One’s pursuit for good health and happy living seems elusive today due to the world’s modern and demanding ways of living. But amidst such predicament, people continue to strive and do their best in whatever path they pursue. They do this, or say, must to such in order to survive. To win every battle that lies ahead, one must not be weary and be on alert mode to get ahead of the game. Having a healthy body gives us an edge to perform efficiently and most importantly enjoy the fruit our labor. Hence, supplements are available to help us do the things expected from us.
One of the most well-known and well-loved supplement is the COQ10 supplement.
What is CoQ10?
- Coenzyme Q10 or COQ10 is a fat-soluble compound that is synthesized by the body that can be found from the food we eat. It plays a vital role in mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation and the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) (1).
- Endogenous synthesis and dietary intake provide sufficient coenzyme Q10 to prevent deficiency in healthy people, although coenzyme Q10 concentrations in tissues decline with age (2).
- Coenzyme Q10 is a natural antioxidant synthesized by the body, found in many foods, and available as a supplement that comes in two forms: ubiquinol, the active antioxidant form, and ubiquinone, the oxidized form, which the body partially converts to ubiquinol (3).
- The coenzyme Q10 helps convert food into energy and is found in almost every cell in the body (4).
Hence, this supplement appears to be a very essential one that plays multi-role in our body. And supplementation of COQ10 may be a good idea since it increases coenzyme Q10 concentrations in plasma and lipoproteins since coenzyme Q10 concentrations in tissues decline with age (5).
Benefits of CoQ10
1. Keeps high blood pressure in check
An evidence reveals that CoQ10 supplements can lower blood pressure (6). Some experts believe hypertensive patients may have a deficiency of the enzyme and several clinical studies of CoQ10 suggest that it has beneficial effect in lowering blood pressure, although these studies suggest a period of treatment lasting 4 to 12 weeks that is necessary before a benefit is evident (7). In addition, a majority of research shows that taking coenzyme Q-10 by itself or along with other medications for treating high blood pressure helps lower blood pressure but one small study suggests that taking coenzyme Q-10 by mouth may not lower blood pressure in people that also have a condition called metabolic syndrome (8).
2. Manages cholesterol level
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), a nutrient produced by the body and used for cellular energy, is often touted as being vital if you’re taking statin drugs to lower cholesterol wherein the proponents of CoQ10 say that it helps reduce muscle pain, which can be a side effect of statin use, and is an important energy source that the body needs (9). The powerful antioxidant found in coenzyme Q10 can lower bad LDL cholesterol’s ability to stick to the blood vessels of mice in an animal study but scientists say that more research is needed to confirm whether it can work in humans (10).
3. Help lower blood sugar
Oxidative stress results to cell damage and can lead to metabolic diseases like diabetes (11). Abnormal mitochondrial function has also been linked to insulin resistance (12). This supplement improves insulin sensitivity and regulates blood sugar levels and might also help increase CoQ10 concentrations in the blood by up to three times in people with diabetes who typically show low levels of this compound (13). According to one study among people with type 2 diabetes who supplement with CoQ10 for 12 weeks, this supplement significantly reduced fasting blood sugar levels and hemoglobin A1C, which is the average of blood sugar levels over the past two to three months (14). CoQ10 might help prevent diabetes by stimulating the breakdown of fats and reducing the accumulation of fat cells that could lead to obesity or type 2 diabetes (15).
4. Improves heart health
Many people use coenzyme Q-10 for treating heart and blood vessel conditions such as congestive heart failure (CHF), chest pain (angina), high blood pressure, and heart problems. Some recent studies show that CoQ10 supplements can significantly increase HDL-C and ApoA1 levels, even in people taking statins, and may help reduce risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) (16). Its supplementation also lowers levels of inflammatory biomarkers shown to be risk factors for CVD, such as high-sensitivity C-reactive protein while low CoQ10 levels have been associated with greater tissue damage to the heart during a heart attack and the brain during stroke (17). One clinical study found that people who took daily CoQ10 supplements within 3 days of a heart attack were less likely to have subsequent heart attacks and chest pain were also less likely to die of heart disease than those who did not take the supplements (18).
5. Enhances the immune system function
Thymus gland manages immune function and can begin to decrease in size. This decrease in size has been linked to immune dysfunction and has been closely correlated to a decline in CoQ10 production and so when CoQ10 is returned to optimal levels, the thymus appears to become more youthful in appearance and function (19). In one study on elderly subjects, a deficiency of coenzyme Q10 was linked to a decrease in the function of natural killer cells critical in the fight against viral infection and cancer (20). In addition, other studies demonstrated that coenzyme Q10 was important in the function of both T-cells and macrophages—two important classes of immune cell (21). Hence, coenzyme Q10 plays a very important role in a healthy immune response and when it is deficient, it can have catastrophic effects on health and vitality (22).
6. Increases sperm count and motility
Coenzyme Q10 is a common antioxidant that may help men with sperm problem increase their chances of conceiving a child. A new study shows that daily supplementation with coenzyme Q10 can help improve sperm movement in infertile men (23). Decreased sperm motility, the percentage of sperm that move forward normally, is a common cause of male infertility (24). Researchers say coenzyme Q10 is known to be active in the testes and is an antioxidant that plays an important role in forming the membranes and other structures within cells by fighting the effects of oxidative stress (25).
These and may be more are the benefits of the CoQ10 supplement. This is, indeed, a wonder supplement that you might want to try. However, some side effects and interactions with medications must be watched out for. CoQ10 appears to be safe with no major side effects, except occasional stomach upset (26). Also, there is still no research done to support fully the safety of this supplement for women who are pregnant and breastfeeding, so they should avoid taking this supplement until further studies will be conducted (27).
Since CoQ10 may lower blood sugar, people with diabetes should talk with their provider before taking it to avoid the risk of low blood sugar (28). Moreover, coenzyme Q10 supplements may decrease the anticoagulant efficacy of warfarin while the use of cholesterol-lowering medications called statins can decrease circulating coenzyme Q10 concentrations (29). You should take dietary supplements such as CoQ10 only under the supervision of a knowledgeable health care provider.