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Learn About Coenzyme Q10 in 5 Minutes

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What is coenzyme Q10?

Coenzyme Q10, also known as CoQ10 or ubiquinone, is a “ubiquitous” nutrient that is found in all plant and animal life. This substance is critically involved in the production of ATP, which provides energy to your cells. Some scientists consider CoQ10 to be the “stem cell” nutrient from which all other forms of nutrients arose.

CoQ10 does not have any known side effects, and it has a near-100% absorption rate when taken in reasonable quantities. This substance is found in both plants and animals, but vegans and people with other dietary restrictions usually don’t get enough CoQ10 from food alone.

  • May prevent ageing and improve your overall resistance to disease
  • Appears to improve exercise performance and general well-being
  • Multiple studies indicate that CoQ10 has incredible cardiovascular benefits
  • The molecular activity of CoQ10 is essential for the activity of every cell in your body

Why we love coenzyme Q10

Also known as ubiquinone, Coenzyme Q10 is so named because of its ubiquity among animals and humans. Some bacteria even contain ubiquinone, so it’s no stretch to say that this nutrient is one of the basic building blocks of life.

Over the last few decades, CoQ10 has been researched more and more, and the preliminary results are so promising that we decided to include this “origin” nutrient in our new Feel Multivitamin™. This substance doesn’t appear to have any significant side effects, and its reported benefits are impressive.

Unbelievable benefits of coenzyme Q10

Upon a thorough overview, the potential benefits of CoQ10 supplementation are stunning:

Essential for Cellular Production and Functioning

A 2011 study into CoQ10 makes a bold assertion: Ubiquinone is “the” essential nutrient, which means that it’s more important to include in your diet than any other vitamin, mineral, or micronutrient. While this might seem like an outlandish, uncorroborated claim, this scientific review of the evidence lays out a compelling case for CoQ10 as the “stem cell” of cellular production in the body. Here’s how it works:

  • The body produces CoQ10 or you ingest it in Feel Multivitamin™
  • This substance gravitates toward high-metabolism organs like the heart, liver, and kidney
  • Inside these organs, CoQ10 serves as an energy-transfer molecule as a cofactor in the electron-transport chain
  • These redox reactions create adenosine triphosphate (ATP)
  • ATP is required for every cellular function in the body

Since CoQ10 is also one of the most potent antioxidants, it protects cellular functioning in another way. Free radicals eat away at the molecules inside of cells, and CoQ10 restores the balance at the same time that it transfers the electrons that are necessary for ATP synthesis.

This review of the evidence found that CoQ10 deficiency decreases overall cellular efficiency. CoQ10 is a rare example of a potent antioxidant that is found both exogenously (outside the body) and endogenously (inside the body), and this classification is usually an indicator that a substance is especially essential to human life.

Anti-Aging Benefits

At least one scientific study has found that CoQ10 has the power to prevent ageing and disease. No, CoQ10 isn’t a modern-day reincarnation of the legendary philosopher’s stone, so it won’t make you immortal. What it will do, however, is prevent telomere degeneration and reduce oxidative stress to improve cellular metabolism, promote homeostasis, and fend off the ageing process.

Ageing, which culminates in senescence, is essentially the result of a gradually increasing inability of the cells in your body to replicate. This is partially due to the degeneration of the telomeres in your DNA, which are the “caps” on DNA molecules that break off whenever cells replicate. The longer you can hold onto your telomeres, the longer you’ll live, and antioxidants prevent the oxidative stress that leads to cell death and ageing.

Cardiovascular Benefits

The effectiveness of CoQ10 for cardiovascular conditions has been hotly debated for decades. While the noted anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of CoQ10 should, in theory, prevent cardiovascular disease, the evidence still isn’t compelling enough to convince certain nutrition skeptics. Some research has corroborated the cardiovascular benefits of CoQ10, and some hasn’t. Here at WeAreFeel, however, we found that the potential cardiovascular benefits of ubiquinone were worth it especially since this substance doesn’t appear to have any side effects.

