Who should take CoQ10 and Why?
I've had numerous conversations about this subject in the past few weeks so I thought it would be a good time to do an article on it.
First of all, What is CoQ10?It stands for Coenzyme Q10. It is a compound that is naturally made inside the body. It performs various functions in the body including providing antioxidant support for blood vessels, helping to utilize energy in the cells, protecting cell membranes from damage and assisting in the production of other useful compounds and enzyme functions.
It protects the blood vessels
Coenzyme Q10 is one of the main fat soluble antioxidants that the body uses to protect the blood vessels from damage. Oxidative damage cause body tissues to break down and attracts inflammation. When this happens in the blood vessel walls it leads to arteriosclerosis, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease. CoQ10 protects the blood vessels from oxidative damage.
It helps make energy
Inside the cells there are small structures called mitochondria that convert sugar and fat into energy, CoQ10 helps this conversion to occur. For this reason it often helps to alleviate fatigue (study). In some kinds of migraine headaches where energy utilization contributes to the onset of migraines, CoQ10 has been found to be effective.
It lowers blood pressure
Coenzyme Q10 is effective and safe for the treatment of high blood pressure. As CoQ10 makes the blood vessel walls healthier they also become more flexible, reducing blood pressure. In a meta-analysis CoQ10 was found to lower blood pressure by as much as 18 points.
So who should take CoQ10?First of all, anyone taking a Statin should be taking CoQ10 because statins inhibit the body's ability to make CoQ10. (study) Especially those who experience adverse effects from statins such as muscle pain or brain fog (study). For these symptoms try 100mg/day for 4 days then increase by 50mg per day until your symptoms are reduced, up to 500mg/day.
Second, if you have high blood pressure you can use CoQ10 to reduce it. Try 200-300mg/day. (By the way, there are a lot of dietary interventions that are especially effective for blood pressure, here's a video I did on it.)
Lastly, if you are experiencing fatigue (or fatigue that triggers migraines) try CoQ10 200mg/day. This is more likely to be effective for you if you also suffer from fibromyalgia symptoms like muscle pain, mental fatigue, and metabolic dysfunction.
A Final Notes
CoQ10 is available in two forms (ubiquinone and ubiquinol). The research is unclear on which is better. Most studies seem to indicate they work equally well (although ubiquinol is much more expensive!). In our clinic we use ubiquinone and have only had good results with it.
I'm Kieran, clinician and founder at The Parani Clinic. I'm an acupuncturist, herbalist, and functional medicine practitioner for the past 10 years. I have a deep curiosity in health, biology, culture, medicine, history, and a healthy obsession with the pursuit of the perfect state of health.