CoQ10: Supplement Mitochondrial Energy Production For Your Heart, Brain, And More

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The discovery of compounds like Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), has garnered attention for its potential health benefits. Found naturally in the body and certain foods, CoQ10 supplements are believed to support heart health, boost energy levels, and contribute to skin health. But what exactly are the factual benefits of CoQ10 supplementation, and how can it impact our overall health? In this article, we’ll explore the scientific evidence surrounding CoQ10 and its advantages for our health.

What is CoQ10?

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), also known as ubiquinone, is a naturally occurring compound found in every cell of the human body. It plays a crucial role in the production of energy within cells, particularly in the mitochondria, often referred to as the cell’s powerhouse. CoQ10 functions as an essential cofactor in the process of oxidative phosphorylation, which generates adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the primary source of cellular energy.

Beyond its role in energy production, CoQ10 also serves as a potent antioxidant, helping to neutralize harmful free radicals and protect cells from oxidative damage. Additionally, CoQ10 is involved in maintaining the structural integrity of cell membranes and supporting cellular processes related to gene expression and cell signaling.

While the body can produce CoQ10 on its own, levels of this compound may decline with age or due to certain medical conditions. As such, supplementation with CoQ10 has gained popularity as a means of supporting overall health. In the following sections, we’ll explore the specific benefits of CoQ10 supplementation and its applications in promoting various aspects of health.

What are the Benefits of CoQ10?

  • Heart Failure: In heart failure, CoQ10 can make a critical difference in the ability of the mitochondria in the cells of the heart to make energy. Researchers reviewing the studies have concluded, “studies provide moderate-quality evidence that coenzyme Q10 probably reduces all-cause mortality and hospitalization for heart failure.” [PMC8092430]
  • Supports Heart Health: CoQ10 is vital for heart health due to its role in maintaining the energy production in heart muscle cells. It has shown potential in improving heart function, possibly reducing the symptoms of heart failure. Additionally, its antioxidant properties may help prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, a key risk factor for heart disease. PMC8151454
    • Improves Endothelial Function: Researchers found that “CoQ10 add-on metformin therapy improves endothelial dysfunction and inflammatory changes in patients with T2DM”. [PMC6943859]
  • Boosts Energy: CoQ10 plays a pivotal role in the mitochondrial electron transport chain, a crucial process in cellular energy production. By facilitating the conversion of oxygen and nutrients into ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the primary energy currency of cells, CoQ10 helps sustain higher energy levels. This function is especially important in high-energy demanding organs like the heart, liver, and kidneys. Studies suggest that taking CoQ10 supplements may boost energy levels and help prevent age-related health problems. PMID: 26526835
  • Protects Cells from Damage: As a powerful antioxidant, CoQ10 helps neutralize harmful free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can cause oxidative stress and cellular damage. This protection is crucial for maintaining cell integrity and function, potentially reducing the risk of chronic diseases. PMC8150987
  • Supports Brain Health: The brain is highly susceptible to oxidative stress due to its high fatty acid content and oxygen demand. CoQ10’s antioxidant properties may protect brain cells from oxidative damage and reduce the action of harmful compounds that can lead to brain diseases. Some research suggests it might also help in reducing the occurrence of migraines. PMC8156424
  • Improves Skin Health: On the skin, CoQ10 can help combat signs of aging. It protects the skin from oxidative damage, which can lead to wrinkles and fine lines. Some studies show that topical application of CoQ10 improves skin texture and may protect against photoaging – damage caused by long-term exposure to the sun. PMID: 19096122
  • May Help with Diabetes: CoQ10 might have a beneficial role in managing diabetes. Some research suggests it can help improve insulin sensitivity and control blood sugar levels. By mitigating oxidative stress, which plays a role in the development of insulin resistance, CoQ10 supplementation could be a supportive therapy in diabetes management. PMC6165589
  • Enhances Athletic Performance: By improving mitochondrial function and energy production, CoQ10 can enhance physical performance. Studies suggest that supplementation can help reduce fatigue during exercise and improve muscle recovery. This can be particularly beneficial for endurance athletes or those engaged in intense physical activity. PMC9104583
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) & Post-COVID Fatigue: A study of 207 people with CFS showed that 200 mg of CoQ10 along with NADH (a form of Vitamin B3) improved energy and sleep. [PMCID: PMC8399248]

CoQ10 in Heart Failure

Heart failure is a condition in which the heart muscle doesn’t pump blood as well as it should, leading to symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breath, and fluid retention. At the cellular level, heart failure is often linked to decreased energy production in heart cells, which rely heavily on ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the primary energy molecule in cells.

