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Co-Enzyme Q10



What is Co-Enzyme Q10?  Co-enzyme Q10 (Co-Q10) is a powerful antioxidant that protects against the damaging effects of free-radicals.  Free-radicals are the cell damaging particles that are by products of metabolic processes within the body, particular oxidation.  Co-Q10 is found in every cell in the human body and as such is also called ubiquinone, which literally means everywhere.  Co-Q10 is present naturally in our diet, but only in small amounts, in fish and meat.


Who might benefit from Co-Enzyme Q10 supplements?  Co-Enzyme Q10 may be beneficial to anybody who takes part in regular aerobic exercise (runners, swimmers, cyclists, footballers etc.).


Summary of Co-Enzyme Q10's physiological effects:

  • Powerful antioxidant protecting against cellular damage by free-radicals

  • Can improve heart function

  • May lower blood pressure


What does research say about Co-Enzyme Q10 supplementation?  Co-Q10 plays an important role in the transfer of energy from food and is also known to improve the transport of oxygen into cells.  It is found in particularly high levels in the cells of the heart muscle.  As we age the level of Co-Q10 declines.  Also, among patients suffering with congenital heart disease the level of Co-Q10 within the heart muscle is significantly lower than is found in healthy individuals of the same age.   

Co-Q10 has been used to treat congestive heart failure (Morisco et al., 1993) and has also been demonstrated to have a positive effect by reducing blood pressure (Gaby, 1996).  It should be noted that congestive heart patients taking Co-Q10 should not discontinue use of Co-Q10 supplements unless advised by a doctor or physician to do so. 

It is because of the positive effect on heart function, and Co-Q10's ability to increase oxygen transport into cells, that has made it a popular supplement with endurance athletes.


Is Co-Enzyme Q10 effective?  Co-Q10 has proved to be beneficial for the treatment of congestive heart patients but there it is unclear as to whether it would be of benefit to normal healthy individuals.


How should I take Co-Enzyme Q10?  It is generally recommended that athletes take 30-100mg of CoQ10 per day.  Since Co-Q10 is fat soluble it is best taken with meals to help to improve the rate of its absorption.  



Gaby, A. R. (1996) The role of coenzyme Q10 in clinical medicine: part II.  Cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes mellitus and infertility. Alternative Medicine Reviews. 1, 168-175. 

Morisco, C., Trimarco, B. and Condorelli, M. (1993) Effect of coenzyme Q10 in patients with congestive heart failure: a long-term multicenter randomized study. Clinical investigations. 71, S134-136.


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Last modified: 01/05/06