Coenzyme Q10, also known as CoQ10, is an antioxidant compound found within the energy-producing mitochondria in cells throughout your body. It plays an important role in the creation of adenosine triphosphate, or ATP, which powers your cells’ activities and helps produce various proteins. While no recommended dietary allowance for CoQ10 has been established, your doctor might recommend specific levels of intake to assist in the treatment of a variety of medical conditions.
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Your body naturally produces a certain amount of CoQ10, according to the Health Supplements Nutritional Guide. For this reason, the compound is not considered a vitamin. However, your body does not produce enough CoQ10 to fully support you health, and you must get some of the compound from dietary sources. The richest food sources of CoQ10 are organ meats such as livers, kidneys and hearts, according to the Health Supplements Nutritional Guide. The University of Maryland Medical Center lists additional food sources that include whole grains and oily fish such as tuna and salmon. You can also purchase CoQ10 supplements in forms that include capsules, soft gels, tablets and oral sprays.
No official agencies have produced specific guidelines for CoQ10 consumption, the Health Supplements Nutritional Guide and the Linus Pauling Institute report. In part, this fact stems from the difficulty in estimating CoQ10 intake when our bodies already produce it internally. Still, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus, CoQ10 supplementation may be useful in the treatment of a number of conditions, including high blood pressure, heart failure, muscular dystrophy, Parkinson’s disease, migraine headaches, pre-eclampsia, certain mithochondrial disorders and HIV/AIDS.
If you have muscular dystrophy, your doctor might recommend a daily CoQ10 intake of 100 mg, MedlinePlus reports. If you have heart failure, you may receive 100 mg per day divided into two or three doses. If you have high blood pressure, you may receive 120 to 200 mg of CoQ10 per day divided into two doses. As a migraine preventative, you may receive three separate 100 mg doses per day. If you have HIV/AIDS, you may receive 200 mg of CoQ10 per day. If you have pre-eclampsia, you may receive two 100 mg doses per day after 20 weeks of pregnancy. If you have a known CoQ10 deficiency, you may receive 150 mg per day.
Most individuals tolerate supplemental CoQ10 well, MedlinePlus notes. However, potential side effects of the compound include nausea, vomiting, stomach upset, diarrhea and appetite loss. If you have an allergic reaction to CoQ10, you can develop a skin rash. Additionally, individuals with low blood pressure might experience dangerous pressure drops when taking CoQ10. Divided doses of CoQ10 tend to diminish the occurrence of side effects. Consult your doctor before taking a CoQ10 supplement.
CoQ10 supplements can interfere with a variety of medications, including antihypertensives, chemotherapy agents and anticoagulants, MedlinePlus explains. Consumption of the herbal supplement red yeast can lower your CoQ10 levels. Avoid using CoQ10 supplements if you are pregnant, nursing or scheduled for surgery. Do not give CoQ10 to a child under the age of 18 without a doctor’s explicit advice.