What Is CoQ10? – In Plain English
The new form of C0Q10 – called Accel – is 8 x stronger and stays in your bloodstream almost 4 x longer than regular CoQ10. COQ10 (also known as coenzyme Q10 or ubiquinone and even referred to as cq10 in some places) is a vitamin-like, oil-soluble substance that is found primarily in mitochondria in the human body. For anyone who doesn’t remember high school biology, mitochondria are the cell’s power producers. They convert energy into forms that are usable by the cell. Coq10 plays such an important role in energy production that 95% of the body’s energy supply is created this way. The highest concentrations of coq10 are found in the heart, liver, and kidneys.
In the bloodstream, Coq10 is primarily carried by low and high density lipoproteins. It is believed that coq10 is one of the first antioxidants to be depleted when low-density lipoproteins start to oxidize. For this reason, coq10 plays an important role in preventing the oxidation of lipoproteins, thereby reducing the risk of arteries getting plaque damage.
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The History of Coq10
Prof. Frederick L. Crane at the University of Wisconsin first discovered coq10 in 1957. In 1958, Karl Folkers reported its chemical structure. In 1972, Karl Folkers and Gian Paolo Littarru, while working on separate projects, managed to find that patients with heart disease also suffered from low levels of coq10.
Since the 1980s, we are very fortunate to see an increase in the number of clinical trials being done on coq10. This helped us gain a lot of the coq10 knowledge that we have today. Thanks to this research, people have taken advantage of the benefits of coq10 for a number of reasons including:
- Heart failure
- After a heart attack
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Gum disease, and more.
Getting Coq10 from Foods
There are many different nutritional sources for coq10 including fish, meat, nuts and even some oils. CoQ10 can also be found in lower levels in vegetables, fruits, and cereals. For most people, the average dietary intake is only 3 to 6 mg a day. For a lot of people, especially those over 40, this may not be enough. If you are over 40, your body has a greater need for coq10. I have read research that says healthy people may want to take around 30mg of coq10 per day. Others may need more.
Personally, I take 100mg of CoQ10 daily and combine it with L-Carnitine per Erika Schwartz, M.D.’s recommendation in “Natural Energy: From Tired to Terrific in 10 Days“. I find this combination gives me additional healthy energy that does not leave me feeling “wired”. Erika also covers the different dosages for special needs.
Since most people only get 3 to 6 mg of coq10 daily through food, supplementation can be helpful. There are many different benefits of coq10 ranging from increased energy to treatment for heart disease. Click here to learn more about coq10 benefits. As the human body ages less coq10 is produced, so supplementation can become very important.
Not all coq10 supplements are created the same and some companies have made vast improvements trying to maximize how much coq10 gets into the body from a single dose. Some of these methods include reducing coq10 particle size, creating soft gel capsules with an oral suspension, and trying to increase the water solubility of coq10. In the end, this means the cheapest cq 10 supplement may not be the best value because our bodies don’t get as much coq10. Primal Force is one company that has chosen to use Ubiquinol which can help your body better absorb coq10.
There seems to be some debate on how much coq10 is safe and the side of effects of coq10. According to some researchers, even with high dosages around 3600 mg, CoQ 10 is found to be safe for both healthy and unhealthy people. Other scientists have done an observed safe level risk assessment and they determined that up to 1200 mg a day was safe. Other reports from Web MD indicates some experiencing insomnia at over 100 mg and an increase in liver enzymes for those taking 300mg per day.
There is a small group of people that have had side effects. Some of these include gastrointestinal problems associated with a very high intake. According to Ray Sahelian, MD, dosages of more than 200 mg can induce insomnia, restlessness and even fatigue. He has also noted the long-term side effects of high dosages of coq10 are not clear at this time.
For more information on toxicity, check out this info on coq10 side effects.
There are typically two factors that cause coq10 deficiency: reduced biosynthesis, and increased utilization. Biosynthesis (the production of complex molecules within living organisms or cells) is the major source of coq10 in the body, however it requires at least 12 different genes in order to perform this action. Over time some of these genes can become mutated and can cause a deficiency in coq10.
The other big factor in coq10 deficiency is increased utilization. In some cases this may be caused by a disease like cancer or heart disease. In other cases the absorption of coq10 may be inhibited by beta blockers, statins, and even blood pressure lowering medications. Since cq10 shares a common pathway with cholesterol, it is believed that some of the cholesterol medicines can block coq10 absorption.