How Does CoQ10 Boost Your Energy Levels?


We all experience fatigue, stress, and energy lulls at some point in our lives. These energy-sapping phases could be due to pressure-packed schedules, poor diet, and ongoing stressors. However, feeling rundown and exhausted every day isn’t something you should simply accept and live with, despite it being common. Deficiencies such as Vitamin D, magnesium, and calcium can cause fatigue, as can thyroid issues, fibromyalgia, and heart issues. However, CoQ10 deficiency is also a cause of fatigue, albeit a less commonly-known one. Healthy CoQ10 levels not only boost energy but they can help to relieve other health issues and support overall wellbeing.  
So, what are the benefits of Coenzyme Q10? Let’s explore.

What is Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)?


In simple terms, CoQ10 is a vitamin-like substance present in nearly every cell in your body. A coenzyme is a “helper molecule”, meaning that it enables enzymes to do their jobs efficiently, therefore, speeds up biochemical reactions in the body.
There are many CoQ10 health benefits, but two of the most notable are:

  • CoQ10 plays a very important role in making energy
  • CoQ10 is a remarkable antioxidant that protects cells and their fragile structures from oxidative damage

Because CoQ10 helps in producing energy, a deficiency can mean impaired energy production, mitochondrial dysfunction, and increased amounts of oxidative damage suffered by your tissues and organs. Needless to say, all these issues not only cause poor energy levels and fatigue but also other serious chronic problems.

So, how does CoQ10 give you energy? Let’s discuss.

Role of Coq10 in energy production


Your tissues and organs are made of cells that are constantly growing, duplicating, repairing, or removing waste and toxins. Clearly, your cells need a lot of energy to carry out these tasks so that your tissues and organs remain well-functioning and healthy. But where does this energy come from?

Well, your cells make this energy on their own with the help of mitochondria – small double-membrane structures present inside every cell. Mitochondria are referred to as the “powerhouse of the cells” for this reason.

All of your organs contain a lot of mitochondria. However, some organs need more energy than others, meaning they have a larger number of these tiny organelles in their cells. For example, your heart, liver, and kidneys are extremely busy organs and therefore contain substantially more mitochondria than other organs.

Mitochondria are exceptionally unique. For example, they can rapidly divide and grow in numbers if the energy demand of the cells increases. This helps in powering the cells with high amounts of energy as and when required. For example, a muscle that is exercised repeatedly will trigger the increased production of mitochondria to meet growing energy demands.

So, how does CoQ10 fit into this scenario exactly? Let’s start with the basics and gradually move to the elaborate process through which the body makes energy. We’re not going to lie, it is a very complicated process but let’s try to keep it short!

  • You eat food that comprises fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. Now, your body needs to convert the energy from these nutrients into a form that can be used by cells. 
  • It begins when mitochondria break down these nutrients with the help of oxygen. This entire process comprises an elaborate, organized, and extremely complex series of reactions that ultimately lead to the production of ATP molecules – currencies of energy that your cells can use.
  • Oxidation of fatty acids and carbohydrates that takes place within the mitochondria releases electrons which must be carried to electron acceptors. The energy produced during this transportation of electrons across the mitochondrial membrane is finally used to produce ATP molecules.

Your body needs all kinds of nutrients to participate in this process effectively. For example, the ‘B’ family of vitamins, L-carnitine, vitamin K, and magnesium are some major ingredients that are involved in energy synthesis.

You guessed it, CoQ10 is an extremely critical part of this team. In fact, no other molecule can replace CoQ10 and the one-of-a-kind role in this process. CoQ10 accepts electrons generated during oxidation of glucose and fatty acid and passes it on to electron acceptors in the electron transport chain. The reactions of this transport chain are carried out with the help of many enzymes and coenzymes.   

It’s clear that severe CoQ10 deficiency means your cells won’t be able to produce sufficient amounts of energy. Since CoQ10 also works as an antioxidant, low CoQ10 levels also mean an increase in oxidative damage and inflammation, which most chronic diseases stem from.


CoQ10


CoQ10 and mitochondrial health


Clearly, healthy mitochondria and healthy energy production go hand in hand. But specifically, what does CoQ10 mean for the health of your mitochondria?

The process of energy synthesis that takes place within the mitochondria also results in the production of free radicals - molecules that have unpaired electrons. Free radicals are unstable and always in search of extra electrons to allow them to become steady.

There are many other processes, both internal and external, that release free radicals into your system. Immune reactions, poor diet, infections, illness, acute stress, use of drugs and antibiotics, smoking, drinking, and chronic exposure to toxins are some factors that increase the production of free radicals.

Free radicals cause damage to cells and cellular structures, including cell membranes, proteins, enzymes, DNA, and mitochondria. By stealing electrons from these structures, free radicals cause oxidative damage or oxidative stress – resulting in impaired function of organs, chronic inflammation, premature ageing and the development of chronic ailments in the form of arthritis, fibromyalgia, heart disease, cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and cancer. Oxidative damage can also cause infertility in both men and women.

Coming back to the mitochondria, these tiny fragile systems are exceptionally prone to such damage, as they are at the epicentre of the energy production process that releases free radicals. What’s more, if you already have low levels of CoQ10 and other nutrients, energy synthesis takes a hit. This causes an increased generation of free radicals, further threatening the health of mitochondria.

What Causes Low Levels of CoQ10 in Our Body?


