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Coenzyme Q10 – , Side Effects, Benefits, Types, and More


What is coenzyme Q10?

When speaking about supplements, most advertisers focus on their actions on enzymes, which tend to get all the credit. However, there is an even smaller molecule that ensures the enzyme functions properly. We refer to this molecule as a coenzyme.

Coenzyme Q10 is a naturally occurring compound that increases the rate of biochemical reactions to produce ATP.  ATP for your body is like gas for your car. Without gas, your car cannot function, and without ATP, our cells would starve.

Coenzyme Q10 is integral for the metabolism of all macronutrients (e.g., carbs, protein, fats).

In this article, we will cover everything there is to know about coenzyme Q10, including its types, benefits, and side effects.

The types of coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10 supplements are available in two forms:


The oral form of this supplement gets absorbed in the stomach and small intestines. Once inside the lymphatic circulation, it is converted to ubiquinol.


Oral ubiquinol cannot be absorbed directly. It first needs to get converted to ubiquinone. Next, it reaches the lymphatic circulation and becomes ubiquinol once again.

Which form should you get?

The first form (ubiquinone) undergoes one chemical reaction before it reaches your cells. On the other hand, ubiquinol undertakes two chemical reactions. This means that ubiquinone is more stable. It is also less expensive.

From a scientific standpoint, one study found that ubiquinol supplements are more effective than ubiquinone in older people. With that said, the difference was insignificant.

What are the benefits of coenzyme Q10?

1.      It may lead to weight loss

Coenzyme Q10 optimizes cellular use of ATP, which contributes to weight loss. Accelerating the basal metabolic rate (BMR) is believed to be one of the mechanisms that lead to weight loss.

Note that BMR is subject to a number of factors, including age, gender, height, weight, diet, physical activity, and genetics. Healthcare professionals use this parameter to estimate how many calories your body burns during the day without any physical activity.

CoQ10 optimizes mitochondrial function, which promotes BMR and effortless weight loss. However, if you want to further boost your results, make sure to set up a good workout plan.

In a 2017 study, scientists tried to unveil the mechanisms that make CoQ10 effective for weight loss.

After analyzing the clinical findings of several studies, they concluded that coenzyme Q10 promotes weight loss by:

  • Accelerating certain metabolic pathways (e.g., cAMP)
  • Neutralizing oxidative stress
  • Optimizing lipid metabolism
  • Inhibiting lipogenesis (i.e., fat production)

Another study found that coenzyme Q10 supplements can also play a preventive role. Taking these supplements regularly reduces the risk of type II diabetes, chronic blood hypertension, and dyslipidemias.

2.      It Improves the symptoms of several diseases

The direct action of coenzyme Q10 on the mitochondria makes it especially useful for mitochondrial diseases. These generally stem from mutations in the mitochondrial DNA.

Some of the diseases that may benefit from CoQ10 supplementation include:

  • Mitochondrial myopathy
  • Certain types of deafness
  • Leber hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON)
  • Leigh syndrome
  • Subacute sclerosing encephalopathy

Besides mitochondrial diseases, coenzyme Q10 also aids with other disorders, including Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, diabetic neuropathy, asthma, high blood pressure, fibromyalgia, hepatitis C, and migraine headaches.

3.      It helps with physical performance

Now that you know the energy-boosting properties of coenzyme Q10, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that supplementation boosts physical performance.

Several clinical trials objectified the positive effects of CoQ10 supplements on athletes. By reducing the severity of delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and symptoms of fatigue, it can be an ideal ingredient for your pre-workout blend.

4.      It may improve fertility

The number and quality of female eggs decrease with age. One contributing factor to this decline is the oxidative stress that damages female eggs. Fortunately, CoQ10 prevents this process. However, aging slows down the natural production of CoQ10. Therefore, you need supplements to cover your needs.

The same process may occur to male sperm, leading to reduced sperm count and poor sperm mobility. Any of these factors can lead to male infertility. According to a number of studies, CoQ10 supplements optimize sperm count, quality, and mobility. This collective action can reverse male infertility.

5.      It improves skin health

Scientists found a correlation between low levels of CoQ10 and melanoma (i.e., a type of skin cancer). However, this remains a correlation and not a causation.

On the other hand, taking CoQ10 supplements seems to delay age-related skin deterioration (e.g., fine lines, wrinkles).

Side effects of coenzyme Q10

The side effects of coenzyme Q10 are generally mild. There is no mention in the literature of any severe side effects after taking CoQ10 supplements.

Taking larger doses may cause the following adverse effects:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Skin rash

With that said, there are some reports about pharmacological interactions between CoQ10 and some medications.

Speak with your physician before supplementing your body with CoQ10 if you are taking any of these drugs:

  • Antineoplastic drugs
  • Antihypertensive medications
  • Warfarin (i.e., coumadin)
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Vitamins (A, C, E, K)

Where can we find coenzyme Q10?

Because muscle tissue consumes most of the produced energy, it makes sense that coenzyme Q10 is abundant in animal meat. Whether it’s beef, pork, chicken, or fish, you can get decent amounts of this compound.

To cover your daily requirement, however, dietary intake may not be enough. This is due to two mechanisms:

  • The body requires large amounts of animal meat to cover the recommended daily allowance (RDA)
  • Cooking animal meat may decrease the concentration of CoQ10

Most people opt for supplements to get sufficient amounts of CoQ10.

Takeaway message

Coenzyme Q10 is an underrated supplement that offers plenty of benefits, covering every organ system. By acting at the mitochondria level, CoQ10 optimizes most physiological functions.

We hope that this article managed to highlight the potential benefits of CoQ10, as well as other aspects of its uses.

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