A landmark 1994 study is often cited by proponents of the heart health benefits of CoQ10. This study found that “of 424 patients, 58 per cent improved by one NYHA class, 28% by two classes and 1.2% by three classes.” While these results haven’t been effectively replicated, they bring hope to people who want to believe that CoQ10 can help them with their heart conditions. Even if your heart is healthy, taking CoQ10 in a daily Feel Multivitamin™ can help keep it that way.

Athletic Performance Benefits

Athletes are always looking for ways to improve their performance, and the CoQ10 in Feel Multivitamin™ might be the answer. Whether you work out every day or you like to go for nature walks on the weekends, taking CoQ10 might increase the time it takes for you to get tired, one study says.

According to this Baylor University study, a “trend for increased time to exhaustion was observed following 2 weeks of CoQ10 supplementation,” which means that taking CoQ10 consistently over the course of multiple weeks appears to increase the amount of time it takes for you to feel exhaustion when you are exercising. It’s likely that this increased exhaustion threshold is due to the cellular protective effects of CoQ10, but the authors of this clinical study didn’t get into the chemistry behind the phenomena they observed.

Is coenzyme Q10 water-soluble or fat-soluble?

CoQ10 is fat-soluble. Therefore, this substance absorbs into your body better when taken with other oils, and it takes a while for CoQ10 to absorb.

Where can coenzyme Q10 be found naturally?

Almost every type of food contains at least some amount of this nutrient. Spinach and cauliflower are some examples of plant-based sources of CoQ10.

In animal bodies CoQ10 gravitates to the areas that have the fastest metabolism. The organs that work the hardest use the most energy, which means that the highest concentrations of CoQ10 are found in animal hearts, livers, and kidneys.

5 foods/drinks containing coenzyme Q10

1. Spinach

2. Cauliflower

3. Liver

4. Trout, herring, and sardines

5. Oranges

What is the recommended daily value for coenzyme Q10?

Despite the fact that it is needed for every process in the body, CoQ10 is not considered to be an essential nutrient. Therefore, there is no NRV for this substance.

Can you absorb enough coenzyme Q10 from food?

While CoQ10 is available in most types of food, that doesn’t mean it’s easy to get enough of this nutrient from what you eat. Most foods contain very small amounts of CoQ10, and if you don’t want to harm animals to improve your nutrition, you’ll need to turn to supplements to get the CoQ10 your body needs.

Why is coenzyme Q10 necessary for your body?

CoQ10 serves as an energy-transfer molecule and a cofactor in the electron-transport chain within high-metabolism organs. Essentially, this means that organs that work hard, such as the heart and liver, use CoQ10 to provide their cells with the energy they need to continue working and reproducing. CoQ10 creates ATP, which is the primary energy-provider within cells. Coenzyme Q10 is also a powerful antioxidant.

Functions of coenzyme Q10

Essential for cellular functions: As mentioned, CoQ10’s primary function is to help provide your cells with energy. This effect provides benefits that cascade throughout every aspect of your health and well-being.

Anti-aging benefits: Studies show that the antioxidant action of CoQ10 slows down the ageing process. CoQ10 appears to exert this benefit by preventing oxidative stress, which protects your telomeres and increases your life expectancy.

Cardiovascular benefits: As a potent antioxidant, CoQ10 appears to improve heart health. Research shows that cardiac patients who take CoQ10 daily experience a reduced risk of cardiac distress.

Exercise benefits: Research indicates that taking CoQ10 might make it take longer for you to experience exhaustion, which could provide a critical edge to athletes.

Symptoms of coenzyme Q10 deficiency

CoQ10 has not been recognised as an essential vitamin or mineral, so it’s technically not possible to become deficient in this substance. Without CoQ10, however, your body would be incapable of producing the ATP your cells need to survive. Since CoQ10 is created by your body as well as digested in food, true CoQ10 deficiency is next to impossible, but the more of this substance your body has at its disposal, the healthier you’ll be.

