If you're looking for a supplement that can help you feel energized, promotes healthy aging, and keeps you feeling your best, look no further than CoQ10. Supplemental CoQ10 benefits include increased energy levels, healthy and youthful-appearing skin, mental sharpness, and immune system support.
Naturally produced by the body, CoQ10 has many roles, including helping convert the food you eat into energy that fuels your brain and body. Because levels decline as you age, some people like to boost their body's supply by taking a CoQ10 supplement. Its antioxidant properties can help protect your body from harmful free radicals.
That's not all. Read on to learn more about how this important compound can support your overall health and well-being.
What Is CoQ10?
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) helps the mitochondria — the cell's powerhouses — produce energy.
Did you know CoQ10 is found in every cell throughout the body?
Your mitochondria produce something called ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which stores and transfers energy to every living cell in your body.
CoQ10 plays a role in producing ATP, so in a sense, it's like a cup of coffee for your cells! Maintaining sufficient levels of CoQ10 boosts cellular energy production and keeps your systems and organs functioning as they should.
CoQ10 also acts as a powerful antioxidant, protecting your cells and tissues from harmful free radicals.
You'll find CoQ10 in every cell throughout your body; however, it concentrates within the organs that require the most energy, including your heart, kidneys, and liver. Your brain also uses a lot of CoQ10! However, its production declines with age.
Top 12 CoQ10 Benefits
Though technically not actually a vitamin, some people refer to CoQ10 as "vitamin Q," since it has vitamin-like qualities. Let's explore some of the health benefits this impressive antioxidant offers.
1. Supports Heart Health
Heart troubles can have a big impact on your quality of life. Thankfully, long-term studies suggest that CoQ10 is beneficial for heart health.
Wow! CoQ10 has been shown to reduce heart-related issues! Pretty impressive.
In Sweden, researchers studied 400 healthy individuals over the age of 70. Half of the group were given CoQ10 and selenium (another antioxidant), and the others were given a placebo pill for four years.
At the end of the study, the CoQ10 group had fewer serious heart concerns, and healthier hearts compared to the placebo group.
The even better news? Twelve years later, those same people who took CoQ10 for the initial four-year period still fared better with cardiac health than the placebo group. CoQ10 also promotes normal blood pressure.
2. Boosts Energy Levels
Feeling less energetic and chalking it up to being "older?" You may have a CoQ10 deficiency. Declining CoQ10 can zap your energy levels.
Maybe it's time to use CoQ10 as your afternoon pick-me-up!
When you take extra CoQ10, you spark the production of your body's cellular fuel (ATP), which recharges your system. Fueling your cells may boost your energy levels. This helps you get through the day with less fatigue.
So far, scientists have found that CoQ10 improves endurance in individuals living with cardiac health concerns, particularly during exercise.
More research is necessary to determine how CoQ10 affects healthy individuals' energy levels.
3. Promotes Healthy Aging
As you age, your body requires extra care. The best way to care for your body is through a diet rich in plant-based foods, regular exercise, and healthy stress-management techniques. But, sometimes our bodies can use a little extra support.
Older adults are more vulnerable to harm caused by oxidative stress — an imbalance between free radicals (cell-damaging molecules) and your body's innate ability to prevent the harm they cause. Thanks to its antioxidant qualities, CoQ10 helps protect the body from these harmful free radicals.
Did you know that CoQ10 may help improve your quality of life?
In a clinical trial, older adults took both selenium and CoQ10 for four years. Individuals who consumed the CoQ10-selenium supplement had fewer health issues requiring hospital visits. Participants reported improvements in physical performance, vitality, and even quality of life.
4. Encourages Mental Sharpness
You've likely heard that doing a daily crossword puzzle can help keep you mentally sharp well into your golden years. CoQ10 may have a similar effect.
CoQ10 supplementation may improve cognitive performance and memory, particularly when combined with vitamin E.
It isn't just aging that causes oxidative stress — exposure to toxins in our environment can cause it too. This oxidative stress damages brain cells.
Researchers have discovered that laboratory cells pretreated with CoQ10 have the potential to protect themselves better against neuron and oxidative damage.
CoQ10's antioxidant nature allows it to bolster the body's defense against oxidative stress in your brain cells, keeping your brain sharp.
5. Upholds Healthy Joints & Muscles
You use your joints and muscles for movement and everyday physical activities. Over time, these body parts encounter wear and tear. As a result, you may occasionally experience muscle weakness and sore joints.
Researchers have explored how CoQ10 can reduce the effects of strain and discomfort in joints and muscles caused by injury or fatigue.
