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What is CoQ10 and what are the benefits?

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What is CoQ10?

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a molecule produced naturally by the body that helps enzymes carry out their normal bodily functions. CoQ10 is an antioxidant and is important for the growth and maintenance of cells. The highest levels are found in the liver, kidneys and heart, and these levels decrease over time with age. Adequate levels of this coenzyme are important, which is why lower levels of CoQ10 can be associated with poor health conditions such as heart disease.

CoQ10 benefits

Several studies have been carried out which suggest that there may be some health benefits to taking CoQ10 supplements, read on to find out more about the possible benefits of CoQ10.

CoQ10 may help with heart health

Some studies show that those with congestive heart failure mayhave low levels of CoQ10. According to the BMJ (British Medical Journal), studies suggest that taking supplemental CoQ10 may be a useful option in effective management of heart failure, with other sources pointing to a reduction in blood pressure after taking CoQ10. This suggests it may aid people recovering from heart surgery. We suggest that you speak to your doctor before taking CoQ10 especially if you have had heart surgery or are already taking medication to support a heart condition.

CoQ10 may slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease

According to Parkinson’s News Today, the antioxidants found in CoQ10 can contribute to clearing out the toxic molecules created by these neural disorders, which can help improve symptoms. However, it must be taken in high doses for an effect to be seen in those in the early stages of these disorders. Featured in this article is an exciting study conducted on rats shows that CoQ10, when injected directly into the area of the brain effected by Parkinson’s disease can help slow down its progression. This suggests that CoQ10 may be used on humans more widely in the future as a treatment method.

CoQ10 may improve fertility

Studies have suggested that CoQ10 treatment in women increased fertilisation rate and the number of high-quality embryos. Larger studies need to be carried out to conclusively suggest it can improve fertility, but a link has been drawn. If you’re trying to get pregnant or looking for ways to support your fertility then speak to your doctor, or explore our advice and fertility products.

CoQ10 may reduce headaches and increase energy levels

According to The Migraine Trust, there is some evidence to suggest that taking CoQ10 supplements may help reduce headaches and increase energy levels. It’s believed the link to this lies in CoQ10’s production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is an important substance related to energy production and muscle contraction. One study indicates that regular CoQ10 consumption can improve migraine symptoms after four weeks.

If you experience migraines, it’s important you speak to your doctor to rule out any underlying causes and establish the best treatment plan for you.

CoQ10 may help maintain youthful skin

CoQ10 has taken the cosmetic industry by storm. A number of products containing CoQ10 have been found to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, owing to its antioxidant and collagen-producing properties. Taking CoQ10 supplements has also been shown to improve skin smoothness in trials.

Shop our range of CoQ10 skincare products today from brands such as Nivea and Olay.

CoQ10 can improve sports and exercise performance

Several studies have suggested that taking CoQ10 supplements over a period of weeks can improve lung capacity, exercise performance and recovery in athletes. These findings are not conclusive but do suggest an exciting link. We suggest speaking to a pharmacist for more advice before trying CoQ10 supplements and always read the label.

CoQ10 may help with diabetes

More studies need to be carried out, but the Diabetes Action Research and Education Foundation have suggested that CoQ10 may help to reduce blood sugar levels which could be beneficial for those living with diabetes. At LloydsPharmacy we have a number of blood monitoring products available for those living with diabetes, as well as advice to help you manage your condition.

If you have diabetes, it’s important you speak to your doctor to establish the best treatment plan for you.

CoQ10 may protect lung health

Poor lung functioning is sometimes associated with low levels of CoQ10. Studies suggest CoQ10 supplements may help increase the sufficiency of cells which may lead to an improvement in lung health. If you have a lung or respiratory condition, we recommend talking to your doctor or a pharmacist before taking supplements.

How much CoQ10 should I take

A typical dose of CoQ10 is usually around 100 milligrams per day, however this dose may not be suitable for everyone. You will need to discuss with your GP before starting any form of supplement to establish the correct dose for you, and remember that supplements should never replace a healthy balanced diet.

CoQ10 supplements

Sufficient amounts of CoQ10 can usually be found in a varied and balanced diet. However, additional sources can be provided through oral sprays, capsules, drinks or tablets.  Make sure to always read the label before taking these supplements, our pharmacists are always happy to answer any questions you might have as well.

CoQ10 food sources

The main sources of CoQ10 can be found in:

  • Oily fish (such as tuna or salmon)
  • Offal (such as liver)
  • Wholegrains

Read our healthy eating guide to find out how you can add these to your diet and make sure you’re eating enough. If you don’t eat meat you may find it more difficult to get CoQ10 naturally through your diet.

CoQ10 side effects

Here is a list of some potential side effects of taking this supplement:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea (feeling sick)
  • Diarrhoea
  • Headaches
  • Inability to fall asleep
  • Tiredness
  • Light sensitivity
  • Dizziness

If you experience any side effects after taking CoQ10, be sure to inform your GP.

References

www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements-coenzyme-q10/art-20362602
www.parkinsonsnewstoday.com/2020/06/19/coq10-injected-into-the-brain-eases-parkinsons-symptoms-in-rats/
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5870379/
www.migrainetrust.org/living-with-migraine/treatments/supplements-and-herbs/
www.pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27548886/
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2315638/
www.diabetesaction.org/article-coq10
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3178961/
www.patient.info/doctor/coenzyme-q10