Coenzyme Q10 (also known as Co Q10, or ubiquinone) is a substance found in all our cells. It can be said to act like a vitamin, yet it’s not classed as a vitamin because we can make it in... Read more
Coenzyme Q10 (also known as Co Q10, or ubiquinone) is a substance found in all our cells. It can be said to act like a vitamin, yet it’s not classed as a vitamin because we can make it in our own bodies. Co Q10 has an important role in energy production in our cells, and also functions as a vital antioxidant.
Read on to find out more about how it works, and why some of us may benefit from taking coenzyme Q10 in supplement form.
Primary functions of Coenzyme Q10
Coenzyme Q10 has two main functions in our body:
‘electron transport chain’ which is the final stage in production of ATP – the body’s energy molecule [1,2]. Because it’s so important for energy, it’s found in particularly high concentrations in the heart muscle – almost three times as much as in any other muscles! 
How much coenzyme Q10 do we need?
Because we can make it in our own bodies, coenzyme Q10 is not classified as an essential nutrient and therefore there is no specific amount that we ‘need’ to get through food.
There are only very small amounts of coenzyme Q10 found in food compared to the amounts we can make in our own body. Food sources include:
Why take coenzyme Q10 in supplement form?
So if we can make it in our own bodies, why take a Co Q10 supplement? Here are some of the primary reasons it may be helpful.
Forms and bioavailability / What to look for when buying a supplement
There are two primary forms of coenzyme Q10 found in supplements:
In addition to these two forms of Co Q10, there are differences in how Co Q10 supplements are produced and presented to us that may affect how well they are absorbed.
So in summary, what should you look for when choosing a Co Q10 supplement?
Ubiquinol is often said to be better than ubiquinone and may be a good choice if you can afford it; however, both forms can be effective. In terms of the format of the Co Q10 supplement, an oil or gel capsule is likely to be better than a standard dry-form capsule or tablet. Co Q10 in a base of medium-chain triglycerides or that has been emulsified may be better than a standard oil capsule, with micellised supplements being potentially one of the best choices all-round.
Dosages: Lifestyle Labs’ recommendations
Adults: Dosages of Co Q10 supplements tend to vary between 30 mg and 200 mg. 30 to 60 mg is generally considered a low dose – it may be a good choice for those who are looking for a maintenance or ‘everyday’ dose. For those who are looking for more intensive support, or who are taking statin medication, 100 to 200 mg per day is considered a more effective dose. Significantly higher doses than this have been used in clinical trials without adverse effects – however, it is best to check with a healthcare practitioner if you want to take a higher dose on a long-term basis.
Children: Coenzyme Q10 is not generally recommended as a supplement for children unless on the advice of a healthcare practitioner.
If you are taking any medications or have any medical condition, please consult your healthcare practitioner before taking coenzyme Q10. In particular, coenzyme Q10 should not be taken by those on anti-coagulant (blood-thinning) medication unless advised by a healthcare practitioner.
For most people, Co Q10 is a very safe supplement to take on a long-term basis.
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