How long do you need to take coenzyme Q10 to start experiencing its benefits if you’re deficient?

As a fat-soluble nutrient, it might take a while for your body to process CoQ10. However, you should start experiencing the benefits of this substance within a week or less.

How long does it take for your body to digest/absorb coenzyme Q10?

CoQ10 has high bioavailability, but it still takes a while for your body to properly digest this substance and transport it to high-metabolism organs.

How long does coenzyme Q10 stay in your body after you take it?

CoQ10 is used in the process of creating ATP, and then it becomes a critical part of every cell in your body.

Is coenzyme Q10 an antioxidant?

Yes, and CoQ10 stands apart as being one of the only potent antioxidants that is both produced by your body and found in food.

Can you overdose on coenzyme Q10? What are the effects?

Since CoQ10 is naturally produced by the body, it is very hard to overdose on this substance. A study found that doses of CoQ10 as high as 1800mg per kg were well-tolerated in beagle dogs with limited to no side effects.

Does coenzyme Q10 dissolve, flush out, or build up in the body?

Coenzyme Q10 becomes a part of all the cells in your body as a constituent of ATP.

Can you take coenzyme Q10 during a diet?

Since CoQ10 is available in both plant and animal foods, this nutrient is universally available to people with dietary restrictions.

Are there synthetic forms of coenzyme Q10?

CoQ10 can either be cultured from yeast or made with chemicals in the lab.

Why might synthetic forms of coenzyme Q10 be better?

Synthetic coenzyme Q10 is considerably less expensive to produce than natural CoQ10.

Absorption rate of synthetic coenzyme Q10

Experts are concerned that synthetic CoQ10 may have reduced absorption rates, but limited scientific data has been released so far.

Why might natural forms of coenzyme Q10 be better?

All signs indicate that the natural form of CoQ10 is superior.

How to take coenzyme Q10

You consume some amount of CoQ10 every time you eat, but this substance is only highly concentrated in organ meats. Vegans should enjoy CoQ10 in Feel Multivitamin™ instead.

Coenzyme Q10 trends in medicine

Recently, Indian scientists took a closer look at CoQ10 toxicity in rats. This study determined that “No-Observed-Adverse-Effect Level (NOAEL) of ubiquinol acetate in males and females [is] 600 and 300 mg/kg/day, respectively.” These results line up with the earlier beagle study, but they show that you might want to consume a little bit less CoQ10 if you’re female. Since Feel Multivitamin™ only contains 30mg of CoQ10, however, these results are of no concern.

Why everyone should be taking WeAreFeel supplements

The human body exists within a constantly-shifting landscape. From the environment to the current state of consumer technology, everything around us is always changing, which makes it important to keep up with the times. CoQ10 has been on the scene for a while, but it’s only now that this nutrient is getting the credit it deserves. Along with the other ingredients in Feel Multivitamin™, CoQ10 delivers a potent, nutritional punch that will get you out of your slump and out the door once again.

Here’s the Proof

  1. Coenzyme Q10: The essential nutrient
  2. Coenzyme Q10 Supplementation in Ageing and Disease
  3. Telomeres, lifestyle, cancer, and ageing
  4. Effects of Coenzyme Q10 on Markers of Inflammation: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
  5. Clinical Trial of the Effects of Coenzyme Q10 Supplementation on Biomarkers of Inflammation and Oxidative Stress in Diabetic Hemodialysis Patients
  6. Usefulness of coenzyme Q10 in clinical cardiology: a long-term study.
  7. Effects of acute and 14-day coenzyme Q10 supplementation on exercise performance in both trained and untrained individuals

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About the author
WeAreFeel Nutrition Team - All content provided on our blog is created exclusively for our readers by our research and nutrition team. We try to provide as much scientific backing as possible with references to support any claims made.
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