The global health supplement market is worth over $100 billion[1].

 

But unfortunately for customers, many dietary supplements are ineffective and may even have adverse health effects[2].

 

Coenzyme Q10 is an exception, however.

 

This remarkable, research-backed supplement packs a one-two punch: it helps your body produce energy, and its antioxidant effects can enhance cellular health.

 

Not only that, CoQ10 very safe and easy to tolerate, even at high doses[3].

 

In this article, you’ll learn what CoQ10 does for your body, how it works, 4 health benefits of coenzyme Q10, and the best way to take it.

 

Keep reading to learn what coenzyme Q10 is, and the difference between ubiquinone and ubiquinol!

 

What is Coenzyme Q10?

Coenzyme Q10 is a naturally occurring antioxidant and energy molecule in humans and other animals.

 

Ubiquinone is another name for coenzyme Q10. But for simplicity’s sake we’ll call it coenzyme Q10 or CoQ10 for the rest of the article.

 

This fat-soluble enzyme has a similar structure to a vitamin.

 

In your body, it acts to scavenge free radicals (also called radical oxidative species), and also plays helps produce energy at the cellular level.

What is Ubiquinol?

Ubiquinol is the same molecule as coenzyme Q10, but with the addition of two electrons.

 

In scientific terms, ubiquinol is the reduced version of CoQ10.

 

When taken as a supplement, ubiquinol is approximately twice as effective at raising your serum coenzyme Q10 levels[4].

 

However, that doesn’t necessarily make ubiquinol “better” than CoQ10. Because it’s also more expensive, many people find that they can take an adequate dose of coenzyme Q10 at a lower price than ubiquinol.

What Happens When You Take Coenzyme Q10?

When you take CoQ10, most of the effects are due to either increased energy production or antioxidant effects.

 

In some cases, the health benefits are derived from a combination of both mechanisms.

 

Read on to learn how these effects work at the cellular level.

Antioxidant Effects

We’ve all heard about antioxidants, but a lot of people can’t quite describe what they actually do.

 

Scientifically speaking, oxidation means the loss of an electron. And in living tissues and many other substances, oxidation causes damage.

 

For example, when you cut an apple and it turns brown, that’s oxidation. The surrounding oxygen immediately begins to capture electrons from the fruit, causing the apple to visibly deteriorate.

 

And when your body loses electrons due to free radicals, damage may occur to tissues. Free radicals, also called reactive oxidative species (ROS) are a natural byproduct of energy production, but are high in people with health problems

 

This type of tissue damage is called oxidative stress.

 

With that in mind, antioxidants can enhance your health in two key ways.

 

Firstly, they can reduce the amount of free radicals in your body by donating electrons directly to the radical compounds. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals in this way, preventing damage.

 

And second, they can also prevent oxidative damage by contributing additional electrons to tissues. In essence, when your body has more electrons to give up, free radicals can’t harm tissues.

Electron Transport Chain Effects

Your body contains approximately 100 quadrillion mitochondria. These microscopic organelles produce all of the energy your body uses.

 

They work by moving protons from food you eat through a series of chemical and electrical reactions. This process strips electrons that are saved for energy in the form of ATP (adenosine triphosphate).

 

This shuttling process is the electron transport chain (ETC), and it’s vital for energy production in your body.

 

The third subunit of the ECT, also called coenzyme Q or subunit III, plays an essential role in the ECT.

 

And when you take coenzyme Q10, it enhances the function of subunit III, which can increase energy production in your body[5].

 

As you’ll see shortly, the electron transport chain effects of CoQ10 are useful for a number of diseases.

4 Health Benefits of Coenzyme Q10 Supplements

#1: Fights Fatigue

The fatigue-fighting properties of coenzyme Q10 occur because it boosts energy production at the cellular level.

 

One randomized controlled trial found that 150 milligrams per day of ubiquinol (equivalent to approximately 300 milligrams per day of coenzyme Q10) improved multiple symptoms in people with CFS[6].

 

Therefore, if you have chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), CoQ10 is worth a try.

 

Evidence also suggests it can help with fatigue in healthy people, people with fibromyalgia, statin-related fatigue, and fatigue associated with multiple sclerosis or heart failure[7].

#2: Improves Heart Health

The energy boosting as well as antioxidant effects create several cardiovascular benefits of coenzyme Q10.

 

One study found that it can reduce the viscosity of blood, which may help prevent blood clots that could lead to stroke and other vascular problems[8].

 

There’s also strong evidence that coenzyme Q10 can improve your heart health by preventing arrhythmia, increasing ejection fraction, lowering blood pressure, and improving cholesterol levels[9].

#3: Boosts Brain Function

Naturally occurring coenzyme Q10 in your body is essential for healthy brain function.

 

But during aging or in certain diseases, your natural CoQ10 levels can drop. As a result, some people experience brain fog or cognitive decline.

 

For example, coenzyme Q10 blood levels in children with learning disorders can predict their level of impairment[10].

 

Multiple animal studies suggest CoQ10 is beneficial for memory, cognition, and problem-solving[11][12][13].

 

Human trials for improving cognition are limited, but it’s currently being investigated to enhance memory and cognition in healthy senior citizens[14].

#4: May Reverse Cellular Damage

Coenzyme Q10 can reverse the cellular damage that occur during aging and disease states.

 

Because aging and most diseases involve oxidative damage to cells as well as decreased energy production, CoQ10 is exceptionally good at addressing these issues.

 

According to scientific studies,  CoQ10 may be useful for healing[15] :

  • Hearing loss[16]
  • Damaged cells and tissues
  • Diabetes
  • Inflammation
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Cancer

 

In the next section, you’ll learn the best way to take coenzyme Q10 to achieve these benefits.

How to Take Coenzyme Q10

Take coenzyme Q10 with a meal. Because it’s fat-soluble, it absorbs better with food.

 

If you’ve never taken CoQ10 before, start with 200-300 milligrams twice per day or as recommended by a doctor.

 

Or if you have the ubiquinol form, you can take 100 milligrams twice daily for a similar effect.

 

You can also experiment with higher doses. According to studies, doses of up to 1200-1400 milligrams per day of coenzyme Q10 are safe and well-tolerated[3].

 

However, most people don’t need that much to derive benefits.

 

Want a customized health plan that incorporates CoQ10? Call the offices of Dr. Thad Gala at Complete Care today to schedule a consultation.

9pt Image credit: Marco Verch Flickr CC-BY-2.0