Coenzyme q-10 (CoQ10): The Complete Guide 2020

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Hey guys, my name is Dr. Sam and today I wanted to talk about a little powerhouse vitamin called CoQ10
or coenzyme q-10.

Specifically, I'll answer what are the symptoms of low coq10, how do you take coq10 and who should take coq10 supplements?

Is it needed if you are on a statin? Well buckle up - let's get rolling.

What is CoQ10 and where do you get it from?

9 - Things Statin Users Should Know About CoQ10 ❤️️
The Ultimate Guide To CoQ10

  • CoQ10 stands for coenzyme q10 and is a vitamin-like substance.
  • CoQ10 also goes by other names.
  • You may have heard of Ubiquinol or Ubiquinone, these are the same thing as CoQ10.
  • The human body makes coq10 naturally in the liver, but it is also absorbed from a variety of foods.
  • The best dietary sources are from foods like spinach, peanuts, salmon, and meat.
  • But I'll link the foods with the highest amounts of coenzyme q10 in the description for you.

Foods high in CoQ10:

  • Fatty fish: sardines, salmon, trout, mackerel
  • Organ meats: kidney, liver
  • Meats: chicken, beef, pork
  • Vegetables: spinach, broccoli, cauliflower
  • Fruits: strawberries, oranges
  • Oils: soybean and canola oils
  • Legumes: soybeans, lentils, peanuts
  • Nuts and seeds: pistachio, sesame seeds
  • Whole grains

CoQ10 side effects:

What are the benefits of taking coq10?

Well, CoQ10 acts in two ways to help our bodies.

Firstly, cells need coenzyme q10 to generate energy.

Secondly, coq10 is a powerful antioxidant and protects cells from free radicals.

As we age our bodies make less CoQ10, and older people tend to be deficient in this compound.

So what does this mean?

Well, it is possibly effective in preventing:
  • migraine headaches, lowering blood pressure,
  • helping heart failure symptoms,
  • possibly slowing the progression of
  • Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease
  • and improving sugar control and type 2 Diabetes.
As with all research, the scientists insist on larger trials to validate these claims.

As the current evidence of benefit is based on quite small studies.

What are the symptoms of low CoQ10?

True coenzyme q10 deficiency tends to show up in childhood if it's due to a genetic problem making CoQ10.

These children are unwell with kidney issues or have problems with seizures, balance, and weakness.

In adults, supplements are normally taken for symptoms of another disease, rather than for low CoQ10 itself.

For example, using a supplement to treat muscle aches from statins, to prevent migraine headaches, or to help improve exercise capacity that's been reduced from heart failure.

How do you take Coq10 supplements?

Ubiquinol comes in different forms, as a liquid, as a capsule, or as a disintegrating tablet.

So how much CoQ10 should you take a day?

Well, there's no "ideal dose" as it depends on the condition that you are treating.

In different studies, they've used different amounts.

But typically the normal dose is between 100 and 200 milligrams a day.

It's best absorbed with food, so I'd take it with your biggest meal.

But in the first half of the day, as it can cause sleeping difficulty or insomnia in some people.

Ubiquinol is the most absorbable form of coq10, as the body doesn't need to convert it first before using it.

How long does it take for CoQ10 to work?

Again, this depends on what condition you're trying to treat.

It reaches optimal levels in the blood after about two to three weeks.

But the benefits won't be seen, usually, for several months for conditions like migraine headaches or for lowering blood pressure.

Is CoQ10 bad for the liver?

I'll talk about side effects from CoQ10 in a tick, but higher doses of this supplement can affect liver enzymes and make them go up.

This is with doses of more than 300 milligrams a day.

If you have underlying liver problems, I'd check with your health care provider first before starting a supplement, just to be on the safe side.

What are the most common CoQ10 side effects?

Thankfully, CoQ10 seems to be pretty well tolerated, even at higher doses.

The most common side effects are:
  • nausea, diarrhea, and heartburn.
  • I'll list all the other potential side effects in the description.

Does CoQ10 interact with other medications?

Coenzyme q10 is reported to interact with blood thinners, specifically warfarin, thyroid medications, as well as some chemotherapy agents.

I tried to find the original papers on these for you, but it's surprisingly difficult to dig these up.

One controlled study I found has actually refuted the interaction with Warfarin, which I'll list in the description.

But, the bottom line is that the supplements are pretty safe to take, but please just check with your doctor before starting them as.

they know your medications and your health better than I do!

Now, what about coq10 and statins?

I knew you'd ask about this and it's a great question.

Statin medications lower your body's levels of coenzyme q10.

Statins are known to cause problems with muscle aches, and this can be severe enough that people stop taking statins for cholesterol control.

You can watch my video on Atorvastatin to find out more about this.

Basically, the most recent meta-analysis study has shown that CoQ10 doesn't help muscle aches from statins.

Meanwhile, a big study from 2018 found that CoQ10 did help muscle aches from statins.

Now there's a bit of ding-dong between these authors about their contradictory findings.

My personal take home from this for you:
  • is that I've seen patients who have taken coenzyme q10 very successfully for muscle aches from statins.
  • If you want to try it to see if it helps, I think you might as well give it a go, but obviously, it's your decision at the end of the day.

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