Q: What can you tell me about coenzyme Q10? Do you recommend it, and if so, how much should I take?
A: Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is an antioxidant that is found naturally in your body. It is particularly concentrated in the mitochondria—the energy-producing factories in each of your cells. In fact, the mitochondria provide 90 percent of the energy that fuels cellular activity and keeps us alive.
In addition to being a potent antioxidant, CoQ10 helps maintain healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels, promotes arterial health and supports a strong heartbeat. It also has proven health benefits for your gums, brain and skin. And studies suggest that it may help prevent migraines and slow hearing loss.
Take a CoQ10 Supplement
Our levels of CoQ10 naturally decline with age. Fortunately, you can replenish these levels by taking supplemental CoQ10. While everyone can benefit from taking a CoQ10 supplement, they are especially important for people with cardiovascular concerns, and for those who take cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, which further deplete your body’s CoQ10 stores.
There are several types of CoQ10 supplements available. Tablets and capsules contain powdered CoQ10, which isn’t very well absorbed in the body. CoQ10 is fat soluble so gelcaps, which contain CoQ10 mixed with a little oil, are a much better choice.
Two Types of CoQ10: Ubiquinol and Ubiquinone
You should also know that there are two forms of CoQ10: ubiquinone and ubiquinol. Although both forms are effective, 95 percent of the CoQ10 that naturally exists in your body is ubiquinol. So, if you take a supplement containing the ubiquinol form, your body can use it right away. On the other hand, if you take ubiquinone, your body will need to convert it to ubiquinol, and there’s a possibility that the conversion may not happen efficiently. That’s why I consider ubiquinol the better of the two.
As for the dosage, most people benefit from taking 100–200 mg of CoQ10 daily. But this dose may be doubled or tripled if conditions warrant.