CoQ10Coenzyme Q10, commonly known as CoQ10 is an important fat-soluble nutrient that doesn’t get enough attention. CoQ10 is important for heart and immune health and is vital for energy production in the body.  CoQ10 is considered a non-essential nutrient. That means that the body can manufacture it from raw material. However,  supplementation is recommended if the body is not making enough CoQ10.

If you have gum or periodontal problems, tachycardia, cardiac enlargement, congestive heart failure, palpitations, or arrhythmia, you might be deficient in CoQ10. 

“Could I Not Be Making Enough CoQ10?”

  • Nutritional Deficiencies: Vitamin B6 is required in order to make CoQ10. If there is a vitamin B6 deficiency, then the body probably cannot manufacture enough CoQ10.
  • Increased tissue needs: illness or trauma (including that experience through intense exercise) increase CoQ10 requirements. The amount the body produces may not suffice and additional supplementation may be beneficial. 
  • Age: as we get older our body becomes less efficient. Therefore, CoQ10 production seems to decline with age.
  • Malabsorption: CoQ10 is a fat-soluble nutrient. Consequently, if you struggle with fat absorption, you may be unable to absorb CoQ10
  • Certain prescription drugs: some statins, beta blockers, and tricyclic antidepressants can lower levels of CoQ10.

Use of a supplement depends on your medical diagnosis and your current health status. Supplements are available in many forms including ubiquinone (oxidized), ubiquinol (reduced) and semiquinone (radical).  Studies show the ubiquinol form of CoQ10, which acts as a fat-soluble antioxidant, is probably the best form. Take ubiquinol with a meal that contains healthy fats. This will ensure it is optimally digested and absorbed. CoQ10 does not currently have an established Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) or Adequate Intake (AI). Recommended dose for supplementation is typically between 30 mg – 200 mg daily. The proposed observed safe limit (OSL)  is 1,200 mg per day. Additionally, do not take CoQ10 if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. If you have diabetes, take either Coumadin or Warfarin, or are receiving chemotherapy, do not start supplementation with CoQ10 without speaking with your doctor.

My favorite brand is by Designs for Health.

Food sources of CoQ10 include:

FoodCoQ10 (mg)
Beef, fried, 3 ounces2.6
Herring, marinated, 3 ounces2.3
Chicken, fried, 3 ounces1.4
Soybean oil, 1 tablespoon1.3
Canola oil, 1 tablespoon1.0
Rainbow trout, steamed, 3 ounces0.9
Peanuts, roasted, 1 ounce0.8
Sesame seeds, roasted, 1 ounce0.7
Pistachio nuts, roasted, 1 ounce0.6
Broccoli, boiled, ½ cup, chopped0.5
Cauliflower, boiled, ½ cup, chopped0.4
Orange, 1 medium0.3
Strawberries, ½ cup0.1
Egg, boiled, 1 medium0.1


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