What is CoQ10 Good for... Answers from an Interview with Pharmacists

In our work with clients in community pharmacies, we often get a significant amount of questions on the health benefits of natural supplements and herbal remedies.

CoQ10 entered into the spotlight as the ultimate energy boosting, cancer curing and body building supplement.

Indeed, promotional materials produced by manufacturers of CoQ10 make extensive claims for the health benefits of CoQ10.

Let's get down to it and answer some of the commonly asked questions about what CoQ10 can do for various health conditions.

Select the specific answer to your question below and you will be taken to the correct location on this page.

Is CoQ10 good for...

Is CoQ10 good for you?

That's a pretty broad question indeed. When clients ask us if CoQ10 is good for you, we always ask the person many more questions, starting with what health problems they are thinking of taking CoQ10 for.

In general, CoQ10 deficiency is not common and you can get most of the CoQ10 you need from your diet. Your body is able to make it as well when necessary.

If you are healthy in general, taking CoQ10 won't make you feel any better (assuming that's what you are hoping for). That's the truth.

As for the long-term benefits of taking a daily CoQ10 supplement, no one really knows for certain. Studies haven't been conducted that looked at the general health benefits of CoQ10.

There is no harm (thank goodness) for most people to take a daily 100 mg CoQ10 supplement. The side effects of CoQ10 are minimal and it is available from many manufacturers and from discount retailers at a reasonable cost.

It comes down to a personal choice and whether you want to spend the money on it or not.

Is CoQ10 good for skin health?

This is a tough one to answer. Why? Because many cosmetic products that contain CoQ10 also include many other natural (or artificial) ingredients in their formulation.

From a business standpoint, it is unwise to just make just a CoQ10 cream. You may expect to get better anti-aging effects if you use multiple ingredients that works in multiple ways on your skin.

However, preliminary studies showed that applying CoQ10 on the skin seemed to improve skin health.

So why not choose an anti-aging cream that has some CoQ10 in it over one that does not? How well it works will depend, to a large part, on the current health of your skin.

Source: Skin Benefits with Coenzyme Q10

Is CoQ10 good for blood pressure?

It is known that CoQ10 is good for the heart but is it really good for high blood pressure?

Yes! CoQ10 can be effective for lowering high blood pressure and is a very good supplement to consider if you suffer from hypertension. But the health benefits go belong its ability to just lower blood pressure. Let me explain.

High blood pressure is often associated with cardiovascular disease. Many people just have high blood pressure with no other heart-related disease.

However, many people with high blood pressure also suffer from high cholesterol, other heart-related diseases and even diabetes. Many of these health conditions appear together.

Studies show that it can lower blood pressure by up to 11 points (11 mm Hg) on average. That is very good news indeed.

You can easily monitor your blood pressure regularly in the total comfort of your own home. This way you will know if CoQ10 works or not. How simple can it get?

It behooves us to mention that you should not make adjustments to your current prescription blood pressure medications without consulting your doctor first.

Source: CoQ10 for High Blood Pressure

Is CoQ10 good for your heart?

What is the simply answer to the question is CoQ10 good for your heart?

Yes. We would go as far as saying absolutely.

CoQ10 has been extensively studied in the area of heart health. Indeed, this is the main area of focus for many researchers.

The heart never stops contracting so it is one of the most active muscles in your body. Since CoQ10 is essential for energy generation, you had better make sure your heart is loaded with CoQ10.

CoQ10 has been shown to help treat patients with heart failure and in those individuals who had a previous heart attack. It is essentially a "must take" supplement for this group of people.

Source: Treating Heart Failure with CoQ10

Is CoQ10 good for joints?

We really don't know if CoQ10 is good for joint health. No one has looked into this particular use. At least no one has published a research paper on this particular benefit to date.

You would be better off with natural products like glucosamine, chondroitin and/or MSM for joint health rather than CoQ10. These natural supplements have been shown to be helpful.

For osteoarthritis, see Osteoarthritis Remedies for a list of natural supplements that work and are currently being used around the world.

Is CoQ10 good for kids?

The question is not whether CoQ10 is good for kids or not. Rather, the question is do kids need to take CoQ10.

In healthy children, most likely not.

Kids have higher CoQ10 levels than adults. In fact, as you age, your CoQ10 levels decline.

Again, we are talking about children who are healthy. Children suffering from any health conditions might benefit, but consult a doctor first before giving it to them.

Save the CoQ10 supplements for yourself and your spouse and perhaps your grandpa and grandma. Older people are likely to get greater benefits from taking it than your children.

Is CoQ10 good for weight loss?

Who doesn't want to lose excess body weight. But is CoQ10 good for weight loss?

No, we don't think so.

Not unless you have a serious metabolic disorder like diabetes.

Having said that, keep in mind that obese individuals have higher oxidative stress levels in their body.

And CoQ10's antioxidant property can reduce oxidative stress. So you may get indirect benefits from using CoQ10 for weight loss.

True, CoQ10 is believed to boost metabolism, but it may not do it enough to cause significant weight loss. However, it is possible that certain individuals may benefit from taking a CoQ10 supplement as it may slow down weight gain.

