Authored by Nickie Fleming in Nutrition
Published on 03-14-2009
First of all, what is CoQ10??? The scientific name for it is Coenzyme Q-10 or Ubiquinone and it plays a crucial role in the production of energy in the cells. It can also act as an antioxidant, a bit like vitamins E and C.
While CoQ10 can be absorbed naturally by eating, lots of people take it in tablet or liquid form as a food supplement. The problem here is that, as with most food supplements, it is hard to find unbiased information while using the internet. You should be aware of the fact that most online magazines and websites are either owned or supported (in the form of advertising) by companies who produce these food supplements. The FDA has not approved CoQ10 to treat diseases and potential risks and/or advantages are not researched. Ergo, there are also no regulated standards of manufacturing this compound.
Practically every cell in our body can synthesize CoQ10. This is a very complex process and I’m not going to try to explain how it works, for being too technical. What we should remember is that it produces energy and helps to protect the body from free radical damage
(= helps our immune system to fight against certain infections and types of cancer).
We can get CoQ10 out of the consumption of animal products such as beef, pork and chicken. An even better source for it is organ meat, such as heart and liver (but then, I wouldn’t advise to eat this, as they may carry diseases). In vegetables, you find significant amounts of CoQ10 in broccoli and spinach. Also unrefined vegetable oil (soybean and palm oil) are good sources.
When you want to use CoQ10 as a food supplement, you can consult your doctor or pharmacist. You can better not use this supplement if you have an allergy for plants, have diabetes or a blood disorder. Also don’t use it when you are pregnant or want to get it, as nobody knows if the supplement won’t harm the baby.
Always follow what is written on the label, or as is prescribed by your doctor or pharmacist. If you use CoQ10 in liquid form, carefully measure the dosage, and don’t take more than is recommended. Again, nobody can tell what would happen if you do. It is not recommended to give CoQ10 to a child without a doctor’s advise.
Some of the shown side effects of taking CoQ10 are difficulty in breathing, a feeling of the throat being closed, a swelling of the lips, tongue or face.
It is also known that certain other drugs can interact with the CoQ10. Again, it is advisable to notify your doctor that you are taking, for instance:
- a beta blocker blood pressure medication
- a blood thinner
- cholesterol lowering agents
- a medication for diabetes
Do remember that the absence of an official FDA warning for CoQ10 does not mean that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient!