Coenzyme Q10 – or CoQ10 for short – is a non-protein compound that plays a central role in fighting oxidative stress and regulating energy at the cellular level. For those reasons and more it is considered one of the most important compounds in the body. Because of its robust antioxidant properties, CoQ10 is able to help prevent heart failure, reduce the risk of developing heart disease, reduce the risk of type II diabetes, and help prevent asthma and other lung diseases.
And that’s just for starters. It has also shown promise as a cancer treatment, a pre-workout supplement, and a way to restore healthy, younger-looking skin. Below we examine the best CoQ10 supplements of 2021.
1. NatureMade CoQ10
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NatureMade is a highly respected producer of dietary supplements and regularly appears on all manner of ‘10 best’ lists. And for good reason. Their supplements are pure, free of common allergens, reasonably priced and produced under the watchful eye of the FDA in their Good Manufacturing Practices-certified facility.
Each NatureMade CoQ10 capsule contains 200mg of CoQ10 suspended in water and glycerin. These gelatin capsules are easy to swallow and contain no artificial ingredients. Take one per day with food or without to improve heart, lung and brain function, and to help fend off diabetes.
2. Solgar Vegetarian CoQ10
Solgar is another trusted producer of high-quality dietary supplements. Their CoQ10 capsules contain 200mg each of ubiquinone CoQ10. Ubiquinone is quickly absorbed by the body and gets to work fast bolstering heart, lung and musculoskeletal health. There are no artificial flavors, no sugar, soy, salt, wheat, dairy or gluten in these capsules.
Just CoQ10 in a highly bioavailable form that can also power your workouts and help restore luster to your skin. Solgar Vegetarian CoQ10 is, as the name implies, certified vegetarian-safe as well as being kosher. They cost a bit more than some other CoQ10 supplements, but they’re worth it.
3. Nature’s Bounty CoQ10
Each Nature’s Bounty CoQ10 gelcap contains the same 200mg dose used by scientists in research studies. These dietary supplements are free of artificial ingredients, gluten, dairy, sugar, salt and other superfluous and potentially problematic ingredients. They are delivered in easy to swallow soft gel form that breaks down quickly once swallowed.
The ubiquinol used here possesses a high degree of bioavailability. Meaning very little of it goes to waste once you swallow it. All Nature’s Bounty supplements are produced in the US in a Good Manufacturing Practices facility and are renowned for their dependable quality.
4. BulkSupplements Coenzyme Q10
Bulk Supplements makes it their mission to provide customers with an affordable alternative to expensive supplements. But they don’t sacrifice quality to achieve their low prices. Instead, they cut costs by eliminating the fancy packaging most other supplement makers use. Then they pass the savings on to you.
This is pure Coenzyme Q10 in powder form that is ready to mix with your favorite non-carbonated beverage. And when we say pure, we mean it. There are no other ingredients. No sugar, soy, dairy, gluten, olive oil or other fillers. And no artificial anything. Just 200mg of Coenzyme Q10 per scoop. All BulkSupplements are 3rd party tested for purity.
5. Life Extension Super Ubiquinol CoQ10
Life Extension Super Ubiquinol CoQ10 capsules contain 100mg each of highly bioavailable CoQ10. The lower than average dose of these capsules make them a good choice for smaller individuals who don’t need as much CoQ10 as a 250 pound football player.
They’re also a smart choice for people who want to distribute their CoQ10 dosage throughout the day. Each capsule also contains 100mg of fulvic acid, which is believed to enhance brain function, fight fatigue and stave off infections of the respiratory tract. Beyond that, they are free of artificial ingredients, colors or flavors, and completely free of genetically modified organisms.
6. Garden of Life Raw CoQ10
Garden of Life Raw CoQ10 supplement capsules contain 200mg each of raw (unprocessed) CoQ10, along with 444mg of omega-3 fatty acids. The CoQ10 helps buttress the health of your heart, lungs, muscles, skin and more. While the omega-3 fatty acids can further reduce your risk of heart disease, while also relieving joint pain, reducing inflammation and helping to fight off dementia.
