Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a natural antioxidant and co-enzyme that it is essential for the release of energy in all our cells. Coenzyme Q10 is incorporated into cells' mitochondria (our ‘energy generators’) where it facilitates and regulates the oxidation of fats and sugars into energy.
Older humans have been found to have over 50% less CoQ10 compared to young adults. As about 95% of cellular energy is produced in the mitochondria in the presence of CoEnzyme Q10, this finding makes CoQ10 one of the most important nutrients for people over 30. A growing body of scientific research links a deficiency of CoQ10 to age-related mitochondrial disorders.
The total body content of CoQ has been estimated to be 0.5-1.5 gramsi. About 50% of the CoQ in the body is found within the mitochondria, where it helps enzymes convert dietary nutrients (in the presence of oxygen) into ATP (energy) and the other 50% all over the body, particularly in the heart, liver kidney, and pancreas.
Coenzyme Q10 is also a very synergistic antioxidant, ie it enhances the function and extends the useful life of other antioxidants such as polyphenols, carotenes and Vitamin C. Our ability to synthesize CoEnzyme Q10 naturally from food declines with age and if we are ill. CoEnzyme Q10 levels have been shown to be well below normal in patients with diseases such as heart disease or cancer. The positive news is that supplementation with coenzyme Q10 has been shown in multiple clinical studies to be very effective for the treatment of both cancer and heart related conditions such as heart failure, cardiac arrhythmias and high blood pressure.
Being our body’s universal « energy enzyme » Coenzyme Q10’s documented health and longevity benefits are huge – and include:
Generation of energy in every cell and organ of the body;
Maintenance of skin collagen and hydration levels
Prevention and treatment of a wide variety of cardiovascular diseases, including congestive heart failure, angina, cardiac arrhythmias, high blood pressure and atherosclerosis;
Prevention and treatment of cancers incl. breast, lung, colon, prostate and others;
Treatment of muscular dystrophy;
Prevention and treatment of periodontal (gum) disease;
Protection against the side effects of toxic drugs;
Antioxidant protection from the cellular damage of excessive free radical activity;
Slowing of various aspects of the aging process leading to the extension of mean lifespan (in animal studies)ii
CoQ is very effective at working with other antioxidants to protect our skin from free radical damage and boosting cellular regenerationiii. Research indicates that CoQ10 may prevent skin cancer and photoaging,ivguard against prostate and breast cancersv, support healthy blood sugar levels in diabetics,viand avert endothelial dysfunction and vascular diseasevii.
Scientists around the globe also report additional novel uses of CoQ10, such as helping to slow the progression of Parkinson’s diseaseviii, preventing crippling migraine headachesix,supporting immune healthx, guarding against periodontal diseasexi, preserving healthy visionxii, and boosting male fertilityxiii.
iii Horowitz S. Coenzyme Q10: one antioxidant, many promising implications. Altern Comp Therapies. 2003 Jun:111-6.
iv Rusciani L, Proietti I, Rusciani A, et al. Low plasma coenzyme Q10 levels as an independent prognostic factor for melanoma progression. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2006 Feb;54(2):234-41
v Quiles JL, Farquharson AJ, Ramirez-Tortosa MC, et al. Coenzyme Q differentially modulates phospholipid hydroperoxide glutathione peroxidase gene expression and free radicals production in malignant and non-malignant prostate cells. Biofactors. 2003;18(1-4):265-70.
vi Hodgson JM, Watts GF, Playford DA, Burke V, Croft KD. Coenzyme Q10 improves blood pressure and glycaemic control in a controlled trial in subjects with type 2 diabetes. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2002 Nov;56(11):1137-42.
vii Langsjoen H, Langsjoen P, Langsjoen P, Willis R, Folkers K. Usefulness of coenzyme Q10 in clinical cardiology: a long-term study. Mol Aspects Med. 1994;15 Suppls165-75.
viii Shults CW, Oakes D, Kieburtz K, et al. Effects of coenzyme Q10 in early Parkinson disease: evidence of slowing of the functional decline. Arch Neurol. 2002 Oct;59(10):1541-50.
ix Sandor PS, Di Clemente L, Coppola G, et al. Efficacy of coenzyme Q10 in migraine prophylaxis: a randomized controlled trial. Neurology. 2005 Feb 22;64(4):713-5.
x Rosenfeldt FL, Mijch A, McCrystal G, et al. Skeletal myopathy associated with nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor therapy: potential benefit of coenzyme Q10 therapy. Int J STD AIDS. 2005 Dec;16(12):827-9.
xi [No authors listed] Coenzyme Q10. Altern Med Rev. 1998 Feb;3(1):58-61.
xii Blasi MA, Bovina C, Carella G, et al. Does coenzyme Q10 play a role in opposing oxidative stress in patients with age-related macular degeneration? Opthalmologica. 2001 Jan-Feb;215(1):51-4.
xiii [No authors listed] Coenzyme Q10. Altern Med Rev. 1998 Feb;3(1):58-61.