Coenzyme Q10 supplementation: after a certain age, many people need daily CoQ10 supplements just as many also need vitamin D and fish oil supplements.
CoQ10 supplementation is very safe with few drug interactions and side effects. No serious side effects have ever been reported. In fact, the side effects of the active CoQ10 treatment are often no more evident than the side effects associated with the placebo treatment. Pictured: Dr. Ross Pelton, the natural pharmacist.
In humans, peak concentrations of Coenzyme Q10 in major organs such as the heart, liver, kidney, pancreas, and adrenals occur around age 20. Thereafter, our cells’ ability to synthesize Coenzyme Q10 begins to decline as we age. In fact, the levels of Coenzyme Q10 in the major organs of people in their 80s were 6-7 times less than the levels found in 20-year-olds. [Kalén 1989]. Lower levels of Coenzyme Q10 have serious implications for the biological aging process. It is practically impossible to make up for the loss of bio-synthesized Coenzyme Q10 by eating more or by eating more wisely [Judy 2018].
Research studies show that CoQ10 supplements can be beneficial for treating chronic heart failure and for preventing migraines [Mortensen 2014; Sazali 2021].
CoQ10 has been shown to improve the symptoms and the survival in patients with chronic heart failure. Specifically, adjuvant treatment with 3 x 100 mg daily of a pharmaceutical-grade CoQ10 preparation over a two-year period was associated with a significant reduction in major adverse cardiovascular events, cardiovascular disease mortality, all-cause mortality, and incidence of hospital stays as well as significant improvement in NYHA functional class [Mortensen 2014].
In a 2007 review of 12 clinical trials (three RCTs, one crossover study, and eight open label studies), CoQ10 treatment helped to lower systolic blood pressure by up to 17 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure by up to 10 mm Hg without significant side effects [Rosenfeldt 2007].
A 2018 meta-analysis of 17 randomized controlled trials (684 participants diagnosed with metabolic syndrome) showed that CoQ10 supplementation significantly decreased systolic blood pressure [Tabrizi 2018].
Heart function and mortality
Combined with selenium, Coenzyme Q10 has been shown to improve heart function, reduce cardiovascular mortality, and improve health-related quality of life [Alehagen 2018; Johansson 2015].
Combined with other micronutrients, Coenzyme Q10 can aid recovery in people who have had bypass and heart valve surgeries. Researchers administered Coenzyme Q10, magnesium, lipoic acid, omega-3 fatty acids, and selenium to heart surgery candidates for approximately two months prior to the surgery and for one month after the surgery. The perioperative Coenzyme Q10 combination therapy for heart surgery was safe and inexpensive. It was associated with improved redox status, reduced myocardial damage, and shortened length of postoperative hospital stay [Leong 2010].
Statin-induced muscle pain and weakness
Some research suggests that CoQ10 supplementation can help ease the muscle weakness and pain sometimes associated with taking statins [Fedacko 2013].
A 2022 meta-analysis of 40 studies (n = 2,424 participants) has shown that CoQ10 supplementation is significantly associated with reduced fasting glucose levels, reduced fasting insulin levels, reduced HbA1c levels, and reduced HOMA-IR. A U-shaped dose-response graph showed that 100-200 mg/day of Coenzyme Q10 largely decreased fasting glucose, fasting insulin, HbA1c, and HOMA-IR [Liang 2022].
Independent RCTs have shown that daily CoQ10 supplementation is safe for type I and type II diabetes patients to take in order to protect the heart muscle [Henriksen 1999; Eriksson 1999].
A 2021 meta-analysis of six studies enrolling 371 participants has shown that CoQ10 supplementation significantly reduced the duration of headache attacks and the frequency of migraine headaches compared with the control group [Sazali 2021].
Reduction of fatigue
In a meta-analysis of data from 13 RCTs (1,126 participants total) revealed that, compared to the placebo groups, CoQ10 supplementation yielded a statistically significant reduction in fatigue scores. Greater fatigue reduction was correlated with increases in the daily CoQ10 dose and in the treatment duration [Tsai 2021].
Conclusion: Why CoQ10 Supplementation is Needed
- Bio-synthesis of Coenzyme Q10 declines with increasing age. Changes in diet cannot make up the loss [Judy 2018].
- CoQ10 supplementation is significantly associated with improvement in chronic heart failure, chronic fatigue syndrome, migraine headaches, and mortality [Martelli 2020; Testai 2021].
- Commercially available CoQ10 products do not give the same absorption and bioavailability across the board. It is important to choose a crystal-free CoQ10 supplement with documented scientifically test absorption and bioavailability [Judy 2022].
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Tsai IC, Hsu CW, Chang CH, Tseng PT, Chang KV. Effectiveness of Coenzyme Q10 supplementation for reducing fatigue: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Front Pharmacol. 2022 Aug 24;13:883251.
The information presented in this review article is not intended as medical advice and should not be used as such.