You are much more likely to lose more weight by giving your body a good daily dose of caffeine or by cutting back in calories!

Still curious? See Coenzyme Q10 for Weight Loss for the complete discussion.

Source: Weight Management with Coenzyme Q10

Is CoQ10 good for body building?

Since CoQ10 is required for energy production, many believe that using CoQ10 can be good for body building. But here's our thought why it may not offer as much benefit as one would like to believe.

Body builders, at least most of them, are acutely aware of their diet and what they should or should not eat. Most of them will follow a healthy diet high in lean proteins.

They are unlikely to be deficient in CoQ10. Moreover, their body would have responded to the needed energy increase over time and naturally compensated for the increased need for CoQ10.

Remember, your body can make all necessary CoQ10 it needs. CoQ10 is not an essential substance like vitamin C which your body cannot make.

The small number of studies on using CoQ10 for athletic performance enhancement produced mixed results and it is hard to draw any accurate conclusions.

One small randomized study involving 15 volunteers showed that taking 100 mg of CoQ10 supplement daily for 16 weeks showed a modest increase in the ability to lift more weights on average. See the article Coenzyme Q10 for Energy for the reference to the studies.

Source: Energy Production Enhancement with Coenzyme Q10

Is CoQ10 good for cancer?

Many people are looking for an effective natural remedy for cancer prevention (or even treatment). There are some remedies, but CoQ10 might not be the one. At least not based on existing research studies.

Why? Most of the studies that looked at using CoQ10 also included other antioxidants. Moreover, the researchers did not use a control group (a group that was given a placebo, sugar pill, rather than the supplement). To make matters worse, conventional chemotherapy was also used at the same time (in one of the study).

Because of this, we will never know with certainty whether the anti-cancer benefits came from just CoQ10, the combination of supplements, the CoQ10 plus conventional chemotherapy or just by chance and good fortune.

Bottom line? No one can say for certaint if it would help.

Source: Cancer Treatment with CoQ10 & Breast Cancer Treatment with CoQ10

Is CoQ10 good for cholesterol problems?

Some studies show that it doesn't seem to have any effect on the LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels but it might help to elevate the HDL ("good") cholesterol.

But we believe the benefits of CoQ10 for cholesterol come from its indirect antioxidant effects. It may protect the lining of the blood vessel against oxidative stress. Oxidation of the lipids in your bloodstream is the beginning process of atherosclerosis ("hardening of the arteries").

But here's another excellent reason for taking CoQ10 if you have high cholesterol.

If you do have high cholesterol, you are probably given a "statin" type cholesterol lowering medication by your doctor right?

If so, these statin-type medications (such as Mevacor, Pravachol, Crestor and Lipitor) have been shown to significantly lower CoQ10 levels, sometimes as much as 50%.

This is alarming news! The higher the dose of statin medication, the lower the CoQ10 levels might become.

The truth is, if you are on any statin-type cholesterol lowering medication, you must take a CoQ10 supplement (at least 100 mg daily) as a preventative measure.

Of course, you could get your CoQ10 levels measured to be absolutely sure but you'll have to pay about $150 to $200 since it has to be done by a specialized lab.

Source: High Cholesterol Management with Coenzyme Q10

Is coenzyme Q10 good for energy?

Studies showed that rats given CoQ10 had greater endurance before they became tired. However, studies done with weight lifters show only modest increase in the ability to lift more weight.

Nothing dramatic really.

However, in the area of disease such as chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia, the results show some benefits. It would, of course, depend on how severe the disease is and how much fatigue a person is currently experiencing in the first place.

In diseases that cause fatigue, it may be worthwhile to go on a course of CoQ10 to find out if it really helps.

Source: Energy Boost with Q10 & Fibromyalgia Treatment with CoQ10

How fast does CoQ10 work?

That depends on the health condition you are intending to take CoQ10 for. In general, expect it to take months to work for most health problems.

The healthier you are, the longer it will take for you to notice significant improvements. As an example, if you are reasonably healthy, you probably won't notice any benefits at all.

But for a person who just survived a heart attack and is now suffering from heart failure, taking a CoQ10 supplement can result in significant and noticeable benefit rather quickly, perhaps in several weeks.

Bottom line

Is CoQ10 good for you?

Yes, both directly and indirectly. For healthy individuals, CoQ10 supplement may not be required. You can get most of it from your diet and deficiency is rare.

The individuals that are likely to get the maximum benefits are those who suffer from or who are at risk of getting heart disease.

If you are healthy, don't expect to notice significant benefits. Why? Most of the benefits of CoQ10 will show up years and perhaps decades down the road.

For those still wanting to take a CoQ10 supplement, a dosage of 100 mg daily is what we would recommend you start on.

If you plan on taking a higher dose of CoQ10 (perhaps to treat a specific health condition), see the article Coenzyme Q10 Dosage Recommendations to get an idea of how much more you might want to take.

Get access to a comprehensive list of articles about this essential vitamin-like substance at our Coenzyme Q10 Information Resource page.