The list of CoQ10 benefits is impressive. CoQ10 is an enzyme with the body makes and uses to protect cell mitochondria (the cell powerhouses) from the oxidative damage associated with the work of cellular respiration and energy creation. Organs that work hard in the body (i.e., the heart and brain) have naturally high levels of CoQ10.
Studies have been done which demonstrate that CoQ10 supplements can be beneficial for people suffering from cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, gum disease, and many other conditions related to reduced mitochondrial function in the cell.
CoQ10 Benefits and Cancer
- Drive cancer into remission: Studies of women with breast cancer suggest that CoQ10 supplements (in addition to conventional treatment and a nutritional regimen including other antioxidants and essential fatty acids) may shrink tumors, reduce pain associated with the condition, and cause partial remission in some individuals. However, the beneficial effects may be due in part to the additional antioxidants (vitamins C, E, and selenium) used in the noted studies.
- Heart damage caused by chemotherapy: Several clinical studies suggest that CoQ10 may help prevent heart damage caused by certain chemotherapy drugs (namely adriamycin or other anthracycline medications).
CoQ10 Benefits and Heart Health
- Prevention and Treatment of Heart Disease: CoQ10 improves energy production in cells, inhibits blood clot formation, and acts as an antioxidant in the heart muscle. In fact, the heart has the highest natural concentrations of CoQ10, so it’s not surprising that supplementation would strengthen the heart. A clinical study found that people who received daily CoQ10 supplements within 3 days of a heart attack were significantly less likely to experience subsequent heart attacks and chest pain. In addition, these same patients were less likely to die of heart disease than those who did not receive the supplements.
- Cardiomyopathy and Congestive Heart failure (HF): People with cardiomyopathy (weak heart) often develop congestive heart failure. These patients with these conditions often have a deficiency of CoQ10. Supplementation with CoQ10 can strengthen the heart muscle, and reduce the abnormal levels of fluid retention.
- Heart surgery: Clinical research indicates that introducing CoQ10 prior to heart surgery, including bypass surgery and heart transplantation, can reduce damage caused by free radicals, strengthen heart function, and lower the incidence of irregular heartbeat (arrhythmias) during the recovery phase.
- High Cholesterol Levels: CoQ10 levels tend to be lower in people with high cholesterol compared to healthy individuals of the same age. In addition, certain cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins (such as atorvastatin, cerivastatin, lovastatin, pravastatin, simvastatin) deplete the natural levels of CoQ10 in the body. Taking CoQ10 supplements can help to offset the deficiency caused by statin medications, and reduce the muscle pain associated with statin use.
Other CoQ10 Benefits
Other preliminary clinical studies suggest that CoQ10 benefits may also include the ability to:
- Reduce High Blood Pressure: Several clinical studies have shown that taking CoQ10 supplements can help lower blood pressure.
- Heal Periodontal (gum) disease: Gum disease is associated with swelling, bleeding, pain, and redness of the gums. Clinical studies show that people with gum disease tend to have low levels of CoQ10 in their gums. In a few clinical studies involving small numbers of subjects, CoQ10 supplements helped hasten healing and tissue repair. CoQ10 is used in mouth rinse products for this condition.
- Improve immune function in individuals with immune deficiencies and chronic infections
- Reduce tremors associated with Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease
- Boost athletic performance. Frequent, intense exercise can deplete CoQ10 levels, and supplementation can help rebuild stores.
- Enhance physical energy, especially for those with chronic fatigue, and muscular dystrophy
- Help you stay younger longer. CoQ10 delays the aging process in the cells and this translates into a longer, healthier life.
Dosages vary depending on the health issues you want to address. General recommendations are to take a minimum of 50 mg up to 400 mg a day. Absorption rates are highly individualized and may vary as much as 300%. CoQ10 molecules are fat-soluble, so it’s best to take supplements with some sort of fatty food, such as butter or heavy cream.