CoQ10 Supports Mitochondrial Function in Every Cell

Senior taking CoQ10 supplementWhat is CoQ10?

Co-enzyme Q10 is an essential nutrient and antioxidant found in every cell in the body. It supports and promotes mitochondrial function essential for cellular energy. It is critical for eye, brain, and heart health. Health conditions like heart disease, brain disorders, diabetes, and cancer have been linked to low levels of CoQ10.1 The highest concentrations of COQ10 are found in organs with the greatest energy demands, such as the heart, kidneys, lungs, and liver.2 It is present in large quantities in the retina and the brain.3 4

CoQ10 is essential because it supports mitochondria processes. Mitochondria are the cellular energy producers that support all cellular activity. When CoQ10 is depleted or deficient, cells throughout the body are deprived of a fundamental need. Other nutrients such as acetyl-l-carnitine, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, PQQ, and alpha-lipoic acid enhance CoQ10 functioning.

How Do We Get CoQ10?

The body produces some of its own CoQ10, but we also get it from food sources. CoQ10 exists as both ubiquinol and ubiquinone. Ubiquinol is a form that is better at quenching free radicals because ubiquinol is the reduced form of CoQ10. In biology, reduction refers to adding electrons to compounds, rendering them more effective. Production of CoQ10 diminishes in the body as one ages — up to 70% in heart muscle,5 and also is affected by statin drugs by possibly up to 40%.6 7

Healthy individuals naturally produce sufficient CoQ10. However, a genetic flaw, advanced age, low fat intake, side effects from statin drugs, and other reasons can cause a deficiency.

CoQ10 Benefits


CoQ10, as a vitamin-like antioxidant, generally helps protect cells from oxidative damage.8 9

Supports Heart Function

CoQ10 supports heart functioning. Treatment with CoQ10 could assist with restoring optimal levels of energy production, reducing oxidative damage, and improving heart function, all of which can aid the treatment of heart failure.10

In a study of 420 people with heart failure, treatment with CoQ10 for two years improved their symptoms and reduced their risk of dying from heart problems. 11

Another study treated 641 people with CoQ10 or a placebo for a year. At the end of the study, those in the CoQ10 group had been hospitalized less frequently for worsening heart failure and had fewer serious complications.12


Combined with red yeast rice, CoQ10 helps reduce cholesterol levels.13 This may be because while CoQ10 is effective in protecting against the oxidation of proteins in the body, it is especially effective against the oxidation of lipids.14


Research assessing the value of supplementing with CoQ10 in 109 hypertension patients found a marked reduction in blood pressure.15 16 In eight other studies, the mean systolic decrease was 16, and the mean diastolic decrease was 10.17

Triglyceride and LDL Levels

CoQ10 provides antioxidant protection to cell membranes and plasma lipoproteins,18 by lowering lipid peroxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) particles that contributes to atherosclerosis.19 There are reports to suggest that CoQ10 is very effective in reducing serum triglycerides levels,20 and plasma lipoproteins.

NOTE: A combination of CoQ10 with red yeast rice, berberine, policosanol, astaxanthin, and folic acid significantly decreased total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, triglycerides, and glucose in the blood while increasing HDL-cholesterol levels.21

Statin Drugs

The use of statin drugs for cholesterol control reduces CoQ10 precursors in the body, resulting in a deficiency. Symptoms include muscle pain, cramps, and weakness.22 Therefore, if statin drugs are prescribed, CoQ10 should also be taken.

Note: Statin drugs are the most common treatment for lowering cholesterol. Though they tend to work well, they can have significant side effects including muscle wasting over time. There are ways you can discuss with your doctor to naturally lower cholesterol that may enable you to avoid taking statin drugs including: regular exercise, weight management, a healthy, high fiber diet (rich in beans, oats, fruits, and raw or lightly steamed vegetables), avoiding high levels of saturated fats and trans fatty acids, not smoking, and supplements including red rice yeast, fish oil, CoQ10, psyllium, garlic, green tea.

