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Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10 is a molecule found in mitochondria that has a critical role in producing energy for the body. It also plays an important role in the endogenous antioxidant system.

Our evidence-based analysis on coenzyme q10 features 328 unique references to scientific papers.

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Summary of Coenzyme Q10

Primary information, health benefits, side effects, usage, and other important details

What is Coenzyme Q10?

Coenzyme Q10 (COQ10) is a molecule produced in the body. It aids mitochondria during energy production and is a part of the endogenous antioxidant system. It is similar to other pseudovitamin compounds because it is vital for survival, but does not necessarily need to be taken as a supplement. However, there is a potential for deficiency due to suffering a heart attack, taking statins, various disease states, and aging.

It is found in various foods; mainly meat and fish.

What are Coenzyme Q10’s benefits?

Some research suggests minor improvements in the function of blood vessels, leading to reduce blood pressure and improved blood flow. However, more studies are needed to confirm this. The proposed mechanism is related to nitric oxide preservation, as seen with grape seed extract, pycnogenol, and resveratrol.

It seems to be strongly effective for reducing the symptoms of fibromyalgia, but this is based on a handful of small studies, and much more research is needed to confirm this.

What are Coenzyme Q10’s side effects and drawbacks?

It seems to be safe but more research is needed to evaluate its safety in the long-term. In animals, a massive dose of 350mg/kg body weight has been observed to exacerbate the effects of aging, but human studies don't suggest any convincing adverse effects from normal doses.

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How to Take

Medical Disclaimer

Recommended dosage, active amounts, other details

The standard dose for CoQ10 is generally 90mg for a low dose and 200mg for the higher dose, taken once daily with a meal due to its reliance on food for absorption. Dose-dependence is not commonly observed with CoQ10 supplementation and 90mg tends to be the best cost-effective dose.

There generally isn't too much of a therapeutic effect of CoQ10 supplementation (mostly taken with the 'just in case' mentality that pervades multivitamin supplementation), although for people who have previously experience a heart attack or damage to cardiac tissue as well as for people on statin therapy supplementation becomes much more important.

CoQ10 supplements can be either the oxidized form (ubiquinone) or reduced form (ubiquinol) as both forms seem pretty equally potent in increasing circulating levels of total CoQ10 in the body. 'Total CoQ10' refers to the sum of both forms, since CoQ10 can readily swap between forms as it acts in the body.

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Human Effect Matrix

Unlocked for Examine members

The Human Effect Matrix summarizes human studies to tell you what effects Coenzyme Q10 has on your body, how much evidence there is, and how strong these effects are.

