Weekend Wellness: The Benefits of COQ10

Recently, while with a group of clients, the subject of COQ10 came up.  Many have never heard of its benefits...or even what it is.  I thought I'd put together a "summary" so now you'd be "in the know" with such an important supplement!  Of course...if you think this is something to add to your bag of goodies, check with your doctor, especially if you are on any medications. The body produces coenzyme Q10 naturally. It is a necessary compound for all cells. As the body ages, levels of CoQ10 decrease. Patients with conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer have low levels of the essential compound. Supplementation with CoQ10 eliminates the deficiency and may help to treat these medical conditions, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Chronic Fatigue

Users can take coenzyme Q10 as an energy booster, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. The use of CoQ10 supplements may also relieve the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome, but more research is needed to confirm the effect on the condition, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Antioxidant

CoQ10 works in the body as an antioxidant, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Antioxidants attack free radicals in the body that destroy cells. Free radicals occur naturally in the body as it ages, but they are also caused by pollution, UV light and smoking. Antioxidants may help to reduce the damage caused by free radicals.

Heart Disease

The effect of CoQ10 on heart disease may be the result of its antioxidant effect and the improvement in energy in the cells, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Patients who experience heart failure have low levels of the compound and may benefit from supplementation. There is more research needed on the effect of CoQ10 on heart disease and heart failure to determine if it will be helpful to patients, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Cholesterol

Coenzyme Q10 may be used with statin drugs to lower blood cholesterol levels. The supplement may help to prevent coenzyme Q10 deficiency in patients who are taking statin drugs. There has not been sufficient research in the use of CoQ10 in patients with high cholesterol alone, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Blood Pressure

CoQ10 does appear to lower blood pressure in patients. Coenzyme Q10 deficiency is found in patients with high blood pressure, but it is not known if the low levels of the compound are responsible for the condition, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Stomach Upset

The only known side effect of CoQ10 supplementation is an upset stomach in some patients, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Drug Interactions

CoQ10 supplements can interact with other drugs taken for medical conditions such as blood thinning medications, blood pressure medication and some cancer fighting medications. Patients should consult with their doctor before using CoQ10, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.