Your cells make their own CoQ10. However, by the time you reach your 20s your levels begin to wane. What’s more, if you don’t include enough CoQ10-rich foods in your diet, (such as organ meat and fish) you are likely to become CoQ10 deficient by your late 40s.

Besides age, many other factors increase your risk of becoming deficient in this important antioxidant:

  • A poor diet lacking in CoQ10-rich foods
  • Nutritional deficiencies; for example, deficiency in B vitamins and trace minerals that are required for the internal synthesis of CoQ10
  • Conditions that cause a need for higher CoQ10 to limit oxidative damage and resulting inflammation. Systemic inflammation, persistent infections and disease, long-term exposure to environmental toxins, stress, and prolonged use of beta-blockers, antibiotics and statins are a few situations when your body demands additional antioxidant support and rapidly uses the existing resources such as CoQ10, glutathione, and other antioxidants.
  • Antidepressants are also known to lower your CoQ10 levels  

Energy Boosting Benefits of CoQ10


Exercise performance and fatigue: CoQ10 has been found to enhance exercise performance and relieve fatigue while improving energy levels. This is due to its direct role in energy synthesis.

Migraine: CoQ10 has been found to be useful in the prevention of migraines. While the exact cause of migraine is not yet clear, there is evidence that poorly functioning mitochondria and impaired energy production in the brain may be responsible.

Interestingly, studies show that people who experience frequent migraines often have low levels of CoQ10. With its ability to maintain mitochondrial functions and make energy, taking a CoQ10 supplement could be useful in this painful and debilitating health problem. In fact, The Canadian Headache Society has listed Coq10 as one of the 11 most effective substances to prevent migraines.

Infertility: The process of egg maturation and embryo development, which involves many cell divisions, requires substantial amounts of energy. Sperm also need energy to travel and reach eggs for fertilization.

With age comes a reduced production of energy within the mitochondria of the egg cells, as well as increased oxidative damage. Low cellular energy, accompanied by oxidative damage, reduces the quality of eggs in women - especially older women.

We know that cells, such as brain cells or muscle cells, require considerable energy and contain a large number of mitochondria. But a human egg, the largest cells in the body, contains 10-100 times more mitochondria than any other energy-demanding cell.

For people taking statins: People with high cholesterol levels are often prescribed statins. These drugs lower cholesterol levels by blocking the function of an enzyme involved in the production of cholesterol in the liver. However, this enzyme is also responsible for the production of many other important molecules in the body, and CoQ10 is one.

Now, as a critical component in ATP synthesis, impaired production of CoQ10 can cause poor muscle function, in both the skeletal muscles, heart muscles, and blood vessels. When you have been taking statins for a long time, this can result in symptoms such as muscle fatigue, muscle pain, and even joint pain. Taking a CoQ10 energy booster can help improve these symptoms.  

CoQ10 has been found useful in:

  • Improving symptoms in people with congestive heart failure, where the energy-starved heart muscle is not able to pump enough blood to the organs. [1] 
  • Reducing the risk of unexpected hospitalization or urgent transplantation in people with heart failure.
  • Improving endothelial function in type 2 diabetic patients taking statins
  • Preventing and managing pre-diabetes and Type 2 diabetes [2] [3]
  • Supporting periodontal (gum) disease [4]
  • Fibromyalgia treatment

CoQ10 is a strong supporter of heart health. This hard-working organ has very high energy requirements due to the fact that it beats non-stop, day and night. This is why the heart contains a greater number of mitochondria and CoQ10 than other organs. It goes without saying, low CoQ10 spells bad news for your heart, as studies have found. [5]

It is important that you maintain healthy CoQ10 levels through foods and supplements to harness the benefits of CoQ10 for energy and overall health. We recommend taking a liposomal CoQ10 supplement along with high-CoQ10 foods.

Traditional supplements are disintegrated in the harsh, unfavorable environment of the gastrointestinal tract. Much of the nutrient is wasted during digestion, and only a small amount is able to reach your tissues.

Liposomal technology, however, uses ‘small bubbles’ called liposomes, which are then filled with the desired nutrient. Liposomes are truly remarkable structures that safely transport the enclosed nutrient to its destination – increasing its bioavailability and absorption. Liposomes are used as structures that encapsulate and carry nutrients directly to the cells and tissues for improved uptake and absorption.

Try a liposomal Coq10 supplement for improved energy, a healthy heart, and migraine support. What have you got to lose?

References:

  1. Mortensen SA et al. The effect of coenzyme Q10 on morbidity and mortality in chronic heart failure: results from Q-SYMBIO: a randomized double-blind trial. JACC Heart Fail. 20142.   
  2. Mohammadi et al. The effect of coenzyme Q10 supplementation on metabolic status of type 2 diabetic patients. Gastroenterol Dietol. 2013
  3. Raygan et al. The effects of coenzyme Q10 administration on glucose homeostasis parameters, lipid profiles, biomarkers of inflammation and oxidative stress in patients with metabolic syndrome. European Journal of Nutrition. 2015
  4. S Prakash et al. Role of coenzyme Q(10) as an antioxidant and bioenergizer in periodontal diseases. Indian J Pharmacol. 2010
  5. A Sharma et al. Coenzyme Q10 and Heart Failure. A State-of-the-Art Review. Circulation. Heart Failure. 2016.