Coenzyme-Q10 as an energy booster?

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Coenzyme-Q10 as an energy booster?

Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10 (Ubiquinone) is naturally found in every cell of the body but with especially high levels in the heart, skeletal muscles and other tissues with high energy requirements. As we age, production of Coenzyme Q10 in the body declines, making dietary intake more important. This vitamin-like substance is like a “spark plug” that helps with the challenges every day brings.

For supplements to be sold with claims of being beneficial to aspects of a person’s health, they have to be assessed by the European food regulator EFSA. EFSA has not approved any health claims for Coenzyme Q10 because health claims are about general function rather than about improving health or treating disease. Therefore EFSA does not allow claims that Coenzyme Q10:

  • Helps with heart health, blood pressure and cholesterol.
  • Is necessary for the transformation of food into energy.
  • Helps with energy, physical activity, sports performance, intellectual effort and a healthy brain.

What do studies say?

This nutrient is found in every cell of the body and plays an essential role in helping to release energy from the food we consume.  However, most healthy people have enough Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) naturally. There is no evidence that taking more CoQ10 supplements offers them benefit. Increasing age and some medical conditions are associated with decreasing levels of CoQ10. Many opt to take a CoQ10 supplements at age 40 and beyond. But even in these cases, it’s uncertain that adding CoQ10 will have an effect.

Nonetheless, CoQ10 has been used to treat many different conditions. There’s some evidence that CoQ10 supplements can help lower blood pressure slightly. A study published by the US National Institutes of Health says that some small clinical trials seem to show that CoQ10 supplements can be used to lower blood pressure. However, it concludes, “larger trials are needed to determine if they are truly effective.”

Studies have shown statin medicines deplete CoQ10 levels in the body.

CoQ10 is also used in some parts of the world to treat heart failure and other heart conditions. One 2009 study in New Zealand of 236 patients with chronic heart failure concluded “there is an emerging evidence base in support of CoQ10 as an adjunctive therapy in congestive heart failure.” But the evidence is conflicting and more studies are required.

Preliminary studies have been carried out on CoQ10 as a potential treatment for neurodegenerative disease, such as Alzheimer’s, but a study at Cornell University in the U.S. concluded that further, large studies are needed to confirm any benefits.

Cautions

Side effects from CoQ10 seem to be rare and mild. They include diarrhoea, nausea, and heartburn.

People with chronic diseases such as heart failure, kidney or liver problems, or diabetes should be wary of using this supplement. CoQ10 may lower blood sugar levels and blood pressure. Doses of more than 300mg may affect liver enzyme levels.

Interactions

People taking blood thinners and thyroid medications should check with their doctor before using CoQ10 supplements.

Given the lack of evidence about its safety, CoQ10 supplements are not recommended for children or for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Action for ME says higher doses may be recommended for people with certain medical conditions, including chronic fatigue syndrome.

FeelGood Island
FeelGood Island
As pharmacists we believe in improving people's health. Unsatisfied with the value and complexity of available supplements, we decided to develop our own range of products with quality, convenience and value in mind.
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