It turns out that CoQ10 might have a therapeutic effect on joints by minimizing cartilage degradation, easing joint discomfort, and promoting overall joint health and wellness.
Research also shows that CoQ10 supplementation helps increase the concentration of this important compound in muscles, helping improve exercise performance.
6. May Ease Occasional Headaches
Headaches are a common concern in all age groups.
In older adults, the prevalence of headache ranges anywhere from 12 to 50 percent. Frequent headaches occur in up to 17 percent of people aged 65 and older.
It may be time to add CoQ10 to your protocol for occasional headache relief!
Some promising new research found that CoQ10 may offer relief by promoting normal levels of inflammatory cytokines — chemicals in the body that affect head discomfort.
As a result, those people taking CoQ10 had fewer headaches; among those who did experience head discomfort, it was less severe and did not last as long.
In a clinical trial that gave Gulf War veterans CoQ10 supplements, researchers found that 80 percent of those receiving CoQ10 supplementation reported fewer headaches, demonstrated improved recall, and had less fatigue with exertion. They also reported feeling less irritable and experienced less muscle discomfort.
7. Keeps Skin More Youthful
We all know and expect wrinkles with age — laugh lines are a sign of a well-lived life. But that doesn't mean we don't want to keep our skin looking as youthful as possible.
Skin becomes more vulnerable to damage as you age, due in part to the lower levels of CoQ10 in the body.
The solution? Take CoQ10 to make up for deficiencies — and keep your skin healthy and youthful.
Reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines by taking CoQ10 supplements!
In a clinical study, researchers found that individuals who took a CoQ10 supplement for 12 weeks had "significantly reduced wrinkles and microrelief lines, and improved skin smoothness."
As a result, you'll find CoQ10 listed as an active ingredient in many skin care products, such as creams and toners.
8. Supports Oral Health
Sore, bleeding, and receding gums can cause discomfort and may even interfere with enjoying life to its fullest. They also occur more with age.
It turns out that CoQ10 can help reduce chronic redness and swelling in the mouth, supporting oral health.
With its ability to help cells produce energy, CoQ10 boosts tissue repair within the gums to keep your mouth healthy.
If dry mouth is a concern, CoQ10 can help with that, too! Dry mouth is often experienced by older adults, as saliva production tends to slow down with age. A clinical trial showed improvement in dry mouth in individuals who received a CoQ10 supplement.
9. Boosts the Immune System
Your immune system keeps you healthy, and it's important to do what you can to help keep it strong.
Your first line of defense is to live a healthy lifestyle — eat whole, plant-based foods, exercise, and get plenty of sleep. Still, there are times when your immune system may benefit from extra support.
CoQ10 helps your body produce the energy to keep your immune system working as it should, helping you stay healthy.
Certain medical treatments and medications can weaken your immune system, leaving you more susceptible to illness. While some pharmaceuticals and medical treatments can deplete your body of CoQ10, a good supplement can help build it back up and strengthen your immune system.
10. May Improve Your Workouts
Great news! You may feel less tired after workouts with a good CoQ10 supplement.
Are you looking to get the most out of your time in the gym? CoQ10 may help with fatigue — both during and after your workout.
One study found that people who took CoQ10 for just a week were able to pedal faster while riding a bike and felt less tired after the workout.
CoQ10's effectiveness in this area is not completely certain. Some studies found that CoQ10 did not affect fatigue or performance during exercise.
Endurance athletes or those doing high-intensity training may require larger amounts of CoQ10 in order to fully feel an energy boost and less post-workout fatigue.
11. Supports Healthy Vision
Wow! Did you know that CoQ10 levels in your retina decline by 40% as you age?
If you'd like to avoid picking up a magnifying glass to read the newspaper in the future, consider supplementing with CoQ10 to support your eye health throughout life.
Researchers discovered that CoQ10 protects your eye's retinal cells against oxidative stress — which can otherwise restrict blood supply to your retina and cause damage.
Your retina is a thin layer of tissue on the back of your eye that converts light into an electric signal relayed to your brain through the optic nerve. Your brain then translates the electrical signals into the images you see.
CoQ10 levels in the retina decline by 40 percent with age, which may contribute to vision troubles. Your eye health may benefit from CoQ10 supplementation even before any eye issues begin.
12. Lung Support
Studies have found that people with lung issues and breathing concerns tend to have low levels of CoQ10 in their bodies.
Some studies showed that CoQ10 boosts lung function.
CoQ10 supplements improved performance and tissue oxygenation in individuals with lung issues during exercise and at rest.