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) plays a critical role in the production of ATP within the mitochondria, where the bulk of ATP is generated. In people with heart failure, levels of CoQ10 can be lower, which may reduce the heart’s ability to produce the energy needed to pump effectively. Supplementing with CoQ10 can support heart function by enhancing mitochondrial energy production, thereby improving the heart muscle’s capacity to pump blood more efficiently. This support is especially crucial in managing heart failure, where energy demands are high, and the heart’s ability to meet these demands is compromised.

Food Sources of CoQ10

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a naturally occurring substance found in various foods, but the quantities present in dietary sources are relatively small compared to supplements. For instance, meat, particularly organ meats like heart, liver, and kidney, contains higher levels of CoQ10, with amounts ranging from 2 to 6 milligrams per serving. Fatty fish, such as salmon and tuna, nuts, and some oils, also contain CoQ10 but in lesser amounts.

In contrast, CoQ10 supplements provide a much more concentrated dose, typically ranging from 100 to 300 milligrams per capsule, which is often necessary to reach the levels considered therapeutic for addressing conditions like heart disease or mitochondrial disorders. This stark difference in quantities makes supplements a practical choice for those specifically looking to increase their CoQ10 intake for health reasons, as achieving these levels through food alone would be challenging and impractical for most people.

Ubiquinone Vs Ubiquinol: Some Myths About Absorption

Marketers of CoQ10 supplements have misread the bioavailability research.

CoQ10 exists within the body as ubiquinone and ubiquinol which are continually inter-converted within cells as part of the normal function of CoQ10. In the blood, CoQ10 is transported in ubiquinol form bound to LDL no matter what the initial dietary form was taken. Ubiquinol/one is unstable by nature. Absorption was initially thought to be better with the ubiquinol form of CQ10, so some manufacturers of reduced CoQ10 supplements have claimed that the reduced form of CoQ10 is more readily absorbed, even though more recent absorption and bio-availability studies questioned that. The most critical factor is the crystals must be dispersed from their manufactured crystalline form or they will be less absorbable by 75%. [PMC7278738]

Researchers believe that intestinal absorption of CoQ10 is highly variable among persons regardless of the form of CoQ10 (ubiquinone/ubiquinol) administered. The body is limited in how much CoQ10 it can absorb at a given time, and thus if an individual takes several 100 mg capsules together, some of the CoQ10 tends to be wasted. [PMID:16873950] There is also some evidence that liposomal forms of CoQ10 are better absorbed. [PMID: 31475897]

What is MitoQ?

MitoQ is a specialized form of Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) with a unique chemical structure that allows it to precisely target and accumulate within the mitochondria, the energy-producing powerhouses within our cells. Its structure enables it to bypass cellular barriers, making it highly effective at neutralizing harmful reactive oxygen species (ROS) within the mitochondria and shielding them from oxidative damage. This targeted approach sets MitoQ apart, potentially offering superior benefits for mitochondrial health and cellular function.

How Does It Concentrate In The Mitochondria?

MitoQ’s ability to specifically target and accumulate within mitochondria is attributed to its unique chemical structure, which combines a lipophilic (fat-attracting) component with a positively charged component. This combination allows MitoQ to overcome the typical barriers that hinder the entry of other molecules into mitochondria.

The chemical structure of MitoQ involves attaching a lipophilic tail to Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). This lipophilic tail makes MitoQ attracted to the lipid (fat) components of cell membranes, including the mitochondrial membrane. Additionally, MitoQ carries a positive charge due to the addition of a quinone group. This positive charge helps MitoQ to be selectively taken up by the negatively charged mitochondrial membrane. This precise targeting allows MitoQ to exert its antioxidant and protective effects directly at the site of mitochondrial function, helping to safeguard these vital organelles from oxidative damage and support overall cellular health.

How Does The Dose of MitoQ Compare To the CoQ10 Dose?

