This article originally appeared on Live in the Now.
CoEnzyme Q10, also known as CoQ10, is a lipid-soluble compound that is needed for energy throughout the entire body. But your body’s natural production declines with age and a deficiency of this nutrient could cause a myriad of health complications.
Found in the body’s “cellular power plants” known as mitochondria, the presence of CoQ10 is required for the healthy production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). This tricky process occurs via aerobic cellular respiration, a key metabolic process your body uses to create energy.
Since roughly 95 percent of your body’s energy is supplied this way, CoQ10’s role in efficiently generating ATP, and therefore the energy your body needs, is critical.
In the human body, the highest concentrations of CoQ10 can be found in the organs with the highest energy requirements, such as the heart, brain and liver.
What Can CoQ10 Do for You?
CoQ10 supports every muscle contraction, your immune system, as well as every bit of energy production sourced from metabolic processes. Additionally, CoQ10 offers your body powerful antioxidant protection. It possesses the ability to transport electrons, thereby protecting your cells from damaging free radicals.
Should You Take a CoQ10 Supplement?
Since CoQ10 levels can be compromised by so many factors, it is advised that people over the age of 30 take a CoQ10 supplement. As we age, CoQ10 production is reduced significantly and it is believed that by the age of 80, our CoQ10 levels can be lower than they were at birth.
Certain lifestyle factors or health concerns create a need for higher CoQ10 levels such as being a high-performance athlete, being a heart attack survivor or taking statin drugs.
How Much CoQ10 Should You Take?
Studies involving CoQ10 have used doses ranging from 30 mg to 1,200 mg. The general guideline is to take 1 mg per pound of body weight. So someone who weighs 150 lbs. would supplement with 150 mg of CoQ10. However, proper CoQ10 supplementation is dependent upon many factors. Here are some more specific guidelines you can reference and discuss with your physician.
|Health Concern or Objective||CoQ10 mg/day|
|Statin drug use||200-300 mg/day depending on statin dosing|
|Improved athletic performance||60mg/day|
|Reduce fatigue||50-150 mg/day|
|Migraine headache sufferers||100-150 mg/ day|
|Congestive heart failure||50 to 300 mg/ day|
|High blood pressure||50 to 150 mg/ day|
|Post heart attack||120-200 mg/day|
|Huntington’s disease||600mg/ day|
|Parkinson’s disease||500-1200 mg|
Why Do I Need More CoQ10 If I’m On a Statin Drug?
Statin drugs inhibit the rate-limiting enzyme of the mevalonate pathway, HMG-CoA reductase. While this is effective for reducing the amount of cholesterol your body produces, it also interrupts some of your body’s natural functions, such as the production of CoQ10. This dramatic drop in CoQ10 can lead to fatigue, muscle aches and weakness.
Dietary CoQ10 can be obtained from organ meats and fatty fish such as salmon. However, most of the body’s CoQ10 comes from its own production, so be sure to meet your micronutrient needs and discuss any CoQ10 limiting medications with your physician. If you want to ensure that your CoQ10 levels stay optimal as you age, your best bet is to take a CoQ10 supplement.
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