Did you know that every living cell in your body needs coenzyme Q10? It is important for the energy supply. Without this substance, nothing works in the organism. But what is coenzyme Q10, what does it have to do with a strong heart and for whom can Q10 capsules be worthwhile? We look into these questions.
What is coenzyme Q10?
Enzymes accelerate metabolic processes. Coenzymes are auxiliary molecules and thus also regulate the metabolism. Q10 is one of these coenzymes and is also called ubiquinone. The syllable 'ubi' means ubiquitous and makes it clear that coenzyme Q10 is present in the entire body. This is because it is involved in the respiratory chain of the cells. It is from this process that the cells obtain their energy. Q10 is particularly abundant in tissues that require a lot of energy, including the heart, liver and lungs.
Ubiquinone 10 is a fat-soluble substance that is related to vitamin E and vitamin K. Generally, the body can produce Q10 itself in the liver. This requires sufficient building blocks such as certain amino acids and a good supply of vitamins. With increasing age, however, this ability decrease
What foods contain Q10?
Since coenzyme Q10 is fat-soluble, it is found in fatty foods. It is mainly found in animal products such as fish, meat and eggs. Plant products tend to have a low coenzyme Q10 content. Good sources include vegetable oils such as rapeseed oil, but also legumes such as soy.
Q10 can not only be ingested through food, but it is also produced in the liver. For this to happen, your body needs to have sufficient amino acids, B vitamins and vitamin E available. However, B vitamins in particular are increasingly found in animal products. A protein-rich diet can also be somewhat difficult to achieve on a plant-based diet. This means that if you eat a vegan diet, you should pay special attention to a varied diet in order to provide your body with all the prerequisites for optimal Q10 formation.
How does a Q10 deficiency become noticeable?
We do not know how much coenzyme Q10 a person needs per day. Therefore, there is no exact data on the supply situation of the population. Since no typical deficiency symptoms are known so far, it is assumed that there is no drastic deficiency. At the same time, however, there is a correlation between low Q10 levels in heart tissue and cardiac insufficiency.
It is certain that coenzyme Q10 decreases in certain situations:
- In old age, the body's own production decreases
- Stress, diseases, alcohol and nicotine consumption lower Q10 levels
- Statins (drugs against high cholesterol) reduce the body's own production
What is coenzyme Q10 good for?
Q10 essentially fulfills two tasks in the body: It is significantly involved in energy production for the cells and it acts as an antioxidant, i.e. it stops free radicals. The latter makes the coenzyme an ideal ingredient in anti-aging products. That's why you probably know Q10 from cosmetic products such as creams and lotions.
Learn more about the secret of firm skin.
Q10 capsules are also available to support anti-aging. Another effect of coenzyme Q10 could be the reduction of muscle pain, but studies are not clear on this. Similarly, the influence on migraine, diabetes and fat burning.
Study: Q10 capsules can reduce mortality rate in heart disease
Cardiovascular diseases are an increasing problem in our society. Heart failure is right up there among them. Researchers are aware of a connection between low Q10 levels in heart tissue and the severity of heart failure. Therefore, in a study, they tested the influence of Q10 capsules in addition to conventional treatment for heart failure. Patients were followed with this medication for two years. There was a higher cardiovascular mortality in the placebo group (conventional treatment without Q10 capsules) than in the group taking Q10 capsules in addition. In this group, heart failure scores actually improved and patients had fewer hospitalizations due to heart failure.
The study provides great results for the use of Q10 capsules in chronic heart failure. Note, however, that the participants here were taking Q10 in a high-dose form (3x 100 mg daily). This dosage is equivalent to medication and not the usual amount of supplements. So, if you suffer from chronic heart failure, you should discuss the intake of coenzyme Q10 with your doctor.
Who should not take coenzyme Q10?
In general, Q10 capsules with a daily amount of 10 to 30 milligrams are considered safe. If you take more than 100 milligrams of coenzyme Q10 daily, side effects such as diarrhea, insomnia, discomfort and skin rashes may occur. Therefore, pay attention to the amounts contained in dietary supplements with Q10.
In addition, there are some people who should not take Q10 capsules in general. Q10 can cause interactions when taken at the same time as drugs that inhibit blood clotting. In other words, the effect of the drug could be reduced because coenzyme Q10 is similar to vitamin K. Interactions are also possible with radiation therapy due to the antioxidant properties of coenzyme Q10. Asthma patients taking medication with theophylline should also discuss Q10 intake with a doctor.
Coenzyme Q10: What you should know
Coenzyme Q10 is a naturally occurring substance in the human body. On the one hand, it provides energy production in the cells and on the other hand, the cofactor has antioxidant properties. This makes coenzyme Q10 popular in dietary supplements and cosmetic products as an anti-aging agent. In principle, however, the organism can produce the coenzyme itself. A prerequisite for this is a good supply of building blocks and vitamins from the diet.
Researchers are also investigating the health benefits of coenzyme Q10. For example, studies have shown that a high dose of Q10 has a positive effect on cardiac insufficiency.
If you take coenzyme Q10 capsules as a dietary supplement, you should choose a dosage between 10 and 30 milligrams daily, as this is considered safe for healthy people.
- Mortensen, S. A., Rosenfeldt, F., Kumar, A., Dolliner, P., Filipiak, K. J., Pella, D., Alehagen, U., Steurer, G., Littarru, G. P., & Q-SYMBIO Study Investigators (2014). The effect of coenzyme Q10 on morbidity and mortality in chronic heart failure: results from Q-SYMBIO: a randomized double-blind trial. JACC. Heart failure, 2(6), 641–649. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jchf.2014.06.008