This article is mostly going to focus on decoding what the human studies are saying about CoQ10 and how this squares up with the anecdotal experiences of Biohackers online. For more of my own personal experiences, thoughts, and comparisons please see the written and video reviews in the sidebar.
You can find +350 human studies specific to CoQ10 in the past 5 years on Pubmed. An essential chemical ingredient to the Mitochondrial process that powers our bodies on a cellular level with the production of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP).
Why Supplement CoQ10?
as we enter our thirties , we’re naturally not producing as much CoQ10 as we did in our younger years, and our production continues to decline as the years pass us by . Even though this is a natural phenomenon, and while some would question why we would want to mess with Nature, I’m pretty sure few would willingly suffer through the host of degenerative diseases associated with dysfunctional mitochondria brought about by CoQ10 deficiency. I’m sure most readers would like to live their lives — whether long or short — in the best health possible . Thus , preventive use of CoQ10 could possibly start in our late thirties .(2467–2472)
An Italian study of patients with mitochondrial disease measured the bioenergetic activity in their brain and skeletal muscles, and demonstrated the positive impact of CoQ10 therapy. After six months of CoQ10 therapy (at only 150 milligrams daily), brain bioenergetics returned to normal in all patients, and skeletal muscle energetics improved significantly. A number of other studies have also confirmed the value of CoQ10 in mitochondrial disease. Typically, it’s prescribed in combination with other nutrients, in what’s often called the “mitochondrial cocktail,” and a knowledgeable and progressive doctor might recommend some or all of these supplements: creatine monohydrate, vitamin C, vitamin E, alpha-lipoic acid, thiamine (vitamin B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), L — carnitine, or L-arginine. Others include D — ribose, PQQ, magnesium, and medium — chain fatty acids (1792–1799)
With mitochondrial dysfunction , fibroblasts are less capable of producing the energy required to carry out their essential skin — related functions of manufacturing collagen and elastin . Scientists believe that this energy deficit in fibroblast cells contributes to the visible signs of skin aging , which might be why so many antiaging creams and concoctions now contain CoQ10 (1867–1869)
Ubiquinol vs Ubiquinone
There are two types of it, the original form of CoQ10 synthesized was Ubiquinone, however, it is difficult to absorb. Ubiquinol is more bioavailable and found to be 40% more effective than Ubiquinone in reducing aging in animal studies and 90% more effective in human fatigue studies. Therefore we recommend the Ubiquinol form of the supplement.
It is sometimes criticized for its high price although it has an impressive preponderance of human trials in comparison to other drugs and supplements that benefit the same conditions.
Longevity & Anti-Aging Properties
There is some debate as to whether it is a net positive or negative for longevity which seems to stem from a study of CoQ10 in worms wherein it acted as pro-oxidative and slightly decreased the lifespans of worms. Although a rat study found the opposite effect.
The Godfather of antiaging, Ray Kurzweil includes CoQ10 in his daily regimen of supplements and recommends it in his book Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever.
For boosting antioxidant levels and for general health, I take a comprehensive vitamin-and-mineral combination, alpha lipoic acid, coenzyme Q10, grapeseed extract…
a 2008 Perdue University study of 10 human subjects, showed it decreased harmful age-related arNOX levels:
…arNOX activity was reduced between 25 and 30% by a 3 x 60 mg daily dose Coenzyme Q10 supplementation. Inhibition was the result of Coenzyme Q10 presence.
The consensus is that it is lacking a decent study showing a clear effect on human longevity.
Originally it was discovered by the University of Wisconsin in a series of experiments isolating it from beef hearts in 1957 by Dr. Fred Crane.
To quote The Miracle Nutrient Coenzyme Q10 by Emile G. Bliznakov MD
That CoQ plays a crucial role in aging is beyond doubt. The same applies to CoQ’s role in the immune system. And there is a vital connection between the immune system and aging that cannot be ignored.
Athletic Performance Enhancer
Three double-blind human studies demonstrated an anti-fatigue effect in exercise with 300 milligrams CoQ10 daily, specifically in long periods of exercise, after 210 minutes
To quote one self-monitor:
Within about 3 weeks i went from walking at a normal pace for several blocks to running the same distance with no problems. My cardio has been something that has always let me down. As a martial artist it really helped with my cardio endurance immensely. going from being worn out from a warm up to wanting to do ALOT more training at the end of every class.
UBIQUINONE-10 AS AN ANTIOXIDANT published in 2008 in the Journal of Food Biochemistry
This study was done to determine if the oxidized form of coenzyme Q, ubiquinone, was capable of acting as an antioxidant. In this study, it is shown that it can function in this manner.
To quote a 2009 Belgian study of 35 patients suffering from treatment-resistant depression:
The results show that lower CoQ10 plays a role in the pathophysiology of depression
Common sense would suggest that something which empowers the mitochondrial process would be profoundly helpful to those suffering from low energy levels. A 2005 human study of 13 patients confirmed this:
Subjects with unexplained chronic fatigue of unknown etiology for at least 6 months were recruited… The percentage of users who found a treatment helpful was greatest for coenzyme Q10 [was] 69%…
Given the dietary problems western society faces at large, it is no surprise that CoQ10 deficiency is rampant and associated with the following diseases
- Heart attack related fibromyalgia (post-myocardial infarction)
- Prader-Willi syndrome
- Male infertility
- Peyronie’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
According to a 2009 paper published in the Journal of Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment:
(CoQ10) is an essential cofactor in the mitochondrial respiratory chain… Evidence for mitochondrial dysfunction in neurodegenerative disorders derives from animal models, studies of mitochondria from patients, identification of genetic defects in patients with neurodegenerative disease, and measurements of markers of oxidative stress.
