of warfarin since coenzyme Q-10 is chemically similar to menaquinone and might have vitamin K-like procoagulant effects.
Supplement and Food Interactions
Coenzyme Q-10 may interact with the following supplements:
- Herbs and supplements with hypotensive effects
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Red yeast
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin E
Combining coenzyme Q-10 with acacia gum seems to affect coenzyme Q-10 absorption. Coenzyme Q-10 can also affect serum levels of beta-carotene. Coenzyme Q-10 can decrease blood pressure, which means combining coenzyme Q-10 with other herbs or supplements with hypotensive effects might increase the risk of hypotension. Some of these herbs and supplements include:
- Casein peptides
- Cat's claw
- Fish oil
- Stinging nettle
The following dosages have been used for the following conditions:
- For mitochondrial encephalomyopathies - the recommended dosage is one hundred fifty to one hundred sixty milligrams or two milligrams per kilogram per day.
- For heart failure in adults, the recommended dosage is one hundred milligrams per day divided into two or three doses.
- For dilated cardiomyopathy in children, the recommended dosage is three milligrams per kilogram per day and ten milligrams per kilogram per day in two to three divided doses.
- For hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, the recommended dosage is one hundred twenty to two hundred forty milligrams per day of a specific coenzyme Q-10 formulation (CoQ10, Vitaline).
- For angina, the recommended dosage is fifty milligrams three times per day.
- For reducing the risk of future cardiac events in patients with recent myocardial infarction, the recommended dosage is one hundred twenty milligrams daily in two divided doses.
- For isolated systolic hypertension, the recommended dosage is sixty milligrams twice daily.
- For HIV/AIDS, the recommended dosage is two hundred milligrams per day.
- For diabetes, the recommended dosage is one hundred milligrams once or twice daily.
- For Parkinson's disease, the recommended dosage is three hundred milligrams, six hundred milligrams, one thousand two hundred milligrams, and two thousand four hundred milligrams per day in three to four divided doses.
- For preventing migraine headache, the recommended dosage is one hundred milligrams three times daily.
- For statin-induced myopathy, the recommended dosage is one hundred to two hundred milligrams daily.
- For muscular dystrophy, the recommended dosage is one hundred milligrams per day.
- For hypertension, the recommended dosage is one hundred twenty to two hundred milligrams per day divided into two to three doses.
- For quinone-responsive mitochondrial encephalomyopathy, the recommended dosage is five milligrams per kilogram per day.
- For documented coenzyme Q-10 deficiency, the recommended dosage is one hundred fifty milligrams daily.
- For male infertility, the recommended dosage is two hundred to three hundred milligrams a day.
- For cyclic vomiting syndrome (CVS), the recommended dosage is ten milligrams per kilogram orally twice daily.
- For pre-eclampsia, the recommended dosage is one hundred milligrams twice daily starting at twenty weeks gestation until term.
- For fibromyalgia, the recommended dosage is two hundred milligrams of coenzyme Q-10 in conjunction with two hundred milligrams of ginkgo daily for eighty-four days.
The following are foods which contain CoQ10:
- Fried Beef (2.6 mg CoQ10 per 3 ounces)
- Marinated Herring (2.3 mg CoQ10 per 3 ounces)
- Fried Chicken (1.4 mg CoQ10 per 3 ounces)
- Soybean Oil (1.3 mg CoQ10 per 1 tablespoon)
- Canola Oil (1.0 mg CoQ10 per 1 tablespoon)
- Steamed Rainbow Trout (0.9 mg CoQ10 per 3 ounces)
- Roasted Peanuts (0.8 mg CoQ10 per 1 ounce)
- Roasted Sesame Seeds (0.7 mg CoQ10 per 1 ounce)
- Roasted Pistachio Nuts (0.6 mg CoQ10 per 1 ounce)
- Boiled Broccoli (0.5 mg CoQ10 per 1/2 cup chopped)
- Boiled Cauliflower (0.4 mg CoQ10 per 1/2 cup chopped)
- Orange (0.3 mg CoQ10 per 1 medium)
- Strawberries (0.1 mg CoQ10 per 1/2 cup)
- Boiled Egg (0.1 mg CoQ10 per 1 medium)