Coenzyme Q10

(Known as CoQ10, Ubiquinone, Coenzyme Q10)

tickAids health
tickBoosts energy
How does it work?
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a powerful antioxidant that protects the body from free radicals and helps preserve vitamin E [1,2]. CoQ10 is found mainly in fish and meat, but the amounts in food are far less than what can be obtained from supplements. CoQ10 is also called ubiquinone, a name that signifies its widespread distribution in the human body. CoQ10 is used by the body to transform food into energy.
Who is it used for?
CoQ10 has been shown to be highly beneficial for endurance athletes, such as long-distance runners, cyclists, triathletes, footballers and rugby players. CoQ10 levels are generally lower in older people, who are at greater risk of a CoQ10 deficiency. CoQ10 is one of many substances in the body that tend to decline as people age or develop certain diseases (such as some cardiac conditions, Parkinson's disease, and asthma).
How does it work?
Virtually every cell of the human body contains CoQ10. Interest in CoQ10 grew in the early 1970s when researchers found that patients with congestive heart failure had much lower levels of it in their hearts and suggested that CoQ-10 supplements could help improve their heart function.

During long periods of exercise (such as a marathon) your performance depends largely on how much oxygen can be transported around your body. As your fitness levels increase, the ability of your body to take in, transport and use oxygen is greatly increased. CoQ10 has a similar effect, increasing the transport of oxygen into your cells. This allows you to run at a faster pace for longer, thus improving race performance.

In a recent study, 25 elite cross-country skiers were put through an intensive six-week training programme [7]. During the programme, half of the skiers took CoQ10, while the rest used a dummy supplement called a placebo. Gains in aerobic fitness (as measured by VO2max) in the CoQ10 group were more than three times greater than skiers using the placebo.

CoQ10 also helped to reduce symptoms of the overtraining syndrome, which is very common in endurance athletes. In one group of skiers not taking CoQ10, aerobic fitness over the course of the study was actually reduced. This is a clear indicator of an overtrained state! In contrast,9 out of every 10 athletes using CoQ10 felt that supplementation was beneficial. More than 7 out of 10 noted a "clear positive effect in their exercise performance and recovery time."

CoQ10 has also been used to treat congestive heart failure [3, 4,5]. In a promising study on CoQ10 and early-stage Parkinson's disease published in October, researchers at the University of California, San Diego, found that very large doses of CoQ10 (along with vitamin E) appeared to slow the progression of the disease. Several trials also report that supplementation with CoQ10 reduces blood pressure, usually after ten weeks to four or more months of treatment [6]. Congestive heart failure patients who are taking CoQ10 should not discontinue taking CoQ10 supplements unless under the supervision of a doctor.
How do I use it?
Adult levels of supplementation are usually 30-60 milligrams per day, although people with specific health conditions may supplement with higher levels. Most doctors recommend that CoQ10 be taken with meals to improve absorption.
What results can I expect?
Supplementation with CoQ10 usually leads to a noticeable increase in energy levels after 7-10 days. Most users report an increase in aerobic fitness and improved exercise performance after 2-3 weeks.
What can it be combined with?
CoQ10 works very well alone, but its beneficial effects on endurance performance may be enhanced by combining it with Phosphates. Some experts believe that CoQ10 should be combined with other antioxidants (such as Vitamin C) in order to get maximum benefit.

1. Weber C, Jakobsen TS, Mortensen SA. (1994). Antioxidative effect of dietary coenzyme Q10 in human blood plasma. International Journal of Vitamin and Nutrition Research 1994;64:311-5
2. Thomas SR, Neuzil J, Stocker R. (1997). Inhibition of LDL oxidation by ubiquinol-10. A protective mechanism for coenzyme Q in atherogenesis? Molecular Aspects of Medicine, 18, S85-103
3. Mortensen SA, Vadhanavikit S, Baandrup U, Folkers K. (1985). Long-term coenzyme Q10 therapy: a major advance in the management of resistant myocardial failure. Drug Exptl Clin Res, 11, 581-593
4. Soja AM, Mortensen SA. (1997). Treatment of chornic cardiac insufficiency with coenzyme Q10, results of meta-analysis in controlled clinical trials. Ugeskr Laeger, 159, 7302-7308
5. Morisco C, Trimarco B, Condorelli M. (1993). Effect of coenzyme Q10 in patients with congestive heart failure: a long-term multicenter randomized study. Clinical Investigations, 71, S134-136.
6. Gaby, A.R. (1996). The role of coenzyme Q10 in clinical medicine: part II. Cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes mellitus and infertility. Alternative Medicine Reviews, 1, 168-175
7. Ylikoski, T., Piirainen, J., Hanninen, O., & Penttinen, J. (1997).

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