Coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10 for short, occurs naturally in the body. It provides energy to cells, and is also an antioxidant that helps protect them from damage. Unfortunately, most of us don’t produce enough of this enzyme as the years go by. In addition, people with health issues such as heart disease and diabetes don’t have enough CoQ10 in their bodies. Whether you get it through diet or through the use of supplements, these are just a few of the benefits your body may be able to realize when you make sure you have an ample supply of this substance in your system.
CoQ10 supplements have been associated with improved heart health. In one particular study, one group of heart failure patients took Coenzyme Q10, while the other took a placebo. The ones who took the supplements had fewer complications than the other group.1 Another study showed that this substance may help improve the functioning of blood vessels in people with the disease.2 However, while it was once thought that the enzyme helped to lower blood pressure, studies did not indicate it was any more effective than a placebo.3
In addition, study results have been mixed regarding the effectiveness of this enzyme in reducing side effects experienced by people taking statins, which are drugs that are designed to lower the levels of harmful cholesterol. Statins have been associated with side effects such as nausea, diarrhea, muscle pain, kidney and liver damage, and more. Statins are also believed to lower the levels of Coenzyme Q10.
CoQ10 supplements have been shown to decrease muscle pain due to statin use in some studies, but in others they have been found to have no effect. So, the jury is still out.
Cardiac Arrest Survival
Researchers studied whether or not combining mild hypothermia (a procedure where the body’s temperature is lowered when the patient is positioned on a cooling mattress) with CoQ10 could increase survival rates after a cardiac event.4 The study involved 49 patients who had survived cardiac arrest after receiving cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR.
One group of patients received hypothermia treatment plus CoQ10, while the other patients were given a placebo along with hypothermia treatment. The patients were given either Coenzyme Q10 or the placebo in liquid form through a tube that was placed in their nose. The liquid was given three times a day for five days.
After the three-month study was concluded, researchers found that 68 percent of patients given the Coenzyme Q10/hypothermia treatment combination were still alive, while only 29 percent of the other group had survived.
Migraine Headache Reduction
One of the more debilitating conditions is a migraine headache. It can make even the simplest tasks seem impossible. However, researchers have found that CoQ10 may be able to reduce the frequency of migraine attacks. Swiss researchers conducted a three-month trial involving patients who had suffered anywhere from 2-8 migraines a month over the past year.5 One group took 100 milligrams of CoQ10 three times a day, while the other took the same dosage of a placebo. The first group, which took the Coenzyme Q10, reported that their migraine attacks had decreased from an average of 4.4 to 3.2 per month. The group taking a placebo saw their attacks drop from 4.4 a month to 4.3 on average.
Slowing the Progress of Macular Degeneration
The macula is a cluster of cells in the retina that can deteriorate over time, eventually leading to blindness. Macular degeneration is a common cause of vision loss in people over the age of 60.
Researchers conducted a study to see what kind of affects certain compounds may have on slowing macular degeneration.6 One trial involved 100 patients who were showing early signs of the disease. Half of the participants received capsules containing a combination of compounds, including omega-3 fatty acids, CoQ10, and acetyl-L-carnitine. The other half received capsules containing only soy oil. The trial lasted for a year.
At the end of the trial, the treatment group (the ones receiving the combination of compounds) showed substantial improvement in their visual acuity, with only one of them showing a loss of function. In comparison, nine of the patients who received a placebo experienced worsening macular degeneration.
Other Potential Benefits
Recent research has uncovered several other potential applications for CoQ10. Here are just a few of them.
· Hearing loss – Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when the nerves of the inner ear are changed to due mutations in DNA. It can’t be corrected through surgery. Researchers conducting a trial gave Coenzyme Q10 capsules to one group of patients suffering from this condition, while others were given a placebo.7 The group receiving the capsules did not experience any further loss of hearing, while the placebo group continued to experience deterioration.
· Male fertility – Studies have shown that the enzyme could reduce asthenozoospermia, a condition where sperm are unable to move properly through the female reproductive tract.8
· Reduction in triglycerides – Fats in the blood, also known as triglycerides, can increase the risk of heart disease. The body converts unnecessary calories into triglycerides, which are stored in fat cells. When you burn fewer calories than you consume, this can lead to high levels of triglycerides. In one study, researchers gave participants with high triglyceride levels a combination of fibrate drugs and CoQ10 supplements. The results indicated that people who take this combination might see lower levels than those who only take fibrates.9
The Bottom Line
While there is a great deal of research showing that CoQ10 may provide a large number of benefits, larger studies are needed to confirm these results. But what is not in question is that we need to have this enzyme in order for our bodies to perform their best. Have your levels of this enzyme checked, and talk to your doctor about determining the best plan of action if they are low. While CoQ10 supplements are considered safe, it can interact with certain medications such as chemotherapy drugs and antidepressants. If you take statins and add a Coenzyme Q10 supplement, your doctor may need to adjust your statin dosage.
For more health news you can use, keep reading:
1. Sharma A, et al. “Coenzyme Q10 And Heart Failure: A State-Of-The-Art Review. – Pubmed – NCBI”. Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. N.p., 2017. Web. 16 May 2017.
2. Gao L, et al. “Effects Of Coenzyme Q10 On Vascular Endothelial Function In Humans: A Meta-Analysis Of Randomized Controlled Trials. – Pubmed – NCBI”. Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. N.p., 2017. Web. 16 May 2017.
3. Ho MJ, et al. “Blood Pressure Lowering Efficacy Of Coenzyme Q10 For Primary Hypertension. – Pubmed – NCBI”. Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. N.p., 2017. Web. 16 May 2017.
4.Simon-Damian, Maxwell. Coenzyme Q10 Combined With Mild Hypothermia After Cardiac Arrest A Preliminary Study. 1st ed. 2004. Print.
5.Sándor PS, et al. “Efficacy Of Coenzyme Q10 In Migraine Prophylaxis: A Randomized Controlled Trial. – Pubmed – NCBI”. Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. N.p., 2005. Web. 16 May 2017.
6.Feher J, et al. “Improvement Of Visual Functions And Fundus Alterations In Early Age-Related Macular Degeneration Treated With A Combination Of Acetyl-L-Carnitine, … – Pubmed – NCBI”. Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. N.p., 2017. Web. 16 May 2017.
7.Angeli SI, et al. “Coenzyme Q-10 Treatment Of Patients With A 7445A—>G Mitochondrial DNA Mutation Stops The Progression Of Hearing Loss. – Pubmed – NCBI”. Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. N.p., 2017. Web. 16 May 2017.
8.Balercia G, et al. “Coenzyme Q(10) Supplementation In Infertile Men With Idiopathic Asthenozoospermia: An Open, Uncontrolled Pilot Study. – Pubmed – NCBI”. Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. N.p., 2017. Web. 16 May 2017.
9.Cicero AF, et al. “Possible Role Of Ubiquinone In The Treatment Of Massive Hypertriglyceridemia Resistant To PUFA And Fibrates. – Pubmed – NCBI”. Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. N.p., 2017. Web. 16 May 2017.