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Coenzyme Q10 Benefits

Updated on October 28, 2012


Healthy Origins Ubiquinol 100mg 150 Softgels
Healthy Origins Ubiquinol 100mg 150 Softgels

Ubiquinol is the reduced-form of Co-Q10 that is more readily absorbed.


Coenzyme Q10 is heart-healthy and helps prevent brain aging. It is found in almost every cell in your body, but is particularly abundant in the heart and liver. That is why it is called ubiquinone and ubiquinol (more on that later) where the root "ubi" means "everywhere".

It has been shown in animal studies to increase lifespan.[4]

Coenzyme Q10 is a vitamin-like substance that plays important roles in many organs and chemical reactions. Coenzyme Q10 provides energy to cells and supports the mitochondria. The mitochondria are tiny organelles in cells which is analogous to being the power-plants of the cells. Mitochondria generates cellular energy in the form of ATP.

At around middle age, your body is not able to generate as much Coenzyme Q10. Hence the greater importance in Coenzyme Q10 supplementation as we get older.

Coenzyme Q10 is Heart Healthy

Your heart muscle cells has the most mitochrondria and Co-Q10 is helpful in certain heart diseases. Coenzyme Q10 may help reduce blood pressure.

Your body gets coenzyme Q10 is obtained a little bit from foods and mostly through biosynthesis -- meaning your body makes it. This is a multi-step process that requires many raw ingredients including amino acids phenylalanine and tyrosine. Your body can not make coenzyme Q10 if you are deficient in vitamin C, B6, B12, or folate.

Other Co-Q10 benefits that help protect against heart disease includes [5] ...

  • lowering elevated serum cholesterol
  • raises HDL good cholesterol
  • lower blood pressure
  • decreases arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat)
  • protects heart from damage due to heart attack and heart surgery

The Heart Revolution writes ...

"Ubiquinone, or coenzyme Q10, is an important antioxidant for prevention and treatment of heart disease. It's made in our bodies but it can also be obtained from the dietary fats and oils of fish, meat, and nuts. Some people even take coenzyme Q10 as a supplement to counteract oxidative stress." [page 164]

People Taking Statins Should Take Co-Q10

Certain medications (such as statins and blood thinners) and certain chronic illnesses can decrease the body's ability to synthesize Co-Q10.

The authors of the book "The Real Vitamin and Mineral Book" believes that if you are taking statin drug, you need to supplement your body with Co-Q10 to replace its depletion caused by the drug.[5]

Dr. Andrew Weil mentions similarly in one of his questions and answers on his site in which he provides the recommended amount to take for people on statin.

Dr. Kilmer McCully writes ...

"Coenzyme Q10, made in the body, derived from meats and nuts, and available in supplement form at health stores, should definitely be taken by anyone on statin drugs to make sure the heart is not affected in this way." [page 130 of The Heart Revolution]

Cholesterol plays an important role in the human body and is vital component of cell membranes. So the body needs cholesterol for cell reproduction and cell repair.

Dr. Mercola is not a big fan of statins and says that in some cases, statins can lower cholesteroal too much leading to adverse effects. Exercise and limiting refined carbohydrates such as bread and pasta are additional ways to lower cholesterol. Dr. Mercola also mentions (in video on right) that statin lower Co-Q10 and that people on statins should supplement with it. And that if you are over 40, you may do better taking the ubiquinol form of Co-Q10.

Coenzyme Q10 versus Ubiquinol

There are two forms of Coenzyme Q10: the oxidized form known as ubiquinone and the reduced form known as ubiquinol. In supplement stores, if you just see it labeled as just "Coenzyme Q10", then it is likely to be ubiquinone. Dietary supplements of ubiquinone does not get absorbed well due to its hydrophobicity and large molecular weight.

If you think that Co-Q10 is expensive (and some say it is compared to other vitamins and supplements), ubiquinol is even more expensive. Ubiquinol is considered by some to be more superior. So if it is ubiquinol, it is often labeled as such.

Your body can converts ubiquinone into the reduced form ubiquinol. However, it may not be able to make this conversion as well after age 40. In which case, the more reduced-form ubiquinol would be recommended. Ubiquinol has antioxidant properties and is said to have greater enhanced bioavailability than ubiquinone.

However, others such as Chris Kresser in a podcast mentioned that he doesn't see much difference between unbiquinol and ubiquinone. But that he recommend taking it with fat and he like the Kaneka Q-absorb formulation with the proliposome lipid-soluble delivery system.

Coenzyme Q10 is neuroprotective

Dr. Hyman writes on page 249 of The UltraMind Solution ...

"... many "neuroprotective" strategies are under investigation and have shown promise, including lipoic acid, acetyl-L-carnitine, coenzyme Q10, and NADH. All help repair the damage to your mitochondria -- damage from any source -- and protect your neurons. The result is improved brain function."

Dr. Andrew Weil mentions on The Doctor Oz Show that besides blueberries and black cod (sablefish) which has good omega-3 fatty acids, some supplements that he takes everyday for brain health are Co-Q10 and acetyl-L-carnitine (see video). Acetyl-L-Carnitine turns on a growth factor in the brain.

In addition, Dr. Weil says that Co-Q10 is also good for the heart (see video). It a natural substance in the body that increases the use of oxygen in muscle and heart cells. He mentions that you should get the soft-gel form and take it with a meal with fats.

Mitochondria.  Co-Q10 supports the mitochondria of the cell.
Mitochondria. Co-Q10 supports the mitochondria of the cell. | Source

Recall that mitochondria are the power-plants of the cells. They are found in virtually every cell in your body. Depending on the type of cells, there may be higher or lower number of mitochondria in each cell. However, mitochondria is particularly abundant in high-energy organs such as the muscles, the heart, and the brain.

Mitochondria dysfunction and oxidative stress are contributing factors to neuro-degeneration. Scientists have demonstrated that free radical nitric oxide can damage the mitochondrial protein Drp1 via a chemical reaction known as S-nitrosylation. Beta amyloid that is often found in Alzheimer's brain can generate such nitric oxide. [reference]

Paper titled "Coenzyme Q10 administration increases brain mitochondrial concentrations and exerts neuroprotective effects" notes of rat study where oral administration of Co-Q10 resulted in increased concentration of mitchonria in the brain.

Article in says that ...

"CoQ10 (as it is sometimes called) has also been shown to protect the brain against neurological degeneration."

Dr. Oz book "You: The Owners Manual" lists the following as important brain nutrients which include Coenzyme Q10...

Co-Q10 for Energy

Because Co-Q10 supports the mitochondria of the cells and it is the mitochondria that generates cellular energy, Co-Q10 is one supplement that can boost energy.

The book The Chemistry of Calm says that Co-Q10 works synergistically with alpha-lipoic acid and acetyle L-carnitine to address issues with low energy. [page 116]


Not all supplements are suitable for all individuals and may have interactions with other medicines or drugs. Check with your doctor first, especially is you are pregnant, about to have surgery, breast feeding, have high or low blood pressure. Coenzyme-Q10/Ubiquinol may affect blood pressure and should be stopped at least two weeks prior to any surgery or childbirth. Coenzyme-Q10/Ubiquinol may have interactions with cancer medications, blood pressure medications, blood-clotting medications, and Warfarin (Coumadin).

Author is not a medical professional and may receive revenues from display ads and links within article.


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