Generally, MitoQ is considered to be more potent and effective at lower doses compared to traditional CoQ10 due to its targeted delivery to the mitochondria. Typically, MitoQ supplements are taken in lower doses than traditional CoQ10. A common guideline is that 10 mg of MitoQ is roughly equivalent to 100 mg of CoQ10 in terms of antioxidant and mitochondrial support. However, it’s important to note that these equivalency estimates can be quite approximate and may vary based on individual responses.

Are CoQ10 Supplements Safe?

CoQ10 supplements are safe for most people when taken as directed. Numerous clinical studies have reported minimal side effects associated with CoQ10 supplementation. Additionally, CoQ10 is a naturally occurring compound in the body and is found in many foods, making it unlikely to cause adverse reactions when consumed in appropriate amounts. Overall, CoQ10 supplements offer a safe and well-tolerated option for supporting various aspects of health and energy.

Medications That Interact With CQ10

  • Statins (e.g., atorvastatin, simvastatin): Statins may reduce CoQ10 levels in the body, as they inhibit the same pathway that CoQ10 is synthesized through. Supplementing with CoQ10 may help offset this reduction and relieve statin-induced muscle pain or weakness.
  • Blood Pressure Medications (e.g., beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors): Some blood pressure medications may lower CoQ10 levels, potentially leading to fatigue or weakness. CoQ10 supplementation may help maintain optimal CoQ10 levels and support cardiovascular health.
  • Warfarin (Coumadin): CoQ10 may interact with warfarin, a blood thinner, by increasing the risk of bleeding. It is essential to monitor closely for signs of excessive bleeding if taking CoQ10 alongside warfarin, and dosage adjustments may be necessary.
  • Diabetes Medications (e.g., insulin, sulfonylureas): CoQ10 supplementation may enhance the effects of certain diabetes medications, potentially leading to lower blood sugar levels. Regular monitoring of blood sugar levels is recommended when taking CoQ10 alongside diabetes medications to prevent hypoglycemia.
  • Chemotherapy Drugs: Some chemotherapy drugs may deplete CoQ10 levels in the body, leading to fatigue or weakness. Supplementing with CoQ10 may help mitigate these side effects and support overall health during cancer treatment.

Supplement Interactions with CoQ10

  • Vitamin E: Vitamin E may enhance the antioxidant effects of CoQ10, possibly providing synergistic benefits for overall health and cellular protection.
  • Vitamin C: Similar to vitamin E, vitamin C may work synergistically with CoQ10 to enhance antioxidant activity and support immune function.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Omega-3 fatty acids, commonly found in fish oil supplements, may complement CoQ10 by supporting cardiovascular health and reducing inflammation.
  • L-Carnitine: L-Carnitine may enhance the uptake of CoQ10 into cells, possibly increasing its effectiveness in supporting energy production and overall cellular function.
  • Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA): Alpha-lipoic acid may work synergistically with CoQ10 to enhance antioxidant activity and support cellular energy production.
  • Magnesium: Magnesium may support CoQ10 synthesis and improve its bioavailability, possibly enhancing its effectiveness in supporting heart health and energy production.
  • Selenium: Selenium may enhance the antioxidant effects of CoQ10 and support its role in protecting cells from oxidative damage.
  • Resveratrol: Resveratrol, a compound found in red wine and certain supplements, may complement CoQ10 by supporting cardiovascular health and reducing oxidative stress.
  • Ginkgo Biloba: Ginkgo biloba extract may enhance blood flow and support cognitive function, working synergistically with CoQ10 to promote brain health.

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CoQ10 -100 mg by Protocol For Life

  • Cardiovascular Support*
  • Promotes Cellular Energy Production*

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a vitamin-like compound present in almost all cells, where it is necessary for cellular energy production.* CoQ10 concentrations are highest in the heart, where chemical energy availability is critical. CoQ10 also functions as a powerful fat-soluble free radical scavenger within cell membranes and vascular structures.*

Suggested Use:
Take 1 softgel 1 to 2 times daily with food, or as directed by your healthcare practitioner.

