Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) occurs naturally in the cells of plants, animals and humans. It is also known as “ubiquinone” which comes from the word "ubiquitous," which means “everywhere present.”  This fat soluble substance is used by cells to extract energy from food. The ability of our vital organs such as the heart, liver and kidneys to properly function depends on receiving and maintaining a sufficient supply of CoQ10 to provide and sustain energy.

       All cells have little energy producing factories called mitochondria wherein is made the basic energy molecule of life called adenosine triphosphate (ATP) upon which all cellular functions depend. CoQ10 is vital to the process of making ATP in acting as a co-factor in electron transport between cells. CoQ10 is the crucial component in the process that converts the energy in carbohydrates and fatty acids into the fuel necessary to drive cellular machinery.  CoQ10 also stabilizes cell membranes and acts as a major antioxidant in neutralizing free radicals.


       CoQ10 is found in small amounts in a wide variety of foods but is particularly high in organ meats such as heart, liver and kidney, as well as beef, soy oil, sardines, mackerel, and peanuts. One pound of sardines, two pounds of beef, or two and one half pounds of peanuts, provide 30 mg of CoQ10.  CoQ10 is also synthesized in the body from the amino acid tyrosine in a process requiring at least eight vitamins and several trace elements. 


       Normal blood and tissue levels of CoQ10 have been well established by numerous investigators around the world. Significantly decreased levels of CoQ10 have been noted in a wide variety of diseases in both animal and human studies. CoQ10 deficiency may be caused by insufficient dietary CoQ10, impairment of CoQ10 synthesis by the body, excessive utilization of CoQ10 by the body, or any combination of the three.

       The adult human body reserve of CoQ10 has been found to be approximately two grams (2000 milligrams) with the body requiring replacement of about 500 milligrams per day. This must be supplied either by synthesis in the body or obtained from food.  Synthesis within the body decreases progressively in humans after age 21. Since the average CoQ10 content of the western diet is less than 5 milligrams per day, it is difficult to maintain adequate CoQ10 levels unless you eat a very nutrition dense diet.  Therefore, supplementation with CoQ10 should be seriously considered.

       CoQ10 is fat-soluble and absorption is significantly improved when it is taken with a fat-containing food.  Dosage levels of supplemental CoQ10 depend on your age, dietary intake and general level of health.  Anyone suffering from heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, or Alzheimer’s and other cognitive disorders should supplement with CoQ10 as this nutrient has been shown to be effective in reducing the symptoms associated with these health concerns.


       CoQ10 is highly concentrated in heart muscle cells due to the high energy requirements of the heart. Much of the clinical research with CoQ10 has focused on heart disease. Specifically, congestive heart failure has been strongly correlated with significantly low blood and tissue levels of CoQ10.  Research has shown that the severity of heart failure correlates with the severity of CoQ10 deficiency.  Internationally, there have been at least nine placebo controlled studies on the treatment of heart disease with CoQ10.  All nine of these studies have confirmed the effectiveness of CoQ10 in treating heart disease.  In a recent study reported in the May 22,2012 International Journal of Cardiology, it was shown that taking 200 mg of CoQ10 per day along with 200 mcg of the trace mineral selenium reduced the risk of dying due to cardiovascular disease by nearly 50%. Selenium is a mineral that is involved in the body's production of the important antioxidant enzyme glutathione peroxidase.

       In addition, there have been 300 papers presented by approximately 200 different physicians and scientists from 18 different countries reporting on clinical studies involving CoQ10.  The majority of these clinical studies relate to the treatment of heart disease and are consistent in their conclusions that treatment with CoQ10 significantly improved heart muscle function while producing no adverse effects or drug interactions.


       Many people are using prescription Statin drugs such as lovastatin, Lipitor and Mevacor to lower cholesterol levels. Statins lower cholesterol by inhibiting the enzyme HMG-CoA Reductase that catalyzes the production of cholesterol in the liver.  The mechanism by which Statin drugs lower cholesterol also inhibits the biosynthesis of CoQ10 in the liver.  CoQ10 is absolutely necessary for proper function of the heart. Some doctors have observed a marked increase in heart failure, among those using statin drugs.  It even has a name, “Statin Cardiomyopathy.”  Anyone using Statins should take a CoQ10 supplement.


       In a study, of 109 patients with essential hypertension, 51% were able to stop between one and three anti-hypertensive drugs at an average of 4.4 months after starting CoQ10 treatment.


       A larger 16 month trial funded by the National Institutes of Health explored the use of CoQ10 (300, 600 or 1200 mg/day) or a placebo in 80 patients with early stage Parkinson's disease. The results suggested that CoQ10, especially at the 1200 mg per day dose, led to a significant reduction in disability compared to those who took a placebo.


       In many large-scale clinical trials, orally administrated CoQ10 has been shown to be safe and efficacious at blood levels of about 4 parts per million (ppm) which is considered pharmacologic and attained by 800 milligrams per day of CoQ10. Even at levels of 80 ppm measured by the Japanese in 1984 with an IV ubiquinone preparation, only beneficial effects were reported.


       Ubiquinone is the form found in food, in many supplements and the form made in the body. Once made in the body or ingested from exogenous (outside the body) sources, more than 90% is converted into its antioxidant form called Ubiquinol.  More than 90% of the circulating CoQ10 in our body is present as ubiquinol. The body has reductase enzymes which take the ingested CoQ10 in food and supplements and convert most of it into ubiquinol.  Research with animals and humans has shown exogenous ubiquinol to be absorbed better than ubiquinone. Therefore, ubiquinol might afford an advantage over ubiquinone in individuals who do not do well in converting ubiquinone to ubiquinol. It’s been found that after age 40, our bodies do not make this conversion very well.  CoQ10 in the ubiquinol form is available as a supplement.

       The company, Life Extension has recently introduced another form of CoQ10 called Super Ubiquinol with Enhanced Mitochondrial Support.  This product contains an organic compound called shilajit that research has shown to double levels of CoQ10 in the mitochondria.  Shilajit has been shown to help restore and sustain cellular energy. The latest studies reveal that when shilajit is combined with CoQ10, cellular energy gains substantially increase.  In one study, the combination of CoQ10 and shilajit produced a 56% increase in cellular energy production in the brain which was 40% better than CoQ10 alone. In muscle there was a 144% increase which was 27% better than CoQ10 alone. Researchers have found that shilajit works to boost CoQ10’s beneficial effects by stabilizing CoQ10 in its superior ubiquinol form and thereby prolonging its action at the cellular level.  This facilitates more efficient delivery of CoQ10 into the mitochondria, resulting in greater cellular energy output.

       The body’s natural production of CoQ10 diminishes with age, as does the ability to convert the nutrient into ubiquinol. While everyone is different, research indicates CoQ10 production may begin to decline as early as age 20. For some, CoQ10 levels within the heart and kidneys have dropped more than 25 percent by age 40.  Therefore, supplementation with CoQ10 should be seriously considered.  At Milk ‘N Honey, we carry all three of the forms of CoQ10 discussed above.