By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Medicine
For years, I've been advising my patients over 50 to take supplemental CoQ10.
And in fact, I've been taking it myself every day. Here's why it's so important: As we get older, our ability to produce and metabolize CoQ10 declines.
That matters because this vitamin-like substance has two roles in the body that are pretty important: energy production and antioxidant protection.
As an antioxidant, it scavenges free radicals, thus protecting proteins, LDL ("bad”) cholesterol, and DNA from oxidative damage. It also powers up your cells so they can complete their important work in all of your organs.
What happens if your CoQ10 levels take a nosedive?
Your cells may not have enough energy to function properly. You'll also be more vulnerable to free radical damage that may lead to disease. In fact, CoQ10 levels are lower in folks with some chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, Parkinson's disease, cancer and diabetes.
But it's not just age that can undermine your CoQ10 levels. Statin drugs lower your levels, too.
This is why taking supplemental CoQ10 makes so much sense. But there's just one catch. CoQ10 supplements are notoriously difficult for the body to absorb.
First, this nutrient is fat-soluble. If you don't take it with some fat, it isn't absorbed.
Second, the CoQ10 crystals in supplements need temperatures higher than our normal body temperature before they can dissolve and become active.
Luckily there's an easy fix for these absorption problems. A few years ago, a different kind of CoQ10 called ubiquinol became available. This new form is the most biologically active form of CoQ10 and is significantly more absorbable.1
In fact, your cells absorb up to 8 times more CoQ10 from the ubiquinol form than when you take an ordinary CoQ10 supplement!2
Recent research clearly shows that ubiquinol plays a critical role in the production of cellular energy. It's also a powerful antioxidant protecting against oxidative damage to DNA.3
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All of that protection translates into an amazing array of health benefits. Recent studies have found ubiquinol can help prevent or improve nearly all forms of cardiovascular disease.4
One Australian study showed ubiquinol also helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Other studies focus on how this powerful reduced form of CoQ10 can ward off dementia and Alzheimer's while it improves learning and memory.4 Ubiquinol also shows promise against Parkinson's disease, Down's syndrome and even gum disease.
And if you're taking a statin-drug, it's essential you also take supplemental ubiquinol.
Based on all of this evidence, I've switched from taking a regular CoQ10 supplement to ubiquionol.
For most people, just one 100 mg dose per day will do the trick. Increase that amount to 200 to 300 mg daily if you suffer from cardiovascular disease or take a statin drug. Whichever dose is best for you, make sure to take your ubiquinol with food to boost its absorption even more.
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- Hosoe K. Study on safety and bioavailability of ubiquinol (Kaneka QH) after single and 4-week multiple oral administration to healthy volunteers. Regulatory Toxicology & Pharmacology. 2007;47:19-28.
- Evans M. A randomized, double-blind, crossover trial comparing the bioavailability of two CoQ10 formulations. Journal of Functional Foods. 2009; I:65-73.
- Siemieniuk E. Coenzyme Q10: its biosynthesis and biological significance in animal organisms and in humans. Postepy Hig Med Dosw (Online). 2005;59:150-159.
- Milagros Rocha M. Targeting antioxidants to mitochondria and cardiovascular diseases: the effects of mitoquinone. Medical Science Monitor. 2007;13:RA132-45.