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What is CoQ10: The Ultimate Guide

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a naturally occurring substance produced by the human body and is used by every cell in the body for energy production. CoQ10 is present in many foods that we typically consume, however research has shown that many individuals may have difficulty absorbing the compound from dietary sources alone. The substance is a powerful antioxidant and is central to the maintenance of our cellular power plants--the mitochondria that are used for energy production in the form of ATP (adenosine triphosphate). CoQ10 is usually present at sufficient levels in most people, however, some people have certain conditions that may lead to a CoQ10 deficiency.  

CoQ10 is not a vitamin, though there may be some confusion about this since it falls under the umbrella of supplements. Vitamins are essential components that can come from outside of the body or be generated by the body, and we do naturally produce our supplies of CoQ10. For most folks below the age of 55, your body's natural stores of CoQ10 are generally enough to ensure the healthy functioning of your body.

How Does CoQ10 Work?

CoQ10 is also referred to as ubiquinol or ubiquinone- ubiquinone is the inactive form of CoQ10, which after you take it, is then converted to its active form, ubiquinol. When active, CoQ10 helps the energy producers in our cells to form ATP, a primary source of cellular energy. Another important role played by CoQ10 is its power as an antioxidant, which helps to neutralize any excess free radicals in the body, helping to prevent damage caused by too many free radicals such as DNA damage and inflammation. 

CoQ10 is naturally a crystalline substance. It is not dissolvable in water, and so it can be challenging for the body to absorb it from certain supplements. Therefore, the bioavailability of many supplements may be very low because abundant crystal compounds are not very absorbable in aqueous environs like the interior of the human body. 

Try CoQ10-SR® Instead of Inferior Formulas 

Quality of Life has developed an alternative formula to help rectify some of the issues with absorption and bioavailability.
Certain supplement vendors have gone above and beyond to develop more absorbable versions of the compound to deliver a more effective product to their consumers since the substance is poorly absorbed otherwise. Several new methods have been developed to increase bioavailability, but they may not work for everyone.

CoQ10-SR® is different. It delivers a sustained release of the CoQ10 over a period of 24 hours. It also contains MicroActive® CoQ10 Complex, the only form of CoQ10that has been shown in human clinical trials to have increased absorption across every single participant. The following was also shown in the CoQ10-SR study:

  •       It can double CoQ10 levels from baseline in only three weeks*
  •       It delivered sustained release over 24 hours*
  •       It is 3x better absorbed than regular CoQ10*
  •       It is 2x better absorbed than ”enhanced bioavailability CoQ10 soft gels*


Who Can Benefit From CoQ10 Dietary Supplements?

Unlike many vitamins and other vital nutrients, CoQ10 is challenging to detect in the blood. There are no specific tests available to determine whether or not you may have a CoQ10 deficiency. While you can test for CoQ10 levels in the blood plasma, that is not where levels are most essential. The place where the substance is needed is in the tissues of your most vital organs, so blood tests are actually of limited value in identifying whether or not CoQ10 is where it needs to be to provide the best benefit.

CoQ10 is generally produced less by the human body as it ages. Though the compound is found in meat, fish, and whole grains, the amounts in these whole food sources usually aren’t high enough to replenish your body's diminishing endogenous supplies, which is why CoQ10 has become so prominent in the supplement world. It is also due to the central role that the substance plays across multiple organ systems within your body. People who meet the following criteria may be able to see health benefits from taking CoQ10: 

  •       People aged 60 years or older:  may have increased oxidative damage compared to younger individuals

It should be stressed that CoQ10 is not considered and should not be taken as a cure or direct remedy for any of the above conditions. Supplements are intended to promote a higher general level of health and wellness and are not intended as a treatment for any specific disease. CoQ10 is not medicine and should not be treated as such.


Potential Side Effects and Interaction

CoQ10 supplementation is regulated as a supplement and not a prescription or drug. This is important to know as a consumer. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not verify the claims or contents of supplements, unlike prescription medications. This means that as a consumer, you are responsible for ensuring that you confirm the contents of what you’re buying, and only purchase from vendors who align with your values. Though CoQ10 naturally occurs in the human body, you should always consult with your physician or healthcare provider before starting any new supplement. 

Mild side effects or adverse effects previously seen with CoQ10 supplements include mild abdominal pain, loss of appetite, nausea, headaches, fatigue, and irritability, among others. However, according to the Mayo Clinic, Mayo Clinic also suggests that CoqQ0 is generally considered safe with few side effects. Do note that the safety of using this supplement during pregnancy has not been verified, so as with any supplement, pregnant or not, further research and consultation with a healthcare professional are advised before adding CoQ10 supplements to your daily routine.

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