Protect Your Heart and Lower Inflammation with CoQ10
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) was first identified in 1940. Since then, it has been recognized as one of the premier antioxidants for heart health. Just as importantly, CoQ10 is now known to be a powerful anti-inflammatory agent as well.
Here’s what you need to know about CoQ10, how it works to protect the heart and fight inflammation, and how much you should be taking.
What Does CoQ10 Do?
CoQ10 fuels energy production in the cells’ mitochondria—the tiny organelles in our cells that function as “energy factories.” The mitochondria produce up to 95% of the energy that cells need to stay alive. Without them, cells would die.
CoQ10 sparks the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Your body uses ATP for energy. Of all the organs in your body, your heart relies on CoQ10 the most due to the extraordinary amount of energy it uses. This makes sense considering the heart is always beating and working hard to keep us alive. So, the higher the CoQ10 in the body, the more ATP the body can produce to fuel the heart.
CoQ10’s effects on the heart have been studied extensively. First and foremost, CoQ10 protects the heart and arteries from oxidative stress by neutralizing free radicals. This becomes even more critical considering ATP production generates a lot of free radical byproducts.
CoQ10 also helps:
- Decrease the risk of heart disease and heart attack
- Protect the heart during a heart attack
- Reduce blood pressure
- Alleviate angina pain
- Prevent congestive heart failure
- Lower harmful LDL cholesterol
- Improve beneficial HDL cholesterol
In fact, low levels of CoQ10 are linked to low levels of HDL cholesterol, which in and of itself raises the risk of heart disease.
And that’s not all. In addition to its well-documented heart-protective properties, CoQ10 has been shown to fight:
- Periodontal disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Macular degeneration
- Other conditions associated with aging and free radical damage
CoQ10 and Inflammation
Another very important benefit of CoQ10 is its anti-inflammatory effects. As we now know, inflammation is a root cause of countless diseases, including those mentioned above as well as arthritis, cancer, and autoimmune issues.
One meta-analysis of nine studies looked at CoQ10’s effects on markers of inflammation. It concluded that CoQ10 supplementation significantly decreased proteins that cause inflammation, including tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α).1
Another even more recent meta-analysis found similar results. In this one, researchers looked at nine trials with a total of 509 patients with chronic diseases. They discovered that CoQ10 significantly reduced two inflammatory markers: TNF-α and interleukin-6.2
And finally, a 2021 review stated not only that CoQ10 has “an anti-inflammatory role via its ability to repress inflammatory gene expression,” it also plays “an important function within the lysosome, an organelle central to the immune system.” So…anti-inflammatory AND immune-boosting benefits!3
Why You Should Be Supplementing CoQ10
In our younger years, we are able to naturally produce sufficient amounts of CoQ10. But after the age of 30, production starts slowing down. This is one reason why everybody over 30 should take measures to boost their CoQ10 levels.
It’s even more imperative to do this if you take a cholesterol-lowering statin drug. Statins are notorious for depleting the body of CoQ10. This can lead to very unpleasant side effects: general soreness, muscle pain and weakness, peripheral neuropathy, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating.
Beta blockers used to treat hypertension also deplete CoQ10. Considering statins and blood pressure drugs are two of the top prescribed medications in the US, it would be a fair assumption that CoQ10 deficiencies are very common.
Is it any wonder so many people feel just plain “blah” by middle age?
To check your CoQ10 levels, your doctor can order bloodwork. But if you’re in your mid-30s or older, and/or take a beta blocker or statin, it’s pretty safe to say your levels aren’t optimal…which makes it all the more important to boost them.
Sources of CoQ10
Some foods provide dietary CoQ10. Sardines, salmon, broccoli, and spinach are good. But organ meats (heart and liver) are some of the most concentrated food sources. These aren’t the most popular cuts of meat, but they are by far the most nutrient dense!
Of course, supplementation is also a reliable (and taste-free) option.
These days, CoQ10 supplements are readily available. But finding a high-quality brand that delivers what it promises can be challenging.
The most effective CoQ10 you can buy should be formulated for enhanced absorption. Newport Natural Health’s CoQMax is one such brand. It is made with HydroQsorb, which is 300% more absorbable than the ordinary CoQ10 you’d find at the drugstore.
Not only that, CoQMax also contains curcumin as well—another extremely potent anti-inflammatory.
Recommended doses for CoQ10 are:
- 100 mg daily for healthy adults
- 200 mg for healthy adults taking beta blockers, statins, or other drugs known to deplete CoQ10
- 300 mg daily for adults with heart disease, hypertension, congestive heart failure, or another heart condition
Of course, these are general guidelines. Dosages vary from person to person. Work with your doctor to figure out how much you should be taking, based on your lab results, pre-existing health conditions, and symptoms.
- Zhai J, et al. Effects of Coenzyme Q10 on Markers of Inflammation: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. PLoS One. 2017;12(1):e0170172.
- Farsi F, et al. Can coenzyme Q10 supplementation effectively reduce human tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-6 levels in chronic inflammatory diseases? A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Pharmacol Res. 2019 Oct;148:104290.
- Mantle D, et al. Coenzyme Q10 and Immune Function: An Overview. Antioxidants (Basel). 2021 May 11;10(5):759.