By Dr. Brittany Schmidt
What is CoQ10?
CoQ10 is a co-enzyme that is necessary for every living cell. This vitamin-like substance is fat soluble and naturally occurring in the body, but can also be found in foods like meats, seafood’s, and leafy green vegetables. CoQ10 is a cofactor for many mechanisms and processes in the body, acts as an antioxidant, and plays an important role in the production of ATP (the energy produced by cells). In other words, our cells need CoQ10 to survive and thrive!
Should I take a CoQ10 supplement?
As mentioned above, CoQ10 is naturally occurring and can be added in by diet. However, certain populations may need more CoQ10 and would benefit from supplementation. For most, CoQ10 has is well tolerated and has very few side effects. If you have heart health concerns such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol, CoQ10 could be especially beneficial for you! It is also important to note that some medications can deplete CoQ10. Statin drugs in particular have a side effect of muscle aches, taking a CoQ10 supplement may combat some of the statin-related aches and pains! Ask your provider if a CoQ10 supplement is right for you.
What does the research say about CoQ10?
Research for CoQ10 is abundant! Here are a few recent studies that highlight what the literature is saying about CoQ10:
• Oral coenzyme Q10 supplementation in patients with migraine: Effects on clinical features and inflammatory markers.
This 2018 study is a double-blind randomized placebo controlled clinical trial that showed CoQ10, when compared to placebo, had a significant effect on the frequency, duration, and severity of migraines (Dahri, et al 2018).
• The Effects of Coenzyme Q10 Supplementation on Glucose Metabolism, Lipid Profiles, Inflammation, and Oxidative Stress in Patients With Diabetic Nephropathy: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial.
This was another strong and recent study that showed the benefit of CoQ10! A favorable effect on glucose metabolism was found for those with diabetic neuropathy who were given CoQ10 supplementation for 12-weeks (Gholnari, et al 2017).
• The effects of coenzyme Q10 supplementation on gene expression related to insulin, lipid and inflammation in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a chronic condition where numerous and small cysts grow on the ovary. This painful condition affects many women; scientists have speculated that there could be a link between insulin balance and PCOS. This placebo-controlled study looked at the effect of CoQ10 on gene expression related to insulin, lipids, and inflammation. The results showed that gene expression was improved after 12-weeks of CoQ10 supplementation, potentially improving PCOS or symptoms related to PCOS (Rahmani, et al 2017).
• Effects of coenzyme q10 supplementation on serum lipoproteins, plasma fibrinogen, and blood pressure in patients with hyperlipidemia and myocardial infarction.
One of the first things I learned in chiropractic school during physiology class was that CoQ10 is an excellent supplement for reducing high blood pressure. CoQ10 can improve heart health by not just reducing blood pressure, but studies have found that it may affect lipids (cholesterol) and reduce frequent heart attacks. This randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled study found that after 12-weeks of CoQ10 supplementation, blood pressure and HDL (the good cholesterol) were improved, as well as LDL/HDL ratios and Total Cholesterol/HDL ratios in patients with high cholesterol and heart attacks. The study concluded that these findings suggest that CoQ10 might decrease the risk of frequent heart attacks (Mohseni, et al 2014).
Effects of Coenzyme Q10 Supplementation on Serum Lipoproteins, Plasma Fibrinogen, and Blood Pressure in Patients With Hyperlipidemia and Myocardial Infarction
Mona Mohseni-Mohamad Vafa-Seyed Hajimiresmail-Mitra Zarrati-Abbas Forushani-Vida Bitarafan-Farzad Shidfar – Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal – 2014
Oral coenzyme Q10 supplementation in patients with migraine: Effects on clinical features and inflammatory markers
Monireh Dahri-Ali Tarighat-Esfanjani-Mohammad Asghari-Jafarabadi-Mazyar Hashemilar – Nutritional Neuroscience – 2018
The Effects of Coenzyme Q10 Supplementation on Glucose Metabolism, Lipid Profiles, Inflammation, and Oxidative Stress in Patients With Diabetic Nephropathy: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial
Tahereh Gholnari-Esmat Aghadavod-Alireza Soleimani-Gholam Hamidi-Nasrin Sharifi-Zatollah Asemi – Journal of the American College of Nutrition – 2017
The effects of coenzyme Q10 supplementation on gene expression related to insulin, lipid and inflammation in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome
Elham Rahmani-Mehri Jamilian-Mansooreh Samimi-Maryam Mehrizi-Esmat Aghadavod-Elmira Akbari-Omid Tamtaji-Zatollah Asemi – Gynecological Endocrinology – 2017
Reilley J. Coenzyme Q10. www.ucdenver.edu. http://www.ucdenver.edu/academics/colleges/pharmacy/currentstudents/OnCampusPharmDStudents/ExperientialProgram/Documents/nutr_monographs/Monograph-coenzyme_q10.pdf. Published May 14, 2003. Accessed January 8, 2018.