Updated: Feb 13, 2020
Have you heard of COQ10? Many people haven't and those who have heard the term don't know much about it. CoEnzymeQ10 is a substance in our bodies that basically acts as a kind of fuel for inside our cells.
COQ10 is primarily marketed for all things to do with heart protection, and most research papers have focused on this aspect of its use While I believe the heart is a very important organ to focus on, as a qualified Naturopath I believe this is not the only thing COQ10 is good for.
While we might reach for the Berocca or some B vitamins for energy, maybe we should reach for the COQ10 instead. But.... getting back to the heart. COQ10 is often lacking in our bodies, and the most common signs of this deficiency are:
Elevated blood pressure with no known cause
COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
How do we become deficient?
COQ10 is made by our bodies but it requires at least 9 other nutrients in order for us to be able to make it in sufficient amounts. These nutrients can become depleted by poor diet, poor absorption, or certain medicines. It is also found in a limited number of foods such as meats, fish, broccoli, cauliflower, nuts, spinach, and soy. Statin medicines, in particular, prevent us from synthesizing COQ10, which in turn can cause muscle pain.
So, what can we do?
Luckily COQ10 is available in supplement form, or you can eat a tonne of boiled broccoli Yummo!
The standard recommended dose on the packaging for COQ10 supplements is generally 150mg. In my experience 150mg, even 300mg may not be enough to make a difference, but this will depend a lot on the individual. It is important to seek advice from a health professional to ensure you are taking a dose that is therapeutic for you as an individual.
Does it matter which COQ10 supplement I take?
Again, this depends on the individual, but some people will need a specific type of COQ10 for it to be effective, and they can be quite expensive. The average person can take almost any brand and get relatively good absorption and use, but for someone who's health is more compromised, they will need the best bioavailable COQ10. Like most vitamins and supplements there is a wide range in quality and price available, I am happy to discuss your individual requirements for COQ10 at the pharmacy and make a recommendation for you that will be both therapeutic and value for money.
Written by Theresa, Naturopath at Valley Road Pharmacy.