Coenzyme Q10 is a natural antioxidant found in the cells of your body. In the membrane that surrounds the tiny organelles called mitochondria. The mitochondria are responsible for producing energy from the food you eat. Researchers discovered blood levels of coenzyme Q10 levels were low in people with fibromyalgia. They wondered if supplementing with coenzyme Q10 might reduce your fibromyalgia pain and fatigue. And their published findings of several studies showed
that this was the case.
Coenzyme Q10 has many health benefits. But the body’s production of it reduces with age. After a person reaches their early 20s levels start to decline. And the decline occurs at different rates in different people. We also know that some medications deplete the natural levels of coenzyme Q10 in the body. These include statins, the cholesterol lowering medications.
In fact, one theory is that low levels of coenzyme Q10 might play a part in the development of fibromyalgia. Low levels are also linked to other chronic diseases. Such as Parkinson’s disease, migraine headaches, diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
Coenzyme Q10 has a vital role in energy production. Cells that use the most energy, need the most coenzyme Q10. These are the cells of vital organs, such as brain, liver and heart. As we might expect, these organs contain the highest concentrations of in the body.
So, it’s no surprise that animal organs are among the richest dietary sources. Chicken liver, beef heart, pork shoulder, beef liver and beef sirloin are some of the highest. Some fish, nuts and oils have moderate levels. But dairy products, eggs, fruits, vegetables and cereal grains have much lower amounts.
Having said this, even the richest sources of coenzyme Q10 provide only low levels. Average dietary intake of coenzyme Q10 is estimated at 3 to 6mg per day. But researchers used 300mg per day in the studies. 300mg daily is only achievable with supplementation.
Supplements are usually a mixture of the two forms of coenzyme Q10. These are ubiquinol and ubiquinone. Ubiquinol is the active antioxidant form of coenzyme Q10. It is also better absorbed than ubiquinone. To maximise absorption take your coenzyme Q10 supplement, as ubiquinol, with a fatty meal.
Don’t expect overnight results. It is a supplement that takes time to work. Benefits may sometimes take weeks to show. For example, one study that ran for 9 months showed significant improvements in symptoms. The study conclusions were that if coenzyme Q10 was low, supplements may improve symptoms.
Coenzyme Q10 is not associated with side effects at the levels used in the studies.