“It’s worth its weight in gold.” This is a phrase I recently heard a health practitioner use to describe the significance of CoQ10. Although this was the first time I had heard CoQ10 descried this way, I and probably many others would agree with this statement. We all “know” CoQ10 is beneficial to our health, and that in itself is likely enough to convince us to supplement with CoQ10. But this got me thinking… although we have probably all heard CoQ10 is a highly valuable (and even raved about) supplement, what is CoQ10? What are the benefits of CoQ10? And what makes it so valuable to our health?
In today’s article about “What is CoQ10?, we go over the following:
- What is CoQ10?
- What are the Benefits of CoQ10?
- Protects Cells From Oxidative Stress
- Reduces Migraines
- Reduces Signs of Skin Aging
- Improve Heart Health
- Increases Energy Levels
- Maintain Brain Health
- Protect Lung Health
- Improve Insulin Sensitivity
- Relieve Muscle Soreness
- Where Can You Find CoQ10?
CoQ10 stands for coenzyme Q10, but a similar form of it is often referred to as ubiquinol. This is an apt name for it as CoQ10 is found naturally throughout the body in cell membranes, especially in the mitochondrial membranes. It’s most abundant in organs that have larger energy demands, such as the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, spleen, pancreas, and adrenal glands.
As a nutrient, CoQ10 is essential for the proper functioning of cells with one of its main jobs being to aid the production of energy. Nonetheless, like many things, the availability of CoQ10 can decrease as we age. In fact, CoQ10 levels peak at around age 21 and then decrease over time, lowering by as much as 65% by the time we hit 80 years old. 1
As a result of aging and other external factors, such as stress, medications, disease, and nutritional deficiencies, decreased levels of CoQ10 in the body can speed up cellular aging. Often defined as the progressive deterioration of the resistance to stress and cellular damages, cellular aging causes a slow yet steady loss of cellular functions which eventually result in cell death. This in turn can cause a variety of problems, including difficulties with energy levels, brain function, and muscle function, just to name a few.
Luckily, ensuring you get enough CoQ10 in the diet has been linked to a variety of health benefits, such as reduced migraines, improved brain health, and even slowing the aging process.
While a balanced diet can help maintain good CoQ10 levels, many experts encourage the use of supplements for healthy individuals over 50, for people with particular health conditions, as well as for those taking certain medications.
Here’s a look at some of the science behind the health effects of CoQ10.
CoQ10 is one of the strongest lipid- (i.e., fat-) soluble antioxidants available, protecting your body’s cells from harmful oxidative stress. CoQ10 not only protects cells from oxidative stress, but it promotes cellular energy production, which supports the cell’s health and survival.
CoQ10 has been shown to improve mitochondrial function and help decrease the inflammation that may occur during migraines. 2 This is thought to be because of CoQ10’s antioxidant properties. Similarly, a lack of cell energy in the brain may be a cause of migraines, and CoQ10 may be able to give a boost to those cells to help prevent future migraines. 3
CoQ10, when applied to the skin, may reduce damage from internal and external factors, such as UV rays, by increasing energy production in skin cells and promoting antioxidant protection. 4
Research has shown that CoQ10 supplements may help support heart health in more than one way. In a recent review study, researchers investigated the effect of CoQ10 on C-reactive protein (a compound that increases inflammation, thus increasing the risk for heart-related problems). They found that CoQ10 may decrease C-reactive protein levels and support healthy inflammation. 5
Further research has also shown that CoQ10 may improve blood vessel health by about 42%, potentially reducing the risk of heart disease by up to 13%. 6 CoQ10 even seems to help those suffering from heart failure by supporting heart function, increasing ATP production, and limiting oxidative damage. 7
In the body, CoQ10 stimulates the cell’s powerhouse, the mitochondria, to produce more energy in the form of ATP. More specifically, it speeds up the process called the electron transport chain, which produces 95% of the cell’s ATP. As a result, CoQ10 may even help support exercise performance by decreasing oxidative stress in the cells and improving mitochondrial functions. 8
Our brains are very susceptible to oxidative damage. This oxidative damage enhances the production of harmful compounds that could affect memory, cognition, and physical functions. Fortunately, CoQ10 may reduce these harmful compounds, possibly slowing the progression of brain-related diseases. 9,10
Low levels of CoQ10 may result in lung disease due to increased oxidative damage in the lungs and poor antioxidant protection. 11 Another study demonstrated that supplementing with CoQ10 may help support healthy inflammation in individuals who had asthma. This study found it may also help decrease the need for medications. 12
Oxidative stress can induce cell damage and abnormal mitochondrial function. This can result in metabolic diseases. CoQ10 has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and help regulate blood sugar levels. 13
CoQ10 is important for muscle function. Unfortunately, some medications like statins can drastically decrease levels of CoQ10 in the body and thus lead to a variety of muscle-related symptoms or myopathies. This is because the body produces cholesterol on the same pathway that it produces other essential compounds and chemicals, including CoQ10.
Because statins are designed to block this pathway, they have also been shown to block the production of CoQ10. Some studies show CoQ10 supplementation may decrease muscle pain associated with statin treatment. 14
CoQ10 is a valuable nutrient that can impact your health. Even more, research supports its high notoriety amongst those looking to combat cellular aging and feel their best. When it comes to increasing certain nutrients in your body, there are two options: diet or supplementation. The first place to look, of course, is through diet. CoQ10 is found naturally in a wide variety of foods, including:
- Organ meats like heart, liver, and kidney
- Some muscle meats, such as pork, beef, and chicken
- Fatty fish, including trout, herring, mackerel, and sardines
- Vegetables, such as spinach, cauliflower, and broccoli
- Fruit like oranges and strawberries
- Legumes, including soybeans, lentils, and peanuts
- Nuts and seeds, such as sesame seeds and pistachios
- Oils, like soybean and canola oil
Although food is always a great option for getting the nutrients you need, it can sometimes be difficult to consistently consume adequate amounts of CoQ10-rich foods. This is especially true if some of these foods aren’t your favorites (or those you avoid at all costs—I’m looking at you liver 🤢).
But with all those benefits in mind, we don’t want to miss out on everything CoQ10 has to offer. Conveniently, supplements prove to be a smart and easy option. So, the next question is how do I choose the right type of supplement?
When it comes to choosing a supplement, you want unparalleled antioxidant and mitochondrial support. With Ageless Body, that is precisely the name of the game. Ageless Body contains CoQ10, CurcuWIN® turmeric extract, Sensoril® Ashwagandha, Setria® glutathione, and vitamin C, to help ensure you have a strong cast of antioxidants on your side to combat cellular aging and support mitochondria health and function.