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Coenzyme Q10 Benefits, Uses, and Side Effects

By Sasha de Beausset Aparicio, MSc

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Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10 represents a compound which can be naturally found in every single cell of the organism and whose structure and beneficial effects are the ones of a vitamin. Its name comes from the word “ubiquitous,” meaning “found everywhere.”

The reason behind its importance is the fact that it has a major role when it comes to production of energy within the mitochondria, thus being responsible for the part of the cells that are linked to ATP formation. It is present in unusually high amounts in foods like sardines, soy oil, peanuts, mackerel and beef. However, due to the technology progress, it can either be extracted or processed in some laboratories that possess proper technology. Because of this, it can also be found in form of dietary supplementation accessible to any individual desiring to follow a treatment based on CoQ10.

Coenzyme Q10 Functions & Benefits

Although there is a lack of research and testing when it comes to the usage of CoQ10 for treating certain bodily issues, there are a lot of claims made about its efficacy. For instance, it is believed that it helps treat and prevent heart failures while also boosting energy levels and speeding people’s recoveries after periods of intense workouts.

The reason why this ingredient would benefit individuals who suffer from heart failure is the fact that a link was discovered between those two, such that people with cardiovascular problems usually have low Coenzyme Q10 levels in the cells from the heart muscle. There was even a double-blinded research which pointed out that this component may help reduce some symptoms linked to heart failure like sleeping difficulty, swelling and shortness of breath. Unfortunately, more recent studies haven’t supported these beneficial effects. Furthermore, there were some studies which pointed out that proper CoQ10 levels inside the body are linked to the overall well-being and may even enhance the people’s capacity of exercising, thus also increasing their life quality.

In 1961, a link between abnormal Coenzyme Q10 levels inside the body and cancer was observed. Scientists found that low concentrations in the blood of individuals suffering from lymphoma, myeloma, lung, breast, prostate, colon, pancreas, heart, neck, and kidney cancer were present. Hence a possible treatment for normalizing the Coenzyme Q10 levels may lead to an improvement in that person’s state and also symptoms relief.

Also, insufficient levels have also been observed in patients that have Parkinson’s disease. Because the amount of the neurotransmitter called dopamine is believed to be lower in these individuals, a balance provided by a regular intake of CoQ10 may help with lowering the symptoms and even improve the daily conditions of the people. These claims are supported by some controlled trials which have examined the difference in the intake in patients who had Parkinson’s, but who were also stable. The link between the amount of this vitamin-like substance and individuals who suffered from the disease was evident, and some improvement was observed in the visual area and some mild, but significant increase was also noted in the early-Parkinson stages.

Despite the fact that there is hope that following a treatment based on this ingredient will help individuals who have diabetes and there were even some studies conducted on this idea, there is currently insufficient information and further studying is required.

The typical dosage of CoQ10 is situated between 30 and 90 mg on a daily basis which should be taken in divided dosages, but there are cases in which the suggested daily intake is 200 mg.


Although in the majority of cases consumption of remedies based on featuring CoQ10 is viewed as safe on a short-term and if the daily suggested dose hasn’t been exceeded, there are some unwanted side-effects which may appear and include rashes and diarrhea. Because there is an increased possibility of determining a decrease in the sugar levels from the blood, individuals who suffer from diseases in which the sugar levels should be monitored are advised to avoid consumption of any type of dietary supplements that feature this ingredient.

Additionally, it should be utilized in combination with standard treatment, not as a replacement. People suffering from kidney failure, or cancer or heart diseases should consult a personal healthcare before beginning any treatment because it may cause more harm than help. When it comes to pregnant or nursing women, the evidence is insufficient, and there is no certainty that this ingredient won’t harm the infant. Thus it is better also to avoid it in these situations. For instance, in some cases, one hundred milligrams per day may determine mild insomnia; when a person is experiencing an unwanted effect during the treatment, its disruption should be followed, and that person shouldn’t begin the usage again until consulting a specialist.

CoQ10 interacts with a series of medications such as beta blockers, diuretics, calcium channel blockers, anticoagulants, ACE inhibitors, dopamine-enhancing drugs, and statin drugs. Because of this, if any of the above-mentioned medications are consumed, the individual should either see a doctor before following another treatment alongside or make sure it won’t harm its body.

Best Coenzyme Q10 Sources

As we’ve previously mentioned, this vitamin-like substance is found in every cell of the human body. Furthermore, it is also naturally found in certain foods such as beef, peanuts or soy oil. Although it will remain to the decision of the person, this substance can also be found in a processed form in some dietary supplements that aim to treat conditions linked to the cardiovascular, nervous, or digestive system. Because of this, it can be purchased from local drugstores under various names and sometimes with different featured amounts as well.

Despite the fact that nutritional companies have included it in a full array of remedies, most of them being an “all-but-the-kitchen-sink” approaches in which the CoQ10 addition is present as of reliable importance, people should make sure that it is safe for them to follow a treatment that contains this ingredient. It is advised for pregnant or nursing women as well as people who suffer from liver and kidney issues to avoid its utilization. Before taking any supplement, carefully observe the labels of the product and research the proper daily amounts recommended for particular problems.