Refer a Friend and you both get a €3 gift voucher see here

Coenzyme Q10: The 5 most important health benefits

by Maria Kirmanidou, Dietitian & Sport Nutritionist

16 May 2024 • 0 min read

What is coenzyme Q10?

Many of you may have heard of it in beauty product advertisements, while others may have associated it with the sports industry. Coenzyme Q10 is a vitamin-like molecule, which is considered very important, for energy production, inside the “energy production factory" within the cell, the mitochondrion. Since it was first isolated by researchers in 1955, it has attracted the interest of scientists as it is a key component for many bodily functions, it did not take long to become widely known, due to its polymorphic nature.

Our body has the ability to produce coenzyme Q10, with small amounts obtained through food or dietary supplements. It exists in 2 main forms, which are being reformulated in the human body, ubiquinone and ubiquinol. Ubiquinone is the oxidized form of Co-Q10 and the most commonly reported, which is converted to ubiquinol so it can better absorbed. Depending on the need, each form is involved in different reactions and equally serves different needs.

Let's go over the main functions of coenzyme Q10 and how it promotes normal body function.

Properties, main role and functions.

  1. Energy production. Coenzyme Q10 is found in all cells of the human body. Its primary role is to participate in energy production, which is why most of it is found inside the organs with the highest energy requirements (the organs that spend large amounts of energy to function properly), such as the heart, brain, liver, kidneys and lungs.
  2. Antioxidant activity. Coenzyme Q10 is commonly used as a main ingredient in skin care products as an anti-aging agent. It plays a key role in counteracting damage caused by excessive free radical accumulation - the so-called "oxidative stress" - helping to maintain healthy and youthful skin.
  3. Cardiovascular protection. Co-enzyme Q10 production declines with age and its deficiency has been associated with increased cardiovascular risk. Coenzyme Q10 improves endothelial function, protecting the circulatory system and acting in support of vascular and heart health. Numerous studies have examined coenzyme Q10 supplementation, both in patients with heart failure and in cases of Diabetes Mellitus II, an independent factor in the development of cardiovascular disease. A meta-analysis by De Frutos and colleagues in 2015, noted a reduced number of arrhythmias, following surgery, in patients with heart failure after supplementation with coenzyme Q10. In addition, when taking statins - the medication often prescribed for cholesterol reduction - muscle pain and severe fatigue can be observed. This is probably due to the intense reduction in coenzyme Q10, which is why it is not uncommon for coenzyme Q10 to be recommended as a supplement to be taken alongside statins.
  4. It acts against osteoporosis. Recent scientific data note that certain medications used in osteoporosis may also help to reduce the production of Co-Q10.
  5. It helps reduce inflammation. Inflammation and oxidative stress are the main "common" pathways for the appearance of most of the non-communicable diseases. Coenzyme Q10 supplementation appears to help reduce inflammatory factors, and thus act protectively against the onset of many kidney and liver pathologies, and has noted benefits in improved outcomes of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's & Parkinson's.
Extra tip: Combine a coenzyme Q10 supplement with a selenium supplement for maximum cardioprotective and antioxidant benefits.
People on medication for thyroid disorders are excluded.

Is coenzyme Q10 supplementation considered as safe?

Co-enzyme Q10 supplements have been tested for their safety and are considered completely reliable with multiple health benefits. Dosages that are considered safe range from 50 to 1200mg - even for long-term use. However, as we are talking about a promising supplement and while most studies have focused on its efficacy in heart health related outcomes, there is a need for more research with proper methodological design, concerning pathological conditions involving renal, nervous and liver function.

In conclusion

Coenzyme Q10 is a cofactor, essential for the performance of multiple functions in the human body, the main ones being energy production and its protective action in favour of cardiovascular function.
Holland & Barrett provides co-enzyme Q10 supplements in dosages of 50 - 200mg, which are targeted to everyone and serve everyone’s different needs. Our expertly trained staff in the stores are at your disposal to assist you and recommend the right product, always in alignment with your doctor’s advice.

Scientific References

Aaseth, J., Alexander, J., & Alehagen, U. (2021). Coenzyme Q10 supplementation–In ageing and disease. Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, 197, 111521.

ArenasJal, M., SuñéNegre, J. M., & GarcíaMontoya, E. (2020). Coenzyme Q10 supplementation: Efficacy, safety, and formulation challenges. Comprehensive reviews in food science and food safety, 19(2), 574-594.

Gutierrez-Mariscal, F. M., Arenas-de Larriva, A. P., Limia-Perez, L., Romero-Cabrera, J. L., Yubero-Serrano, E. M., & López-Miranda, J. (2020). Coenzyme Q10 supplementation for the reduction of oxidative stress: Clinical implications in the treatment of chronic diseases.
International journal of molecular sciences, 21(21), 7870.