Do You Have a CoQ10 Deficiency?
Most of us are aware of vitamin deficiencies. Did you realize you may also become deficient in CoQ10?
Some of the signs and symptoms that you may have a CoQ10 deficiency include:
- Bouts of fatigue
- High blood pressure
- Aching or stiff muscles
- Blood sugar imbalance
- Stomach ulcers
- Edema (swelling)
Talk to your healthcare provider if you're worried that you may have a deficiency; they may do a blood test to determine your CoQ10 levels.
Eating a diet rich in CoQ10 and taking a supplement are two options to increase levels in your body.
Foods Containing CoQ10
While you can ensure you are getting proper amounts by taking it as a supplement, dietary sources rich in CoQ10 include:
- Vegetables: spinach, broccoli, and cauliflower
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Fruits: strawberries and oranges
- Nuts and seeds: hazelnut, pistachio, sesame seeds
The best way to ensure you get the maximum benefits of CoQ10 through food sources is to consume these foods raw.
Which Is Better: CoQ10-Rich Foods or a Supplement?
Although an organic, plant-based diet that includes CoQ10-rich foods is good for your health, taking a CoQ10 supplement is the best way to ensure you consistently get enough, especially as your natural production slows with age.
Environmental toxins in the body, coupled with age or illness, may call for higher levels of CoQ10 than food alone can provide.
Over-the-counter supplements come in two versions — CoQ10, which is also called ubiquinone (an oxidized form) and ubiquinol (a non-oxidized form). When you take ubiquinone, your body will convert it to ubiquinol.
CoQ10 itself is a safe and effective supplement that should be taken with a fat-containing meal for best absorption.
I recommend Global Healing’s CoQ10 & BioPQQ® with Shilajit — an exclusive blend of three ingredients that combines the most well-researched CoQ10 on the market with BioPQQ, a compound that acts like a cup of coffee for your cell’s mitochondria, plus shilajit — a mineral-rich Himalayan substance that boosts the bioavailability of the other two ingredients. Altogether, this trifecta provides an energy boost at the cellular level.
You may want to consider taking vitamin B-6 along with your CoQ10; research shows the body requires an adequate level of vitamin B-6 in order to synthesize CoQ10.
CoQ10 Side Effects & Precautions
The benefits of CoQ10 supplementation are plenty. Side effects, although rare, may occur with people who take larger servings of CoQ10, or those just starting the supplement.
These side effects include:
- Mild stomach upset
- Lowered blood sugar
- Potential issues with blood clotting in patients who use certain medications
- Restless sleep when taken in large amounts
Dividing daily servings into two or three smaller portions may help reduce side effects. Be sure to follow the instructions included with your supplement, and don't take too much.
If you are on any prescription medications for blood pressure, talk to your healthcare provider before taking CoQ10, as it may interact with some blood pressure medications.
The safety of CoQ10 in pregnancy has not been thoroughly tested, so it is best not to take supplemental CoQ10 during pregnancy.
Points to Remember
As we learn more about CoQ10, more people are choosing to use it as a daily nutritional supplement for its multiple health benefits. Research from the thousands of studies conducted on the compound have shown that CoQ10 can:
- Boost energy levels and stamina
- Reduce fatigue
- Reduce your chances of developing age-related ailments
- Support healthy blood pressure
- Ease headaches
- Boost fertility
- Provide protection and energy to your brain
- Boost cerebral blood flow and support mental sharpness
With CoQ10's few side effects and many benefits, this supplement is great for improving overall health and wellness.
Whether you want to stay mentally sharp as an older adult, increase your fertility, support your heart health, or boost your energy levels, CoQ10 is a supplement worth considering.
- Saini R. Coenzyme Q10: The essential nutrient. J Pharm Bioallied Sci. 2011 Jul-Sep; 3(3):466-467.
- Lodish H, et al. Molecular Cell Biology. 4th ed. New York: W. H. Freeman 2000. Section 2.4, Biochemical Energetics.
- Coenzyme Q10 (PDQ®). PDQ Integrative, Alternative, and Complementary Therapies Editorial Board, Pub online: 21 April 2016. Web. Oct. 10 2017.
- Alehagen U, et al. Significant changes in circulating microRNA by dietary supplementation of selenium and coenzyme Q10 in healthy elderly males. A subgroup analysis of a prospective randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial among elderly Swedish citizens. PLoS One. 2017 Apr 27;12(4):e0174880.
- Alehagen U, et al. Still reduced cardiovascular mortality 12 years after supplementation with selenium and coenzyme Q10 for four years: A validation of previous 10-year follow-up results of a prospective randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial in elderly. PLoS One. 2018 Apr 11;13(4):e0193120.
