When you visit a drug store, a pharmacy, or your local grocery store, you will see shelves lined with supplements of all sorts. They could be vitamins, minerals, and a whole lot more. One of the things that you must have noticed will be Coenzyme Q10 or CoQ10 for short. This product will have almost an entire shelf to itself, and there will be various products offering you CoQ10. If you just do a simple search for CoQ10 on Google, you will find that there are more than 10 million results that are related to this element. If you go to a blog to read up on cardiovascular health and how to keep your heart healthy and fit, you will find an article or a blog detailing the various benefits of CoQ10. More and more people are opting to order CoQ10 online and get the best product for cardiovascular health delivered right to their doorstep. And they are doing it for a reason. The same goes for online forums. Visit any health-related forum, and you will find several people discussing the benefits of CoQ10 among themselves.
Popularity of Coq10
If you look at global sales, you will find that Coenzyme Q10 is among the supplements that are selling more than most. This year, the sale of this enzyme is said to reach a whopping $849 million according to a study. CoQ10 has shown excellent results that include reducing the risk of a heart attack to improving the condition of patients who are suffering from heart failure or high blood pressure. It is also beneficial in reducing the effects of statins that lower cholesterol. We all know that cardiovascular diseases are among the top when it comes to the world’s leading causes of death. Now there is evidence that it can also have a considerable effect by protecting you against diseases that result in cardiovascular failure.
Although multiple findings bring good news to cardiovascular patients, there is still some confusion among people when it comes to CoQ10, how it works, and what benefits does it exactly have for the patients. Several supplements provide CoQ10, and people don’t know which one to buy. Read on to find out.
Coenzyme Q10: What is it and Where is it found?
Coenzyme Q10 or as it is mostly called CoQ10, is a vitamin-like substance that is contained in every cell in our body. It is fat-soluble. Its basic function is to convert the food that we eat into energy. Not only this, but it is also a potent antioxidant. It helps us protect our body and evade any harmful activity that can be caused by free radicals that are toxic to us. Our body produces CoQ10, and it is also available in many of the food items that we eat. It is available in high quantities in organ meats like kidneys and liver as well as in some quantity in chicken, broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower as well as sardines and mackerel.
What are the different forms of CoQ10?
CoQ10 exists in two basic forms. These are Ubiquinone and Ubiquinol. In our body, CoQ10 can be found in the form of Ubiquinone, which is the active antioxidant that battles the free radicals in our bodies. Ubiquinone is formed from Ubiquinol. As we grow old, the levels of CoQ10 in our body decreases. The decrease can start as early as 20 years of age. Not only do we suffer from the decrease in the amount present in our bodies, but our bodies also start decreasing the rate of conversion of Ubiquinone from Ubiquinol. That just complicates the problem as we need CoQ10 in a certain amount to protect our bodies. Most of the supplements that you will find in the pharmacy or the grocery store contain Ubiquinone. They don’t cost a lot. Supplements that contain Ubiquinol are rare and expensive.
How to Measure CoQ10 in Our Bodies?
There is a simple blood test that is available that you can do to find out the level of CoQ10 in your body. If the levels of CoQ10 fall in our bodies, it may lead you towards oxidative stress. As CoQ10 is an extremely effective antioxidant, shortage of this antioxidant can cause a host of problems in our bodies. The major problems among them are Cardiovascular Diseases. Low levels of Coq10 in our bodies are also linked to low levels of ‘good’ cholesterol that protects our heart. This, in turn, further complicates things by increasing the risk of heart disease. Another problem that might arise is the reduction of cholesterol-lowering statin in our blood.
How much CoQ10 should you take?
Up till now, there isn’t a certain amount of CoQ10 that can be called ideal for our intake. In various studies, researchers have used doses that start from 50mg and go up to 1200mg in adults. These could be taken at a single time, or they can be divided into multiple doses throughout the day. But usually, physicians and cardiologists prescribe daily doses of either 100mg or 200mg depending on the patient’s age, medical conditions and other factors. If you purchase CoQ10, you can either follow the instructions that are given on the bottle or better yet, you can ask either your doctor or your dietitian. Make sure that you know which kind of supplement you are taking as they might contain other elements as well as CoQ10.
Can you get CoQ10 naturally from foods?
Yes, CoQ10 occurs in many foods and you can take them naturally to increase the amount of CoQ10 in your body, but the problem is that CoQ10 doesn’t occur in natural foods in a high amount. If you need to replenish your levels of CoQ10, then it is better to take supplements that can provide more CoQ10 to your body. You can take a combination of natural foods as well as supplements to ensure that you replenish your levels of CoQ10 as fast as you can. Naturally, occurring CoQ10 can be found in :
- Vegetable oils
- Organ meats like kidneys and liver
How does CoQ10 affect heart health?
Now that we know how CoQ10 occurs in our bodies, what it does, and how we can add our intake of CoQ10, let’s see some of the benefits that we can get from increasing our intake of CoQ10. Just make sure that you have consulted your physician, cardiologist, or dietitian before taking these supplements so that you can be sure that the amount of CoQ10 you are taking is right for you.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD)
Various studies and surveys have shown that when you take CoQ10 supplements, it helps you against the world’s leading death cause of CVD. It can increase the ‘High-Density Lipoprotein’ or HDL, which is also called good cholesterol as well as ApoA1 levels in your body. It can even have a positive effect on people who are taking statins. There are certain inflammatory biomarkers in our bodies that can be a risk factor as they increase the chances of CVD in our body. Taking CoQ10 supplements can also decrease these inflammatory biomarkers like high sensitivity C-reactive proteins. Last but not least, decreasing levels of CoQ10 are also associated with an increase in damage to the heart tissues. This increases the chances of having a heart attack as well as damage to the brain during a stroke.
Statin-related muscle symptoms
Statin therapy is rather painful, and patients who undergo this therapy report having muscle aches as well as a feeling of weakness in the muscles. Although statin therapy helps patients who are at risk of heart failure and stroke, many patients do not complete the therapy because of the side effects. A study was conducted in 2014, and the results were published in the Medical Science Monitor. According to this study, when patients who were taking statin therapy were given supplements that contained CoQ10, they reported fewer side effects and their compliance with the treatment increased.
Heart failure (HF)
A multi-centred study was conducted with 420 patients, and as a result, CoQ10 was proclaimed as the first drug of its kind that had the potential of boosting the mortality of heart failure. The patients who took CoQ10 supplements found that they were at less risk of heart failure as compared to a placebo group.
After a heart attack
A study was conducted with patients who had recently suffered a heart attack. In this clinical trial, these patients received doses of CoQ10 soon after the heart attack. It was found that they had a much lower chance of suffering through more heart attacks as compared to a control group.
High blood pressure
When taking blood pressure, we all know that there are two markers that we need to know. The top number of reading is called the systolic blood pressure, and the lower number of reading is called the diastolic pressure. Researchers found after studying the effects of CoQ10 in 12 different studies that it could lower the systolic blood pressure by up to 17mm Hg and lower the diastolic pressure by up to 10mm Hg respectively.
No matter what age we are, we need to make sure that our CoQ10 levels are up to the mark. Check with your physician or dietitian to make sure that you are taking the right supplement as there are a wide variety of CoQ10 supplements available in the market. Keep CVD and Heart attacks away.