In the realm of health and wellness, the spotlight often falls on various vitamins and minerals, but one lesser-known yet crucial compound deserves attention – Coenzyme Q10, also known as ubiquinone (because of its ubiquitous presence in organisms). It's chemical name is 2,3-dimethoxy-5-methyl-6-multiprenyl-1,4-benzoquinone (did you try to pronounce that? We hope so). This naturally occurring antioxidant is present in every cell of the human body, playing a vital role in energy production, antioxidant defense, and overall cellular health.
Forms of CoQ10 Supplements
Supplemental CoQ10 comes in various forms however the two primary forms available in the market are ubiquinone and ubiquinol.
Ubiquinone: This is the oxidized form of CoQ10 and is the more stable of the two and one we use in our formulations. Once ingested, the body converts ubiquinone into ubiquinol, the active antioxidant form. It has demonstrated efficacy in supporting overall health.
Ubiquinol: This is the reduced, active form of CoQ10. Ubiquinol is absorbed by the body without the need for conversion but is less stable. This is why we prefer to allow the body to perform the process of oxidation by using ubiquinone.
Functions in the Human Body
COQ10 it’s not like your everyday mitochondria worker and that's because it's the only component that is not anchored to the inner mitochondrial membrane allowing a certain degree of freedom. It’s also very stable making it a tough antioxidant too (similar structure to vitamin E). It can handle some unstable molecules and rustle them into place with ease. The areas in the body with the highest energy requirements have the highest CoQ10 which makes sense given its role, so for example, the heart and liver.
Energy Production: One of the primary functions of CoQ10 is its involvement in the electron transport chain, a critical step in cellular respiration. This process takes place in the mitochondria, where CoQ10 facilitates the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the energy currency of the cell.
Cellular Health: CoQ10 plays a crucial role in maintaining the structural integrity of cell membranes, supporting overall cellular health and function. CoQ10 is transported in the bloodstream attached to VLDL and LDL cholesterol, with a plasma half-life of about 30 hours. CoQ10 is very efficient at inhibiting lipid peroxidation in LDL cholesterol.
Dietary Sources of CoQ10
While CoQ10 is naturally synthesized in the body, it can also be obtained through dietary sources. Foods rich in CoQ10 include:
Fish: Salmon, mackerel, and sardines are excellent sources of CoQ10, providing not only this essential compound but also trace minerals.
Meat: Organ meats such as liver and kidney contain high concentrations of CoQ10, making them valuable dietary sources.
Whole Grains: Whole grains like wheat germ and whole wheat bread contain CoQ10, contributing to its intake through a balanced diet.
Fruits and Vegetables: While the levels are lower compared to animal products, fruits like oranges and strawberries, as well as vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower, contribute to overall CoQ10 intake.
Benefits of CoQ10 Supplementation
Cardiovascular Health: CoQ10 is often touted for its cardiovascular benefits. Studies suggest that supplementation may help lower blood pressure, reduce oxidative stress, and improve overall heart function.
Anti-Aging Properties: As we age, the body's natural production of CoQ10 declines. Supplementing with CoQ10 has been linked to improved skin health, including reduced wrinkles and enhanced skin hydration.
Mitochondrial Support: CoQ10's pivotal role in energy production makes it essential for mitochondrial health. Supplementation may aid in addressing conditions related to mitochondrial dysfunction, promoting overall energy and vitality.
Cognitive Function: Some research suggests that CoQ10 supplementation may have neuroprotective effects, potentially slowing cognitive decline and supporting brain health.
Exercise Performance: Athletes and fitness enthusiasts often turn to CoQ10 supplements to enhance endurance and reduce exercise-induced muscle damage, though more research is needed in this area.
Fertility: COQ10 plays an important role in egg development and sperm health making it a top choice for those wanting to conceive.
Why We Need More as We Age
As we age, the body's ability to produce and utilize CoQ10 diminishes. This decline is particularly pronounced after the age of 30. Several factors contribute to this reduction, including lifestyle factors, medication use, and the natural aging process itself.
Medication Interactions: Some medications, such as statins used to lower cholesterol, can deplete CoQ10 levels in the body. Supplementing with CoQ10 is often recommended for individuals on such medications to counteract this depletion.
Increased Oxidative Stress: Aging is associated with an increase in oxidative stress, leading to higher levels of free radicals. CoQ10, as a potent antioxidant, becomes even more crucial in neutralizing these free radicals and protecting cells from damage.
Decline in Mitochondrial Function: Mitochondrial dysfunction is a hallmark of aging. CoQ10's role in the mitochondria becomes increasingly vital to support cellular energy production and overall cellular health.
Coenzyme Q10, with its diverse functions and numerous benefits, emerges as a vital player in the maintenance of optimal health. Whether obtained through dietary sources or supplementation, CoQ10 is an invaluable compound that supports cardiovascular health, mitigates the effects of aging, and enhances overall well-being. As our bodies age and face increasing challenges, ensuring an adequate supply of CoQ10 becomes a proactive step towards promoting longevity and vitality. Embracing the power of CoQ10 may be a key to unlocking the secrets of aging gracefully and maintaining robust health throughout the journey of life. Our mitochondrial support complex contains 100mg of COQ10 along with a similar compound known as PQQ.
Cardiovascular mortality and N-terminal-proBNP reduced after combined selenium and coenzyme Q10 supplementation: a 5-year prospective randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial among elderly Swedish citizens.
Coenzyme Q10 effects on creatine kinase activity and mood in geriatric bipolar depression.
Reversal of mitochondrial dysfunction by coenzyme Q10 supplement improves endothelial function in patients with ischaemic left ventricular systolic dysfunction: a randomized controlled trial. Atherosclerosis.
Does coenzyme Q10 supplementation improve fertility outcomes in women undergoing assisted reproductive technology procedures? A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized-controlled trials.