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.
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.
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.
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 ubiquinoneUbiquinone, the oxidized form of Coenzyme Q10, expressed as Q10 or CoQ10, is absolutely essential for the mitochondrial ATP energy production process. Ubiquinone is the form of Coenzyme Q10 that the body synthesizes, and ubiquinone is the form of Coenzyme Q10 that has been extensively tested for safety, absorption, and efficacy in clinical trials.... Read more about this term. 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:
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 antioxidantAntioxidants are substances that protect the cells and lipoproteins against the harmful effects of free radicals. They are substances that prevent the oxidation of other molecules and compounds. There are two broad categories of antioxidants: enzymatic and non-enzymatic. Non-enzymatic antioxidants are substances like Coenzyme Q10, vitamin C, vitamin E, glutathione, and various carotenoids. Prominent enzymatic antioxidants include catalase, glutathione peroxidase,... Read more about this term. 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.
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.
Coenzyme Q10, the essential bio-nutrient, is categorized as a redox moleculeRedox is the abbreviated term for reduction-oxidation. Coenzyme Q10 molecules are redox molecules. Redox refers to the oxidation state of the molecule. Oxidized Coenzyme Q10 molecules, called ubiquinone (CoQ10), are Coenzyme Q10 molecules that can accept (take on) two electrons and thus become reduced Coenzyme Q10 molecules called ubiquinol. Reduced Coenzyme Q10 molecules, called ubiquinol (CoQH2), are Coenzyme Q10 molecules... Read more about this term. 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 antioxidantAntioxidants are substances that protect the cells and lipoproteins against the harmful effects of free radicals. They are substances that prevent the oxidation of other molecules and compounds. There are two broad categories of antioxidants: enzymatic and non-enzymatic. Non-enzymatic antioxidants are substances like Coenzyme Q10, vitamin C, vitamin E, glutathione, and various carotenoids. Prominent enzymatic antioxidants include catalase, glutathione peroxidase,... Read more about this term 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 failureThe Mayo Clinic defines heart failure, also known as congestive heart failure and/or chronic heart failure, as the failure of the heart muscle to pump blood to the body adequately. In other words, heart failure is not a heart attack, and it is not death from heart disease, which its name might seem to imply. Heart failure is a condition... Read more about this term 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:
Last week, we looked at the question of Coenzyme Q10 supplementation for chronic heart failureThe Mayo Clinic defines heart failure, also known as congestive heart failure and/or chronic heart failure, as the failure of the heart muscle to pump blood to the body adequately. In other words, heart failure is not a heart attack, and it is not death from heart disease, which its name might seem to imply. Heart failure is a condition... Read more about this term patients. We know that chronic heart failureThe Mayo Clinic defines heart failure, also known as congestive heart failure and/or chronic heart failure, as the failure of the heart muscle to pump blood to the body adequately. In other words, heart failure is not a heart attack, and it is not death from heart disease, which its name might seem to imply. Heart failure is a condition... Read more about this term 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].
On the sciencedaily.com website, there is a report of a conference paper presented by Dr. Suzanne Hagler of the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Headache Society in San Diego. Dr. Hagler reported that teens and young adults with migraine headaches are often found to have mild deficiencies of Coenzyme Q10, vitamin D, and the B vitamin riboflavin .
Mild Coenzyme Q10 deficiencies in young people
Interesting, I thought. Coenzyme Q10 is produced in all of the body’s cells except the red blood cells. The body’s production of Coenzyme Q10 rises until a person reaches his or her 20s, and, from then on, the bio-synthesis of Coenzyme Q10 declines steadily. By age 65, senior citizens may be producing only half as much Coenzyme Q10 as they did when there were 25 years of age. Hence the need for a good Coenzyme Q10 supplement.
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