What is CoQ10 Good For Anyway?

Coenzyme Q10 is an essential substance that the body uses to properly generate energy and to make proteins.

It has gotten quite a reputation as being the "cure all" for a whole host of health problems.

Your body can produce CoQ10 and it is also found in foods such as whole grains, meat and in seafoods. It is uncommon for individuals to be deficient in CoQ10.

But some experts believe that lower than normal levels might interfere with many chemical processes in the body.

In this report we will quickly outline all the health conditions that a CoQ10 supplement might work for.

We will list some of the CoQ10 benefits that have been suggested for.

What is CoQ10 good for?

Heart disease

The first and foremost benefit of taking a CoQ10 supplement is for individuals who have a heart-related health problem. Here, the research studies all seem to show that CoQ10 is able to help the heart pump blood better.

Indeed, studies suggest that taking a CoQ10 supplement seem to reduce the risk of a person getting another serious heart event (such as a heart attack). How does CoQ10 do this?

It has been clearly shown to help people who suffer from heart failure.

In simple terms, CoQ10, also known as ubiquinone, is a vitamin-like substance that the body use as a cofactor in the production of energy. It is found in significantly high concentrations in active tissues such as the heart muscle.

Low levels of CoQ10 reduce the heart muscle's ability to generate energy. This could seriously compromise the heart's ability to contract and pumping blood. Moreover, its antioxidant properties may also offer protection by preventing oxygen free radicals from damaging the heart muscle.

Most researchers focus on the benefits of CoQ10 in improving the performance of the heart. The article Benefits of Coenzyme Q10 to the Heart outlines all the known benefits.

And studies have confirmed that there is significant and proven benefit in using CoQ10 for treating heart failure.

High blood pressure

Hypertension, or commonly referred to as high blood pressure, is a very common condition that affects a large portion of the world's population.

The scary fact is that most people will not have any visible signs or symptoms of high blood pressure.

Chronic high blood pressure damages blood vessels permanently and it leads to vision loss, hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), stroke and heart failure. These are just the common ones.

Studies have shown that CoQ10 seem to lower blood pressure significantly. Indeed some experts believe that many of the key health benefits of CoQ10 seem to be related to improving all aspects of the cardiovascular system.

CoQ10 is one of many natural supplements used to control high blood pressure that is commonly recommended by alternative health practitioners.

High cholesterol

High cholesterol is another silent disease. A person could suffer from a heart attack and then later find out that their cholesterol level is very high. Without measuring your blood cholesterol level, it will be impossible to tell.

CoQ10 doesn't seem to lower the levels of the "bad" cholesterol (LDL) found in your blood. However, there is evidence that it might slightly increase the "good cholesterol (HDL) levels.

Experts also believe that another side-benefit of CoQ10 is that since it has anti-oxidant properties, it may help prevent the oxidative damage that occurs with fats being deposited in the blood vessels. This may help to reduce the build-up of plaques and thus keep the arteries clear.

If you are thinking of using coenzyme Q10 for treating high cholesterol, you might be surprised to find that there are many other supplements for high cholesterol that may do a better job.

Migraine headaches

Migraine is not "just a simple headache", it is a very debilitating and painful condition that affects about 30 million people in the United States. It is a unilateral (one-sided) head pain that may be followed by visual or auditory "warnings" called aura.

CoQ10 has been shown in some studies to reduce migraine headaches by as much as 30%. Other studies also exist that showed that taking CoQ10 with prescription migraine medication was no better than just taking the migraine medication alone.

Experts are not exactly sure how CoQ10 works to cut down on migraine attacks. The article Migraine Treatment with Coenzyme Q10 talks about this particular use in details.

Infertility

Infertility is becoming more common than most people think. Many couples are unable to conceive a child even after a year of unprotected and deliberately timed sexual intercourse.

Animal studies show that CoQ10 improves sperm quality and motility but studies done in infertile men don't seem to show this benefit. However, one thing is certain. CoQ10, being an antioxidant, has been shown to reduce the oxidative stress levels in sperm cells.

Some experts believe that this may be helpful in protecting the delicate sperm cell on its long journey to fertilize the female egg.

The article Coenzyme Q10 for Fertility Benefits reveals this particular benefit of coenzyme Q10.

If you are looking for other commonly used natural remedies to boost fertility, which there are many, see Fertility Treatment Natural Remedies for a complete list.

Enhancing athletic performance

CoQ10 has been shown to help improve energy generation and thus, some people are using it to enhance athletic performance.

Animal studies show good results but when replicated in human volunteers, the energy improvement, as measured in the ability of a person to lift more weights, is modest.

Body builders considering taking CoQ10 may not experience the expected energy boost as could be obtained by gulping down an energy drink containing caffeine or taurine.

All is not lost however. It is known that it's antioxidant properties has been shown in a small clinical study to reduce the effects of injury to the muscles caused by strenous exerise.

The article Using Coenzyme Q10 for Energy Boost talks about this specific benefit.

Cancer treatment and prevention

Cancer is a very frightening disease. Any natural remedies that can cut the risk of cancer down are welcomed. Antioxidants are commonly suggested as valuable in preventing and treating various types of cancer. CoQ10 has anti-oxidant properties and it is no exception to this.

Small preliminary studies suggest that CoQ10, when combined with other antioxidants, may help to extend the life of patients with terminal cancer. But the design of these studies are extremely poor. (Poor research design results in highly unreliable results.)

In this study, the researchers did not use a control group (a matching group that took a placebo or sugar pill) and the use of multiple antioxidants make it very hard to draw any meaningful conclusion about the benefits of coenzyme Q10.

For this particular use of CoQ10, see the article Using CoQ10 for Cancer Treatment as well the article Benefits of CoQ10 in Breast Cancer.

We also have a list of Cancer Natural Remedies, herbs and natural supplements that many people use in the fight against cancer around the world. This list of anti-cancer supplements is worth a look.

Other health benefits

Some studies have suggested that CoQ10 may be good for individuals with Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, hearing loss, tinnitus (ringing in the ear), gum disease, vision problems and muscular dystrophy.

Experts are not in agreement if taking a CoQ10 supplement could offer significant benefits in these cases, although preliminary studies suggest that it might work.

All these and many other health benefits are outlined in the article Health Benefits of Coenzyme Q10.

Bottom line

So, what is CoQ10 good for?

There is a growing body of evidence that CoQ10 is helpful for a wide variety of health conditions.

Although most physicians are not currently recommending it, even for patients with heart disease, many alternative health care professionals are.

Since the side effects of CoQ10 is minimal, the risk is low. What dose should a person start on? 100 mg daily is common.

See Dosage of CoQ10 Recommendations to get an idea of the typical dosage ranges used in clinical studies for other health conditions.

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

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Revised: May 25, 2012

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