101: Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q-10 (CoQ-10) is a naturally occurring quinone found in all organisms, from bacteria to mammals. It was discovered in 1940 and isolated in 1957 from the mitochondria of the beef heart. Coenzyme Q10, also known as Coenzyme Q, CoQ, CoQ10, Ubiquinone, Ubiquinone-Q10, Ubidecarenone, or Vitamin Q10, is a type of coenzyme. The number of side chains distinguishes the different types of coenzyme Q. CoQ10 is the most common coenzyme Q. CoQ10 is present in all human tissues, though its level varies.


 Why do we need CoQ10?

CoQ10's main function is to act as an energy transfer molecule, where it is a co-factor in the production of energy. Essentially, all cellular functions are dependent on an adequate supply of energy, which explains why coq10 is vital for all tissues and organs. CoQ10 is also one of the most significant lipid antioxidants that prevents the generation of harmful substances in the body, such as free radicals, which can lead to the modification of proteins, lipids, and DNA.

Antioxidant is defined as a substance that inhibits the oxidation process or is a scavenger of free radicals that are produced by normal body processes, hence making the body more stable.

Due to its function as antioxidants, not only can it help neutralize free radicals and prevent the damage caused by free radicals, but it can also improve energy and augment the immune system.


 Who needs CoQ10?

There are certain individuals who need to consume more CoQ10 as the amount in their bodies is diminishing.


  1. Individual who is consuming or on statin medication (medicine used to lower high blood levels of cholesterol or triglycerides to prevent heart problems). This is because studies show that statins interfere with the production of mevalonic acid, which is used to form CoQ10. Thus, individuals who consume statins have low levels of CoQ10 in their bodies.
  2. Individuals with heart conditions, such as heart failure and angina, may benefit from taking a CoQ10 supplement. A review of 13 studies in people with heart failure found that 100 mg of CoQ10 per day for 12 weeks improved blood flow from the heart.
  3. As CoQ10 is involved in the production of energy, it can be used by athletes and those who would like to boost physical performance. A 6-week study in 100 German athletes found that those who supplemented with CoQ10 daily experienced significant improvements in physical performance, measured as power output, compared to a placebo group. CoQ10 supplements help reduce the inflammation associated with heavy exercise and may even speed recovery.


How much do we need CoQ10? 

A typical CoQ10 dosage is about 30–90 mg per day, taken in divided doses, but the recommended amount can be as high as 200 mg per day. CoQ10 is a fat-soluble antioxidant, so it is better absorbed when taken with a meal that contains oil or fat. The clinical effect of CoQ10 may take up to eight weeks.


Food source with CoQ10?

Primary dietary sources of CoQ10 include oily fish (such as salmon and tuna), organ meats (such as liver), and whole grains. Most individuals obtain sufficient amounts of CoQ10 through a balanced diet, but supplementation may be useful for individuals with particular health conditions. CoQ10 is available as a supplement in several forms, including soft gel capsules, oral spray, hard shell capsules, and tablets.



Safety precautions

Consumption of CoQ10 might not really be suitable for individuals who consume warfarin medication, pregnant women, or breastfeeding mothers. 



  1. Saini R. (2011). Coenzyme Q10: The essential nutrient. Journal of pharmacy & bioallied sciences3(3), 466–467. https://doi.org/10.4103/0975-7406.84471
  2. National Institute Health (NIH). National Centre for Complementary and Integrative Health. Coenzyme Q10. https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/coenzyme-q10
  3. CoQ10 dosage: How much you should consume per day? https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/coq10-dosage