What Is CoQ10?

This antioxidant may prevent certain diseases and signs of aging

CoQ10 capsules and liquid

Verywell / Anastasia Tretiak 

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Coenzyme Q10 is a compound found naturally in your body. It is known to have antioxidant effects. Antioxidants are compounds that can counteract free radicals, molecules that can damage cells. 

CoQ10 helps your cells function. One of its jobs is aiding energy production. Research suggests CoQ10 may be able to treat or prevent some diseases, including:

Some people believe it may also help reverse signs of aging.

Natural levels of coenzyme Q10 decrease over time, but CoQ10 can be taken as a supplement.

This article discusses coenzyme Q10 and its possible uses. It also discusses side effects, dosage, and what to look for when buying this supplement.

Also Known As

  • CoQ10
  • Ubiquinol

What Is CoQ10 Used For? 

Here's a look at some of the science behind coenzyme Q10:

Heart Health

Coenzyme Q10 may help patients with certain cardiac diseases, including:

CoQ10 may help cardiac diseases in a few different ways. Research suggests it may reduce oxidative stress. This is what happens when free radicals start to damage cells and tissues in the body.

CoQ10 may also promote widening of the blood vessels. This is a key factor in blood pressure control.

Coenzyme Q10 may also be beneficial to cardiac cells. These cells have high energy requirements and are very sensitive to coenzyme Q10 deficiency.

Blood Pressure

Some people believe CoQ10 may be helpful for high blood pressure. In a 2016 review, scientists used data from two clinical trials to compare the effects of CoQ10 to a placebo.

The authors did not find evidence that CoQ10 lowers blood pressure. This is contrary to what other studies have found.

It's worth noting that the studies were small and involved only a total of 50 patients. It's hard to draw firm conclusions from small studies.

Neurodegenerative Disease

Coenzyme Q10 shows promise in the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders. In these diseases, nerve cells in the brain and nervous system stop working correctly or die. Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease are examples of diseases that CoQ10 may help.

Few clinical trials have tested CoQ10 in people with Parkinson's or Alzheimer's. However, preliminary research suggests the supplement may be helpful to these patients.

For example, animal-based research has shown that CoQ10 may inhibit the overproduction of beta-amyloid. This is a protein fragment that builds up in the brains of people with Alzheimer's.

Diabetes

Coenzyme Q10 may improve diabetic neuropathy. This is nerve damage caused by high blood sugar.

CoQ10 may also reduce insulin resistance in people with diabetes. This is when your body doesn't respond well to insulin, the hormone that helps regulate blood sugar. 

A 2018 study looked at these questions in 50 people with diabetic neuropathy.

Participants were given either 100 milligrams (mg) of CoQ10 or a placebo each day for 12 weeks. Compared to the placebo group, patients taking CoQ10 had significant reductions in:

  • Blood sugar
  • Markers of oxidative stress
  • Insulin resistance

Migraines

The American Academy of Neurology and the American Headache Society say CoQ10 may help prevent migraines. Unfortunately this is based on limited evidence.

A 2021 review of six studies including 371 patients found that CoQ10 supplements did seem to be helpful against migraines. While CoQ10 did not seem to impact the severity of attacks, it did appear to help shorten the length of attacks and reduce their frequency.

Statin Side Effects

Muscle pain and weakness are side effects of statin use. Statins are drugs that help lower cholesterol. Some research suggests CoQ10 may help reduce this side effect. However, the evidence is inconclusive.

In one small study, 50 patients taking statin medications were given 100 mg of CoQ10 or a placebo for 30 days. Three-quarters of the CoQ10 group reported a reduction in statin-related muscle pain. The placebo group saw no improvement.

Recap

There is limited evidence that coenzyme Q10 can help with some health problems. These include heart problems, high blood pressure, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, and migraines. It may also help people who are experiencing side effects from statin medication.

Possible Side Effects

No serious side effects of CoQ10 have been reported. Mild side effects may include:

Side effects of coenzyme Q10
 Verywell / Gary Ferster

Interactions

CoQ10 may interact with some medications. These include blood-thinning medications and blood pressure medications. It may also not be compatible with certain cancer medications.

Ask your doctor before taking CoQ10. Be sure to tell them about all other medications and supplements you take.

Coenzyme Q10 soft gels
Verywell / Anastasia Tretiak 

Dosage and Preparation 

CoQ10 supplements are sold in several forms, including:

  • Capsule
  • Soft gel
  • Liquid
  • Gummies

There is no standard recommended dose for CoQ10. The typical dose ranges from 30 mg to 100 mg daily in healthy adults. The dosage depends on the condition it is being used for.

The following dosages have been studied:

  • Migraines: 300 to 400 mg daily
  • Statin muscle pain: 50 mg twice daily
  • Atherosclerosis: 150 mg daily
  • Diabetes: 200 mg daily

What to Look For 

Look for products that have been certified by ConsumerLab, U.S. Pharmacopeia, or NSF International. This is important any time you are buying supplements. These independent organizations test the quality and ingredients of dietary supplements.

Keep in mind that some CoQ10 supplements are formulated to enhance absorption. This will give the effect of a larger dose.

Summary

There is limited evidence that coenzyme Q10 may help people with certain health conditions. These include heart problems, high blood pressure, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, and migraines. CoQ10 supplements may also help people who are experiencing negative side effects from statin use.

Serious side effects when taking CoQ10 have not been reported. It may cause mild side effects, like insomnia, upset stomach, and dizziness. It may interact with certain medications.

There is no official recommended dose for CoQ10. In studies, doses have ranged from 50 to 400 mg.

When buying CoQ10 supplements, look for products that have been independently tested for quality. 

A Word From Verywell

More research is needed before CoQ10 supplements can be recommended for the treatment or prevention of any health condition. This includes cardiovascular problems.

If you're thinking of using CoQ10 to treat a health problem, talk to your doctor first.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can CoQ10 supplements fight aging?

    Many anti-aging creams and serums tout CoQ10 to help improve fine lines and wrinkles. There is evidence to suggest topical CoQ10 may help fight the visible signs of aging. This may be because it reduces free radicals and increases antioxidant capacity.

  • Will taking CoQ10 supplements increase fertility?

    Some evidence suggests CoQ10 may increase sperm motility and improve the quality of eggs. However, there is insufficient research to support its use as a fertility aid.

  • Does CoQ10 improve athletic performance?

    A handful of small studies have shown CoQ10 may have some benefit for improving athletic performance, increasing power and stamina, and reducing recovery time. However, the research is limited.

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17 Sources
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