Daily CoQ10 Supplementation for Senior Citizens

Dr. William Judy
Dr. William Judy, founder and president of SIBR Research, says that individuals vary in the extent to which their cells synthesize less CoQ10 with increasing age in the adult years. Generally, though, he is concerned if an individual has a blood CoQ10 concentration below 0.60 micrograms per milliliter.

As we get older – and more susceptible to aging-related diseases – the mitochondria and the endoplasmic reticula in our cells synthesize significantly less Coenzyme Q10. This seems to be especially true of CoQ10 bio-synthesis in the heart muscle cells, kidney cells, leg muscle cells, and abdominal wall muscle cells [Díaz-Casado 2019].

In some human tissues, the highest levels of CoQ10 are found in 20-year-olds. After the 20’s comes the ageing-related decline in CoQ10 levels in various human tissues [Kalén 1989].

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Beware of Unfounded Claims for Coenzyme Q10 Absorption

As consumers of Coenzyme Q10 supplements, we must be ultra-careful in evaluating the marketing claims for CoQ10 absorption and efficacy.  The nutritional supplements market is a largely unregulated one.  It is up to us to do due diligence before buying a CoQ10 product.

Dr. William V. Judy in a white-coat standing
In 2008 and again in 2013, SIBR Research did small but legitimate comparison studies of ubiquinone and ubiquinol absorption. SIBR Research’s results indicated that the single-dose absorption of the ubiquinol product appeared to be no better than the absorption of the ubiquinone Coenzyme Q10 in a lipid-based soft-gel capsule. Pictured here: Dr. William V. Judy, president of SIBR Research.

All of the CoQ10 products on the market are not equally good.  There is very considerable variability in the formulation and solubilization of Coenzyme Q10 with the result that there is also great variability in the absorption and bio-availability of Coenzyme Q10.  It is important to remember that the less expensive CoQ10 product is not a good buy if we do not absorb any or much of the active ingredient.

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Ageing and plasma Coenzyme Q10 status

Dr. Judy analyzed the data from 5000 healthy adult volunteers. The data showed that, through the course of their lives, approximately 13% (green) of the volunteers had low plasma Coenzyme Q10 status, nearly 75% (blue) had medium plasma Coenzyme Q10 status, and only 12% (red) had high Coenzyme Q10 status. Conclusion: fully 88% of healthy adults, starting in their 30s and 40s, could benefit from a daily Coenzyme Q10 supplement.

As with so many other things in life, “normal” as in normal Coenzyme Q10 status is a topic about which reasonable people can reasonably disagree.  The range for normal Coenzyme Q10 status, measured in plasma or in serum, is relatively wide and can vary according to a number of factors: age, diet, fitness level, gender, heredity, and nature of work activity.

Plasma Coenzyme Q10 normally distributed
As far as we know, the distribution of human Coenzyme Q10 status in plasma and serum resembles more or less a normal bell-shaped curve with 50 percent of adults having below average Coenzyme Q10 status and approximately 16 percent of adults having very low Coenzyme Q10 status.  Only about 16 percent of adults at the top end of the curve can be said to have unusually high Coenzyme Q10 status.

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Coenzyme Q10: the best of q10facts.com — part II

Daily supplementation with 200 milligrams of Coenzyme Q10 has been shown to reduce the number of hospitalizations and re-hospitalizations of chronic heart failure patients. The use of Coenzyme Q10 as an adjuvant treatment improves the quality of life for patients and reduces the expenses of health care systems.

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.

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Coenzyme Q10: The best of q10facts.com

Karl Folkers
Dr. Karl Folkers, the researcher who established the chemical structure of the Coenzyme Q10 molecule and who developed the biochemical rationale for the use of Coenzyme Q10 as an adjuvant treatment of chronic heart disease, called Coenzyme Q10 the “essential bio-nutrient.”

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:

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Coenzyme Q10: ubiquinone or ubiquinol?

Q10 crystals
Formulation of the Coenzyme Q10 supplements is very important. How do we know which producers of Coenzyme Q10 supplements can take the raw material, pictured here, and dissolve it in lipids and seal it in capsules so that it gives good health effects?

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.

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Coenzyme Q10: Is it the raw material formulation that’s important?

Woman making food
To stay as healthy as we can as late in life as possible, we need to eat properly. We also need a daily Coenzyme Q10 nutritional supplement. The Q-Symbio study and the KiSel-10 study have shown the heart health benefits of Coenzyme Q10 supplementation. Those studies show, moreover, that older adults benefit from a Coenzyme supplement based on the ubiquinone form.

What is becoming more and more apparent about the absorption of Coenzyme Q10 nutritional supplements?  I have been putting together the information that I have been reading and hearing.  Here is what seems to be the case:

Raw material Coenzyme Q10: not the big difference maker
The Coenzyme Q10 raw material from the biggest producers of the dry powder crystalline substance seems to be comparable to a high degree. There seems to be equivalency of quality in the Coenzyme Q10 raw material.  What counts is how the maker of Coenzyme Q10 supplements processes that raw material.

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Dr. Judy explains Coenzyme Q10 and the Q cycle

Woman in front of water
As we get older, we need a good Coenzyme Q10 supplement. Once we pass our 20’s, our bodies produce less and less Coenzyme Q10, and we do not get enough in our diets to make up the difference.

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.

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Coenzyme Q10 on prescription?

Mother and daughter
We know that the body’s production of Coenzyme Q10 begins to decrease with age once we reach our 20’s, and we know that Coenzyme Q10 plays an important role in both cellular bio-energetics and antioxidant protection. It just makes sense to supplement our diets with Coenzyme Q10 in an attempt to avoid heart failure later on in life.

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 failureHeart 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:

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Coenzyme Q10 and people taking statin medications

Yes, cholesterol lowering statin medications have proven to be effective at lowering cholesterol. Yes, statin medications are generally well-tolerated. But … statin medications inhibit the body’s synthesis of Coenzyme Q10. Anyone taking a statin medication needs to be taking a supplement to restore the depleted Coenzyme Q10.

Last week, we looked at the question of Coenzyme Q10 supplementation for chronic heart failure patients.  We know that chronic heart failure patients have abnormally reduced levels of Coenzyme Q10 in both their blood and their heart muscle tissue [Folkers 1985, Kitamura 1984].  We know that supplementation with Coenzyme Q10 can increase blood Coenzyme Q10 levels and can improve outcomes in the treatment of chronic heart failure and in coronary artery bypass surgery [Morisco 1993, Mortensen 2014, Rosenfeldt 2002].

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