This is a full-service heart and mind supplement packed with proven ingredients. What they aren’t packed with are common food allergens, artificial preservatives, gluten, nasty fillers or dairy products. If you want to get more from your CoQ10 supplement, try these.
7. Jarrow Formulas Ubiquinol CoQ10
There is nothing complicated about Jarrow Formulas’ Ubiquinol CoQ10 supplement. Each softgel capsule contains 200mg of coenzyme Q10 and that’s it. No artificial stuff. No genetically modified organisms, no fish or dairy or wheat or anything else that might cause problems.
Take one capsule once a day with or without food and let the CoQ10 take care of your heart and lungs, while giving you the energy you need to enhance your workouts. Ubiquinol CoQ10 is absorbed quickly and thoroughly by the body with little waste. They’re a good choice for older individuals looking to maintain vibrant health.
8. Puritan’s Pride CoQ10
Puritan’s Pride is another well-regarded supplement maker that offers an impressive lineup of dietary supplements to fit every need. Their 100mg CoQ10 capsules provide a more modest dose for those who want a higher degree of control over the supplementation process.
There are no preservatives, no soy, no gluten and no GMOs. And the capsules are free of artificial flavors or sweeteners of any kind. The company suggests you take 1 to 4 capsules daily. We would suggest that if you are going to take more than the standard 200mg per day that you discuss it with your doctor first.
9. Viva Naturals CoQ10
Viva Naturals CoQ10 100mg capsules are another good choice for those who don’t want or need to take 200mg at a time. They also include something few other CoQ10 supplement makers provide: bioperine. Bioperine is a fancy name for black pepper extract. And while that fact might suggest that it’s a gimmick ingredient, bioperine actually is well-known for its ability to enhance nutrient absorption.
So you’re bound to get the maximum possible benefit from each 100mg capsule. Viva Naturals CoQ10 is free of artificial ingredients and common food allergens, and is rigorously 3rd party tested for purity.
10. Doctor’s Best High Absorption CoQ10
The last of our best CoQ10 supplements is from Doctor’s Best. While not a household name like NatureMade or Solgar, Doctor’s Best supplements are nonetheless held in high regard for their dependably high-quality.
Their CoQ10 capsules each contain 100mg of ubiquinone CoQ10 that is quickly metabolized by the body. There is also a modest 5mg of bioperine to aid absorption and enhance the effectiveness of the supplement. If there is a downside it’s the inclusion of soy lecithin. Though for most people, that’s not much of a downside.
What is CoQ10?
CoQ10 is shorthand for ‘coenzyme Q10’. Coenzyme Q10 is one of the most essential compounds in the body. It is present in all cells and plays a key role in regulating and enabling the release of energy. It is also a powerful antioxidant and many of the benefits ascribed to it are a result of its ability to fight oxidative stress (1).
You will often hear CoQ10 referred to as either ubiquinone or ubiquinol. Rather than being different types of CoQ10, these names refer to different states of the compound. Most supplements are CoQ10 ubiquinone. This denotes its oxidized state. Once taken, the CoQ10 is metabolized in the body and becomes ubiquinol. This is the antioxidant form of coenzyme Q10.
CoQ10 is produced naturally by the body, but is also present in many of the foods we eat on a regular basis. Chicken, pork and beef, along with fatty fish, legumes and more all contain CoQ10. As you age, your body gradually reduces the amount of CoQ10 it produces. It is now believed that this reduction in coenzyme Q10 production plays a significant role in the aging process.
What Are the Benefits of Taking CoQ10 Supplements?
CoQ10 supplements may help reduce the risk of heart failure – Heart failure is not something that happens out of the blue. It is usually the end result of years of high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, or another heart condition (2). The fact that our cells lose CoQ10 as we age doesn’t help the situation. That’s the bad news. The good news is that CoQ10 supplements have demonstrated the ability to reduce incidents of heart failure among high-risk individuals (3).
