CoQ10 is potentially one of the most important nutrients for cardiovascular health, energy production in the cells and anti-aging. Regardless of your age, supplementing with CoQ10 can be very beneficial for overall health and longevity. Although normally produced in the body, deficiency can occur due to metabolic disorders, insufficient dietary consumption or excess needs in the body, usually resulting from illness and disease. There are two forms of supplemental CoQ10, with quite a difference in price point and some health variances, so it’s important to understand the role of CoQ10 in order to assess which form is best for you.
CoQ10 provides two important functions. It supports energy production and acts as an antioxidant in its ubiquinol form. Even though the liver produces this enzyme, levels begin to decline as the body ages beginning in the early 20’s. CoQ10 is found in the mitochondria of every cell and is vital for ATP (adenosine triphosphate) production, which is critical for generating 95% of the body’s energy. In recent years, CoQ10 has received a lot of attention for its role in cardiovascular health (supporting the treatment of congestive heart failure, lowering blood pressure, preventing oxidation of LDL cholesterol, energy needs in the heart muscle, strengthening cardiovascular system) as well as reducing signs of aging, boosting the immune function, anti-inflammation, improved nerve and muscle function, overall energy, prevention of free radical damage (by recycling and maintaining the activation of vitamin E and C) and effective fat metabolism due to the activation of uncoupling proteins during exercise. 
In general, studies have shown that those with chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart conditions, degenerative diseases, and muscle dystrophy have low levels of CoQ10 in the body. This implies that CoQ10 may be effective as a supplement in these cases. It has also been discovered that those taking statin drugs for the purpose of lowering cholesterol are particularly at risk for CoQ10 deficiency. One statistic indicated that statin drugs could lower CoQ10 production by 40%. Statin drugs are typically used to reduce the risk of heart disease, however by depleting CoQ10 (by inhibiting cholesterol production) you reduce cell energy and protection against free radicals, leading to the same problem the statins are meant to prevent. Although this is not yet acknowledged as an official risk when taking statin medications in the US, you can find warnings on Canadian labels. For this reason, it’s recommended to supplement with CoQ10 when using statins.
Currently there are two forms of CoQ10 supplements on the market. One is what some experts call the “energy” form. This is the original supplement form that’s been on the market for many years. It’s also referred to as the oxidative form or ubiquinone, which activates over 694 genes. It’s usually bright orange and very easily absorbed for those under 35 years of age. The reduced version, referred to as ubiquinol or the “antioxidant” form, is more expensive but potentially better for those with chronic diseases or over the age of 35. Either way, the body usually balances out both forms by converting one into the other as needed to maintain equilibrium. The antioxidant power of ubiquinol also supports energy production indirectly by protecting the cells from free radical damage. Both forms are supportive for optimal levels of CoQ10 and overall health/vitality. Doses can be anywhere between 100g and 300g, although no toxicity has been found.
Although supplementation is the fastest and arguably “healthiest” way of replenishing CoQ10, the enzyme can also be found in small amounts in organ meats (heart, liver, kidney), beef, pork, eggs, sardines and mackerel. Vegetarian sources include nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, peanuts), spinach, broccoli, whole grains, sesame seeds, olive oil, grapeseed oil and avocado. 
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Published On: February 13, 2013