CoQ10, or coenzyme Q10, is a compound that’s naturally produced inside your body. Age and other factors can decrease the production of CoQ10 and increase the risk of many unwanted issues, like poor heart muscle function.

As a little background: CoQ10 is stored within the mitochondria - which is a part of the cell often referred to as the powerhouse of the cell.

The mitochondria is in charge of generating energy within the cell. When levels of CpQ10 decrease, from aging or other factors, so does the amount of energy the mitochondria can produce.

The result can be a lack of energy to join in activities you once enjoyed. It can be difficult to find the energy to exercise and cook healthy meals when CoQ10 levels are low, and neglecting healthful activities only leads to even lower energy levels.

Personally, I enjoy taking a CoQ10 supplement (especially since hitting my 50's) - to ensure I give my heart the nutrition is craves, daily.

Who is at risk for CoQ10 deficiency?

Though coenzyme Q10 levels do reduce with age, seniors aren’t the only ones who may benefit from CoQ10 supplementation. There are many factors that play a part in making sure you're producing adequate levels of this important compound.

Other causes of deficiency of coenzyme Q10 are:

  • Deficiencies in vitamin B6
  • Disease, including mitochondrial diseases
  • Genetic defects
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Side effects of medication including cholesterol-lowering drugs

CoQ10 and healthy heart function, 2 crucial things you should know

Coenzyme Q10 can actually offer many benefits. It is used to reduce head tension, better overall condition of the complexion and even boost performance levels during physical exercise.

It is also being studied for use in improving insulin sensitivity and inhibiting unwanted (overly rapid) cell division.  But, to be perfectly clear, two of the most exciting benefits related to CoQ10 is its effect on heart function and overall energy levels.

1. In a two-year study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, people with very poor heart function - those taking CoQ10 saw a decrease in unwanted symptoms, and their risk of dying of heart-related problems decreased.  Keep in mind, conventionally-speaking, most people experience terrible side effects with the standard Western approach to "heart health." 

Another great benefit of CoQ10 is its ability to limit oxidative damage and improve heart function overall with no unwanted side effects when taken in safe amounts, as suggested.

2. Because CoQ10 is directly linked to the amount of energy cells can produce, it makes sense that deficiency in this compound would result in lower energy levels. CoQ10 supplements can increase energy if the natural production is low, but increasing CoQ10 levels are unlikely to make a difference if your body is already producing a normal amount of the enzyme.

Should you take CoQ10 supplements for heart health and energy?

The short (basic) answer for the average healthy person is yes.  But, naturally, if you are dealing with any health concern - it's best to talk to a well-qualified, integrative doctor about your food, supplement and lifestyle needs.

Sources for this article include:

NIH.gov

NIH.gov