Over the last few years, I spent a great deal of time looking at various supplements and micronutrients to determine which ones were helpful and which ones were merely hype. In reviewing scientific literature, it became apparent that one of the most important supplements for increasing energy overall was Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). So what does this do and why all the hype?
CoQ10 (also know as ubiquinone) is an oil-soluble substance that exists primarily in the mitochondria within our cells. But most importantly, it is localized in highest concentrations within cells of organs which require a lot of energy such as the heart, liver, and the kidney where it participates in the electron transport chain to generate ATP, the primary substance used by our bodies for energy.
We require CoQ10 on a daily basis but many of us run low because of two factors: we either are not able to synthesize it effectively or we just use a ton of it and so require much higher levels than we actually ingest. Let’s focus on the latter and talk about some specific examples.
First, let’s consider the athlete. Our bodies require a baseline level of CoQ10 on a daily basis to begin with. But when we stress our bodies through exercise, we increase our need for this important compound and so many of us may be running low and not even realize it. Meat and fish contain the highest level of this compound followed by oils, then nuts, then vegetables. Depending on our specific dietary intake, we simply may not be getting enough with meals alone and may require additional supplementation. To address this, I recommend that most active adults take around 100-200 mg of CoQ10/day to help their bodies engines run more efficiently. In endurance athletes or in cases of severe stress we may need even more and so this dose may need to be adjusted accordingly. Through a simple blood test, I can determine your levels and make appropriate suggestions to adjust your intake accordingly. Toxicity is generally not a problem and has only been seen with dosing over about 3000 mg/day and so there is a fair amount of room for correction possible. The main limiting factor here is the cost. Unfortunately, even though this compound is extremely important, it is also somewhat expensive. But when you weigh the cost of quality of life, I think you’ll realize the value in the long run.
Aside from the requirements for an average adult, there are also specific conditions that may warrant additional supplementation. Let’s talk about a few of these:
• Heart Disease: patients with congestive heart failure tend to have low plasma concentrations of CoQ10. In one study of the Heart Failure 2013 Congress, after two years of supplementation patients who received additional CoQ10 had ½ the death rate as compared to those who did not.
• Migraine Headaches: supplementation with CoQ10at around 150-300mg/day has been shown in a few studies to reduce to frequency of migraines.
• Blood Pressure: several studies have shown a very positive effect of CoQ10in lowering both systolic as well as diastolic blood pressure without significant side-effects
• Lifespan: a few studies have shown an increase in lifespan among rats while other studies have not. And so this link may be questionable at best with further studies warranted.
• Radiation Injury: one animal study found that dietary supplementation with CoQ10 reduced radiation damage to the blood. Human studies are pending.
• Patients on statins: this is an extremely IMPORTANT issue. Anyone on a cholesterol-lowering statin drug should really be on at least 100 mg/day of CoQ10, as these drugs are known to lower levels of this important nutrient.
In my experience, most of us probably require some level of supplementation with CoQ10 but the two groups who definitely require additional intake are the athletes and those on statin drugs. These people definitely need more!
I hope this information was helpful. If you are serious about your health and are looking to optimize your body’s energy levels, I encourage you to contact me for more information on our Anti-Aging Initiative. I use a simple blood test that will tell you exactly what your levels of CoQ10as well as several other incredibly important compounds and can then suggest appropriate levels of supplementation. Remember, you either pay for your health on the front end or you pay for it on the back end. My goal is to help you prevent disease and improve the quality of your life for years to come. Your other option is to proceed down the standard path dictated by the American Health Care System, which simply treats disease and symptoms of disease when they arise. And in my mind, that is simply not the best way to go.
To learn more, I encourage you to contact me directly through email ([email protected]), call my office (303 747 6719), or CLICK HERE to schedule a consultation. Thank you for taking the time to read this important information. I look forward to working with you.