Should You Be Taking CoQ10?
By Laura Turner
In my quest for the "supplemental" truth it seems necessary to explore the qualities of the latest hot supplement topic: Coenzyme Q10. Everywhere I turn these days, I'm reading about the benefits which range the gamut from anti-aging to heart protection. But, is Coenzyme Q10 right for you? Read on!
First: The Claims:
A Rich Source of Anti-oxidants:
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), also known as ubiquinone, has been documented as a rich source of anti-oxidants. In much of the research and articles I've read, CoQ10 is consistently thought to act in much the same way that vitamin E does. In fact, CoQ10 has been found in many studies to be much more effective than vitamin E in lowering cholesterol and creating an optimum environment for the cells to create energy. Other strong anti-oxidant qualities include: the reduction in risk of heart disease and regulation of blood pressure.
Stimulates The Immune System:
CoQ10 has also been shown to be an important component in the function of the immune system. It both inhibits bacteria as well as increases immune function. It also increases white blood cell production. In many cases when the body is deficient in CoQ10 (which becomes more common as we age) the immune system becomes compromised. Supplementation can often counteract this.
Studies also suggest there is possible anti-aging effects in CoQ10. It has been shown to slow the aging process through its antioxidant qualities. Anti-oxidants, as we know, prevent "free radical" damage - the instability of cells which causes them to mutate unnecessarily creating everything from sun damage to cancer. CoQ10 has also been noted to increase endurance during exercise and is currently being used as a therapy and reversal for Alzheimer's.
Heart Health :
CoQ10 depletion has also been linked to hypertension. Therefore supplementation of CoQ10 is currently being used as a natural remedy to decrease blood pressure. It is also recommended in reducing the risk of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and for prevention of the oxidation of LDL cholesterol which causes plaque.
Like green tea, CoQ10 has been thought to promote oral health. CoQ10 is supposed - in many studies - to slow or arrest periodontal disease. CoQ10 also protects the gums and heals damage from gingivitis as well as protects teeth from cavities.
Obesity can lead to a decrease in the production of CoQ10. Therefore, in many of the studies I found, supplementation of CoQ10 was given to both to patients suffering from obesity and patients looking to manage weight.
The Bad News
What's the bad news? Not much. There doesn't seem to be any documented toxicity from supplementing with CoQ10. However, if you are pregnant or a nursing mom it would be best not to take this supplement as the long terms effects have not been recorded. Some reports suggest CoQ10 will decrease the effectiveness of warfarin - a blood thinner, but there is no evidence to suggest it is decidedly so. Finally, the dosage should not exceed 200 mg per day as this - in some cases - has been shown to cause diarrhea and nausea.
Other FAQ's About CoQ10:
How much CoQ10 is enough to reap the benefits? For Best results (in the literature I consulted) 1, 30-60mg capsule up to 3X per day is a safe dosage when taken with meals. When choosing a supplement, it is important to be sure the capsule is in CoQ10's natural form which is dark bright yellow in color.
Once again, in this scientist's opinion, I would mark CoQ10 as being well worth your consideration. Do your homework, however. As with any change in your healthcare program, always consult your healthcare practitioner. If you are on any other medications be sure to talk to your doctor or pharmacist about the possibility of interaction. Conduct your own research project. Here are some great resources that will help get you started.
Research for this article has been created through careful consideration of research and articles appearing on WebMD and though several working texts which include:
Balch, Phyllis A., CNC. Prescriptions for Nutritional Healing. New York: Penguin Putnam, 2004.
Khalsa, Dharma Singh, M.D. Food As Medicine. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2003.
Mindell, Earl, R.P.h., Ph.D. The Vitamin Bible. New York: Warner Books, 2004.
Mindell, Earl, R.P.h., Ph.D. Prescription Alternatives. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2003.
About The Author
Laura Turner is a writer and author. Her latest book: Spiritual Fitness: The 7-Steps to Living Well is currently available.