Home Cardiovascular CoQ10: The Heart of the Matter About Its Potential Benefits for Your Health

CoQ10: The Heart of the Matter About Its Potential Benefits for Your Health

Coenzyme Q10  or CoQ10 is a fascinating nutrient that has been the subject of numerous studies. In this article, you’ll discover why taking it can benefit more than the heart and energy. Read on to know more about this not-so-secret weapon for maintaining good health.

  • Gain knowledge about how it benefits your body
  • Acquire it from dietary sources and supplements
  • Recognize the potential risks and adverse reactions 
  • Familiarize yourself with the recommended amount and schedule of intake
  • Understand the safety and efficacy of nutritional supplements

What are CoQ10 Potential Health Benefits?

University of Wisconsin biochemist Fred Crane discovered CoQ10 in 1957. It comes in two forms one is ubiquinone or oxidized. The other is the reduced form but more potent ubiquinol or ubiquinol-10 (CoQH2). Both are natural-occurring antioxidants found in your body.

A review of studies shows that it can help people with heart problems. It might also be helpful for other conditions. Examples are vision difficulties, fertility issues, migraines, or fatigue. But, more research is needed to understand how it can help in these cases. But, so far, the results look promising.

1. Boost Your Energy

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) is an unstable molecule. When it builds up, it can cause damage to your cells. Research has indicated that ROS can lead to fatigue and reduced physical performance. For optimal recovery from exercise-related injury, antioxidant supplementation is essential. 

Hence, coenzyme Q10 is a potential source of energy and an antioxidant. In addition, it helps protect muscles during exercise. As a result, it improves health and optimizes sports performance. 

A review of studies suggests that it can help reduce inflammation when people exercise. It could lower the chances of getting hurt doing physical activity. Although, there is a need to do more research to determine if Coenzyme Q10 has these benefits.

Another review of 13 studies with over 1,100 people showed that Coenzyme Q10 could help reduce tiredness. People taking the supplement felt more energized than those who took a placebo. Taking CoQ10 with no other ingredients in it worked even better. 

Moreover, the greater the dose and longer people took it, the stronger the effect was. Out of 602 users, only one had an upset stomach from taking it. People who are physically active and fatigued could get an extra energy kick.

2. Promotes Heart Health

Catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), and superoxide dismutase (SOD) are enzymes. They function as antioxidants that protect your cells from harm or injury.  In contrast, malondialdehyde (MDA) refers to harmful molecules. It indicates your heart cells are under oxidative stress or at risk of cell damage.  

Experts suggest that people with heart disease have low coenzyme Q10, CAT, and GPx. Moreover, they have high levels of MDA. They also have higher SOD. It’s because there’s increased activity in protecting cells against harmful molecules.

For example, a study investigated the effect of coenzyme Q10 supplements on people with coronary artery disease (CAD). The study particularly probed oxidative stress and antioxidant enzyme activity. 

Forty-three people completed this study. They were split into three groups, with the first group taking a placebo. The other two groups took two daily doses of 60 or 150 mg. 

Results show that a dose of up to 150 mg daily can reduce MDA levels and increase CAT/SOD. Hence, these CoQ10 supplements could be beneficial for people with CAD.

Researchers probed 13 studies with 912 people. They found that coenzyme Q10 supplements strengthened two antioxidants, SOD and CAT. It also lowered levels of two markers of oxidative stress, MDA and diene. 

But it did not affect other biomarkers like CRP, TNF-α, IL-6, and GPx. This result suggests that coenzyme Q10 might help reduce inflammation and stress in people with CAD. Consider discussing your health condition with a healthcare provider first.

3. Reduce High Blood Pressure

Another heart-related problem is high blood pressure. It can be caused by poor diet and unhealthy lifestyle. Being overweight and having high blood sugar also puts you at a higher risk.   

When you have high blood pressure, your heart is forced to pump harder. Your arteries get overworked, too, if left unchecked. As a result, its lining can be damaged, and fats can build up in the walls. This plaque obstructs the flow of blood and can make the walls tougher.

Scientists studied older people with high blood pressure. They found that their bodies had higher levels of oxidative stress and could not relax as much. So to find out if it could help them, the scientists gave some of the people Coenzyme Q10 supplements. 

After taking the supplement, they had better antioxidant enzyme activity. They also had less lipid peroxidation. It’s when free radicals attack essential fatty acids. Taking Coenzyme Q10 may be a good way for older people with high blood pressure. It protects their cells from damage caused by oxidation reactions.

Other researchers probed 12 studies involving 362 people with high blood pressure. First, they tested Coenzyme Q10 to see if it could lower blood pressure without having side effects. 

The results show that it helped reduce the higher (systolic) and lower (diastolic) readings of a person’s blood pressure. The systolic blood pressure went down by 13.5 mm Hg, and the diastolic blood pressure went down by 10.3 mm Hg. 

