If you’ve been paying attention to developments in health and wellness over the past few years, you’ve likely started hearing more and more about the importance of CoQ10. Coenzyme Q10, also called CoQ10, ubiquinol, or ubiquinone, is an important vitamin-like substance that can be found in nearly every living thing on Earth, including healthy people.
Nature-made CoQ10 plays a major role in supporting the production of energy by the mitochondria, or “powerhouses” of the cell, and helps to neutralize free radicals in order to prevent them from causing damage at the cellular and molecular level. Although our bodies produce the active form of CoQ10 and free radicals, as we age, over time, the amount of CoQ10 produced may begin to decline while free radicals are still being produced. With less CoQ10 available to help support the mitochondria and participate in energy production, mitochondrial health may begin to decline, which can cause health issues.
If you’re considering adding a CoQ10 supplement to your diet and are wondering which CoQ10 is the most effective, you may be surprised to learn that not all CoQ10 supplements are created equal.
Why is it important to have adequate amounts of CoQ10?
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Our bodies produce antioxidants like CoQ10 to help with cellular respiration and help neutralize free radicals produced in this process. As we age, our bodies may slow down the production of CoQ10 but free radicals are still being produced. Over time, this imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants in the body can lead to a condition called oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is characterized by an imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants that results in cellular and molecular damage caused by free radicals. Although our bodies naturally enter temporary states of oxidative stress regularly, such as during periods of exercise, oxidative stress that occurs over a long period of time can be a major cause for concern. Oxidative stress is often a sign of poor mitochondrial health.
Poor mitochondrial health might not seem like a big deal. After all, how can something so small have a significant impact on our physical wellbeing? However, because they are responsible for carrying out one of the body’s most important processes, the health of mitochondria is inextricably linked to our physical health. Mitochondrial health refers to the level of efficiency at which our mitochondria are working; this efficiency determines how quickly and effectively the mitochondria can produce the energy that we need to perform all of life’s basic functions, including fighting infection, recovering from injury and illness, exercising, digesting food, and more.
Without adequate amounts of CoQ10, our bodies may begin a slow decline that starts with oxidative stress and can lead to poor mitochondrial health. As our mitochondrial health continues to decline, we may show more visible signs of aging and start to experience lagging recovery times, a loss of energy, and many other unpleasant symptoms. The loss of CoQ10 can be slowed by making good lifestyle choices, like eating a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables, getting plenty of exercise, and getting enough sleep, but we may all see our CoQ10 levels begin to decline as we age, which can even lead to CoQ10 deficiency. That’s where CoQ10 supplements come in.
Can CoQ10 levels be supplemented?
Scientists tried for years to develop a CoQ10 supplement that actually works and supplements the levels in the body. They initially approached the problem and developed the formula using the same strategy as many other dietary supplements, including a large molecule size and high dose. Unfortunately, these early formulas just weren’t that effective. What these formulas failed to take into account is that CoQ10 is a large, fat-soluble molecule that must be taken with foods containing a fat source in order to be properly absorbed. The large molecule size, combined with the relative impermeability of the mitochondrial membranes, meant that very little CoQ10 was actually being absorbed. It wasn’t until our biochemists in New Zealand made a major breakthrough in the late 1990s that CoQ10 supplement absorption was really possible.
What is needed for CoQ10 to be absorbable?
What our scientists in New Zealand discovered was that the mitochondria has a significant negative charge when compared to the rest of the cell. Therefore, they determined that if they attached a positively charged molecule to the CoQ10, it could permeate the mitochondrial barrier. It took years to develop the right formula and find exactly the right molecule, but eventually they were able to create our MitoQ supplement. With the development of MitoQ, the absorption potential of CoQ10 supplements was dramatically increased because scientists had finally discovered the right formula. MitoQ is so effective that it can be taken at a much lower dose than the normal CoQ10 dose while still allowing a high amount of absorption into the mitochondria.
How do other CoQ10 supplements compare to MitoQ?
More than 400 peer reviewed research papers examining the effects of MitoQ have now been published, which means there is ample opportunity to compare the effectiveness of MitoQ supplements against other CoQ10 supplements in order to determine which is more effective. So, how do other CoQ10 supplements compare to MitoQ?
One of the major areas where MitoQ is more effective than other CoQ10 supplements is in the amount of CoQ10 absorbed by the body. CoQ10 has low oral bioavailability because of it is fat soluble and large molecular weight. MitoQ, however, uses a water-soluble molecule with a positive charge and does not need to be taken with food, unlike other CoQ10 supplements that must be taken with fatty food, and it absorbs at a much higher rate than other CoQ10 supplements.
Because most CoQ10 supplements are so slowly and poorly absorbed, it takes a long time for them to reach peak concentration. MitoQ is much more easily absorbed into the bloodstream and into the mitochondria, so it reaches peak (higher dose) concentrations much more quickly, allowing it to help fight against free radical damage faster.
You might be shocked to discover that the average recommended dose of Coenzyme Q10 supplements is sometimes 500-1200 milligrams (mg), while MitoQ is effective at a 10mg dose taken once per day. Why is there such a noticeable difference? It all comes back to the absorption and bioavailability of most CoQ10 supplements. MitoQ is formulated to more easily permeate the mitochondrial barrier and thereby have increased absorption by the mitochondria, so it can be taken at a much lower dose with less mg of CoQ10 to achieve the same levels of CoQ10.
What benefits do CoQ10 supplements offer?
CoQ10 supplements have historically promised a long list of benefits that were rarely realized, before the development of high-quality MitoQ, due to the poor absorption and low bioavailability of CoQ10. When the right form of CoQ10 supplement is taken and levels in the body are improved, there are many health benefits of CoQ10, including:
- Support of normal blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels
- Support of healthy kidney and liver function, which can lead to more normal metabolic function
- Support of balanced allergic and immune pathways, helping to normalize the body’s natural responses to normal and harmful aggressors and limit damaging effects of these responses
- Heart health support
- Support of cellular respiration and the body’s energy production process (creating more ATP)
- Support of energy level production in joints, muscles and tissues, thereby reducing recovery times for physical exercise and supporting your physical fitness and endurance
- Support of healthy brain and nervous system function
- Support of mental clarity and cognitive function during the aging process
- Help with the reduction of oxidative stress, thereby helping to limit premature signs of aging