How does Coenzyme Q10 supplementation keep the heart young and healthy? The primary explanation is that Coenzyme Q10 is absolutely vital to the cellular process of producing energy, and the heart muscle needs energy constantly. An energy-starved heart is a failing heart.
A second and also important explanation is that oxidative damage causes the heart muscle cells to age and deteriorate. Coenzyme Q10 has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that can help to prevent the development of atherosclerosis.
Okay, from solid research results, we know several things about the essential bio-nutrient Coenzyme Q10.
our bodies produce Coenzyme Q10, which is an essential substance for our cells’ energy production and for the antioxidant protection of our cells
once we reach our 20’s, our body’s own production of Coenzyme Q10 decreases with increasing age
statin medications inhibit our bodies’ production of Coenzyme Q10
we are very unlikely to get all the Coenzyme Q10 that we need from our food
the risk of heart disease and other diseases increases with the lesser availability of Coenzyme Q10
we need a daily Coenzyme Q10 supplement.
Coenzyme Q10 levels in tissue cell and in plasma Basic fact: Plasma Coenzyme Q10 levels will always exceed tissue cell Coenzyme Q10 levels except, possibly, in some very well-conditioned athletes, e.g. soccer players and cross-country skiers and cyclists. In some superior athletes, the tissue cell Coenzyme Q10 levels and the plasma Coenzyme Q10 levels may come close to being equal.
How does Coenzyme Q10 get from the blood to the cells?
Coenzyme Q10 molecules move from the blood into the tissue cells by the process of diffusion. If plasma Coenzyme Q10 concentrations were lower than the tissue cell Coenzyme Q10 concentrations, then the diffusion of Coenzyme Q10 from the blood into the tissue cells could not take place. There would need to be some sort of active transport of Coenzyme Q10 into the tissue cells, and we know of no active transport of Coenzyme Q10 into the tissue cells [Judy 2016].
Dr. William V. Judy earned his doctorate degree in physiology and bio-physics in 1971. He has worked as an aerospace scientist in NASA’s manned spacecraft center and has taught in the Indiana University School of Medicine as a Professor of Physiology. Dr. Judy has worked in basic and clinical research for 56 years now; the major focus of his research has been on the absorption, efficacy, and safety of Coenzyme Q10. He was an early colleague of Dr. Karl Folkers, with whom he carried out joint research studies for 21 years. Absorption of Coenzyme Q10 from supplements
Dr. Judy makes the following points about the absorption of Coenzyme Q10:
Does Coenzyme Q10 supplementation improve exercise capacity? Do we know? In 2016, Professor Julio J. Ochoa and his colleagues at the University of Granada in Spain conducted an exhaustive review of the published literature about the Coenzyme Q10 supplementation and exercise. The researchers did database searches and found 372 journal articles about Coenzyme Q10 and exercise. An amazing number.
Variation in the Coenzyme Q10 and exercise studies
Of course, the results of the studies reported in the 372 journal articles varied quite a bit for a variety of reasons:
Last month, I wrote brief summaries of some of the best articles that have been published on this website. This month, I want to present summaries of several more good q10facts.com articles about the health benefits of Coenzyme Q10 supplementation. The information in all of these articles is based on clinical study results published in peer-reviewed bio-medical journals. In each summary, there is a link to the original article.
Fewer hospitalizations with Coenzyme Q10
In the Q-Symbio study, 420 chronic heart failure patients on conventional heart failure medications were randomly assigned to an adjuvant Coenzyme Q10 treatment group (n=202) or to a placebo control group (n=218). In the study, Dr. Svend Aage Mortensen and his fellow researchers wanted to test the hypothesis that the condition of the energy-starved heart could be improved by the use of Coenzyme Q10 supplementation.
In this article, I look back over the past 80 q10facts.com articles and pick out my favorites. Together, these articles give a good picture of what I have tried to present on this website: documented results from scientific studies of the absorption, safety, and efficacy of Coenzyme Q10 supplements in the form of ubiquinone. At the present time, there simply is not the same quality or quantity of research results related to the use of Coenzyme Q10 supplements in the ubiquinol form.
Coenzyme Q10’s therapeutic value This article summarized the clinical research evidence for the use of Coenzyme Q10 as an adjunctive therapy for the following patients:
Coenzyme Q10 is a marvelously versatile natural substance. It is essential for cellular energy production, and it is an important lipid-soluble antioxidant. Its use as a daily supplement in conjunction with conventional medicines can give heart patients valuable health benefits.
In a 2015 review article, Professor Dr. Roland Stocker of the Medical College, University of New South Wales, in Sydney, Australia, and colleagues evaluated the potential therapeutic value of Coenzyme Q10 supplements:
for heart failure patients
for patients with high blood pressure
for ischemic heart disease patients
for cardiac surgery patients
for patients taking statin medications
We want to look at the evidence presented in this review article [Ayer 2015].
Recently, some readers have written in asking what my problem with the ubiquinol version of Coenzyme Q10 supplements is. Let me try to answer that question. I don’t think that I have a problem with ubiquinol itself. I have great respect for ubiquinol’s utility as a lipid-soluble antioxidant. The problem that I have tried to address on q10facts.com is the misleading nature of the marketing claims and the stretching of scientific facts in many of the marketing claims for the ubiquinol products.
One theory to explain the process of aging is that there is an accumulation of oxidative damage through the years. Oxidative damage is the damage to cells and DNA and lipids that occurs as a result of an excess of reactive oxygen species (also called free radicals) beyond the body’s ability to neutralize the harmful free radicals. The free radical theory of aging presupposes higher free radical production and lower antioxidant protection in older adults. In accordance with this theory, the use of supplements with antioxidant effects such as Coenzyme Q10, selenium, vitamin C, vitamin E, and various carotenoids and flavonoids is desirable.
A 2014 study has shown that greater fitness among older adults is associated with the following health benefits:
higher levels of plasma Coenzyme Q10
lower levels of lipid peroxidation (degradation of lipids)
lower levels of cholesterol
The study participants – 19 men and 24 women – had an average age of 71 years. The data from the study show that physical activity in the senior years can increase plasma concentrations of Coenzyme Q10 and can reduce the presence in plasma of a well-established bio-marker for oxidative stress [Del Pozo-Cruz 2014].
Coenzyme Q10 and oxidative stress
In the daily course of our using food and oxygen to make energy, we produce dangerous by-products called free radicals. Exposure to radiation and environmental toxins also produces harmful free radicals in our bodies.