Supplemental CoQ10 can be extracted from food sources, but it is prohibitively expensive to do so and the majority of CoQ10 supplements are synthesized from bacteria in a laboratory:
Now there’s a catch to CoQ10, it’s not very bioavailable, in fact, some forms of it are pretty useless.
Unfortunately , absorption of this rather large fat — soluble molecule is challenging , which is a main factor limiting its therapeutic use . Research has shown that oil — based formulations ( typically softgels ) are much better absorbed , and water — dispersible liposomal or pre — emulsified formulations are even better . Ubiquinol ( reduced CoQ10 ) seems to offer much better absorption than ubiquinone ( oxidized CoQ10 ) , and water — soluble ( solubilized ) ubiquinol is even better absorbed. (2364–2368)
Three vendors that meet fit these high standards for absorption are…
CoQ10 comes from a variety of animal sources:
- Pork and Chicken Heart
- extra virgin Olive Oil
Head Strong by Dave Asprey makes the case that optimizing your Mitochondria is the ultimate performance-enhancing Biohack because your Mitochondria are the fundamental energy generation mechanism that underlies everything else. From the book:
You make this antioxidant in your mitochondrial membranes. Its job is to carry electrons into the mitochondrial inner membrane, where it is oxidized to create energy and protect against oxidative stress. In other words, it helps your mitochondria produce energy more efficiently while protecting against the oxidative stress that energy production causes. (p. 259)
This book makes the case that optimizing your Mitochondria is the ultimate performance enhancing Biohack because your…
(CoQ10) and creatine are promising agents for neuroprotection in neurodegenerative diseases via their effects on improving mitochondrial function and cellular bioenergetics and their properties as antioxidants.
- L-Carnitine, a synergistic intermediate with CoQ10 in mitochondrial function.
- The CoQ10 process in the body requires Tyrosine and Vitamin B6.
- Alpha-Lipoic Acid
- Grape Seed Extract
CoQ10 is likely one of the safest nutrients to take with pharmaceutical drugs , which is great because the people who need it the most are likely on a cocktail of different drugs . In fact , there are certain instances where CoQ10 is highly recommended with certain drugs , but other situations where some caution must be exercised . (2433–2436)
The main drug that is of concern when supplementing with CoQ10 is warfarin , a blood thinner .(2440)
CoQ10 vs Hypertension
CoQ10’s effectiveness in lowering blood pressure has been known since the 1970s . It does so in a number of ways . First , as an antioxidant , it can neutralize peroxynitrite free radicals . Peroxynitrites are generated from an important molecule called nitric oxide . The benefit of nitric oxide is that it can help dilate ( relax ) blood vessels and reduce the platelet “ stickiness , ” which ultimately lowers blood pressure . In fact , many medical therapies for blood pressure , both conventional and traditional , target the nitric oxide pathways . Unfortunately , as nothing is 100 percent good and nothing is 100 percent bad , an overabundance of nitric oxide results in peroxynitrites that can damage the blood vessels ( both the endothelial cells that line the blood vessels and the smooth muscle cells surrounding them ) . Thankfully , in normal healthy individuals , over 90 percent of the circulating CoQ10 in the blood is found as ubiquinol , the powerful antioxidant form that can help minimize the damage and maximize the benefits of nitric oxide to the cardiovascular system . (2390–2398)
Heart Protection during Cardiac Surgery
Reperfusion injury is one of the main side effects of these life — saving surgical procedures . However , as a powerful antioxidant , CoQ10 minimizes the damage caused by these superoxide free radicals , thereby improving the results of heart surgery and speeding recovery .(2416–2418)
CoQ10 as Adjunct to Statin Therapy
Statins are a class of prescription drugs that are widely used to treat high cholesterol levels . In fact , they are among the most overprescribed drugs in the world . This highly controversial group of drugs lower cholesterol by blocking the key enzyme ( HMG CoA reductase ) in our bodies ’ own production of cholesterol . This enzyme is targeted because approximately 80 percent of the cholesterol in our bodies is made internally , not obtained from diet . This same enzyme , however , is involved in making CoQ10 ( and also vitamin D , all the sex hormones , and so on ) ; many of the adverse side effects associated with statins ( such as muscle pain and muscle damage ) are theorized to be caused by an “ induced deficiency ” of CoQ10 . (2419–2424)
the easiest approach ( although the least individualized ) is to work in typical dosage ranges . For example , cardiovascular conditions are typically dosed between 200 and 600 milligrams per day . Doses for neurological conditions range from 600 to 3,000 milligrams per day ( no , that’s not a typo , and even that high dose was perfectly safe ) . However , large daily doses should be divided up into multiple smaller doses taken throughout the day and , unless a solubilized formulation is used , should be taken with food . Once a therapeutic dose is achieved , it must be maintained or the symptoms will return . This is because our bodies won’t miraculously start producing copious amounts of CoQ10 again , as we did in our teenage years . In fact , there’s a possibility that as time goes on , the dosage might need to be increased (2493–2498)
Originally published at www.limitlessmindset.com.