Full details are available to Examine members.
Grade Level of Evidence
Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials
Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled
Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies
Uncontrolled or observational studies only
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Outcome Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
Notes
grade-b Notable Very High See all 11 studies
Appears to reduce biomarkers of lipid peroxidation. CoQ10 tends to be a reference drug for lipid peroxidation, and although it is more potent than other nutraceuticals it is not astounding.
grade-b Minor Moderate See all 7 studies
May increase levels of antioxidant enzymes, does not appear to be reliable
grade-b Minor Very High See all 3 studies
Appears to increase blood flow in metabolic conditions characterized by both insufficient blood flow and an excess of oxidative stress.
grade-b Minor Low See all 9 studies
There appears to be an interaction between CoQ10 and blood pressure, but it is not wholly reliable and uncertain whether this is at the level of the cardiac tissue or at the level of the endothelium (both plausible). Magnitude of reductions don't appear too remarkable.
grade-b Minor Very High See all 5 studies
The effective size does not appear to be overly large, but CoQ10 is associated with a protective effect on blood flow and endothelial function in persons with otherwise impaired function.
grade-b Minor Very High See all 4 studies
Appears to aid exercise capacity in persons after myocardial infarction
grade-b Minor Moderate See all 4 studies
Mixed effects on exercise-induced oxidation, but there appears to be some potential for CoQ10 supplementation to reduce oxidation.
grade-b Minor High See all 6 studies
There may be an anti-fatigue effect of CoQ10 during exercise that may not extend to general fatigue.
grade-b Minor High See all 9 studies
Appears to generally reduce pro-oxidative biomarkers in the body
grade-b Minor Low See all 5 studies
There may be an effect on HbA1c, but it appears unreliable and not overly potent.
grade-b - Very High See all 7 studies
Insufficient evidence to support changes in blood glucose with CoQ10 supplementation
grade-b - High See all 4 studies
Classical inflammatory cytokines do not appear to be altered much following CoQ10 supplementation, although there may still be a minor antiinflammatory effect
grade-b - Very High See all 10 studies
No significant or consistent effects on total cholesterol levels noted with CoQ10
grade-c Strong Very High See all 6 studies
CoQ10 appears to be quite strongly effective for reducing symptoms of fibromyalgia (strong rating may be retracted at a later time when other reference drugs arise)
grade-c Notable - See study
Notable reduction in the progression of Peyronie's disease state (and secondary to that, improvements in erectile properties) as CoQ10 may be one of the only oral treatments of this condition
grade-c Minor - See study
Increased erectile function has been noted with CoQ10, but this may be secondary to reductions in symptoms of Peyronie's Disease
grade-c Minor Very High See 2 studies
A decrease in follicle stimulating hormone has been detected
grade-c Minor Very High See 2 studies
A decrease in luteinizing hormone has been detected with CoQ10 supplementation
grade-c Minor Very High See all 6 studies
Degree of improvement is not overly remarkable, with portions of the trial not outperforming placebo.
grade-c Minor - See study
A slight decrease in biomarkers of muscle damage has been noted with CoQ10 supplementation.
grade-c Minor - See study
A reduction in risk has been noted, but not to an overly amazing degree
grade-c Minor Moderate See all 3 studies
An increase in QOL has been noted in persons who either have heart ailments or are at risk for them, but this may not be a universal increase (perhaps dependent on reducing disease state symptoms)
grade-c Minor - See study
A decrease in the rate of perceived exertion has been noted with CoQ10 supplementation
grade-c Minor Very High See all 3 studies
Requires more evidence to assess potency, but it does appear to reliably increase seminal motility
grade-c Minor Moderate See all 5 studies
There may be some beneficial influences on the sperm quality, but they have not been reliably reported
grade-c Minor - See study
grade-c Minor Very High See 2 studies
Not the largest increase, and was in infertile men; may not apply to fertile men.
grade-c Minor Very High See 2 studies
An increase in VO2 max of untrained persons has been noted following CoQ10 supplementation.
grade-c - Very High See 2 studies
No detectable interaction of CoQ10 and adiponectin
grade-c - Very High See 2 studies
No significant influence on anaerobic cardiovascular exercise has been detected with CoQ10 (although an anti-fatigue effect has been noted)
grade-c - Very High See all 3 studies
No significant influence on levels of C-reactive protein
grade-c - - See study
No significant detectable effect on exercise capacity when preloaded
grade-c - - See all 4 studies
grade-c - - See all 7 studies
grade-c - Very High See all 5 studies
Insufficient evidence to support changes in insulin associated with CoQ10 supplementation.
grade-c - - See all 6 studies
grade-c - - See all 7 studies
grade-c - - See study
No detectable influence on oxygen uptake during exercise
grade-c - - See all 4 studies
grade-c - - See all 6 studies
grade-d Notable - See study
Notable due to the aid to psychocognitive capabilities being comparable to the growth hormone active control (although not as effective in regards to physical development). Study in infants, not enough evidence in adults
grade-d Minor - See study
A decrease in cardiac mass has been noted with CoQ10 supplementation
grade-d Minor - See study
Insufficient evidence to support whether the increase in fertility is large or not, but preliminary evidence suggests that it exists.
grade-d Minor - See study
Has been noted to increase LVEF in persons with myocardial impairment
grade-d Minor Very High See 2 studies
A decrease in UV damage has been detected with supplemental CoQ10
grade-d - - See study
grade-d - - See study
grade-d - - See 2 studies
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grade-d - - See 2 studies
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grade-d - - See 2 studies
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grade-d - - See 2 studies
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grade-d - - See 2 studies
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grade-d - - See all 3 studies
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grade-d - - See 2 studies
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Studies Excluded from Consideration

  • Confounded with the inclusion of other nutrients[1][2]

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Things to Note

Is a Form Of

Other Functions:

Primary Function:

Also Known As

CoQ10, Ubiquinone, Ubiquinol, trans 2, 3-dimethoxy-5-methyl-6-decaprenyl-1, 4-benzoquinone

Do Not Confuse With

Idebenone (Synthetic derivative)

Goes Well With

  • CoQ10 is not stimulatory

  • Oil based CoQ10 supplements should be taken with meals

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