Coenzyme Q10 is a bio-nutrient essential to the process of ATP energy generation in the cells. It is also an important fat-soluble antioxidant. It helps to maintain proper endothelial function regulating vascular contraction and relaxation and regulating the enzymes that control blood clotting, immune function, and platelet adhesion. It has anti-inflammatory properties [Littarru 2010]. Our primary source of Coenzyme Q10 is our bodies’ bio-synthesis of the substance. Our food contributes considerably less Coenzyme Q10.
Organ fibrosis has been estimated to be a factor in up to 50% of all-cause human deaths [Hargreaves & Mantle].
Effective treatments for fibrosis in senior citizens are not available at present [Hargreaves & Mantle].
Coenzyme Q10 and Senior Citizens
Coenzyme Q10 has important biological roles in humans:
Coenzyme Q10 is an essential co-factor in the cellular process of ATP energy generation [Belardinelli].
Coenzyme Q10 is an important fat-soluble antioxidant, neutralizing the harmful effects of free radicals in lipid environments and reducing the extent of oxidative stress [Belardinelli].
Coenzyme Q10 has a beneficial effect on the endothelial cells that regulate the contraction and relaxation of the blood vessels and regulate such processes as blood clotting, immune function, and platelet adhesion [Belardinelli].
Coenzyme Q10 reduces the blood levels of bio-markers for inflammation, indicating that Coenzyme Q10 may have anti-inflammatory properties [Hargreaves & Mantle].
Decreasing CoQ10 Bio-Synthesis with Increasing Age
The major source of Coenzyme Q10 in humans is the endogenous bio-synthesis of the substance.
Once we humans reach our 20s, most of us begin to synthesize less Coenzyme Q10 as we get older [Hargreaves & Mantle].
Daily supplementation is necessary [Hargreaves & Mantle].
Not all CoQ10 supplements are equally well formulated. The formulation of the CoQ10 supplement plays a vital role in CoQ10 absorption and bio-availability [Lopez-Lluch].
Cardiovascular Fibrosis and Senior Citizens
Post-mortem analysis has revealed that, in the normal ageing process, the collagen content providing structural support for heart muscle’s contractile cells increases approximately 50% from the third decade to the seventh decade of life[Hargreaves & Mantle].
Absorption of the Coenzyme Q10 in commercial nutritional supplements varies considerably. The dissolution of the CoQ10 crystals and the absorption of the Coenzyme Q10 molecules depend upon the composition of the oil matrix and the formulation of the CoQ10 nutritional supplement. The manufacturer of a CoQ10 supplement must deal with raw material that is very difficult to work with.
Coenzyme Q10 Soluble in Lipids at Higher Temperatures
Coenzyme Q10 is practically insoluble in water but is soluble in lipids; however, no individual lipids have been found in which 100 milligrams of Coenzyme Q10 can be dissolved so that the dissolved Coenzyme Q10 molecules inside the nutritional supplement capsules will not re-crystallize at normal storage temperatures: typically, between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
A 2018 meta-analysis and systematic review has shown that Coenzyme Q10 supplementation significantly ameliorates statin-induced muscle symptoms [Qu]:
reduces muscle pain
reduces muscle weakness
reduces muscle cramping
reduces muscle fatigue
The positive results of the meta-analysis suggest that Coenzyme Q10 supplementation may be a complementary approach to the management of statin-induced myopathy [Qu].
Why Do You Need Coenzyme Q10 Supplements with Statin Medication?
Statin medications are drugs widely prescribed in order to lower patients’ levels of total cholesterol and the so-called “bad” ldl-cholesterol. Statins are used to protect against heart attack and stroke; however, they do have adverse effects.
The active substance in the best Coenzyme Q10 nutritional supplements is a natural substance extracted from a yeast fermentation process; it is not a synthetic substance.
The CoQ10 molecules in the best nutritional supplements are the same molecules as the CoQ10 molecules synthesized inside the mitochondria in human cells.
Absorption and Bio-availability of Coenzyme Q10
Similar to vitamin E, Coenzyme Q10 in food and in nutritional supplements has a low absorption and bio-availability. In the case of Coenzyme Q10, the difficult absorption is attributed to the relatively large size and the lipid soluble nature of the CoQ10 molecules.
Coenzyme Q10 supplementation with 100 – 300 milligrams daily promotes good heart health [Alehagen, Mortensen]. Supplementation is important because most of the body’s supply of Coenzyme Q10 comes from endogenous bio-synthesis, not from the diet, and, as we get older, our bodies produce less Coenzyme Q10 [Kalén].
The primary functions of Coenzyme Q10 are bio-energetic and antioxidant. Coenzyme Q10 is an essential co-factor in the cellular production of ATP energy. It is also an important fat-soluble antioxidant protecting the cells against oxidative damage caused by harmful free radicals [Littarru].
We all want to live longer, with good health and good energy in our senior years. One factor that enhances our chances of living longer and better is our ability to avoid chronic degenerative diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, kidney disease, and liver disease. Coenzyme Q10 supplements can help.
The rationale for using CoQ10 supplements to enhance our chances for a long and healthy life is based on the role of Coenzyme Q10 in the production of cellular energy. In addition, Coenzyme Q10 has known antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects [Mantle & Hargreaves].
The therapeutic efficacy of Coenzyme Q10 adjunctive treatment of chronic heart failure patients – 3 times 100 milligrams daily for two years – was demonstrated in the original Q-Symbio Study (n = 420) published in the JACC specialty journal Heart Failure [Mortensen 2014].
Now, an analysis of just the European portion of the Q-Symbio Study participants (n = 231) has shown that the benefits of Coenzyme Q10 supplementation were enhanced in the more rigorously guidelines-treated European patients [Mortensen 2019].
Coenzyme Q10, the essential bio-nutrient, has properties that are germane to the treatment of several of the risk factors associated with the umbrella term “metabolic syndrome” [Casagrande].
These properties include the following:
a bio-energetics role in the cellular production of ATP energy [Casagrande]
a role as a fat-soluble antioxidant protecting against oxidative damage by harmful free radicals to cells and lipids [Casagrande]
an anti-inflammatory effect [Zhai]
a role in the protection and improvement of endothelial function [Gao]
What Factors Reduce Plasma Coenzyme Q10 Levels?
Typically, we expect to find plasma Coenzyme Q10 concentrations ranging from 0.6 to 1.0 micrograms per milliliter in unsupplemented healthy individuals. With daily supplementation, it is possible to raise the plasma Coenzyme Q10 levels above the 2.5 micrograms per milliliter level needed for a therapeutic effect in heart disease and above the 3.5 micrograms per milliliter level needed for a therapeutic effect in neurodegenerative disease [Langsjoen].