CoQ10: Do You Need This Supplement?
I’ve never been a big pill pusher in my practice. I believe the best source of nutrients is food, and supplements are meant to supplement our food intake. Decades ago I attended a continuing education seminar on supplements. I was struck by the presenter’s comments on CoQ10 (CoenzymeQ10). She cited lots of studies on how various clinical populations with various medical problems had low blood CoQ10 levels. Then, she said we all need to be taking it because we make less as we age. Seemed to make a lot of sense if you look at it that way since we are not getting any younger!
What is CoQ10?
Coenzyme Q10 is also known as ubiquinone. It’s a naturally occurring anti-oxidant whose primary function is cellular energy production. Our bodies do produce it, but as noted above we make less as we age. Our diets can only provide small amounts of this nutrient. Food sources are primarily chicken, beef, and some whole grains.
Who might benefit from CoQ10?
There are a variety of medical issues that might benefit from CoQ10. While some conditions that have thought to benefit from CoQ10 supplementation are disputed of late, the following conditions are currently thought to improve with a supplement. As is always the case, it is necessary to discuss with your health care team when deciding to add supplements to your diet in therapeutic ranges. Supplements can always interact with certain medications, so your health care team and you need to be communicating on this topic!
CoQ10 for medical problems
Heart Disease. Studies have shown that taking 100 mg of CoQ10 on a daily basis improved how the heart pumps blood. Other studies have shown that those who took a daily total dose of 300 mg of CoQ10 in addition to their prescribed cardiac medication reduced cardiac events by 50%. Multiple studies have also indicated that this supplement improved muscle symptoms associated with cholesterol lowering statin medications.
Migraines. Studies have supported the use of CoQ10 for headache pain. 300 mg taken for three months showed a decrease in migraine frequency in a small study. There was also a reduction in blood levels of lactate and nitric oxide, both of which are elevated in migraine sufferers.
Fibromyalgia. One small study found that 100 mg of CoQ10 taken three times per day for 40 days significantly improved clinical symptoms, including tender points and sleep quality.
Wrinkles. We are all going to get them, so it’s interesting to note that one preliminary study found that middle-aged women taking 150 mg of CoQ10 three times per day for 3 months achieved a significant reduction in wrinkles around the lips, eyes, and nose. There was no wrinkle reduction on the forehead. Another study in 33 participants also supported significant wrinkle reduction. For other tips on better looking skin and what to eat, here are some thoughts.
A dosing tip
Taking smaller 100 mg doses with a small amount of dietary fat will increase the absorption of CoQ10. Any fat will do. It can be fat found naturally in a meal, fatty foods such as avocados or nuts, or visible fats such as oils.
Do you take this supplement? Do you have any questions or comments about this supplement not covered in this blog?
Use this information at your own risk. Although I am a licensed IL dietitian/nutritionist, I am not your dietitian. The information in my blog Chew on This located at www.mydietmatters.com is for educational and informational purposes only. It is also my own opinion and subject to change in the future. Please consult with your own medical professionals for individual treatment.