CO Q10 (Conenzyme Q-10) Information and Benefits

Coenzyme Q10, commonly known as CoQ10, is a member of a family of compounds called ubiquinones. Ubiquinones are water-insoluble substances involved in electron transport and energy production in the mitochondria of cells. It is believe that supplemental CoQ10 may have cardioprotective, cytoprotective and neuroprotective activities, among others.

Coenzyme Q-10 (CO Q10) is found naturally throughout the human body. Small amounts of it are obtained from eating meat and seafood, but the majority is created directly by the body. Although nearly all body cells make it, coenzyme Q-10 is concentrated in the muscles and in the heart, liver, kidneys and pancreas. Approximate 50 percent of the body's stores of coenzyme Q-10 are found in the mitochondria of the cells. Mitochondria are components of cells that transform dietary carbohydrates into energy. While coenzyme Q-10 is involved in strengthening body membranes, its main function is to carry electrons that are needed in the energy generation process.

CoQ10 is a powerful antioxidant that acts as a defense against free radicals and helps the human body preserve vitamin E, the major antioxidant of blood cholesterol and cell membranes.

CoQ10 is absorbed by the small intestine and transferred into the lymphatics; from there it enters the blood stream. Absorption of CoQ10 is poor. In fact, it is believed that over 60 of an oral dose of CoQ10 is excreted in the feces. Absorption of CoQ10 is highly variable and depends in large part on food intake but also on the amount of lipids present in the food. Absorption of CoQ10 is lower on an empty stomach and greater when taken with food of high lipid content. Since absorption of CoQ10 is poor, high quality supplemental CoQ10 has been recommended for maximum potency.

Dosage and Administration

Supplemental coenzyme Q10 is available in capsule, tablet, softgel (gel cap), and chewable form. To improve its absorption, it can be taken with some type of oil (olive oil is recommended) or fat (peanut butter, for example). Most doctors recommend that CoQ10 be taken with meals to improve absorption.

Dosage recommendations range from 30 mg to 300 mg a day. Higher daily doses are usually associated with a specific health condition and are often divided into 2 or 3 smaller doses (for example, one 50 mg tablet taken 2 times a day instead of a single 100 milligram tablet taken once). If you are taking the enzyme for circulatory support, it may be 2 to 8 weeks before you notice any benefit, and you will need to continue taking the product to maintain any notable improvement. Effectiveness, if any, is believed to be obtained with doses of 50 to 200 milligrams daily.

Supporting Literature

Baggio E, Gandini R, Plancher AC, et al. Italian multicenter study on the safety and efficacy of coenzyme Q10 as adjunctive therapy in heart failure. Mol Aspects Med. 1994; 15(Suppl):287-294.
Digiesi V, Cantini F, Bisi G, et al. Mechanism of action of coenzyme Q10 in essential hypertension. 1992;51:668-772.
Folkers K. Critique of 30 years of research on hematopoietic and immunological activities of coenzyme Q10 and potentiality for therapy of AIDS and cancer. Med Chem Res. 1992; 2:48-60.
Fujioka T, Sakamoto Y, Mimura G. Clinical study of cardiac arrhythmias using a 24-hour continuous electrocardiographic recorder (5th report)-antiarrhythmic action of coenzyme Q10 in diabetics. Tohoku J Exp Med 1983;141(suppl):453-463.
Gaby AR. The role of coenzyme Q10 in clinical medicine: part II. Cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes mellitus and infertility. Alternative Medecine Rev 1996;1:168-175.
Hanaki Y, Sugiyama S, Ozawa T, Ohno M. Coenzyme Q10 and coronary artery disease. Clinical Investigation. 1993; 71:S112-S115.
Weber C, Jakobsen TS, et al. Antioxidative effect of dietary coenzyme Q10 in human blood plasma. Int J Vitam Nutr Res 1994;64:311-314.
Spigset O. Reduced effect of warfarin caused by ubidecarenone. Lancet. 1994; 344:1372-1373.
Thomas SR, Neuzil J, Stocker R. Inhibition of LDL oxidation by ubiquinol-10. A protective mechanism for coenzyme Q in atherogenesis? Mol Aspects Med 1997;18:S85-103.