When you hear that you could actually keep more of your energy as you age with one supplemental compound, it sounds too good to be true. However there is a lot of scientific research on CoQ10 supplements to back up this claim. CoQ10 supports the biological system that stores energy from food, and although your body naturally produces it, the supply starts to drop as you age.
The word CoQ10 stands for “Coenzyme Q10.” Enzymes are like chemical reaction engines that transform or breakdown other elements. For example, trypsin enzymes break down large proteins into their fundamental amino acids. Lactose intolerance happens when people cannot produce the enzyme lactase, which digests the lactose in milk. The only reason we can’t eat grass like cows is that humans don’t have the enzyme to break down cellulose. A coenzyme doesn’t perform a digestive or constructive task on its own, like enzymes do, but instead assists the function of another enzyme.
CoQ10 assists an enzyme called GPDH, which is the chemical machine that turns ADP (adenosine diphosphate) into ATP (adenosine triphosphate). Since the last time you heard about the ATP cycle was probably your high school biology class, here’s a quick refresher: ADP has two phosphate molecules while ATP has three, and it takes (relative to the small scales) quite a bit of energy to add one. So turning ADP into ATP requires a lot of energy, and turning ATP into ADP releases a lot of energy.
It’s like a chemical battery inside every one of your cells, and without GPDH – and CoQ10 to support it – you can’t charge the battery. That’s what CoQ10 does and why it’s so important. Your body produces it naturally (the National Institute of Health states it’s primarily found in the liver and heart). Still, the amount you have drops as you age, and no food source will give you back a helpful amount, so supplements are the only real option to increase your CoQ10 supply.
CoQ10 has been shown to reduce blood pressure and also improve various heart diseases. In this study, for example, it was found to reduce the symptoms of angina pectoris, a condition marked by severe chest pain and often caused by high blood pressure. CoQ10 also appeared to improve “exercise tolerance,” meaning that the pain interfered less with the ability to exercise. Other studies have shown similar benefits for other areas of cardiovascular health, such as heart failure and even overall longevity.
More research is needed in this field, and it’s not demonstrated conclusively yet, but a few studies have shown some correlation. CoQ10 appears to reduce overall levels of cholesterol as well as levels of LDL cholesterol, often called “bad” cholesterol. LDL is the kind of cholesterol that can build up on the walls of your blood vessels and lead to clogs and strokes. This effect has been specifically observed in people with diabetes, which means CoQ10 could be effective in helping people with diabetes manage their cholesterol.
Statins are a class of medication that lower cholesterol and reduce heart problems. They could save your life if you’re at high risk of heart attack or failure. They do come with some pretty bad side effects, though, like muscle pain, fatigue, and nausea. Additionally, it’s been found that people taking statins have lowered amounts of CoQ10. This doesn’t necessarily mean that lowered CoQ10 is causing the side effects, but taking a supplement of it does seem to improve these symptoms.
This benefit is currently pretty theoretical and unproven. Some studies find an effect, some studies fail entirely to see an impact, and we’re all going to have to wait for the dust to settle a bit before figuring out anything for sure. However, even in some of the areas that have been proven, like its effects on cholesterol, scientists aren’t really sure why or how it affects that function. It’s pretty apparent, though, exactly how a CoQ10 supplement can improve energy since CoQ10’s major function is helping your body store energy. Even though scientists haven’t definitively proven that CoQ10 acts this way, there’s pretty strong evidence that it should.
Modere is one of the most reputable supplement dealers around. All of their ingredients are scientifically proven and tested for safety by third-party labs. Their proprietary CoQ10 blend uses the purest, most bioavailable form of the CoQ10 compound, as well as D-limonene, a vitamin that’s been shown to increase some of its effects on cardiovascular health. The ingredient list is relatively minimal, and most inactive ingredients are things like gelatin that just help the soft gel keep its shape.
It’s simple to use – just take one pill daily – and the price isn’t too bad at just over $30 for 30 pills. Modere also has a great subscription program that can save you between 5% and 15% on your order, which works especially well if you use several of their products, and you won’t have to remember to order it every month!
There are a few side effects when taking CoQ10, but they are rare. The Mayo Clinic notes that people have experienced mild digestive issues like nausea and diarrhea. Other side effects include fatigue, rashes, and insomnia. But, again, these side effects are fairly mild and reasonably rare. Just keep an eye out in case you’re one of the people who experiences these side effects. CoQ10 has not been studied for women who are pregnant or nursing.
A quick disclaimer: the more studies scientists do, the more they’re starting to realize that people are unique in a lot of ways. Some people might be more likely to experience adverse side effects, and right now, there’s no way to figure out who those people are ahead of time. Some people might also be more likely to experience the positive effects, while others might not notice any difference at all.
This is part of why studying a supplement like CoQ10 takes so long. If only a few participants show improvement, it’s really hard to figure out whether a researcher got unlucky because most of their participants aren’t as reactive or whether there’s no real effect. Some people just happened to improve anyway.
Everyone is different, and few medications or supplements work perfectly for everyone. The evidence for CoQ10 is pretty strong, though, and its side effects are mild and rare. We can’t guarantee you’ll feel huge effects and love the difference, but you should at least try it out, especially if you struggle with cholesterol or cardiovascular health. Watch yourself for side effects, but they’re unlikely – and you just might, instead, find yourself filled with new energy.