CoQ10 for Heath and Beauty, Part I

Question and Answer logoQuestion:  There is  five foot shelf of CoQ10 products in  my vitamin store and I have also seen it on the label  of  moisturizers and serums.  What is it and should I being using  it?  And if yes, what  form should I buy?

Answer: This  seemingly  simple question has a complicated answer.   Let’s start  with the easy part.  CoQ 10 is similar to a vitamin and is a powerful antioxidant.  It is  made by the body and is essential for providing energy to the cells.  As with so  many self made substances,  the levels drop  both as we  age  and in health problems such as Alzheimer’s, diabetes, some cancers,  Parkinson’s disease  and heart disease.

The assocition between lower levels of CoQ10 and health issues  have led   to the study of the benefits of CoQ 10 supplementation.   It has been extensively studied  in both animals and humans– and yet there is no consensus.   Many animal studies indicate  CoQ10 can slow aging, strengthen muscles and reduce heart stress.  But   literally  hundreds of studies  with humans  had ended with conflicted  results.  It  seems  that  for every small study that shows benefits, there are seven  with no benefits. ?????

How Much CoQ10 Do We Need?

The decision to add  CoQ10 to  your supplement routinue starts with a look at how much of this pseudo vitamin we actually need.  Scientists estimates that we require 3-5 mg/day.  About 75% of CoQ10 we need is  manufactured by the body and 25% comes  from our diet.   And  here  we get  on a bit of solid information.   The best food sources of CoQ10  are beef and chicken– about 2mg in a three ounce serving.  Fruits, vegetables, grains and dairy  have  very small amounts., so if you are  a vegetarian or vegan, you may be genuinely low in CoQ10.

There are  many forms of supplements availble in hard shell,  soft gel, sprays and powders that range from 20mg to 600mg in each dose.  Most experts   would agree that its safe to take a 20mg supplement several times a week.  Because it is fat soluable  it will be better absorbed  when taken  with meals.  It can genuinely give you so  much of an energy boost that it should be taken in the morning to avoid  problems with insomnia.

Traditional  doctors are often  reluctant to prescribe CoQ10 because it can interfere with medications for diabetes, high blood pressure and chemotherapy.  In fact, both  the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society do not recommend taking  CoQ10.

Bottom Line:  If you don’t eat  beef or chicken, you can consider taking  small ( 20 mg) amounts of CoQq10 several times a week  to supply  what you  are missing from your diet.  But right now there is just not enough evidence to use CoQ10 therapeutically  to manage serious health problems. IMO future studies  will demonstrate  both its true value and the best way to get benefits, but right not we do not  have the needed info.

In a second post, I will explore the use of CoQ10 in skin care products– and how to make your own.


3 thoughts on “CoQ10 for Heath and Beauty, Part I

  1. Hah, funny, I was just looking at QoQ10 supplements this morning… Didn’t pick up anything though, mainly because I didn’t really know enough about it yet. So this is all great info!

  2. Hi there
    My friend is finalizing her chemotherapy. Her doctor incorporated CoQ10 in with her chemo treatment. She is now able to work part-time because she had a boost in energy and she is no longer dependent on Monster drinks.
    My cousing takes 400mg/day and her debilitating migraines have vanished.
    I also know some healthnuts that have used it successfully with heart disease. The best thing is there are no bad side effects unless you take too much, which in that case you will have a hard time sleeping.

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