Additionally, other studies yielded similar results. They found that CoQ10 can help lower systolic blood pressure up to 17 mm Hg. At the same time, it reduced diastolic blood pressure by up to 10 mm Hg without bad side effects. It may help lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressures.

4. Manage Bad Fat Levels

Researchers wanted to know if ubiquinol supplements could help people with high levels of bad cholesterol. It is also called moderate dyslipidemia. They studied 51 healthy people who had this condition with no other heart problems. 

They split the group into three groups: one took 200 mg, another took 100 mg, and the last group took a placebo for eight weeks. The study shows that people who took ubiquinol had better blood vessels than those who did not. 

Moreover, they had more good stuff in their blood. People who took a lot of ubiquinol had less bad cholesterol. It makes blood vessels healthier and protects them from bad cholesterol damage.

Similarly, 101 people with high cholesterol took part in a study. They took 120 mg of the coenzyme Q10 supplement or a placebo daily for 24 weeks.

After 12 weeks, the CoQ10 group had lower blood pressure and higher antioxidant levels than before. After 24 weeks, their blood pressure was even lower. Additionally, it reduced their circulating blood fat and LDL cholesterol or bad fats. 

Based on the study, taking coenzyme Q10 for 24 weeks can help reduce the risk of heart disease. It can also lower blood fat levels. 

5. May Improve Blood Sugar Levels

Coenzyme Q10 helps your body fight free radicals. However, studies reveal that people with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) tend to have lower coenzyme Q10. They also suggested that it may be involved in T2DM development and progression. 

Taking coenzyme Q10 supplements might improve mitochondrial functioning. It may also improve blood sugar control for those with T2DM.

A pilot study grouped 80 adults with prediabetes into two. One group took a coenzyme Q10, and the other took a placebo. After eight weeks, the coenzyme group had less insulin resistance than the control group. 

Moreover, the coenzyme Q10 also increased oxygen levels. But, it did not affect their fasting glucose levels. This study suggests that taking coenzyme Q10 may prevent prediabetes from becoming T2DM.

Scientists studied 765 people with T2DM and examined how well Coenzyme Q10 worked. Results showed that it might help lower blood sugar and A1c levels. But, it did not affect insulin levels. The study suggests that Coenzyme Q10 may help control diabetes. It reduces triglycerides and increases good cholesterol.

6. Might Relieve Migraines

Have you been suffering from migraine attacks? Based on studies, popping a pill eases your pain. But does CoQ10 have the same effect? The specific cause of migraines remains a mystery. But scientists think it’s related to unusual brain activity.  

For example, a study suggests that migraines are caused by inflammation. It lowers levels of this brain inflammation-causing peptides.

A review aimed to see if coenzyme Q10 supplements could help with migraines. They looked at five studies that included 346 adults and children. The results show that taking it was as good as taking a placebo. It reduced the number of migraines per month and the severity per day. 

However, the supplements were better than a placebo at reducing the number of migraine days per month and the length of migraines. Overall, the study suggests that it can be helpful for migraines. 

Another review of six studies with 371 individuals suggests that coenzyme Q10 could reduce migraine duration and frequency. Again, it proved true, regardless of the dose or other supplements taken. 

It’s important to note that further studies are needed to understand its potential benefits and risks fully. It may be worth trying for your headaches. Consult your healthcare provider first; they will know best whether it is right for you.

Further, it might help with neurological diseases like Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, and Alzheimer’s. A study shows it makes the body work better and is safe to take. Although, it may not work the same way for everyone.  Additionally, it’s not a stand-alone therapy for brain problems. But CoQ10 can be a supplement to existing remedies.

7. May Enhance Male and Female Fertility

Having a baby may be difficult for some couples. Healthcare practitioners use in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) to aid them. It may help improve infertility in men undergoing these methods.

A review shows that coenzyme Q10 might make it easier for couples to get pregnant if they take it when they try IVF or ICSI. But, scientists need to do more research. They need to find out how much you should take and how long you should take it. They also want to learn more about using melatonin to aid male infertility.

At the same time, it can also help women. Postovulatory aging is when an egg worsens after being released from the ovary. So it can affect fertility treatments like IVF or ICSI. 

Scientists show that coenzyme Q10 supplements can help make aged eggs less damaged. It can also stop eggs from having problems while they are growing. In addition, it helps protect eggs from damage that can happen when they leave the ovary. 

The most crucial benefit of coenzyme Q10 is it reduces oxidative stress, which makes cells die. It stops cells from dying by lowering superoxide levels and keeps the egg healthy.

Taking CoQ10 could help with fertility therapies and make them more successful. Talk to your healthcare provider if you are having trouble getting pregnant to see if taking it could help.

