The Effect of CoQ10: Which is true? Which is false?
Dec 11,2023 | Kevin Aidevi
Among the wide variety of supplements on the market, Coenzyme Q10 has always been one of the more popular ones. For profit-driven reasons, this product has been publicized as a panacea, with some saying it can protect the heart and reduce the risk of heart failure. Some say it can reduce the risk of muscle pain associated with taking statins. Some say it fights cancer and some say it treats migraines. What exactly is Coenzyme Q10? What exactly is Coenzyme Q10? What does it do for the human body? Which of these effects are true and which are false?
Although you often hear the name of this nutrient, many of you may not always really understand what it really is.
Coenzyme Q10, also known as ubiquinone, is a benzoquinone compound that is naturally synthesized by the body. The Q in its name refers to the quinone chemical group in its structure, while the 10 refers to the 10 isoprenyl substituents contained in its structure. Therefore, this substance is called coenzyme Q10, because it is an important "partner" of various enzymes that play important physiological roles in our body, usually enzymes are protein molecules that promote various physiological metabolic activities in the body. Coenzymes, on the other hand, are non-protein molecules, and it is only with the presence of coenzymes that enzymes are able to perform their normal physiological functions. From the current basic research, the main role of coenzyme Q10 is to help the cell aerobic respiration, oxidative metabolism and other processes. Through these processes cellular mitochondria produce energy for cell growth and maintenance.
In addition to this, Coenzyme Q10 is a highly effective antioxidant substance. Free radicals in the body are highly reactive substances that form damage to cells and lipids through oxidative reactions. Coenzyme Q10, on the other hand, is able to act as an antioxidant and reduce the damaging effects of free radicals on cells.
Coenzyme Q10 is a chemical that is synthesized by the body itself. Its main source comes from the body's own synthesis, through the external intake of coenzyme Q10 in the body accounted for a relatively small. Coenzyme Q10 can be found in most tissues of the body, with the highest levels found in the heart, liver, kidneys and pancreas. The lowest levels are found in the lungs. As we age, the body's coenzyme Q10 levels decrease to some extent. This is related to the lack of synthesis by the body, insufficient intake as well as an increase in the body's demand. Coenzyme Q10 levels in the blood vary over a wide range, with a normal range of 0.3 to 3.84 μg/ml.
Therefore, the main physiological functions of coenzyme Q10 are two: one is to assist the enzyme to exert physiological activity to maintain cell growth and maintenance, and the other is the antioxidant effect to reduce the risk of cellular attack by free radicals.
Which of the many effects of Coenzyme Q10 is true and which is false?
For this, although there are also pharmaceutical coenzyme Q10 on the market, the mainstream products are coenzyme Q10 marketed as dietary supplements; therefore, there are no large-scale evidence-based clinical trials to prove the effects of coenzyme Q10 on the heart, liver protection, anti-cancer, reduction of muscular pain, anti-aging, and the treatment of migraines, etc. The widely publicized effects of coenzyme Q10 have been widely publicized. Which of these widely publicized effects are reliable and which are not?
Heart Health Protection
Not much research has been done on the prevention of heart disease, and different studies have come to different conclusions. Therefore, the efficacy of CoQ10 in this regard is not particularly clear; in the treatment of heart failure, the role of CoQ10 is also inconclusive; but there is evidence that CoQ10 can play a role in reducing the risk of complications after heart surgery.
In terms of its physiological functions, coenzyme Q10 can contribute to normal cell growth and proliferation. It also has antioxidant scavenging to protect cells. Coenzyme Q10 supplementation is able to play a certain anti-cancer role, but from the results of a large number of studies so far, supplementation of coenzyme Q10 for cancer treatment does not have a clear clinical value. What is clear is that coenzyme Q10 can reduce the risk of heart damage caused by cancer chemotherapy drugs, especially some anthracycline antibiotics are family chemotherapy drugs, including doxorubicin.
In terms of reducing the risk of developing statin myalgia
Statins are the basic drugs for controlling blood lipids and are taken by many people with cardiovascular disease problems. One risk of adverse effects of this medication that deserves special attention is the problem of causing muscle pain. Some studies have found that the occurrence of this muscle pain problem is associated with abnormal energy metabolism in the mitochondria of muscle cells. Coenzyme Q10 deficiency is also one of the possible reasons for the occurrence of muscle pain. However, in the studies related to this area, different studies have not come to a consistent conclusion, and the overall scientific evidence, does not support the role of coenzyme Q10 in reducing the adverse effects of statins for myalgia.
Aspects of migraine treatment relief
This is less publicized, but is frequently mentioned in much of the relevant literature. There are some clinical studies on the use of coenzyme Q10 alone and in combination with other medications (e.g., vitamin B2) for the treatment and relief of neuropathic migraine. However, combining the results of these small clinical studies, the guidelines of the American Academy of Neurology and the American Headache Society state that coenzyme Q10 "may be effective" in the prevention of migraine, but this conclusion is based on limited evidence.
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Anti-Parkinson's Disease Role
Numerous studies have found that people with Parkinson's disease have lower levels of antioxidants than normal, and significantly lower levels of coenzyme Q10 than the normal population. Based on these physiological mechanisms, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded a major study on coenzyme Q10 for Parkinson's treatment. However, that study showed that even higher than routine doses of coenzyme Q10 did not improve symptoms in people with early Parkinson's disease. a 2017 evaluation of that study and a number of other smaller studies also concluded that coenzyme Q10 did not help with Parkinson's symptoms.
In fact, most of the coenzyme Q10 in the body comes from self-synthesis, and as a lipophilic macromolecule nutrient, exogenous supplementation of coenzyme Q10 is not well absorbed. Due to the varying quality of various products, the amount of Coenzyme Q10 contained also varies in size. Therefore, it is difficult to guarantee that there will be a definite effect after taking a Coenzyme Q10 supplement. If you are a better-off elderly person, it is okay to take some Coenzyme Q10 as a useful nutritional supplement, but do not use it to treat the disease in question and stop using your regular treatment medication.