Supports Sugar Balance

Diabetic retinopathy. In combination with pine bark (pycnogenol) and vitamin E, CoQ10 helps reduce free radicals and improve the retina’s thickness.23

Diabetes. CoQ10 improves insulin sensitivity and regulates blood sugar levels in lab animals.24 Supplementing with CoQ10 might also help increase CoQ10 concentrations in the blood by up to three times in people with diabetes who typically show low levels of this compound.25 26

Supports Vision


CoQ10’s ability to support mitochondrial function 27 and its known neuroprotective capacity makes it of interest to glaucoma researchers. When applied topically in animal models, it effectively reduces high intraocular pressure.28

Macular Degeneration

CoQ10, combined with acetyl-l-carnitine or omega-3 fatty acids, supports retinal functioning more than either of those nutrients alone. In general, compounds that affect mitochondrial fat metabolism appear to improve and stabilize vision and even improve vision in patients with early-stage AMD.29 In combination with acetyl-l-carnitine, omega-3s, and vitamin E, it improves the retinal pigment cell tissue function and reduces the drusen-covered area of the retina. Not only does CoQ10 play an essential role in mitochondria processes, but it also protects fats, proteins, and DNA from oxidative stress. The reviewers note its value in treating AMD and glaucoma and propose that it could be effective for other retinal conditions.30

Neurodegenerative Diseases


Ferroptosis (cell death characterized by iron-dependent lipid oxidation) plays a key role in the development of degenerative diseases such as Huntington’s, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s, and in carcinogenesis, ischemia-reperfusion injury, and cardiovascular diseases. Analogs of CoQ10 can suppress ferroptosis and lipid peroxidation.31


Increases in chronic inflammation results in increases in oxidative molecules, chemokines, cytokines, and immune cells (such as bradykinin, serotonin, and histamine) which in turn result in insulin resistance in the brain, causing a cascade of events that end up affecting healthy neurons. They increase both endothelial permeability and vessel diameter, together contributing to significant leakage across the blood-brain barrier and cerebral edema. Chronic inflammation32 33 and oxidative stress34 are prominent issues contributing to nerve damage and the onset of AD, and may play a role in other forms of dementia and brain aging.35


There is some evidence in animal models that CoQ10 may be helpful as a neuroprotective therapy in patients with Parkinson’s disease36 or stroke (after atorvastatin), due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-cell death effects.37

Although studies have mixed reviews on the benefit of supplementing with CoQ10 for PD, one study shows it has been very successful in preclinical models and early human studies in reducing PD symptoms.38 Four randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies compared CoQ10 treatment in 452 patients with early or mid-stage Parkinson’s disease. They found improvements in daily activities and other parameters.39


Cancer patients have been shown to have lower levels of CoQ10. Low levels of CoQ10 have been associated with up to a 53.3% higher risk of cancer. Low CoQ10 levels indicate a poor prognosis for various types of cancer.40 41  One study also suggested that supplementing with CoQ10 may help reduce the chance of cancer recurrence.42

It should be noted that CoQ10 and other antioxidants taken during chemotherapy for cancer do not improve survival chances.  As this is ongoing research, consult your doctor and current research at about whether to take anything other than a multivitamin during chemotherapy.

Migraine Headache

Researchers have seen CoQ10 deficiency in people suffering from migraines. Supplementing with CoQ10 may help prevent their onset.43 A large study showed that 1,550 people with low CoQ10 levels experienced fewer and less severe headaches after treatment with CoQ10.44

Food Sources of COQ10

Food sources: Organ (heart, liver, and kidney) and other meats (pork, beef, and chicken), fatty fish (trout, herring, mackerel, and sardines), spinach, cauliflower, broccoli, oranges, strawberries, soybeans, lentils, and peanuts.

Other nutrients that go well with CoQ10

Selenium: A trace mineral found in soil and foods such as Brazil nuts, fish, and eggs. Selenium has powerful antioxidant and longevity benefits in its own right, but interestingly enough, studies show it might be really good for your heart when you pair selenium with CoQ10.

Magnesium: Another mineral that’s good for your heart is magnesium. Although it doesn’t directly relate to CoQ10, magnesium helps relax the smooth muscles within blood vessels as well as promotes the synthesis of nitric oxide.

Potassium gets most of its attention from the regular exercise crowd because it helps with muscle recovery. But like magnesium, potassium helps maintain already-healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Fish Oil: This is a cardiovascular superstar because it helps keep your already healthy triglycerides within the normal range. Fish oil is also good at inhibiting inflammation, which supports heart health and is also good for your joints.

NOTE: Low levels of CoQ10 may also be related to a deficiency in Vitamin B6. It can also result from taking statin drugs to lower cholesterol.

Supplements to Consider:

Heart Health Complex 90 caps – nutrient combo, including CoQ10

UBQH 100mg 60 softgels – well absorbed form of CoQ10

Advanced Eye & Vision Support Formula (whole food) 60 vcaps


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