What Is Coenzyme Q10?
Coenzyme Q10 also called Ubiquinol is a natural antioxidant found in all cells of the body. It plays an important role in metabolism. It is a coenzyme, meaning it helps enzymes work more effectively.
CoQ10 is stored in the powerhouse of the cell, the mitochondria. Mitochondria are responsible for producing energy. This coenzyme plays a major role in mitochondrial bioenergetics. It helps transport electrons in the mitochondria to facilitate the process of producing ATP, which is the main source of energy for cells.
As an antioxidant, CoQ10 protects the cells from oxidative damage by neutralizing free radicals. Oxidative damage can lead to inflammation, tissue damage, and cell death.
CoQ10 levels are higher in the brain, heart, kidneys, muscle, and liver. These are the organs that have many mitochondria as they need a lot of energy for functioning.
CoQ10 is found in two forms, ubiquinol, and ubiquinone. Ubiquinol is the active form and performs various functions like reducing oxidative damage. Ubiquinone is the oxidized version.
Effects of Low CoQ10 Levels
CoQ10 is naturally produced in the body. The levels of CoQ10 decrease with age. Several disease conditions also interfere with the levels of CoQ10. In these cases, people usually take CoQ10 in the form of supplements.
People with CoQ10 deficiency experience physical fatigue and muscle weakness, even while doing less intense physical activities like walking. It can also lead to mental fatigue, affect your memory and ability to concentrate.
CoQ10 deficiency limits the body’s ability to fight against oxidative damage and this may lead to faster progression of health conditions linked to oxidative stress.
Lower levels of CoQ10 have been linked to nutrient deficiencies, heart diseases in patients who take statin drugs to lower their cholesterol levels, and other disease conditions.
Coenzyme Q10 and Exercise
Research shows that CoQ10 supplementation can improve power, recovery after exercise, reduce oxidative damage, and increase energy.
Training can lead to oxidative stress in the muscles. CoQ10, being an antioxidant, can decrease oxidative stress in cells and improve mitochondrial function to provide energy and fuel your workout.
Studies show that CoQ10 can increase exercise performance by reducing fatigue and increasing power.
Genetics of Coenzyme Q10 Levels
Mutations in genes involved in CoQ10 production are found to interfere with levels of CoQ10.
The NQO1 gene encodes for the NAPDH quinone dehydrogenase 1 protein. This protein is involved in the reduction of Coenzyme Q10. Variations in this gene affect levels of CoQ10.
The CoQ10 levels of TC carriers were found to be significantly lower than CC carriers.
|TC||Lower CoQ10 levels than CC genotype|
|TT||Lower levels of CoQ10|
Non-Genetic Factors That Affect CoQ10 Levels
Age: Production of CoQ10 naturally in the body decreases with age.
Health conditions: Certain nutritional deficiencies, heart disease, brain disorders, cancer, diabetes are associated with low levels of CoQ10.
Statin medications: Statin is commonly used to treat high cholesterol in people with heart diseases. Statins block the production of CoQ10 and can lead to CoQ10 deficiency.
CoQ10 is naturally produced in the body. People with certain disease conditions take supplements to help with treatment. Athletes generally take CoQ10 supplements to improve their performance. CoQ10 can be supplemented through diet or medication.
Dietary Sources of CoQ10
Food sources of CoQ10 include
- Organ meats
- Fatty fish
- Seafood like shrimps and scallops
- Vegetables like parsley, soybeans, cauliflower, spinach, and broccoli
- Nuts and seeds like pistachios and sesame seeds
- Soybean oil, canola oil
- Legumes like lentils and peanuts
- Fruits like oranges and strawberries
Coenzyme Q10 Supplements
There are various CoQ10 supplements available in the market in the form of tablets. CoQ10 supplements are generally safe and have minimal side effects.
Make sure to talk to a healthcare professional about the correct dosage and possible side effects of taking these supplements. CoQ10 supplements may interfere with the effectiveness of certain other drugs like blood thinners, blood pressure medications, and thyroid medication that are used to treat health conditions.
- Coenzyme Q10 is a natural antioxidant found in all cells of the body. It plays an important role in energy production processes that take place in the mitochondria. It also protects cells from oxidative damage.
- Lower levels of CoQ10 are linked to certain disease conditions and can lead to muscle weakness, increased physical and mental fatigue. Lower levels also limit the body’s ability to fight oxidative damage.
- CoQ10 supplementation is found to improve power, recovery after exercise, reduce oxidative damage, and increase energy levels. It can protect cells from oxidative stress that increases on training.
- Carriers of the TC genotype of SNP rs1800566 found in the NQO1 gene were found to have significantly lower CoQ10 levels than the CC genotype.
- Production of CoQ10 decreases with age. Statin medications and health conditions like heart disease, cancer, brain disorders, and diabetes are associated with lower levels of CoQ10.
- CoQ10 can be supplemented through diet or medication. CoQ10 rich food sources include organ meat, fatty fish, soybeans, broccoli, oranges, lentils, peanuts, sesame seeds, and pistachios. Talk to a healthcare professional to find the correct dosage of supplement suited for your body and to avoid potential side effects.