CoQ10 supplements may help fight cognitive decline – There is some evidence that low CoQ10 levels have a negative role to play in brain health (4). Patients with Parkinson’s have been found to have low levels of CoQ10 in their spinal fluid, for instance. There is now evidence that supplemental CoQ10 may be able to slow the functional decline suffered by Parkinson’s patients (5). However, it should be mentioned that there is no concrete evidence to support rumors that CoQ10 supplements can arrest or reverse Alzheimers’s disease.
CoQ10 supplements makes more energy available – CoQ10 plays a fundamental role in enabling cells to harness energy. This is one reason why CoQ10 supplements have a beneficial effect on your muscles, including your heart. Muscles (and your heart is the most important muscle in the body), starved of CoQ10 simply don’t perform as well as those whose cells are rich in this enzyme. CoQ10 levels drop off at a steady and predictable rate as we age. This decrease is likely responsible, at least in part, for the reduced vitality levels experienced by older individuals. CoQ10 supplements can reverse that trend.
CoQ10 supplements can strengthen your gums – CoQ10 is a powerful antioxidant that helps reduce the effects of oxidative stress wherever they occur. One of the less appreciated results of its antioxidant properties is its ability to fight gum disease. And there is really no doubt about it. In fact, a study published by the National Institutes of Health in 2010 (6) stated unequivocally that CoQ10, “effectively suppresses advanced periodontal inflammation”. That is good news for anyone that is battling gingivitis.
CoQ10 supplements can help you get more from your workouts – Above we mentioned how CoQ10 enables your cells to utilize energy. That is good news for your heart, and good news for older folks who want to stay vigorous. But it is also good news for those who enjoy a good aerobic workout. In fact, studies have determined that CoQ10 supplementation can improve endurance and reduce that pain and soreness (7) most people feel after a bout of strenuous exercise.
CoQ10 supplements can help protect your skin from oxidative stress – People who smoke for years typically suffer from ‘smoker’s face’ (8), a combination of premature aging, deep wrinkles and a gaunt complexion. Smoker’s face is a result of oxidative stress on the skin. While most people do not suffer the same degree of skin damage as smokers, oxidative stress is nonetheless responsible for wrinkles, a dry, rough complexion and more. CoQ10 can protect your skin from the ravages of oxidative stress.
CoQ10 supplements can reduce some effects of aging – As we have seen, levels of coenzyme Q10 decrease with age. Researchers now believe this decline plays a significant role in reduced energy levels, age-related organ dysfunction and muscle loss. CoQ10 is not exactly the Fountain of Youth, but it has demonstrated the ability to improve quality of life in older individuals. It does so by protecting the heart, enhancing vitality, reducing oxidative stress and protecting the musculoskeletal system from injury (9).
CoQ10 supplements may help extend the life of those with stage 4 cancer – There have not been many studies detailing the potential effects of CoQ10 on cancer. But there have been some. One in particular (10) was encouraging for those facing various forms of late stage cancer, including cancer of the breast, brain, kidney, lungs, prostate and colon. The study found that patients given CoQ10 supplements survived an average of 40% longer than those given a placebo. The study covered 9 years and involved 41 patients.
CoQ10 supplements may help protect your lungs – Oxidative stress is a leading cause of cellular decay and disease. And no part of your body is exposed to greater amounts of oxidative stress than your lungs. Researchers have discovered that people with various lung afflictions such as asthma, have lower levels of CoQ10 in their blood (11), suggesting a link between low CoQ10 levels and lung disease. Researchers now believe CoQ10 supplementation may be an effective treatment for asthma, COPD (12) and more.
CoQ10 may enhance insulin sensitivity and reduce diabetic neuropathy – Diabetic neuropathy (13) is a nerve disorder that commonly affects the extremities of people with diabetes. Reduced insulin sensitivity (14) is a major contributing factor in the development of type II diabetes. Coenzyme Q10 is believed to improve insulin sensitivity, reduce diabetic neuropathy (15), and even slow the progression from a prediabetic state to full diabetes (16).
When is the Best Time to Take CoQ10?