8. Could Alleviate Depression

What do fibromyalgia and multiple sclerosis have in common? They are different health problems with similar symptoms of fatigue, pain, and possibly depression. People with bipolar disorder (BD) may also suffer from depression.

Researchers studied if coenzyme Q10 could help people with BD. They divided 69 people into two groups. One group took a 200 mg/day supplement, and the other took a placebo. 

Both groups got better, but the group taking coenzyme Q10 improved more quickly after eight weeks. The researchers think it helps fight inflammation and slow down cell damage.

Another study enjoined 89 people with Bipolar Disorder to see if Coenzyme Q10 could help with depression. Sixty-nine of them finished the trial over eight weeks. Their Total Antioxidant Capacity (TAC) and Total Thiol Groups (TTG) increased compared to the placebo group. 

In contrast, their Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha (TNF-α), Interleukin–6 (IL–6), IL–10, and Nitric Oxide (NO) decreased compared to people who did not take it. It means that taking CoQ10 may be a safe way to ease the depression of people with BPD.

Researchers examined the effects of coenzyme Q10 on people with fibromyalgia. People who took the supplement saw a big improvement in their mental health. In addition, it improved mitochondrial function and reduced oxidative stress. 

This study shows a new perspective on fibromyalgia therapy. It combines biological and psychological approaches. But more clinical trials are needed to confirm the findings. 

In a study, people with multiple sclerosis took 500 mg of coenzyme Q10 daily. It helped reduce fatigue and depression. Moreover, the people taking it had lower scores for both than those just taking a placebo. It suggests that it is a good supplement to help manage MS-related fatigue and depression.

Other Potential Benefits of CoQ10

  • Skin Wrinkles – Your skin is vital for protecting your body but can change as you age. Researchers wanted to know if taking certain supplements could help skin look better. So they did a study with 34 women between 40 and 65 years old. Some took a special drink with coenzyme Q10 and collagen, while others had a placebo for 12 weeks.

After the 12th week, they saw that the women who took a supplement had less wrinkled and smoother skin. But, they didn’t see any changes in how hydrated, thick, or elastic their skin was. Taking a supplement with CoQ10 and collagen could help make the skin look better. But more research is needed to be sure.

  • Eye Problems – Specialists often suggest taking vitamins and antioxidants to help with eye problems. One of these is coenzyme Q10. Scientists are studying it to see if it can be used for diseases that affect the brain and nerves. 

A study looked at 48 people with eye problems or stroke-related vision issues. Everyone in the study took 100 mg of coenzyme Q10 and vitamins daily. The researchers used a particular machine to check their vision. 

The vision got better by 11.5-22% each year for most people. When one person stopped taking it, their eyesight got worse, but when they started again, it improved. 

This study suggests that CoQ10 may help with blood vessel diseases that affect eyesight. For example, people’s vision could worsen if they stop taking it. But if they start retaking it, their vision might improve too.

How Does CoQ10 Work?

  • Antioxidant – Studies show that taking coenzyme Q10 decreases the bad chemical MDA. On the other hand, it increases total antioxidant capacity and SOD. But NO, glutathione (GSH) and GSH activity did not change.
  • Anti-inflammatory – Researchers looked into nine different studies with people taking CoQ10. The results showed it helps lower two inflammation markers: TNF-α and IL-6. In addition, it worked better for people with a low Body Mass Index (BMI) of less than 26. Thus, it could help reduce inflammation associated with chronic diseases. But more research is needed to be sure.
  • Mitochondrial modulator – A study shows that taking ubiquinol-10 supplements activates specific proteins. As a result, it helps protect your mitochondria from oxidative stress. Moreover, it helps slow down the progression of aging.  It also saves people from age-related hearing loss and other diseases.
  • Pain reliever – Researchers found that people with fibromyalgia have lower levels of antioxidants and higher levels of oxidative damage. This finding suggests that mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress contribute to fibromyalgia symptoms, like headaches. Hence, CoQ10 serves as an antioxidant that helps protect cells from oxidative stress. It reduces pain as a result.
  • Heart protector – A review points out the various ways coenzyme Q10 impacts the heart. It can improve the function of the inner lining of blood vessels, making it elastic and not stiff. Additionally, it reduces MDA and increases SOD. Finally, it means it combats oxidative stress that can harm the heart. In general, it enhances mitochondria as it gives energy to the heart to beat.
  • Skin enhancer – Researchers discovered that CoQ could reduce melanin production, potentially lightening skin color. Moreover, it reduces inflammation. It helps the skin stay young, elastic, and healthy by boosting elastin and collagen production. Plus, it protects the skin from the harmful effects of UV rays by reducing oxidative stress and tissue damage.

Where Can You Find CoQ10?