Amount Per 1 Softgel Serving
Vitamin E … 30IU
(from Mixed Tocopherols)(soy-free)
Coenzyme Q10 … 100mg

CoQ10– 200 mg by Jarrow

Cholesterol Antioxidant*Promotes Cellular Energy Production*

  • Original CoQ10 Capsules
  • Physician Supported Cardiovascular Protection*
  • Enhances levels depleted by statin use*
  • Natural Trans Configuration Only
  • Pharmaceutical Grade Kaneka Q10®

Co-Q10, an important antioxidant found in high concentration in human heart and liver, is part of the cells’ electron transport system, needed for ATP (i.e., energy) production within the cells.* Jarrow Formulas® Co-Q10 restores Co-Q10 levels reduced by the use of statins.*

Jarrow Formulas® Co-Q10 is derived from fermentation and consists only of the natural trans configuration, the same as is synthesized in the human body.

Jarrow Formulas® supports clinical research on Coenzyme Q10.

Suggested Use:
Take 1 capsule up to 3 times per day with food or as directed by your qualified healthcare professional.

Serving Size: One Capsule

Amount Per Serving
Coenzyme Q10 … 200mg

MitoQ pure by MitoQ

MitoQ Pure is a world-first antioxidant molecule that directly combats cellular stress for boosted energy, faster recovery, and better aging every day. Great health starts in your cells.

MitoQ Pure’s only active ingredient is MitoQ. That’s on purpose. Each capsule contains 5mg of our world-first antioxidant molecule. Suggested Use: Take 2 capsules before food.

Serving Size: 2 capsules

Amount Per Serving
MitoQ® … 10mg (as mitoquinol mesylate)


For Heart Failure: High Dose CoQ10

This 600 mg dose may be most appropriate for people with congestive heart failure.

CoQ10 600 mg by Protocol For Life

Coenzyme Q10, also called ubiquinone, is present in almost all cells, where it is necessary for mitochondrial energy production. The body’s highest concentrations of Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) are found in the heart, where constant chemical energy availability is imperative. In addition to its benefits for cardiac function through energy production, CoQ10 also functions as a powerful fat soluble antioxidant, providing protection against free radical attack for vascular structures, as well as for other tissues.

 As a dietary supplement, take 1 softgel 1 to 2 times daily with meals.  For intensive use, take 180-1200 mg daily under the supervision of a health care practitioner.

Amount Per 1 Softgel Serving
Vitamin E … 30IU (as d-alpha Tocopherol)
Zinc … 4mg (from Zinc Oxide)
Coenzyme Q10 … 600mg (CoQ10)
Soy Lecithin … 50mg

Food First!

Although this article discusses supplements in detail, don’t forget that we are absolutely committed to the “Food First” approach to nutrition. When it comes to your health, the totality of your eating habits far surpasses the impact of individual nutrients or any single supplement you consume. Even though this article doesn’t delve into the broader picture of your overall diet, it’s crucial to keep this element at the forefront of our minds. Your food needs to provide all the vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals to nourish your body systems down to the cellular level.

Food choices, rather than supplements, are the most critical factors for a healthy gut microbiome. These trillions of tiny inhabitants in your gut affect your brain waves; they orchestrate your immune system. They possess the power to create molecules that can switch genes on or off and are even capable of synthesizing neurotransmitters. Opting for organic foods and steering clear of plastic packaging (including those labeled BPA-free) is a smart move to limit toxin exposure. The sum of all these parts leads to a powerful conclusion: the ultimate key to your health lies in the quality and balance of the food you consume. Supplements are secondary.

To Sum It Up

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) supplements offer a range of health benefits, including supporting heart health, boosting energy levels, enhancing skin health, and reducing oxidative stress. These supplements may also play a role in promoting cognitive function, supporting immune health, and mitigating the side effects of certain medications. Incorporating CoQ10 into your daily regimen may help support overall health and energy making it a valuable addition to your health routine.

This Article is Not a Substitute for Medical Advice

Dietary supplements are not designed to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The Supplement Sciences website seeks to provide comprehensive access to the most relevant supplement information along with convenient online ordering. We do not provide medical advice and cannot guarantee that every product suggested is completely without risk. Since each person is unique in their health history and medication use, it is important to discuss supplements with your personal physician. Specifically, pregnant women and individuals being treated for cancer or liver or kidney problems must consult their physician about every nutritional supplement they plan to take. People taking medications for the treatment of HIV or with a history of organ transplant must not take supplements without consulting with their physician.

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