Coenzyme Q10: What is it and how can it benefit me?

The latest supplement that seems to be grabbing all the media’s attention is Coenzyme Q10 – and for those who have never heard of it or simple don’t know the benefits, Dr D. Mantle, medical advisor at Pharma Nord, retailer of Q10 ubiquinol supplements, shares everything you need to know:

What is Coenzyme Q10?

As a natural bodily substance that we produce in the body, Coenzyme Q10 serves to help bodily cells operate by converting sugars and fats into energy – it is similar to a vitamin. Some of it also comes from the food that we eat, but the amount we are able to produce depends on a number of factors. Lifestyle factors and age can affect the level and rate of production, for instance. The older we get, the less we produce, while smoking and drinking can also impact our production levels.

Lower levels can result in lethargy, tiredness and impaired digestion, so the supplements exist to top up Coenzyme Q10 levels in the body, as well as to help improve these problems.


What is ubiquinone and ubiquinol and how does it relate to Coenzyme Q10?

There are two chemical forms of Coenzyme Q10: ubiquinol (reduced form) and ubiquinone (oxidised form). In terms of structure, they’re both quite similar, with the exception of the two additional hydrogen atoms in ubiquinone.

But which of these two chemicals is most important to the body? There is quite a debate around this, but because they are both interconverted between reduced and oxidised forms, they are of equal metabolic importance.

Are they suitable for those taking statins?

Supplementing with Coenzyme Q10 whilst taking statins to help cardiovascular problems can be beneficial. As it is created in the same biochemical pathway as cholesterol, statins also limit the amount of Coenzyme Q10 produced by inhibiting cholesterol production.

Therefore, taking Coenzyme Q10 supplements helps counteract the reduction of Q10 production and reduces muscle pain caused as a side effect of taking statins. This is because without the right amount of Coenzyme Q10, the tissue isn’t receiving the energy it requires for efficient use.

Although not all studies show significant improvement in statin-related symptoms, some countries such as Canada include a recommendation of Q10 supplements on the packaging of statins.