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.
Coenzyme Q10, the essential bio-nutrient, is categorized as a redox molecule. The Coenzyme Q10 molecules exist in three different forms as they take part in redox reactions in the body. It is the ability of the Coenzyme Q10 molecules to give up or take on one or two electrons that makes Coenzyme Q10 so valuable both in the process of cellular energy production and in cellular antioxidant activities.
What is a redox reaction?
Redox is short for reduction-oxidation. Redox reactions are quite common in nature. Such everyday processes as combustion (burning), corrosion (rusting), photosynthesis (converting sunlight into energy), and respiration (exchanging gases between the blood and the tissue fluids) involve redox reactions.
For as long as I have been writing this blog, I have been wondering why cardiologists are not prescribing Coenzyme Q10 for certain classes of heart disease patients. Two classes of patients come to mind immediately: chronic heart failure patients and patients taking statin medications. Let’s look at the evidence for heart failure patients. (We can talk about patients on statin medications next week.)
Coenzyme Q10 and chronic heart failure
Chronic heart failure. Heart failure. It sounds scary. It is scary. The words “heart failure” do not mean that the heart has stopped working. What heart failure means is some combination of the following conditions:
We know that Coenzyme Q10 is an essential co-factor in at least three important processes in the body: cellular energy production, cellular and lipid antioxidant defense, and regulation of endothelial cell function. We know that our adult bodies produce less Coenzyme Q10 with increasing age, and we know that most of us cannot make up the difference through the food that we eat . From the age of 40 on, we need a good Coenzyme Q10 supplement daily. I asked Dr. William Judy what is involved in getting a good Coenzyme Q10 supplement.