- Rosenfeldt FL, et al. Coenzyme Q10 in the treatment of hypertension: a meta-analysis of the clinical trials. J Hum Hypertens. 2007 Apr;21(4):297-306.
- Lesser GJ, et al. A randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study of oral coenzyme Q10 to relieve self-reported treatment related fatigue in newly diagnosed patients with breast cancer. J Support Oncol. 2013 Mar;11(1):31-42.
- Lui HT, et al. Effects of coenzyme Q10 supplementation on antioxidant capacity and inflammation in hepatocellular carcinoma patients after surgery: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Nutr J. 2016;15:85.
- Johansson P, et al. Improved health-related quality of life, and more days out of hospital with supplementation with selenium and coenzyme Q10 combined. Results from a double blind, placebo-controlled prospective study. J Nutr Health Aging. 2015 Nov;19(9):870-877.
- McDonald SR, et al. Concurrent administration of coenzyme Q10 and alpha-tocopherol improves learning in aged mice. Free Radic Biol Med. 2005 Mar 15;38(6)729-736.
- McCarthy S, et al. Paraquat induces oxidative stress and neuronal cell death; neuroprotection by water-soluble Coenzyme Q10. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2004 Nov 15;201(1):21-31.
- Lee J, et al. Coenzyme Q10 ameliorates pain and cartilage degradation in a rat model of osteoarthritis by regulating nitric oxide and inflammatory cytokines. PLoS One. 2013; 8(7):e69362.
- Cooke M, et al. Effects of acute and 14-day coenzyme Q10 supplementation on exercise performance in both trained and untrained individuals. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2008;5:8.
- Starling AJ. Diagnosis and management of headache in older adults. Mayo Clin Proc. 2018 Feb;93(2):252-262.
- Dahri M, et al. Oral coenzyme Q10 supplementation in patients with migraine: Effects on clinical features and inflammatory markers. Nutr Neurosci. 2018 Jan 3:1-9.
- Golomb BA, et al. Coenzyme Q10 benefits symptoms in Gulf War veterans: results of a randomized double-blind study. Neural Comput. 2014 Nov;26(11):2594-2651.
- Žmitek K, et al. The effect of dietary intake of coenzyme Q10 on skin parameters and condition: Results of a randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind study. Biofactors. 2017 Jan 2;43(1):132-140.
- California Dental Association. Receding Gums. 2017. Accessed 6 May 2019.
- Manthena S, et al. Effectiveness of CoQ10 oral supplements as an adjunct to scaling and root planing in improving periodontal health. J Clin Diagn Res. 2015 Aug;9(8):ZC26-ZC28.
- Ryo K, et al. Effects of coenzyme Q10 on salivary secretion. Clin Biochem. 2011 Jun;44(8-9):669-674.
- Garrido-Maraver J, et al. Coenzyme Q10 Therapy. Mol Syndromol. 2014 Jul; 5(3-4):187-197.
- Mizuno K, et al. Antifatigue effects of coenzyme Q10 during physical fatigue. Nutrition. 2008 Apr;24(4):293-299.
- Nielson AN, et al. No effect of antioxidant supplementation in triathletes on maximal oxygen uptake, 31P-NMRS detected muscle energy metabolism and muscle fatigue. Int J Sports Med. 1999 Apr;20(3):154-158.
- Lee D, et al. Coenzyme Q10 ameliorates oxidative stress and prevents mitochondrial alteration in ischemic retinal injury. Apoptosis. 2014 Apr;19(4):603-614.
- Qu J, et al. Coenzyme Q10 in the human retina. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2009 Apr;50(4):1814-1818.
- Gvozdjáková A, et al. Coenzyme Q10 supplementation reduces corticosteroids dosage in patients with bronchial asthma. Biofactors. 2005;25(1-4):235-240.
- Fujimoto S, et al. Effects of coenzyme Q10 administration on pulmonary function and exercise performance in patients with chronic lung diseases. Clin Investig. 1993;71(8 Suppl):S162-166.
- Oregon State University. Coenzyme Q10. Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center. Updated Apr 2018. Accessed 13 Apr 2019.
- US National Library of Medicine. Bioavailability of Ubiquinone and Ubiquinol in Older Adults. Updated 23 Apr 2019. Accessed 6 May 2019.
- Willis R, et al. Clinical implications of the correlation between coenzyme Q10 and vitamin B6 status. Biofactors. 1999;9(2-4):359-363.
†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.