You can find CoQ10 naturally in the foods you eat. People usually have an average intake of 3 to 6 mg daily. But it can be increased by consuming the following:

  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Herring and trout
  • Egg
  • Soy/canola oil
  • Peanuts
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Orange
  • Dairy products

Supplements come in different forms for different needs. Examples are capsules, skin creams, or eye drops.

Oral supplements may also work to your advantage. Take note that your body absorbs coenzyme Q10 poorly alone. It needs fats or lipids to go with it. Look for supplements with phytosomes that blend herbs with phospholipids together. As a result, they effortlessly sneak through your gut cells, which boosts your absorption. 

What are the Potential Side Effects and Risks?

CoQ10 is generally safe when taken as directed. However, it may cause mild side effects. It includes loss of appetite, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Other rare side effects are headache, dizziness, or fatigue. Although, toxicity is unlikely even up to 1,200 mg daily, according to experts.

What is the CoQ10 dose, and When to Take It?

Adult doses range from 30 to 100 mg taken daily. Since it’s fat-soluble, it can best be absorbed with a meal of fats. Some people also break it up into a few doses throughout their day. Additionally, studies note the following doses for specific health conditions:

  • Heart: ≥200 mg/day
  • Pre-diabetes: 200 mg/day for eight weeks 
  • High blood pressure: 60 mg twice daily for 12 weeks
  • Abnormal lipid (high “bad” cholesterol or low “good” cholesterol): 120 mg for 24 weeks
  • Migraines: 400 mg/day for three months
  • Sports performance: Ubiquinone 150 mg daily, Ubiquinol 250 mg/day

Researchers reveal that various heart health organizations’ guidelines mention coenzyme Q10 as a “treatment.” But they do not say exactly how coenzyme Q10 should be used for heart therapy. 

The researchers suggest learning more about CoQ10 and chronic heart failure. But, they said there needs to be a clear recommendation for everyone to use it. So, talk to your healthcare provider about the pros, cons, and the correct dose.

Is CoQ10 Safe?

Experts suggest no more than a dose of 1,200 mg/day. Generally, it’s safe with a very low incidence of side effects. If it occurs, these mild events are only temporary.

The FDA does not regulate supplements like CoQ10. Instead, check the manufacturer’s label on its potency and ingredients. While most products are well-tolerated, some can cause an allergic reaction or itchiness.

Who Can Not Take It?

It may do more harm than good for people with certain health conditions. For example, do you have a kidney or liver problem? Studies on its impact are limited. Thus, it’s best to refrain from taking coenzyme Q10. Healthcare practitioners also caution people with high blood sugar levels or T2DM.  It has been shown to lower fasting blood glucose.

Some healthcare providers recommend CoQ10 for pregnant women at risk of high blood pressure. A study shows 200 mg daily for 20 weeks of pregnancy until delivery was safe. At the same time, another study reveals 1 to 3 mg/kg liquid gel capsule was safe for children with migraines. Although, proof of safety in children is lacking.

There is no reliable information for breastfeeding women. So, it’s best to avoid taking supplements. Speak with your healthcare provider since every person reacts differently. 

It Interacts with Some Nutrients and Medicines

Studies provide interactions so you’d know what doesn’t go well with CoQ10. Talk to your healthcare provider if you take these drugs, nutrients, or herbal supplements. 

  • Blood thinners like warfarin: Coenzyme Q10 might lessen the effect of it.
  • Cancer drugs or alkylating agents: Coenzyme Q10 has antioxidant effects that theoretically may reduce the efficacy of chemotherapy drugs.
  • High blood pressure drugs and herbal supplements: CoQ10 may lower blood pressure.
  • Beta-carotene: Coenzyme Q10 may increase beta-carotene levels and increase its risk.
  • Omega 3 fatty acids: This fatty acid can reduce the efficacy of coenzyme Q10.
  • Vitamin K: Coenzyme Q10 is similar to this vitamin, which may result in increased effects.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question 1: What is coenzyme Q10?

CoQ10 is a natural substance produced by the body. It generally acts as an antioxidant to protect cells from damage. It also helps generate energy in cells. 

Question 2: What are the benefits of coenzyme Q10?

CoQ10 may improve your heart health and boost energy levels. It also protects cells from harmful molecules. Thus, it may promote general healthy and prevent the development of chronic diseases.

Question 3: How can you get coenzyme Q10?

You can find CoQ10 from beef, chicken, and fatty fish. Broccoli, cauliflower, nuts, and dairy also contain coenzyme Q10. High-grade supplements can be an option but talk to your healthcare provider before taking them.


CoQ10 impacts more than energy levels and heart health. Taking it can offer various benefits to the body but poses certain risks. Thus, it is crucial to research it thoroughly and understand the correct dosage for optimal results. 

Different dietary foods or nutritional supplements are readily available sources. Additionally, you should be aware of its efficacy and safety when taken regularly. So start asking a healthcare professional if you intend to take Coenzyme Q10.

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