Coenzyme Q10 is fat soluble. Therefore, it is often suggested that it be taken with a meal that contains a fair amount of dietary fat. That said, there is not a lot of actual evidence that taking CoQ10 with a fatty meal helps in absorption. There is, however, some evidence that CoQ10 may cause mild insomnia in some people (17). Therefore, taking it right before bedtime may be inadvisable. Essentially, it comes down to a matter of personal preference. Try taking it at different times and see if there is one that works better for you.
What is the Proper Dose of CoQ10?
Because the sale and use of coenzyme Q10 is not regulated by the FDA (who consider it a dietary supplement, like vitamins), there is no clear guidance on exactly what constitutes a proper dose. When conducting studies, most researchers opt for doses ranging from 100mg to 200mg per day, simply because they see no compelling reason to use more. So, if you are looking for some professional guidance on the matter, you probably can’t lose by sticking to the limits imposed by these researchers. Otherwise, you could always ask your doctor for their opinion on the matter.
Who Should Take CoQ10?
CoQ10 is produced naturally by the body. In addition, chicken, pork and beef, spinach, broccoli and cauliflower, fatty fish like mackerel and sardines, as well as oranges, lentils, peanuts and more all contain CoQ10. As such, CoQ10 deficiency is extremely rare, especially in young people. So, who would benefit from taking this remarkable enzyme?
People over 40 – CoQ10 production begins to slow as we age. So just about anyone over 40 should seriously consider taking a CoQ10 supplement on a daily basis. As we saw above, doing so can pay handsome dividends including healthier skin, reduced oxidative stress on vital organs and more energy.
Athletes – Once we move beyond the obvious candidates we find there are actually quite a few others that can benefit from taking coenzyme Q10 on a regular basis. This includes athletes and the athletically inclined. CoQ10 can be an effective pre-workout supplement that will boost the ability of your muscle cells to sustain energy levels.
People with heart disease – Statins (18) can reduce the risk of heart attack, but that benefit comes at a heavy price. Side effects from statin use cause a quarter of all patients to quit using them after just a few months. CoQ10, on the other hand, produces few, if any, side effects in most people. At the same time, it significantly reduces the risk factors for heart failure and the various types of cardiovascular disease that precede it.
Diabetics and pre-diabetics – There is ample research to support the idea that CoQ10 can benefit those with type II diabetes (19), and those considered pre-diabetic (20). It does this by fighting oxidative stress that can cause mitochondrial dysfunction, which in turn contributes to the development of diabetes. As such, both diabetics and those at risk of developing diabetes, should consider taking CoQ10.
Are There Any Side Effects to CoQ10?
One of the reasons researchers are so enthused about CoQ10 therapies is because it is generally well-tolerated and, when taken in moderation, typically produces few side effects. That said, side effects, while uncommon, are still a possibility. Some people taking CoQ10 supplements have complained of headaches, nausea, fatigue and diarrhea. Less common side effects include rashes, abdominal pain and light sensitivity.
Even though CoQ10 is not regulated by the FDA it is still advisable that you check with your healthcare provider before taking it. This is especially true if you have a history of heart disease and are currently taking other medications to treat it, or if you are diabetic. Also, if you are on a particular diet, such as the low-carb, high-fat keto diet, you should check with your doctor before taking CoQ10 supplements.
The Bottom Line
CoQ10 has been receiving a lot of press lately and has even made its way into energy drinks and the like. There is good reason for the optimism surrounding coenzyme Q10, because it has shown enormous promise as a potentially effective tool in the fight against heart disease, diabetes, various skin conditions, lung disease, and more. And it has also shown great promise as a pre-workout supplement that can help take your fitness to another level.
CoQ10 is available from a wide variety of sources and can be purchased without a prescription. In general it is a bit more expensive than other dietary supplements. But at the same time, many believe the potential benefits justify the cost.
All of the CoQ10 supplements profiled above are the product of reputable manufacturers. They are safe and effective when taken as directed, and are produced in facilities that meet FDA Good Manufacturing Practices standards (21). Use the above information to decide which CoQ10 supplement is right for you.
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